Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Crusader Kings 3: everything we know about the game

Crusader Kings 3 game review

Crusader Kings 3 was announced at PDXCon Berlin with a literal chorus of hooded men and a delightfully dark trailer. Its predecessor, Crusader Kings 2, is holding up quite well even after almost eight years, and the last addition for it came out in November 2018, but now it's time for the old warrior to go to rest.

But how will CK3 delight future Dukes, Caliphs, and Holy Roman Emperors? Luckily, Paradox has shared some interesting facts about the global strategic monster they're working on. Here's everything we know about this game.


After more than four years of development, Crusader Kings 3 still has a lot of unfinished work, but the release date of the game is already known - September 1, 2020.

According to some developers, CK3 already "significantly outperforms" CK2 as it was at the time of release, and already includes content from many of its predecessor's DLC (for example, starting date 867 AD from the Old Gods). At the same time, it is worth waiting for the game "rather depth than width," - apparently, Paradox wants to work out the game as much as possible before the release, and not just recreate seven years of CK2 add-ons.


At least to some extent. Project manager Henrik Fareus said that Paradox tried to create a sequel that "should be more accessible and easier to learn" than CK2, but clearly understood that this is not the most important thing for fans of the series. Don't worry: Crusader Kings 3 looks anything but simplistic.

At the same time, a lot of time and money has been invested in developing a more user-friendly interface, and it shows. There are clues everywhere, and information looks much less buried in menus and secret windows. For beginners, an unobtrusive "suggestions" window can provide information about all the currently available options: what titles you can earn, what wars to start, whom to marry, etc. Veterans can easily ignore it, but it's a very useful summary.

In addition, it is in Ireland, which has long been the “learning island” in CK2, that the formal learning action now takes place.


If your style of play in CK2 involved a creepy medieval selection of people, then Crusader Kings 3 will love you. There is a complete genetic system here, and considerable attention is paid to the transmission of characteristics through generations.

And it won't be just a set of talents and quirks of your ruler - as your dynasty spreads throughout the world through successful marriages and your family name becomes more famous, you can use your fame to acquire permanent characteristics for all your descendants. One of them is the ability to more strongly retain the innate characteristics in your family, so if you are determined to implement a program for breeding almost insane hemophilic giants, then you are clearly in luck.


Continuing the tradition with CK2's Holy Fury expansion and his experimentation with creating religions, dynamic beliefs and heresies will play an important role in Crusader Kings 3.

Significant changes to your kingdom's religion will not go unnoticed, but if you really want to, it's possible that you could create a version of Catholicism where it's perfectly okay for your monstrous titan dynasty to devour each other in secret sacred rituals of cannibalism. Sounds reasonable.


Intrigues, not very interesting in CK2, in Crusader Kings 3 were slightly tightened. You can have fun with much more secret affairs. The game implements the mechanics of the so-called "hooks" - in essence, the services that you owe, or the compromising evidence you found on your rivals - allowing you to manipulate characters that you simply cannot get close to. For example, if you catch a rebellious baron in lewdness behind a stable, you can blackmail him into harsher conditions of feudal relations.

The schemes have also been improved, and now you will have to rely less on crowds of random people sent to a hated competitor and more on finding important accomplices for your conspiracies.


In the years following the release of CK2, "Deus Vult" - the battle cry of the 11th-century crusaders - became a sinister meme beloved by all racists on the Internet. The paradox was repeatedly asked what they thought about this, and in the end, they said that it was decided to abandon the use of these words in the game.

The game will have significant role potential

Despite the fact that Crusader Kings 3 has not lost its strategic chips, there are much more RPG elements in it. This is due to new animated character portraits (in addition to the aforementioned genetics modeling) and procedurally generated verbal personality descriptions ("soulless maniac", "cocky bastard") that appear underneath them.

Fareus said that “this is a game about people, so human qualities must play a role in every moment,” so be prepared for the nature of your ruler and his competitors to seriously influence all aspects of the game, from event generation to technological progress.

Skill trees

Perhaps the closest thing to an RPG in Crusader Kings 3 is the actual skill trees based on the mechanics introduced in the 2014 Way of Life DLC for CK2.

At the moment, three branches are associated with each of the main lifestyle options, and the abilities in them are called, for example, "made to destroy", "feeding on the ground".

The role of knights will increase

In addition to the commanders with unique names, the armies of Crusader Kinds 3 will have real knights - characters from your kingdom, also with unique names, which can be local nobles or courtiers.

Apparently, depending on their combat skills, they will significantly affect the course of the battle, although the new combat system has not yet been clearly shown. There will also besiege weapons in the game, which is great.

Crusader Kings 2 Now Free

As mentioned in the beginning, with the announcement of CK3, Crusader Kings 2 is now free. However, this calculated move by Paradox only concerns the game itself, and not all of its many DLCs.




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