Holy Fury will expand Crusader Kings II


As part of this avalanche of Paradox Interactive material today, you’ll be excited to hear that the hyper-specific bread and butter of their strategy games, Crusader Kings II, is getting an expansion born of pure hellfire. The Holy Fury add-on will be changing the way crusades are waged, from starting in a randomly generated map to raiding something called “Pagan Warrior Lodges” to using special powers to antagonize or control your neighbors. Exactly as Jesus would have wanted.

“One heart and one soul against the Christian name.” So went the message from Estonia after the routing of the Teuton invaders at Umera. The fires of faith burn hot, as local gods come under attack from a universal church that offers a stark choice – God or the Sword?

I’m so bad at history that this part of the press release sounds like nonsense words to me. Totally in on being mad at god, though. Or is that not what’s happening? Ugh. Get thee to a Wikipedia.

In Holy Fury, Pagan rulers who reform their religion instead of converting will have a chance to design that new Reformed Paganism. A religion of peace or one of war? Will you be guided by the stars or bow to the whims of bloodthirsty gods? Who will lead this new church? Build a new creed on the ashes of the old ways.

Hell yeahhhhh paganism. Again, not totally sure what Reform Paganism is? I assume that’s when we all watch The Craft together? Please, no matter what I do, no one bind me.

Check out that there dang anti-god trailer below:

Starting to notice that PDXCon 2018 is including a lot of trailers that don’t show a single frame of games in action. Except for Wonderworld: Planets! That had some bugs with green bug juice in it. That was a lot better than a helmet that slowly comes into frame. Sorry if that feels like a nit-pick.


Also. ALSO. There’s a Kickstarter for a board game adaptation of Crusader Kings. First, I imagine this is the most complicated tabletop setup of all time. Second, it was just announced and already it has doubled its funding goal. It’s good that all of us strategy nuts are just. this. predictable.

*sprints toward kickstarter while throwing my wallet repeatedly*

Holy Fury is coming in 2018 for the suggested retail price of $19.99.


  1. RosalietheDog says:

    In his 2008 book “the Craftsman”, the sociologist Richard Sennett tells the parable of Wittgenstein building a house for his sister in Vienna. Unconstrained by financial or practical limitations, the great philosopher revised and revised the house, even to the point of tearing out the ceiling of the drawing room and rebuilding it three centimeters higher. The point of the parable is that endless revision does not a good house beget. I wish Paradox would learn this lesson and think about designing a good game BEFORE releasing it, instead of revising it endlessly.

    • Vilos Cohaagen says:

      You are, of course, entitled to that view, but I disagree. I think CK2 is a much better game from all the expansions. Some were weak but most have been grand and as a games industry veteran myself I highly doubt the could have made the game this overarching before release. My 1,000 hours plus of play time seem like good value to me.

      I’d argue that the better metaphor is crafing a chest of drawers. They made a solid frame with basic drawers then added decorative elements and better handles…

      I like their DLC and continuing support. I’d prefer it if it didn’t break mods, but that is tough to do. I’m looking forward to this expansion.

    • Son_of_Georg says:

      The difference, of course, is that Paradox keeps making money off of all the expansions. It isn’t discontent that drives them, but their business model. Whether or not that actually makes the game better is something that can be debated.

      I’ll say that I’m one who likes all the additional content. Constant updates and DLC means there’s always something new to try. The only problem I have is that I can’t afford them all, either with time or money. And now a new Rome game is coming out? What are you doing to me, Paradox?

      • pookie191 says:

        All the extra content is currently 50% off so it’s a good time to go shopping :)

      • ilitarist says:

        No one can say that CK2 is a bad game but the feature creep is real. The game is not consistent, most new things are added for the sake of having new things and are poorly supported. Even one of the lead devs mentioned he plays with very important features like Defensive Alliances (that coalition against the fast expansion) features turned off. Many features were added and not supported, after each expansion you get reports about weird interactions with old systems, obvious bugs remain unfixed for years. The best CK2 experience is still default start date as a Christian ruler because of how underdeveloped other start dates and cultures are.

        More recent games like HoI4 and Stellaris don’t seem to have as strong base game as CK2 and EU4; the reaction to CK2 and EU4 was “buy it now and play, it’s great”, the reaction to HoI4 and Stellaris was more of “buy it now, we know it will be great after a year or two” and those games are still not that great after a couple of years. They don’t concentrate on fixing the game cause their model is all about producing new stuff, right now they’re publishing a new DLC for Stellaris while AI is basically dysfunctional in this game.

        Also note how highly regarded is Victoria 2, the last game that Paradox produced with a traditional model of payed expansions (similar to what Firaxis are doing). V2 has no obsolete features even if it has some useless flavor like newspapers. V2 had a possibility of removing features that do not work; CK2 and EU4 only remove features from base game to be replaced in DLC and the whole game is balanced around you having every DLC anyway.

        I do believe that we’d have a better game with a more traditional system of rarer, bigger expansions without pretense that the base DLC-less game was improved that much.

