Crusader Kings II Gameplay, Release Date, And System Requirements

Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio created the grand strategy video game Crusader Kings II. The sequel to 2004's Crusader Kings was released on February 14, 2012, and it is also a medieval-themed game. The game was made available for no cost as of October 18, 2019. On September 1, 2020, a sequel called Crusader Kings III was released. Crusader Kings II was a breakthrough for Paradox in that it drew players from all over the world, helping to fuel the studio's expansion.

Crusader Kings II Gameplay

The player assumes command of a medieval dynasty in this simulation game, which takes place between the years 1066 and 1453. In the base game, players can begin their journey on any day between January 1, 1066, and December 31, 1337. However, the Old Gods and Charlemagne downloadable content packs allow players to begin their journey on January 1, 867 and 769, respectively, and the Iron Century update would later allow a start in the year 936.

Players advance their dynasty through a variety of means, including war, marriage, and assassination. William the Conqueror, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, Harold Godwinson, Robert Guiscard, Robert the Bruce, Harald Hardrada, El Cid, Constantine X Doukas, Harun al-Rashid, Alexios I Komnenos, Richard the Lionheart, Ivar the Boneless, Alfred the Great, Baldwin I of Jerusalem, Boleslaw the Bold, and Saladin all make appearances or are mentioned in the game, but the player.

Crusader Kings II
Crusader Kings II

Only the player can decide what constitutes a successful game. The only goal of the game is to amass as many prestige and piety points as possible and then use those points to rise above the various historically significant European dynasties in a made-up prestige ranking system (the three most prestigious ones being the Capetian, the Rurikid and the Habsburg dynasties).

If the player's current character dies without a dynastic heir to succeed him or her, all members of the player's dynasty (including themselves) have their landed titles of the count rank or above revoked, or the year 1453 arrives, the game is over (unless the player is in “observer mode”, at which point the game will continue onwards).

The game uses a genetics and education system in which offspring take on the characteristics, upbringing, and set of skills of their parents and caregivers. This makes marriages more strategic, as players will look for partners with desirable heritable traits to increase their chances of having healthy, powerful offspring and further solidify their dynasty.

This necessitates juggling competing priorities; for instance, a potential marriage may allow for a desirable alliance to be formed with another ruler, but it may also require marrying a spouse with some undesirable traits. It is also possible for the roles to be reversed, with one potential spouse possessing highly desirable traits but providing no new alliances for the player's dynasty.

Though the player can take on the role of any noble who controls at least one county, certain governmental structures are inaccessible unless modded. Republics, mercenaries, holy orders, and theocracies are all examples.

However, with The Republic expansion, games can be played with a merchant republic government. In addition, players can't take control of any Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Zoroastrian, Jain, Zun, or pagan character unless they pay for the game's optional downloadable content (DLC).

Crusader Kings II Release Date

On February 4, 2012, a demo was released that allowed players to control four different characters over a 20-year time frame. The Seven Deadly Sins were the subject of some comedic videos that were used in the game's advertising campaign.

The game, which is powered by the Clausewitz Engine, has received mostly positive reviews and has a Metascore of 82. Crusader Kings II has been praised for its gameplay and system of diplomacy and backstabbing but criticized for its “lackluster tutorials” by GameSpot critic Shaun McInnis. An “intense learning curve, but a unique strategy experience” was how IGN summed up its review.

The gameplay and “lasting appeal” were both given a 9 by IGN. Crusader Kings II was called “probably the most human strategy game” by a reviewer for Rock, Paper, and Shotgun. The game was reviewed by Rob Zacny of PC PowerPlay, who gave it a 7/10 and said it was “a brilliant treatment of feudalism in terms of strategy and story” but also “requires major investment to overcome information overload.” Among Kotaku's nominees for best games of the year, you'll find this one.

Crusader Kings II
Crusader Kings II

More than 7 million copies of Crusader Kings II had been sold by September 2014, when the game's expansion pack and downloadable content were also included in that tally. Before the release of Europa Universalis IV, this was Paradox's most successful release. Paradox Interactive claims that daily player counts average 12,500 with players spending an average of 99 hours in the game.

Crusader Kings II System Requirements 

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Crusader Kings II System Requirements (Minimum)

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900, 512MB graphics memory required.
  • DirectX®: 9.0c
  • Sound: Direct X-compatible sound card
  • Additional: 3-button mouse and keyboard

System requirements for macOS

  • OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required

System requirements for Linux

  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Processor: Intel R Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Hard disk space: 2 Gb
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required.

End Lines 

Paradox Development Studio developed and released Crusader Kings II for PC. The medieval-themed game came out on February 14, 2012, as a follow-up to 2004's Crusader Kings. The game was released with no price tag on October 18, 2019.