Saturday, June 4, 2016

Crusader Kings II, Replay 20 hours

By now, I've played more than 50 hours on this save file and I'm still 180 years away from the end-date. There's still a long road ahead.

Looking back at my time with the game. Looking back at it, I can say that it was a complete emotional roller-coaster. There were moments of absolute triumph and of soul-shivering terror. Crusader Kings II is a game that made me sometimes angry and sometimes sad and often had me scheming with Machiavellian cunning for the downfall of my enemies.

Which isn't bad for something you interact with primarily through maps and menus.

I wish I could identify the magic of this game that allows it to draw me in so completely. I think it's because it doesn't really present itself as a game per se. The conquest and realm expansion mechanics are game-like, but Risk this is not. It doesn't drive you towards expansion. In fact, it thwarts it at every opportunity. It puts you in a position where, if you want to pursue its obvious goals as a strategy game, you have to first engage with it on the fiction layer.

It's really quite a remarkable achievement.

I am not, however, certain that I learned anything from this replay experience. This is all stuff I knew from back when I was playing it the first time. I am, however, glad I resumed the game. The incrementing of the centuries is tantalizing to me. I'm at year 1273, which is just a generation away from 1300, which is, itself, not too far from 1400. I'm practically there.

I probably shouldn't be dragging my feet as much as I have been, then. I've just been having trouble adjusting to the imperial betrayal treadmill. Every time one of your rulers dies you have to deal with a whole horde of ambitious upstarts who want to carve out a bit of power for themselves. And perhaps it's ironic that I, myself, was once one of those upstarts, but I can't deny it stresses me out.

Maybe that is why I never got to 1453. I thought it was mere fickleness, but could it be that I'm just constitutionally ill-suited to playing it?

Regardless, I think I'm getting a little tired of writing about it, so while I will definitely continue the game to 1453, this is the point where the blog will part ways with CKII, probably forever (oh, who am I kidding, I will definitely gloat if I ever actually get to the end.)

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