Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome Gameplay Review

I'm playing Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome, a the latest DLC for the fantastic character-driven grand strategy game by Paradox Interactive.

This mini-expansion focuses on the Byzantine Empire by providing more events for rulers controlling that specific country. In addition, each Orthodox nation now has its own patriarch (like a Pope), so you can more easily influence religious favors (excommunication, for instance). The final major addition of Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome is a standing army: you can now have permanent troops and only have to pay for their reinforcement. The remainder of the improvements advertised for Legacy of Rome are actually included for free with the latest patch (1.07) for the base game. Most significant of these is the introduction of factions: organized pockets of rebellion in your lands. Instead of each vassal revolting separately, they can now become organized by supporting the same goal (a different succession rule, an elective monarchy, lower crown authority, granting a specific title, or independence). This results in more powerful rebellions you must contend with. Coupled with the standing armies, you are now limited to recruiting troops only from your direct vassals. On a more personal level, there are new self-improvement ambitions (increasing a specific trails through events) and you can now have one plot and one ambition simultaneously. Combat now emphasizes a new series of commander traits that give bonuses for battles on specific terrain types (flat, rough, mountainous, desert), so a little more thought must be done in assigning your leaders. But again, most of the improvements are free for owners of the original game, so the actual amount of exclusive content in Legacy of Rome is quite low. Unless you really love the Byzantine Empire, or really want to have standing armies, Legacy of Rome isn’t worth even a modest monetary investment.