    • Beanbee says:

      CK2 was a great game on release as I recall. Not every major dlc has mattered, not everything is in balance, but it still remains a solid story generator. For a grand strategy game.

    • willow731 says:

      From my point of view, they did design a great base game. I spent many hours with it before I ever bought any of the DLC. And, as for the expansions and other assorted DLC, I’ve bought the ones that interested me, and ignored the ones that didn’t. If I’d been forced to buy all the DLC I might be a bit annoyed (and broke,) but as it is, I have no complaints. In fact, I think it’s great that they offer so many different options to suit so many different play styles and preferences.
      This expansion sounds like one I’ll want.

    • Damn You Socrates says:

      Wittgenstein did come up with an iconic door handle that has been replicated millions of times, so sometimes revision is worth it.

  2. mac4 says:

    Brock, Brock. Umera could have been your clue: Battle of Ümera link to en.wikipedia.org , leading on to the Livonian Crusade link to en.wikipedia.org . I suppose we could then continue by reading up on the Northern, or Baltic, Crusades link to en.wikipedia.org .

    But then you knew that, didn’t you? ;)

  3. Freud says:

    How many expansions does CKII have? Seems like I have read about at least a dozen by now.

  4. FranticPonE says:

    Dear Paradox: Where the hell is Crusader Kings 3?

    I really wanted to get into 2. I did, the stories make it sound great. But the UI is such a mess, as are all the million options and etc. that even as someone who played Hearts of Iron and enjoyed it I was put off. It’s been years guys… could I just have a cleaned up and better thought out sequel?

    • pelwl says:

      I said the same thing here about 3-4 DLCs back. At least they have made a few QoL improvements since then, but the UI is still awful, and will only get updated with a sequel.

    • pookie191 says:

      Honestly you should check out the first Crusader kings. It’s really cheap, next to no expansions and exactly one hints page of instructions and that’s all that’s really needed.

      Paradox prides itself on low to mid tier complexity strategy games and we all have a level where we run into a brick wall with some of them.. For me it’s “War in the Pacific:Admirals edition” from Matrix games.

      I play it every few months and absolutely bounce off the damn thing

    • BewareTheJabberwock says:

      I’ve tried so many times to get into CK2. I love Euro history (tho I don’t know as much about it as I probly should, but I’m American and they don’t teach that stuff) and am generally a fan of the 4X/Grand Strategy neighborhood of genres. But I tried playing it by doing the tutorial (which I guess nobody likes). I watched a 7 part youtube series about how to play it. Still have no clue what’s going on or what I’m supposed to do. It definitely has potential, and probably the problem is that there are so many millions of bits of minutiae to get into. But I’ll hang onto it (got it for free from somewhere) and try it out once a year or so.

    • ilitarist says:

      This is funny, yes. It seems that when they produced the game initially they thought it would be much more about the usual strategic stuff. This is why you probably have the most complex combat model of all Paradox games rivaling Hearts of Iron, it’s just no one understands it and just throws around armies hoping that the bigger one wins.

      Then it had blown up as incest simulator and they tried to add more memetic qualities with horses and bears and mutilations etc, but those either do not work (remember Chronicles addition? No? It’s still there) or still don’t get a proper UI. Character stats do almost nothing, AI behavior depends on stats but there’s so much random fluff that you don’t notice it unless you see extreme cases like lunatic doing dumb things or very zealous person getting rid of heretics among their vassals. Character screen begs to be replaced with mods, it’s hard to see relations among people. Goddamned tooltips don’t show you character stats and they even did that in EU Rome!

      Indeed, I think Crusader Kings 3 may become my favorite game ever. CK2 still looks like it’s a character-based mod added on top of a completely different strategy game.

  5. Shacklestein says:

    There used to be a time when those who wrote about CKII had actually played it. Or at least were good enough at pretending to have that the articles were somewhat informative. I liked that time. Sorry if that feels like a nitpick.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      Indeed. The article seems to be written for laughs rather than with any actual enthusiasm for crusader kings 2. The “not totally sure what Reform Paganism is?” joke basically translates as “I have no interest in this game but I have to write an article”.

  6. Kittim says:

    Paradox, if you want to milk this particular cash cow, kindly release a high resolution UI pack. Don’t care if you nickle and dime and charge your customers, do it.

  7. Levity says:

    I’m going to second this coming across as an utterly nonsensical piece of writing. I understand that by now Paradox DLCs are more Rote Reveals than they are Amazing Announcements, but couldn’t we have an article written by someone who isn’t so blatantly ignorant of the game?

    Oh, but don’t worry; the DLC is named Holy Wars— so he’s put a jesus joke in there! Haha! Oh yes, get ‘thee to a Wikipedia!’, that one place where all ignorance is cured at the touch of a button! To top it all off he’s included a reference to a film I’ve never seen before, and have no interest in ever doing so. Fantastic. This is exactly how I want one of my favourite games reported on!

    I could point further to this article’s use of cheap humour to try and pave over what is blatant laziness and ignorance towards its subject matter. Is it really that hard to understand what Reformed Paganism might mean? It’s entirely autological!

    Nobody could claim this to be a decent standard of reporting

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