Crusader Kings 3
Linux Format|December 2020
Management might love The King, but they do have suspicious minds and feel caught in a trap hearing Fraser Brown’s plans to get them all shook up.
Fraser Brown

SPECS

Minimum

OS: Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120, AMD FX 6350

Mem: 4GB

HDD: 8GB

GPU: GeForceGTX 460 (1GB), Radeon HD 7870 (2GB), Radeon Vega 11, Intel Iris Pro 580/Iris Plus G7

Recommended

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K, AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

Mem: 8GB

GPU: GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB), Radeon R9 390X (8GB)

There never feels like a good time to step away from Paradox’s grand strategy RPG. You can’t just go for a nice walk when your ruler is on death’s door or the Byzantine Empire has just declared a holy war. There’s always someone, somewhere, setting a fire that you’re going to have to deal with. It’s One More Crisis Syndrome and you’ll get it bad.

You’re the head of an early medieval dynasty, and you’ll try to keep it trucking for as long as you can by click, click, clicking its elaborate map and stacks of menus. Your tools are diplomacy, intrigue, warfare and luck, and your goals are whatever whims your mind conjures up.

Like all grand strategy games, it’s cursed to look imposing, but this is the friendliest of the bunch. It’s shed none of its complexity, but it’s much better at showing how everything is connected. On top of a serviceable tutorial that gets you started in Ireland, there’s a tutorial menu that’s accessible at any time, as well as a seemingly infinite supply of tooltips. Even the tooltips have tooltips.

Imagine The Sims, but you’ve got 20 people in your house, half of them have virulent STDs and the others are plotting a coup. This is your dynasty and it’s a glorious mess. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum, either, and will collide with other families and courts, but you can burn through plenty of hours just mucking around with your domestic affairs and securing your grip over your realm.

Crusader Kings has always been about characters instead of nations, but they’ve never seemed so rich and so maddeningly real before. Each of them is full of agency and ambitions, and will more often than not devolve into a petulant child when they don’t get their way. Adopting them is a big responsibility. They might be greedy, cruel, pious, horny, perpetually drunk – if you’re looking for an adjective, you’ll find it. Everything has a root cause, something that the trait can be traced back to, like a childhood bully or a battle that went badly, creating characters moulded by their pasts.

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