Crusader Kings III – Quick Impressions

I have been trying out Crusader Kings III by Paradox Interactive with all currently released DLCs as of May 2022. I played as a custom ruler, starting on “newbie-island”, aka Ireland, in the southern part. While I do like many of the improvements, CK3 unfortunately feels like typical Paradox shenanigans…

With that, I mean that we are getting a brand-spanking new game in the series, but only with 30% of the content of the previous game. What is good, though, is the overall improvements to UI and the visuals, but is it enough to leave CK2 behind? I find that hard to say, while it’s clear this game is missing a lot of cool stuff from the previous version, I find the UI much improved, and snappier. The 3D graphics of the avatars is a big plus as well, with an excellent “genetics” -system. You can actually tell who is part of your family/dynasty just by looking at them.

The pride and joy of the Wolfman family

What is not cool, though, is the pricing – the DLCs as of now at least, are expensive, and I’m doubtful if it’s worth it, to be honest. The Royal Court DLC feels minor, and it cost 30 euro bucks. That is the price of a full game! I find it incredibly hard to justify this purchase, and then you have to acknowledge that this is only the beginning of CK3’s DLC wave. It’s going to get pricey, that is all I can say. There is also something off with paying for something that you have already paid for in an earlier title.

Another thing I noticed, gameplay related this time, is that fighting wars is absolutely dreadful if you want to rely on allies. Moving around your armies, building them up, etc., is no problem, but getting your allies to actually do anything useful is beyond suffering. While they do show up in your wars, their AI is lacking, and you have no control over them. At most, they follow you around, but you can’t count on them doing that always. At times, they just refuse to do so, and stop one zone next to the fighting, watching from the sidelines as your army crumbles under the enemy – a battle you would have won if your allies followed you. It’s really frustrating and destroys the immersion constantly.

Beyond that, the game is fine, I guess, but comparable to CK2, at least from the viewpoint of playing a “long game” it is lacking. Events keep repeating, and there isn’t too much to do than paint the map, and expand your dynasty in different ways. This isn’t too different in a way, but the last time I played CK2 it felt a lot deeper than that.

The Wolfman loves to create kids

What more can be said? Well, the game seems okay, there are clear improvements, but the lack of detail, events, and stuff to do are noticeable. The DLCs are very expensive currently, so my general impression is: wait for a sale, with more DLCs released, and AI fixed.


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