Crusader Kings III
Paradox Development Studio brings you the sequel to one of the most popular strategy games ever made. Crusader Kings III is the heir to a long legacy of historical grand strategy experiences and arrives with a host of new ways to ensure the success of your royal house. Choose a royal or noble house from a number of realms on a map that stretches from Iceland to India, from the Arctic Circle to Central Africa. Guide a dynasty through the centuries, ensuring the security and power of each new generation. Gather new lands and titles to cement your legacy. Be a pious king to bring the religious powers to your side, or strike out on your own, designing your own splinter religion and earning everlasting fame or eternal damnation. Knights, peasant revolts, pilgrimages, Viking raiders... experience the drama and pageantry of the Middle Ages.
Steam User 484
The year is 1176. I am playing as Alberto, King of Italy and Tuscany, and holder of many other titles. Events are progressing well. I am well on my way to my ultimate goal of creating the Empire of Italia, bringing Italy, Corsica, Sardinia and Croatia under my heel. As Alberto I have used my stewardship ability to build up the power of my realm to rival the Papacy, my next target. I fully intend to pass on a legacy to my son and heir, Sinibaldo, a promising child of many talents.
It was my occasional practice to grant titles to my children. This always carries the danger of them falling victim to some battlefield accident, but I sleep better knowing those titles are in the hands of close family. Sinibaldo has his own dukedom and is waging war on my vassal Duke Ugo, who is not a family member but who is a true asshole. The war does not go well for Sinibaldo and he becomes a prisoner of Duke Ugo. An unfortunate event, but surely he will simply be ransomed and we will all move on with our lives.
But several months later I get the shocking news: Sinibaldo has been executed! My only son, struck down at the tender age of 14 by the vile Duke Ugo--how can this be? I am enraged. In the heat of passion I move to revoke Duke Ugo's title, but he rises up in rebellion against me. The impudence! As I rally my troops the true extent of my mistake becomes clear--my other powerful vassals have also rebelled. With growing desperation I realize there is no path to victory. My last army is destroyed and I lose the war, my kingdoms stripped away, I am deposed.
I lean back in my chair and think about the rash idiocy of my actions. My son dead, my titles gone. I now have to play as my daughter and heir Benedetta, an eleven year old girl. It is time, I think, to pull the plug on this game.
But what of Duke Ugo? Can he be allowed to go on, after the vile murder of my son? No, I must bend every effort to see him brought down. And so I forge on.
As Alberto I had paid little attention to my daughter. Her guardian was some knight or other, and under her tutelage she had become rowdy, a warrior in a world of men who would never accept her as an equal. This, I thought, did not bode well.
As Benedetta my reign was immediately disturbed as the vassals of Tuscany formed a faction to remove me as Queen. But wait, this faction wanted to install a new king in place, none other than my own father, Alberto! I suddenly realized that as his only child, unless he fathered another male heir I would inherit his titles upon his death and once again the kingdoms of Italy and Tuscany would be part of the same realm. And so when the faction presented its demands I simply capitulated. Alberto was now King of Tuscany and I was Queen of Italy.
Yet my power was still not enough to challenge the evil Duke Ugo. To keep him close I appointed him my steward, but I also sent my spymaster to dig up dirt in his court.
Years passed. I got married, had children, quashed several rebellions, organized my realm and bided my time. When a Crusade was launched I led my troops against the infidels attacking my cousin King Mario of Jerusalem, returning in triumph and finally impressing even the most retrograde of my male vassals. The waifish eleven year old girl had become a warrior Queen.
But Ugo continued to plague me. As my steward he was often in my presence, always there to remind me of his evil treachery. I hosted a feast and there he was again, even trying to strike up a friendship! I coldly refused him, and he became my rival. The stress of dealing with him was almost unbearable.
And then the miracle--my expert spymaster had uncovered gold. Duke Ugo was a deviant!
