Crusader Kings 3, analysis. Glory or tragedy for royalty

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We immerse ourselves in history through the destinies of the great families that shaped the future of nations Crusader Kings III is the third installment in the grand strategy saga developed and published by the Swedish company Paradox.

The work proposes the player to manage a dynasty in time, between the 9th and 15th centuries, and in space, from the western Maghreb to China and from Russia to the Sahel. The breadth and power of the game is extraordinary. The game is already on sale and it is one of the great surprises that this 2020 leaves us.

The main novelty of the new installment resides in the subject and in how it conditions the verb, the mechanics, and the predicate, the rest of the elements. The core of the first iteration lay in territorial conquest and the creation of great feudal domains through war. Crusader Kings II changed this trend throughout its many expansions and shifted, with great popular acceptance, the focus from territorial conquest to dynastic management. This new installment ends the process and bets its full potential on said management and on the relationships that are established between its different members. The subject is now the dynasty and the player’s task will be to preserve its existence and magnify it along the way through the meticulous control of the main character. The mechanics, the verbs that the player has at their disposal within the game, have been adapted to this new reality, enhancing the possibilities of intrigue in addition to the events related to the characters, who now take on even more fundamental importance for the development of the game. departure. This new installment, although it remains within high strategy, could be defined as a role-playing game, in fact its official description defines it as a game of “drama and intrigue.”

The Crusader Kings license, and especially its second installment, was primarily responsible for Paradox’s commercial take-off. Since its launch on the market, on February 14, 2012, it has reaped figures that have allowed the Swedish company to grow and become a giant capable of absorbing other studios and opening new offices, the last one in Barcelona. In addition, with him the expansion system was born, which has become a characteristic feature of the Swedish company. Crusader Kings II has maintained from 2012 to 2020 the interest, the number of players and its useful life thanks to the constant updating of its contents and mechanics, which amount, to date, to fifteen large expansions and other many small modifications. A commercial logic that, although it started timidly with Europa Universalis III, was not applied in a systematic way until Crusader Kings II and all the strategy titles that came after (Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV, Stellaris and Imperator: Rome). Therefore, it is important to understand when facing Crusader Kings III that we are facing a base game that will be expanded and refined over the years. Of course, this fact does not mean that we examine it as an independent work with value in itself, but without ever losing sight of the fact that we are facing a living title in the process of construction.

The first aspect that catches the eye of Crusader Kings III is its new appearance compared to the previous games of the company. This system, already tested at Imperator: Rome, has been polished and refined for this new installment. If previously the studio used the Clausewitz development engine, now they have created the Jomini development engine for the occasion, in honor of Napoleonic general Antoine-Henri Jomini. This new code is expressly designed for two-dimensional strategy videogames, as is the case with the company’s most recognized titles, and allows greater speed and efficiency, and also facilitates the work of the community of “modders” or anonymous creators of content, one of the great pillars, and source of workers, for the Swedish studio. Certain elements also change on the surface, now the map is a living entity that changes depending on the decisions made by the player and shows the scenario with a detail and definition unprecedented in the saga. In fact, compared to the complete map that other great strategy titles presented, Crusader Kings III reproduces what has already been seen previously in Imperator: Rome and it will be possible to build cities, fortresses or churches, the three types of territory that the game allows, again completely modifying the map. A construction that will have its visual representation.


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