Crusader Kings 3, because Paradox strategy is one of the games of the year

Crusader Kings 3, because Paradox strategy is one of the games of the year
Crusader Kings 3 by Paradox Interactive is an atypical strategy that to be explained can only be told, because getting to do the usual list of features would be simply useless and would not do it justice. If we want, telling the gameplay is also the only way to try to make it clear why we can consider it one of the games of the year, despite the very steep learning curve that could make more than one player give up. After all, we're talking about a series that has never claimed to appeal to fans of action, so to speak, and even the previous titles were somewhat complex to master, so there is little to complain from this point of view.

A story

Paradox Interactive recently released an update to Crusader Kings 3 that adds the so-called Ruler Designer, a ruler editor with which to start a dynasty. We talked extensively about how it works in a dedicated special, so we won't go back over the individual functions, but we will focus on the results, which are very interesting. In one of our experiments we decided to create an ugly but extremely sadistic, as well as strongly religious king. A moralist who loves to torture the guests of his prisons, but who builds churches whenever he can. Apart from the fact that the Pope greatly appreciated our fervor, sending us gifts and titles in quantity, to force the system we tried to create a very sick behavioral pattern for our sovereign, ending up growing up a real serial killer. Madly attracted to women, he can't stand having to have sex with them and, after marrying them, he kills them.

Can it work? That is: will the game system allow us to characterize it in this way? Despite his unattractive appearance, it wasn't difficult to get him married and, using the tools at our disposal, it wasn't too difficult to organize the post-coitus killings. Of course, after a few years of marriages with crime we made him completely crazy (but beloved by the Pope, let's repeat it) and he died without heirs, but it does not matter if we were able to demonstrate once again the versatility of Crusader Kings 3 and how its mechanics can be bent to assume a real narrative function, responding naturally to the player's imaginative solicitations, accompanying him in his lucubrations. Of course the example given is really extreme, but it should make you understand how a game of Crusader Kings 3 can be thought far beyond the objectives set by the game. If we want this is also the true beauty of the video game as a medium: not to tell a story to the player, but to give him the tools to interact and manipulate it, making it meaningful for the mere fact of being possible in the midst of other infinite stories.

General description

We imagine that those unfamiliar with Crusader Kings 3 may have gotten lost along the way, so let's try to explain it roughly. Basically it is a strategic one in which the main objective is to make one's dynasty prosper, conquering territories, forging alliances, supporting or opposing religions and trying to make one's population happy. The difficulty of the game varies depending on some factors related to the selected kingdom: extent of the controlled territory, number of heirs, resources available, relationships with nearby leaders and others. Once the game has started, the player is free to choose how to proceed, despite having to submit to some general objectives and while always having to take into account the characteristics of his ruler and his kingdom. Between map and interface, the player soon realizes that he is faced with a very complex political, economic and military simulation which is not easy to approach. If you want, there is a tutorial that reveals the basic mechanics, but the advice is to go and see the games of others on various video sharing sites if you want to have concrete help on what to do and how to do it. In order not to leave the player to himself, Crusader Kings 3 also offers an internal encyclopedia full of details and references, which can help in case you are stuck.

A world of possibilities

If we want, the first thing to do to get into the spirit of the game is to understand that rulers are mere humans, with their strengths and weaknesses, and that many of the decisions we make will directly affect their lives and on their psycho-physical health. Aside from that, there are really a lot of options to experiment with, including the use of intelligence, running the court, creating and expanding the army, and the strictly more personal sides of the story. In Crusader Kings III, weddings are a political and economic act, wars are not always what they seem and religion is something to fight and die for, to the point of even eating the Pope from contentment (who knows what digestive he used) .

It is a pity that such a deep and articulate game was not selected to aspire to receive prestigious awards such as the GOTY of The Game Awards 2020. He would not have really disdained, even if it did not belong to the most attractive genres for the masses or those most talked about by the press. We will poison all our editorial staff ... sorry, court, for the displeasure.

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