Angry Lairds: Crusader Kings II

By Adam Smith on November 18th, 2011 at 2:41 pm.

The trailer could just be a slow pan across this map, with the soldier waving his shield 'cinematically'

A trailer for Crusader Kings II would inevitably consist of closeups of maps and loud, pompous music, so even though I’m hugely excited about the game I wouldn’t bother posting it. Or it would be the first in a series of live action comedy sketches themed around the seven deadly sins, in which case I’d be more than content to share it with the world. I’m happy that a game so head-scratchingly intense that I’ve gone through six scalps playing the beta is able to let its hair down. And, yes, I’m talking about the game as if it is a sentient being. What of it? Let’s just watch.

I am part of the chorus that derides live action trailers for games but this probably cost less to make than the old man’s beard in the Skyrim effort and it’s sixteen million times more enjoyable while telling me just as much about the game it’s advertising, which is admittedly not a huge amount. Although there is a map at the end and the scenario shown does sadly describe the kind of stupid antics I sometimes find myself performing when allegiances become confused.

With the Pythonesque feel here though, let’s hope the lust trailer doesn’t go all Benny Hill on us.

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21 Comments »

  1. TC-27 says:

    Brilliant!

    CK2 is not a game that can really shine in a 2 minute trailer (quick blurry shot of someones mouse hovering over some radar buttons isnt very sexy) so this way of ing it works well and basically lets you now what the game is about.

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah. Hover over those radar buttons, don’t click, just hover. You filthy minx!

      By which I mean to say, I’m actually really looking forward to this which surprises me as I dabbled with these kinds of games in the past (Hearts of Iron, Europa Universalis, and others) but they didn’t quite click with me. The idea of being able to lead Connaught to victory sounds pretty great.

    • Premium User Badge Fede says:

      Alternatively, they could try to advertise it… with words!

      Like: playing as a Byzantium vassal I married and assassined my way to the title of Emperor, then oh my God the Turks declared war and my vassals rebelled; I survived somehow with still all of Greece and half of Asia Minor, but then… the Mongols! Oh, the horror! (and the attrition!) My days were counted but at least I died gloriously.
      Or something. You got the idea.

      Of course with a storyteller better than me. Quinns, for example!

      Edit: oh, dammit, Quinns has wrote the whole series of trailers already. That’s why it was so good :)

    • Dozer says:

      There are times I lament being forced to only access the Internet with flashless IE7. What am I saying? I constantly lament being forced to use IE7. But if I’m missing Quinn’s work for Paradox, doubly so.

    • GBoyzJay says:

      The advert is pretty cool, and, while hilarious in a low-budget british way (aaaahhh, the good ol’ days) does get across that yes, diplomacy is sort of important in CK2. As a fellow reviewer, I also am scratching my scalp, and am grateful I have around 6 months to work out *how the heck to play the game*.

      That’s a scary position to be in, tbh. Especially with a Paradox game.

  2. mike2R says:

    That was unbelievably epic!

    Editing to add this from the post on the CK2 forum :)

    “Crusader Kings is my favourite of our grand strategy games,” said Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox. “It takes that addictive core of building something epic, but the building blocks of the world are real people with real lives and real emotions, so your kingdom is always this entertainingly wobbly, teetering construct. There’s not enough teetering in strategy these days. Anyway, that same focus on personalities makes it perfect for a live action trailer.”

    “Why did the live-action trailer ever die out, anyway? Actors are classy. Especially British actors. They’re the classiest and snottiest of all. We’re hoping that, through exposure to British actors, our game will absorb some of that snot.” Fredrik Wester continued.

    “It’s a metaphor,” explained Quintin Smith, ex-Rock Paper Shotgun writer and author of the trailers. “In an ironic play on our perceptions, the King is a manifestation of all of us, while his servants represent the ruling elite. That their positions are reversed is a reflection of these modern times. The trailers are actually themed around the seven deadly sins, for reasons too scholarly to go into here, but we start with wroth. That’s the old English word for wrath. That’s the kind of thing we know, here at Paradox. We’re very high-functioning.”

    “Also, we’ve got some knob jokes in one of the later ones,” added Quintin.

  3. Kandon Arc says:

    ‘Never give up! Never surrender!’

    Ah Galaxy Quest, what a film. To be honest though preview AARs (PrevAARs?) like this do a much better job at getting me excited for this: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/content.php?728-The-Trials-of-Orabilia-MacDuib-A-Beta-AAR

  4. Gaytard Fondue says:

    What will be the name of the first patch we have to buy for 20 bucks?

    • Premium User Badge Malkara says:

      Paradox isn’t doing full-fledged expansions anymore. They’re going to offer new features via DLC, with updated content being free for everyone, but in order to actually use it yourself you need to buy the DLC. So anyone can multiplayer with anyone, but you can only use the features that you’ve paid for.

    • bob. says:

      Honestly – you can say about a lot of game developers that they are greedy and just want to squeeze out a few more bucks – but the guys are Paradox, THEY ARE MAKING GODDAMN COMPLEX GRAND STRATEGY GAMES! Seriously, if they wanted to make lots of cash they would just… stop making grand strategy games and do something else.

    • Zan Thrax says:

      Paradox’s expansions have always been pretty extensive; they change and add several features to the games every time that drastically change the way the games play. And considering the amount of patches, beta patches, and community involvement in both that they put out, it’s doubly unfair to suggest that the expansions are just glorified patches.

  5. Premium User Badge Carra says:

    Monty Python law suit coming in 1, 2, 3…

    • Vandalbarg says:

      Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.

      (That was good though, and I look forward to more. ALSO I WANT TO PLAY CK2 SO BAD)

  6. Pijama says:

    Well, after Arrowhead’s brilliant marketing, Paradox made a wise decision to follow in their footsteps – this was excellent!

    Also, Iron Quinns is involved in this? That explains much haha

  7. Real Horrorshow says:

    No thanks, Paradox. I already have a spreadsheet program.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Harsh and totally unfair. If only you knew how much…

    • Zan Thrax says:

      Harsh, but perhaps not totally unfair. Did you never use the bridefinder program that someone made for the original CK? It took a data dump of the character info from the save file and formatted it into a nice readable spreadsheet-like grid.

      Paradox games have a lot of data available to the player, and a grid is the most sensible way to present it a lot of the time.

  8. mxu says:

    Duuuude!

  9. NegativeNancy says:

    I sincerely hope that Mount & Blade model there is just a placeholder, but this is Paradox we’re talking about, so I should know better.
    Their games are good, but the way they just rehash everything from game to game is reprehensible. That’s most obvious with their grand-strategy games (see HOI, EU etc).
    And don’t even get me started on how they tag community-made mods as “expansions” or even complete games and sell them for profit.

    “RRRRRRRIGHT”.