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Video Game Review: "Crusader Kings III"

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Crusader Kings III" official art.

"Crusader Kings III" official art.

Quick Info

Developer: Paradox Interactive
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Released: September 1st, 2020
Availability: On PC only

What Is “Crusader Kings III”?

Crusader Kings III is a grand strategy game where you take the role of a count, a duke, or a king. You try to manage your county, dukedom, or kingdom as you either expand or keep your vassals happy.

Like its predecessor, you have to keep vassals happy, pursue your ambitions and have heirs to carry on your legacy.

You can do whatever you want in this game and keep yourself entertained for hours.

"Crusader Kings III" Release Trailer

The Graphics Have Improved

The graphics for Crusader Kings III are a big improvement over Crusader King II, the map is livelier and you can see troops and ships moving all over the map.

I also like the art style used for the game and the new 3D models for the characters look good.

A list of choices you can make in the game.

A list of choices you can make in the game.

The Gameplay Is Similar to “Crusader Kings II” With More Gameplay Mechanics

There are new mechanics in Crusader Kings III, such as being able to sway individuals to like you more. There’s also the King designer and you can use it to create your custom King or Queen and start the game.

You can upgrade your buildings like in Crusader Kings II. The effects they have are different from the previous game but many of the same features are in this game that was in the previous entry.

Schemes are very similar to how they were in the previous game but you can now force people to be in your scheme if you have a hook on them.

Hooks occur when your spymaster finds out secrets about another lord, you can force the lord to do something for you because you have a hook on them. You can also force them into your schemes if you have a hook on someone. You can also be forced into schemes if someone has a hook on you.

You still have to arrange marriages and keep your dynasty going during the game but there are plenty of new features that make the game worth buying if you like gameplay.

It’s still a lot of fun trying to raise armies and expand your territory while keeping your people happy. Dealing with court intrigue is fun and interesting.

The game gives you more to do and you can play the game any way you want to, which makes Crusader Kings III have endless replayability.

You will never play the game the same way twice and you can choose any country on the map.

The Dynasty

The Music Is Nice!

Andreas Waldetoft composed the music for Crusader Kings III like he did for Crusader Kings II. I loved the music and the soundtrack was even better than the Crusader Kings II soundtrack, and I enjoyed that soundtrack a lot.
The soundtrack improves on familiar themes while having plenty of new tracks to listen to while you play the game.

I enjoy the soundtrack and I think the music is nice and fits the tone of your playthrough. The music will change depending on how good or bad a ruler you are and certain themes only play during certain decisions.
I enjoyed the music a lot and you should enjoy it too.

There Are Enjoyable Mods for This Game!

Crusader Kings III has many mods that improve gameplay or graphics. Some mods are total conversions of the game that change the setting and characters of the game. There are all sorts of mods, some that let you start earlier than the default start dates and let you play through more historical situations or complete conversion of other properties, like The Lord of the Rings mod or a mod that turns your world into that of Game of Thrones.

You can find mods in the Steam Workshop if you want to add them to your game, you do have to enable the mods you want before you start the game.

The Steep Learning Curve Returns!

Crusader Kings III has a steep learning curve when it comes to the game mechanics because you either have to do a lot of reading or watch YouTube videos by players that explain how all the game mechanics work.

Some gamers don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time to learn the game mechanics and since the game is a big investment when it comes to learning how the game works this game isn’t for every gamer.

But if you’re willing to go out of your way to learn the game mechanics, you’ll enjoy the game more because you’ll be able to have a better player experience after you’ve either watched videos or read guides online.

A map of England in "Crusader Kings III".

A map of England in "Crusader Kings III".

Reader Poll

The Expensive DLC Is Back!

Paradox grand strategy games are known for being expensive, and the base price of the game is pretty expensive, to begin with, but because they release a lot of DLC over the years, Crusader Kings III will be very expensive if you buy it at full retail price.

The DLC does have a season pass but it’s rather expensive for the price, despite getting multiple DLC in it.

I would wait for a sale before purchasing the season pass because everything about the game and the DLC is expensive already.

Steam does have a lot of sales and if you’re patient you can get the season pass at a decent price.

I can’t recommend these games at full price because it all adds up if you buy everything at full price.

Some of the Gameplay Mechanics Have Been Changed

Paradox Interactive recently released a patch that made some changes to the gameplay when it came to managing your vassals and faction mechanics. Other players have noted that this has improved the game since it came out so with the new patches the game mechanics have better balance.

The patch made factions more balanced and made it so that people with a high opinion of you will not join factions while people with a low opinion of you are more likely to join factions against you.

They also give you some time before people start joining factions against you, depending on your rank.

The game is more balanced and fixed some game crashes that were affecting players during succession and some other bugs

Buy the Game if You Enjoyed “Crusader Kings II” but You Should Wait for a Sale

I love Crusader Kings III, I have a lot of fun playing it, I enjoy playing it and it’s a challenging and interesting game to play. The game’s steep learning curve does make it challenging for new players but once you understand how t the game mechanics work you’ll have a lot of fun trying to reach goals while playing through the game.

It’s a long and challenging game that keeps you on your toes because of how unpredictable it is. There’s a lot to learn about the game and not everyone wants to spend hours and hours learning the game mechanics so if you want an easy game to play, Crusader Kings III is not the game that you should buy.

However, if you’re willing to learn the game and want something interesting to play, you’ll enjoy the game.

However, it is pricy for a grand strategy game and since it is rather expensive I would wait for a sale before purchasing the base game or the DLCs.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Fun and interesting gameplay, the stories you create are fun.

The learning curve is very steep.

More gameplay mechanics than the previous game.

The game still has bugs

The sound effects and soundtrack are nice.

It's not a game that will appeal to all gamers.

My Grade: A-

Crusader Kings III is a grand strategy game that manages to improve from its predecessor Crusader Kings II while adding new features that used to be DLC in the second game.

Is this game worth your time? Yes, it is if you’re willing to learn about the gameplay mechanics. Is it worth your money? Maybe, depending on what genre of games you like to play. The price tag is a little high so I don’t recommend buying it at full price. I recommend waiting for a Steam sale, or on GOG or the Epic Games Store if any of those digital online stores have it on sale.

Because this game is already a little on the expensive side, I don’t recommend the full price, especially since the DLCs make it even more expensive.

Crusader Kings III is worth your time and money, but not too much of your money. It’s a great game but a little too expensive for me to recommend buying at full price.

Crusader Kings III is an excellent successor to Crusader Kings II and if you want to see improved gameplay, you’ll want to buy it. I have already put many hours into it and I will be playing it more now that some of the gameplay bugs have been patched.

Crusader Kings III is a great game with so many possibilities and it provides hours and hours of entertainment if you enjoy playing grand strategy games.

My Rating

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