Game Review: Crusader Kings III

Game Review: Crusader Kings III

Jonathan Gibson, Staff Writer

Crusader Kings III is a historical, medieval, strategy game and is the subject of this month’s game review. In this game, you play as many characters over the course of a dynasty, rather than a single character. You must navigate war, dissention, intrigue, and diplomacy in order to lead your dynasty to success. The game is available for $60 on Steam and is for PC only. The game’s multiplayer aspect is rarely utilized, but it has a great, well developed single player mode.

In the game, you start as a ruler who has control over some portion of land. Smaller rules may have a liege, a higher ruler such as a king who they must pay taxes to. These kings face unique challenges, such as managing the wants and loyalties of their vassals (rulers below them) to maintain their empire. All of these rulers are real people who have traits, strengths, and weaknesses based on their real life. Characters then have children who have traits and skills based on their parents and education. 

The game shines in its variety of experiences. Every game is different, and it shows. You can spend one game conquering all of Europe, then spend the next scheming your way to the throne of France. The speed settings in the game are also a nice touch, you are able to control the speed, or even pause your games whenever you want to. The significant differences of the world cultures make the atmosphere of each region feel refreshingly different. The experience of being able to look back and see your dynasty’s history enshrined in the game is one of the coolest feelings I have ever had in gaming. 

On the negative side, the game has an essentially non-existent multiplayer community. It can be nearly impossible to get in a game with other players. The game also gets somewhat repetitive after a few hours into a save. The AI is also not amazing, and it is quite easy to demolish any other country. The AI doesn’t plan ahead very well, so it can be difficult to experience a challenge in almost any aspect of the game.

Overall, Crusader Kings III is an epic strategy game that finds its strength in its variety of experiences. The game is right for someone who is patient and enjoys medieval history. The game is $60 normally, so I’d recommend waiting for a sale to purchase it.