Crusader Kings is a grand strategy game made by Paradox Interactive about the period from December 26, 1066 until December 30, 1452. It was released in 2004. Unlike other past Paradox titles (Hearts of Iron, Victoria and the Europa Universalis series), Crusader Kings focuses on building a dynasty instead of a country, having similarities to role-playing games and even The Sims. The lead game programmer was Johan Andersson. As with the other Paradox Interactive history games, Crusader Kings must be considered a macro-management real-time strategy game (as moves are played out simultaneously and continuously) but typically involves far more planning than the fast-paced action that is usually associated with real-time strategy.
While the game has historically accurate scenarios to start from, featuring interesting personages such as William the Conqueror, Robert Guiscard, Alexius Comnenus, El Cid, Friedrich Barbarossa and Edward III, a significant part of the game's charm is that from that point on, a new alternate history always starts building. Unlike past Paradox titles, there are very few predetermined historical events and no predetermined historical personages that would always appear after game start. Twists to the story are created by simulating the lives of tens of thousands of individuals of note (courtiers and nobles), intermarrying, having children, moving, inheriting, plotting, accumulating wealth and titles etc. Each is at birth assigned a number of inherited scores ('DNA') that determine health and fertility as well as administrative and military capabilities and the characters will, through the course of their lives, usually add a few noninherited traits that alter the scores. The qualifications and relations of individuals will highly influence their fate and is therefore of great interest to their player. This all makes for highly unpredictable game dynamics as the state of affairs on the 'world stage' is the product of the interplay of myriad events on the micro level.
Paradox Interactive's forum community is large and has useful third party tools as well as custom scenarios setups and events.
Deus Vult Expansion
On July 31, 2007, Paradox announced an expansion to the game: Crusader Kings: Deus Vult. The game was released on 4 October 2007, and is only sold online.
The expansion pack redesigns some of the basic features of the game, such as removal of DNA inheritance of traits, religious warfare, use of friends and rivals, etc. In addition, new scripting commands were added as well as new character traits.
- Strategy Gaming Online Editor's Choice award
- Game Vortex Top Pick award
There is still a small modding community active on the Paradox forums.
The biggest mods are:
DVIP, a mod that substantially improves gameplay and historical verisimilitude. It adds several new cultures and titles, as well as allowing female rulership.
TASS, a complete overhaul of Crusader Kings DV that replaces the default cultures and historical setup, and bundles several graphical mods.
Additionally various smaller mods are available for download, and there are a few map mods.
On August 19, 2010, a sequel, Crusader Kings 2, was announced.
- Paradox Interactive website
- Virtual Programming Mac Version
- Crusader Kings to EUIII savegame conversion tool
- Crusader Kings 2 Announced