Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings II is the sequel to Crusader Kings, which first launched to good reviews back in 2004. The grand strategy game is second only to Europa Universalis IV, from the developer’s other popular series, its sales exceeding millions and earning good critics’ ratings. Players have also welcomed Crusader Kings II DLCs and generated a couple of more millions for Paradox Interactive.
This Crusader Kings II Guide offers an overview of the game’s extra content, which you should definitely explore for an interesting and engrossing strategy experience.
Crusader Kings II review: What is the game about?
Strategy games follow the same script although each has its own USP. Crusader Kings II’s is networking with people. Perceptions about you, your dealings with others, and how you influence decisions, form the essence of the game. You are thrust into a web of human complexity and interpersonal relationships across challenges, decisions, and diplomacy. This deep involvement of human strategy has been lauded by critics and players alike, besides conferring game of the year nominations on Crusader Kings II.
The other aspect to note about the game is that it is vast, spanning a Medieval dynasty from 1066 to 1453. You play as a noble and aim to gain prestige and piety points by working your way through marriages, children, friendships, genetic traits, conflicting interests, torture, adoption, and murder, to name some. There’s a lot to absorb, which is a good thing if you appreciate an intense challenge.
Since launch, several DLCs and expansion packs have been launched. Modding is another aspect, with some features of the game unplayable without activating one or more mods. The additional content makes for an overwhelming gaming experience so you can argue that Crusader Kings II is not for the faint-hearted. As any Crusader Kings II Guide would do, here is a rundown of the extra content and the best Crusader Kings II DLCs, in our opinion.
Crusader Kings II DLC guide
The game has released major DLCs, portrait DLCs, and music DLCs. Portrait DLCs focus on graphical enhancements or additions, in the form of a historically accurate shield or coat of arms. They add nice aesthetics to the game, although you could ask players what portrait DLCs are worth buying and get a variety of opinions, including – just get them all!
We feel the African Portraits DLC, which portrays male and female characters of South Sahara compellingly, is a value purchase. If you don’t want to spend over a dollar for this enhancement, check out this excellent deal.
Moving on, here’s a snapshot of all the major DLCs/expansions in the Crusader Kings II DLC guide:
|DLC/Pack||Mechanics unlocked OR Playable characters|
|The Sword of Islam||Muslims/Mecca/decadence/multiple wives|
|Legacy of Rome||Retinues/new faction/mend the great schism|
|Sunset Invasion||Aztecs/invasion/Aztec diseases|
|The Republic||Patrician/mercenaries/merchant republics|
|The Old Gods||Pagans/Zoroastrians/revolts/earlier start date|
|Sons of Abraham||Jews/borrow money/Sunni schools/College of Cardinals|
|Rajas of India||Indian religions/Taoists/map expansion/conversions|
|Charlemagne||Zunists/769 start date/viceroyalty/custom empires|
|Way of Life||Ten focuses, including rulership, family, hunting, business, seduction, theology, and scholarship|
|Horse Lords||Nomads/Silk road/tributaries/forts/pillaging|
|Conclave||Favors/council laws and votes/elective succession|
|The Reaper’s Due||New systems on epidemics, hospitals, royal physicians, prosperity, seclusion|
|Monks and Mystics||New societies/hunting demon worshippers/archaeological expeditions|
|Jade Dragon||Taoists/Pagans/Khurmazta/tributary states/leaving China for the west|
|Holy Fury||Religious reform/Catholic leaders can become saints/randomly generated starter maps/new diplomacy options|
Crusader Kings: Holy Fury is the latest DLC, released on November 13 and adding a slew of changes and options that are sure to elevate the gaming experience. Note that you won’t be able to make the most of Holy Fury if you don’t already own certain DLCs that came before it, such as Sword of Islam and The Old Gods. For this reason, you may want to consider starting your DLC experience in chronological order and take a good look at what each offers and what the successive DLCs need. If you’re a Crusader Kings’ fan, you may already own a few expansion packs.
A cost-effective way of enjoying multiple DLCs is to go for collection packs that club major expansion packs, music DLCs, and portrait DLCs into one. A Crusader Kings II DLC guide will point you to collections that pack hundreds of hours of play. Voidu is currently running discounts on collection packs; if you’re looking for cheap Crusader Kings II DLCs, check out:
Crusader Kings II DLC Collection, which includes 42 content packs, although you will need the base game on Steam in order to play. At just $40.79, you’re looking at a deal no sane person will refuse!
Crusader Kings II Collection includes the game and 42 content packs, which means you only need a Steam account to get started. Immerse in an intense experience for $54.39.
Top 3 Crusader Kings II DLCs
Legacy of Rome: Managing a larger slice of the world is even more fun and challenging in this DLC, which transports you to the Byzantine empire and makes available elite armies called Retinues who protect you against raiders. You can join a faction to advance your cause or take down your enemies. There is also the opportunity to enhance your skills or traits through Self-Improvement ambitions.
The Old Gods: This DLC retains the focus on culture, religion, and government but also adds a bunch of interesting options for all players. The power to reform a pagan faith rather than converting to an Islam or a Christian faith is a unique touch. The 867 start date is also a highlight, taking you into a world of Vikings rather than having to deal with an organized religion right from the beginning.
Way of Life: Meaningful role-playing is this DLC’s strength. You can explore different life focuses and move on when you feel ready. Each focus has its own story and there’s a fair bit of drama that should keep you entertained and occupied.
Every player will have his/her own opinion on the best Crusader Kings II DLCs. The easiest and most affordable way to play them all is via a collection pack. Get one today and book a gaming-only weekend that leaves you deliriously happy and weary!