Crusader Kings 3, Review. Glory Or Tragedy To Royalty


We immerse ourselves in history through the destinations of great families who have shaped the future of nations

Crusader Kings III is the third installment in the major strategy saga developed and published by the Swedish company Paradox. The work encourages the player to manage a dynasty in time, between the 9th and 15th centuries, and in space, from western Maghreb to China and from Russia to the Sahel. The breadth and power of the game is extraordinary. The game is already on sale and is one of the big surprises that this 2020 leaves us with.

The main novelty of the new delivery is found in the material and how it retains the verb, the mechanics, and the prophecy, the rest of the elements. The essence of the first retreat was territorial conquest and the creation of large feudal domains through war. Crusader Kings II reversed this trend during its numerous expansions and shifted, and was widely accepted, the focus from territorial conquest to dynastic management. This new installment concludes the process and pledges its full potential for this management and the relationships established between its various members. The subject is now the dynasty and the job of the player is to preserve its existence and increase it along the way. through careful control of the main character. The mechanics, the verbs available to the player within the game, have been adapted to this new reality, adding to the possibilities of intrigue in addition to the events of the characters, which now take on a more fundamental importance. game development. departure. This new installment, while still within high strategy, could be defined as a role-playing game, in fact its official description defines it as a game of “drama and intrigue.”


Family and intrigue

Crusader Kings’ license, and in particular its second installment, was primarily responsible for the commercial takeoff of Paradox. Since its launch on the market, on 14 February 2012, it has achieved figures that have allowed the Swedish company to grow and become a giant capable of absorbing other studios and opening new offices, the last in Barcelona. In addition, the expanded system was born alongside it, which is now a distinctive feature of the Swedish company. Crusader Kings II has maintained its interest, number of players and useful life from 2012 to 2020, thanks to the constant updating of its content and mechanics, which to date have represented fifteen major expansions and other. many minor modifications. Commercial logic was not systematically applied, although it began in a timely manner with Europa Universalis III, until Crusader Kings II and all subsequent strategy titles (Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV, Stellaris and Imperator: Rome). Therefore, it is important to understand as we face the Crusader Kings III before us expanded base game and to perfection over the years. Of course, this fact does not mean that we examine it as an independent work with value in itself, but without ever losing sight that we are facing a living title under construction.

The first feature that catches the eye of Crusader Kings III is its new appearance compared to the company’s previous games. This system, already tested by Imperator: Rome, is polished and refined for this new installment. If previously the studio used Clausewitz development engine, now they have created a Jomini development engine for the event, in honor of Napoleon general Antoine-Henri Jomini. This new code is explicitly designed for two-dimensional strategy video games, as the most recognizable titles in the company, and allows higher speed and efficiencyIt also facilitates the work of the anonymous “modders” or content creators, one of the great pillars, and source of the workers, for the Swedish studio. On the surface, certain elements also change, now the map is a living entity that changes depending on the decisions made by the player and displays the scene with details and definition never seen before in the saga. In fact, compared to the full map presented by other major strategic titles, Crusader Kings III reproduces what has already been seen in Imperator: Rome and will be able to build cities, forts or churches, the three types of territories the game allows, again. completely modify the map. A construction whose visual expression will be there.

Crusader Kings III Review

At the beginning of the game, the player will be able to choose between different start dates distributed between the 9th and 15th centuries. These are designed to control characters known to the public as Guillermo the Conqueror, Roberto de Sicilia or Alfonso VI de León. The more complex pre-configured starters and departure riders are limited to Western Europe, a decision aimed at further developing the other spaces in future expansions. If we choose to play as any ruler, a great map of the world that the Europeans knew at that time will open before us. We can choose any ruler from any part of that world. The rulers are still divided into three tiers: count, duke and king, with different variations: baron, bishop, emperor, etc., and names according to local culture.

Once the game has started, the interface will be familiar to anyone already familiar with the titles of the Swedish company. The main difference is found in the dominance of some mechanics over others and draws particular attention to the importance of radicalism for the time represented and for the work itself. the low relevance given to the economy and trade, the first set out in direct income through the management of your domain and in indirect income provided by your inferiors and the second not entirely. At the beginning of the review we mentioned that the most important aspect of this new installment was the dynasty, the character and the relationships established between them.

War, culture and religion

This design decision modified the interface of the game by deleting menus dedicated to the economy or commerce and including in the foreground those of palace wonders, the council, the core of the most serious factions and friction with the lords feudal, and dynastic management, one of the novels in this new installment. The management of the dynasty and personal qualities, together with its achievements, accepted by its members, will open up benefits to the player demonstrated by a skill tree. Considering him as a dynastic leader will give the player a set of advantages over the rest of their members. To maintain a healthy leadership position, it will be particularly relevant to arrange marriages and develop intrigues that will allow members of the dynasty to achieve noble titles and create legacies, that is, events with a special depth that are remembered. as soon as they happen. All this will allow us to enter periods of splendor, moments in the game that will significantly raise the characteristics of the main character and his management.

Crusader Kings III Review

The management of the main character is one of the great features of the game and one of the most changed design elements. Now the player will be able to select different paths leading to permanent features. The various paths presented by this character will be in favor of these paths. That is, if the king has a very high intrigue, he will be able to choose intrigue as a “way of life” and gradually unlock abilities and possibilities until he reaches a definite and lasting character. . In this way we can control in a more detailed way the evolution of the rulers as if it were a role-playing game. They also opened up new possibilities for relationships with other characters, from marriage to the possibility of romantic, heterosexual and homosexual affairs.