This changed everything. I now had the key to bringing down my brother's murderer. But it must be done carefully--Ugo was still powerful, and I could not take him down as long as he and the other vassals of my realm opposed me. So I only blackmailed him, getting a strong hook that I would use to ensure his loyalty while I consolidated my position.
In 1211 I received news of my father's death. After the messenger left my chambers, I went to the family shrine and knelt in prayer, vowing to my father's spirit that his son, my brother, would finally be avenged.
More years passed. As both kingdoms were now mine, I slowly amassed enough gold and troops to take on my entire realm. A careful campaign of pacification had made my vassals compliant.
It is the year 1218, and time to put my plan into action. I expose Duke Ugo's deviancy. He is now a criminal. As my father did twenty years before, I revoke his title, and again, he rises up in rebellion, but this time no one will stand with him. My troops outnumber his four to one. With laughable ease I storm his palace and win victory. My knights drag him out and throw him down in the mud before me.
I arrest him and throw him in the dungeon. I revoke all of his titles and grant them to a distant toddler cousin. Years of emotional stress are wiped away in an instant--Ugo, my rival, murderer of my brother is now mine to do with as I will. Shall I torture him? Execute him? Shall I simply leave him there to rot in filth and misery? I ponder this choice, and the sweetness of vengeance.
Steam User 253
i feel like crystal meth would've been a less addictive lifestyle decision
Steam User 241
Never discuss anything you do on this game to outsiders without context.
Steam User 181
Do you enjoy staring at a map for 10 hours in a single day?
Do you enjoy growing and raising a family?
Do you enjoy political intrigue?
Do you enjoy going from nothing and making a name for your family?
Do you enjoy cheating on your wife?
Do you enjoy torturing your cousin?
Do you enjoy murdering every single person in a family and entirely exterminating their family tree?
Boy do I have the game for you.
Steam User 237
My reviews are never seen. Just know that after 500+ hours in this game, I would thoroughly recommend it and will continue to come back to it.
As CK3 is the first game out of all the Crusader Kings series I've played to any extent, the learning curve is not had as hard you think it would be. Especially when compared to some of the other games by Paradox Interactive.
Steam User 260
wife got allergic to my cat, killed wife, remarried, kept cat 10/10
Steam User 176
Started as a Norse Chieftain, a bellicose man but fair to his people. Through bravery and guile, he forged a Jarldom that encompassed nearly all of Scandinavia. Our people were fed and our lords loved their Jarl. Then, his wife was murdered. Guards scoured the castle in search of the assailant, but found no sign of the wretch. The Royal Spymaster, daughter of the Jarl, assured him that the murderer would be found in time. Two months later, the eldest Prince was found with a slit throat. Then another prince was found dead while on a hunt. Every few months, the Royal family got smaller and smaller. The Jarl, shattered by grief, confided in his only living child - the Royal Spymaster. Nights later, the Royal Steward survived an attempt on his life. He said that the Spymaster herself had tried to cut his throat. The Jarl confronted his daughter, hoping there was some other explanation as to what had happened. With a smile on her face, she confessed to everything. Guards swarmed her, but she managed to escape. She fled the castle with her husband. For years, she roamed the northern tundras, evading her father's agents at every turn. Finally, the Jarl had had enough. He challenged her to a duel to the death. He was a skilled warrior, but old age had slowed his reflexes. As she had inherited much of her father's martial prowess, she gladly accepted the honor duel. They met in a remote forest on neutral ground. For days they fought. Grisly wounds were exchanged and kindred blood soaked the forest floor. Only upon receiving a mortal chest wound did the Spymaster yield, yet even then the Jarl couldn't bring it upon himself to end it for good. He rode back to the castle to tend his wounds. A week later, his daughter died of her wounds and the Jarl, heartbroken and full of regret, claimed his own life. As there was no royal heir, the Jarldom descended into chaos and decades of independence wars.
Crazy game, man.