Crusader Kings II for Linux Review

very good
key review info
  • Game: Crusader Kings II for Linux
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: N/a
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
  • Show system requirements

Crusader Kings II is described as pausable real-time strategy, but most likely it’s the first in a long line of historic back-stabbing simulations.

I have to confess my ignorance and admit I haven’t played the first Crusader Kings. These kinds of games require a level of patience and dedication that is uncommon for usual players.

History was always a fertile ground for games and there are a lot of titles out there that have explored every nook and cranny of the past 2000 years, or at least so I thought.

Crusader Kings II seems like a title aimed at a very narrow niche comprised of history professors that also enjoy PC games. Truth of the matter is that I enjoyed the game even if I’m not particularly inclined to the study of history.

There are no other games that explore history events in such a detailed manner and now it would seem crazy for other developers to try.


We installed Crusader Kings II in Steam for Linux, on Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit. The game runs beautifully, without any problems, but you have to keep in mind that despite its looks, it has some pretty big hardware requirements.

The official requirements listed on Steam are the following: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, IntelR PentiumR IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+ processor, 2 GB of RAM memory, 2 GB of hard disk space, ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce > 9600 or higher video card, with 1024MB graphics memory.

Up until the appearance of Steam for Linux, most available games didn’t require powerful machines. This means that there a lot of Linux-powered computers out there that are not equipped to run the latest games.


Crusader Kings II is built on the Clausewitz engine. It’s been in use for some time, in games such as Europa Universalis III.

There are a few games out there that can’t actually be subject to a written explanation and this is one of them. There is no possible way to explain the gameplay in a way that would make any sense.

In any case, we can surmise the general goals and the role of the player. The action of the game starts in 1066 and lasts until 1453. This means it encompasses some of the most turbulent times in the history Europe and the players will get to better understand the Medieval period.

One phrase will sum up your experience: If you’re going to skip the tutorials, you’re going to have a bad time.

I’ve started playing with King Harald of Norway. My reasons for choosing him had nothing to do with the game itself. His name reminded me of Kierkegaard and his extremely rich family.

I had quite a few vassals and most of them regarded me quite highly. I also have two sons, one at the age of six who totally adores me and the other one, in his twenties, who is probably going to have me killed.

All the gameplay takes part in a never-ending series of windows which contain all sorts of statistics, numbers, and assassination orders, which for the sake of gameplay will call it "diplomacy."

Sure enough, there are a lot of battles and the damn British really like York, but if you go beyond the economics, the rivalries, it all comes down to who kills the next in line.

In the case of the people of Norway, assassinating the leader will not grant you his title because they have a more complicated system, but they will try nevertheless.

The final aim of the game is to assure the continuity of your dynasty and get a high prestige by the end of Crusader Kings II time period, which turns out to be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

The Bad

For such a complex game, there are virtually no problems. The only shortcoming is the most abrupt learning curve in the history of gaming.

Maybe I’m overreacting, but I had to restart the game numerous times because of silly mistakes or maybe because I just got lost in new features I didn’t even know they existed.

The Good

Crusader Kings II provides the players with the chance to influence history and to rewrite it according to their own views.

It has virtually no competitors in its small niche and all the provided DLCs offer an extra oomph to an already complex game.

The Good

  • Historical accuracy
  • Various scenarios that never play out the same
  • Powerful engine

The Bad

  • Steep learning curve
  • The gameplay relies too much on assassinations


Crusader Kings II is one of the most conflicting games I have ever played. On the one hand, it is extremely difficult and people less patient than myself will quit fairly rapidly.

On the other hand, the game leaves you with the impression that, if you persist long enough and manage to survive, it's going to reward you handsomely.

story 6
gameplay 8
concept 8
graphics 7
audio 9
multiplayer 0
final rating 8
Editor's review
very good

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