The great asset of this new design is that all the personal decisions we make will have consequences in the game, in the short, medium or long term, and will be represented by the reduction or increase in level. the skills, the stress of the characters, or the acquisition of traits that will change the relationships established by the player. A design, both dynastic and character, that makes Crusader Kings III an even deeper and more complex game.

Crusader Kings III Review

In the management of the dynasty and the character, intrigue plays a fundamental role in this new saga. For example, and that this report serves as advice, if we choose to start the game with Alfonso VI de León, the first thing we need to do is start intrigues against our brothers, Sancho II de Castilla and García I of Galicia, since their death will allow us to inherit the kingdoms of both Castle and Galicia, praising the legacy of Fernando I. For example, here is one example, intrigues can be worked out ending a person ‘s life, improving the relationship with another character, making him fall from grace, etc. Each of these intrigues will have random events that will enrich the game and allow them to progress or rewind. The hooks are added to these intrigues, that is, the knowledge of secrets that the main character has and can exploit. If in the previous installments the management of the vassals was occupied most of the time, this new installment input is the main concern of the player.

The other activity that will give the player more time is warfare, especially continental warfare, since naval warfare is not developed in the game. Wars can be started by “casus belli”, which is reduced to invading territory, making all the leaders of the space vassals invade, and take a specific place, which may be a county or a duchy. The cost of starting a war will be measured in terms of prestige or religion, will remove a valid war and vice versa. Once the war has begun, the player must be aware of three aspects: the opinion of the vassals towards the war, the expenditure on soldiers and the number and quality of troops. The rest will work like every other video game in the company. The map will feature units that need to be guided through the various territories to perform two main activities: combat and siege. The first ones will appear, as in Imperator: Rome, through green flags, if there is a chance of winning, yellow if the outcome is uncertain, or red, the fight will be lost. In this way, the number of troops and their effectiveness on the map can be managed in the best possible way. We must, of course, also take into account the quality of troops, mastery of the general, terrain, recruitment, or training, military orders, mercenary hire, etc.

For these two main activities: family management and war, establishes the rest of the activities that the video game allows, but are not the only ones. The best history titles are those that allow the player to interact with the past in the most varied ways possible. The Paradox saga has always provided the best examples. Crusader allows Kings III, in addition to everything mentioned: intrigues, wars, marriages, dynastic conflicts, etc., to perform other equally interesting acts. For example, if we start at the very beginning, during the last years of the 9th century, choosing the Umayyad Emirate of Al-Andalus, we can see how many of the vassals are ruled by the emir of few Arab features, both of which their names and features. the cultures are Christians, that is, they are identical with the Muladids.

This cultural difference will increase friction with the emir, Arab and Muslim, and encourage events through which we can take various actions in an attempt to modify their culture, bring them closer to the ruler’s family so that they absorb its characteristics. , giving them gifts to find their friendship, etc. The possibilities that allow the game to relate to the past are very wide and varied, from violent modification of culture to sexual attraction to winning the favor of the other.

Crusader Kings III Review

This case is fairly extrapolated to the religious dimension. The game includes religions in faith, within them we find the various existing interpretations of chreeds and even the player can create one that suits them. Religions, and cultures, offer a set of restrictions that the player can modify during the game. In addition, the relationship we establish with bishops, including Roman relations, will have serious consequences for the game, from counting the favor of the religious institution until its liberation, an event which will result in severe penalties in the game. . A similar fact occurs with the types of government that will go from the most decentralized and limited to, in the final stages, the most centralized and strengthened in which the feudal lord will have complete control over his territory, the ultimate aim of the game .

There is this variety of possibilities multiply for each selected location. If, instead of choosing the first example, we have chosen to choose a Nordic territory during the same dates, we will have various options related to the Vikings and their expansion through Europe, including the famous attacks on across the Atlantic. eastern and Mediterranean. The major asset of this new installment is a huge geographical space developed by including fifteen expansions of the previous installment. By starting a game with all these possibilities available to us Crusader Kings III turns into an unlimited game that offers hundreds of possibilities, albeit limited in financial and commercial management.

The IS differentiate between territories, cultures, religions and governments it is also represented, although there is less work of differentiation in the least known places, a logical situation in view of the historical information that is scarce for certain moments and places. You guessed it to probably expand as the game’s life years go by.


Crusader Kings III is a work of reference. It gathers all the tradition of the saga, builds on what it has learned along the way and adds the most demanding features for the players such as careful management and control of the private world and the dynasties present in the game. Features still need to be added, both already present in the saga and forgotten, such as trade, the two lands, fairs that were crucial for the time, and maritime, deepening the religious dimension, especially in the conflicts that have arisen. from It is still, the development of technique and technology, not included in the video game, or in artistic development, commenting on the fundamental importance of churches, cathedrals and places of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. Features that will probably be taken into account during an expansion but we miss out on the full representation in the medieval period that the game tries, based on comedy and family drama and major battles. Anyway, and finally, this new installment of Crusader Kings III keeps the tradition of all strategy and has features that will attract new audiences. It also has great educational potential since, although based on the history of reversion (what would happen if…?), It expands the vassalage model to non-existent purposes and fills the gaps in investigation through fiction, provides a model virtual of the feudal system that is rarely seen in cultural work.

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