Crusader Kings III review
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Crusader Kings 3 quite well: on the one hand, you slip into the role of leaders with design power, and on the other hand, you often have to watch as history crushes all vain plans. Nevertheless, there is always this historical chance and everything seems so inviting. Even in the loading phases, you are greeted by paintings that create a sublime atmosphere. After all, Paradox had eight years after Crusader Kings 2 to dress up for this return of medieval "Grand Strategy". And the otherwise rather brittle Swedes launch a charm offensive with their infamous Clausewitz engine: When the curtain opens on the world of Vikings and knights, you feel welcome.
Beginners and strategists with aesthetic demands don't just look at maps, tables or numbers, but look directly into the eyes of completely animated lords. They look at you as if to say: You want to rule? Do you want to play me? Do you want to guide the fate of my family? You don't know anything!
Regardless of whether you play your role, a friend or a stranger: not only the age and diseases are visible on all characters from Iceland to India, from small to large, but also their character as well as their condition: some look at you arrogantly, others scared, cunning or marked by the plague.
Unfortunately, the pleasantly zoomable map lacks the details of the figure design. The surf on the coast is respectable, but towns, monasteries, castles, or scenic features are hardly recognizable. Nevertheless, there are respectable maps with noble transitions that switch between tens of views like counties, cultures, or religions at the push of a button, of which there are dozens - including the pagan beliefs of the North or the Slavs.
The spectrum of this global strategy is enormous even without these open wishes. Nevertheless, this is of course not a simulation: there is indeed an authentic setting, many cultural and religious focal points, as well as "safe" historical developments, such as the founding of the Danelag, the aforementioned crusades, or the emergence of Scottish national consciousness. But this is ultimately a sandbox of algorithms and coincidences in which history can be written differently.
One can lead a dynasty over several generations into the late Middle Ages at the end of the 15th century - not just as a conqueror, but as the head of a family and a human being who is also confronted with random events from the cheating of his wife to the accident of his favorite horse. There are illnesses, friendships, affairs, blackmail, and murders. It is even possible to kill your offspring.
Crusader Kings 3 is presented in a more modern way, trumps with umpteen animated personalities, and stays true to the tradition from Paradox. The Swedes stage a complex game of patience. After the very good tutorial, you know how the surface works, but have no idea of the depth that lurks underneath. This global strategy forces you to slow down and get involved in its interrelationships, while you decide umpteen events and spin intrigues. This is a really good strategy that can also tell delicious anecdotes! After all, there is no fixed goal except the marathon of one's dynasty, which can leave its mark - and that's where the appeal lies. So slip into the emperor's new clothes, make great plans, and experience how they are crushed in the wheel of history or sung about.
Paradox Development Studio
8 GB available space