By Adam Smith on August 18th, 2014 at 8:00 am.
I don’t think I’d mind if Crusader Kings II received fresh DLC for the next twenty years. Judging by the latest announcement, which I witnessed live at a fan gathering/press conference at Gamescom, the greatest medieval strategy RPG-sim of all time might soon be simply the greatest historical RPG-sim of all time. The upcoming Charlemagne expansion brings the possible start date ever closer to the classical era, with the option of beginning play in 769 AD to follow the life and times of Big Chuck. EU IV is also set to expand, to the beat of a warlike drum.
Ridiculous Adam fact of the day – that music sends a shiver up my spine and goosebumps down my arms.
The Europa expansion is called The Art of War and the strangest thing about it is that the game still requires any attention at all given that it has covered the greatest works of man. That particular piece of DLC is probably the closest thing I’ll ever have to a dedicated biopic.
For those who prefer the blast of a musket to the kerching of a cash register, the Art of War contains the following:
30 years War: Unique mechanics and events for the religious conflict that ravaged Europe.
Napoleonic Era: Fight for or against the revolution and create entirely new custom client countries on the map from your conquests.
Fighting on land or at sea: You can now sortie from sieges, transfer occupation to allies and give objectives to your subjects and allies. Entire Fleets can now be upgraded with one click, you can now mothball fleets to avoid paying maintenance, and your fleets can be set to automatically transport armies.
Marches: Turn your vessals into bulwarks against your enemies, getting less tax but strengthening their defences.
Improved Diplomacy: Sell Surplus Ships, Fight for your subjects CB, Declare War in Support of Rebel factions in other countries and new peace options.
Gameplay Enhancements: Build entire armies in one click and abandon cores that you no longer wish to support.
Free Features for the accompanying patch: Completely new rebel mechanic, local autonomy on province level, new cardinal system for Catholics, new reformation mechanics and a new look map.
As for CK II, alongside a ‘story event series’ for those who choose to play as Charlemagne, the expansion will include a new season/climate system, an Annual Chronicle, and customisable kingdoms and empires.
I reckon there’s more chance of Crusader Kings covering the classical Roman era itself than a sequel to EU: Rome appearing at any point. That didn’t stop Shams Jorjani, Paradox’ acquisitions guru, from emerging onto stage wearing a Europa Universalis: Rome II t-shirt during the press conference as announcements were promised. The demand for the game and its absence from all release schedules has become a running joke and the only way I can imagine the t-shirt being topped is by means of a series of leaked teasers and a fabricated appearance in the Steam database.