Crusader Kings II is a Grand Strategy game developed and released by Paradox Interactive and has been around since the beginning of 2012. Although most of the games that were released in 2012 no longer get any more DLC or expansion packs, Crusader Kings 2 still gets updated around every 6 months, and like I said in previous Crusader Kings II DLC reviews, I love Paradox Interactive for doing that! Why would someone create a new game every year or so and ask full price for it, when you could make good quality DLC's for it and sell those for around $20? To celebrate Crusader Kings II's 5th birthday this month, enjoy this latest DLC called Monks and Mystics!
In this newest expansion called Monks and Mystics, you get the ability to join various religious orders, like the alchemists or the Satanists and grow in their ranks to get special perks and bonuses. Sell the souls of your children to the Devil and you might even get eternal life! Imagine creating that one epic character in the early stages of the game, and play as him until the end of the era!
Like most people who got the early access copy, I joined a cult called "Lucifer's Own" to see how far we could go as a follower of the devil, and I love it! This gives an entirely new dimension to the game! the amount of new options the game gives you is amazing! And one of the cool things, you don't see what cult other rulers are a part of, imagine that in a multiplayer game!
For centuries, the abbeys of Europe have had a sacred mission, to keep the flame of holy knowledge burning through an era of strife and to keep the secular powers on a righteous path. To the east, a mysterious new sect seeks out those who stray from the Prophet’s path, using not-so-gentle means to remind the impious of the power of God. And, in the shadows, alchemists and religious usurpers challenge the current order. Rumors of dark sacrifices are whispered in taverns throughout the known world.
Like in every other Crusader Kings II game you start off by selecting a dynasty you want to be controlling and try to take over the world, or any other goals you set for yourself. But now you can call in the help of your brethren of the holy order you are a member of. Give your enemies diseases when in Lucifer's Own, heal yourself of injuries and disease while being a member of the Hermetic Society or kill off your enemies when you joined the Assassins of the middle eastern religions. There are a lot of options to chose from.
This new DLC adds a lot of new gameplay features to the game. And some minor but very useful tweaks to the user interface. Your councilors now have idle options. When you don't send them out in the world to do your bidding, wich is pretty dang useful! I can't remember all the times I forgot to let my spymaster Scheme in the capital or forgot to send my marshal out to train troops.
Your chancellor will perform statecraft; which will increase threat decay speed and can fire events which improve relations with random vassals, neighbors, or liege.events which improve relations with random vassals, neighbors, or your liege. Your marshal will organize the army, which lowers the upkeep cost of the retinue and can fire events to train existing or find a new commander. The steward will administer the realm. This will increase the speed of cultural conversion in the realm provinces and can fire events adding economic bonuses to any province. Your spymaster will by default scheme in the capital to uncover plots that may threaten you but has a new option as well, he can now sabotage. The targeted province will suffer damage, gain unrest, and may even be made easier to siege. Your court chaplain can now go out and hunt heretics.
User Interface changes
The intrigue menu has had a huge overhaul. The decisions menu will now show you 6 decisions at once, rather than the old 4. You can also mark a decision as important or not, which will trigger its alerts. Your plots will now show up in a separate tab which makes it easier to see who will back you. The known plots have a separate tab as well, where you can easily ask the plotter to end their plot, or ask to join in on a plot. The prisoners menu now has a mass action menu, so you no longer have to ransom each prisoner separately!
The "Find Character" interface has some new options as well! You can filter by the diplomatic range and whether they would join your court or not. You also have the option to save search filters or to reset them.
The name children window now has new buttons. You can choose to name your child after their mother/father, grandmother/father, a random ancestor or a random name. That makes keeping names in the dynasty a lot easier!
New Inventory screen
Another new feature in this DLC is the treasury system, to see a character’s items as physical objects, and allowing items to be inheritable and stealable. Some existing character modifiers from events will be converted into items, such as the +1 axe, the saint’s bones, or the trophy made from the skull of a rival.
graphics and audio
The Monks and Mystics DLC doesn't add a lot of graphic or audio overhauls to the game, but quite frankly, it doesn't need to. For a game that released in 2012, it looks absolutely amazing! The new artwork added by the DLC look cool, as you can see in the images in this article, and the new character portraits are well designed. There are some new audio files when new events fire, and the whispering when you open the intrigue menu. But other than that no major changes are being brought to the table by the Monks and Mystics DLC. I think they focused more on the playability and the tweaks and changes in the user interface rather than the looks and sounds of the game, which is a good thing!
Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics is a solid DLC and a great new member of the Crusader Kings II family! It gives us a lot of new options to play around with and it fixes a lot of tiny things that annoyed us a lot over the past years. As a huge fan of the franchise this DLC got the fire deep down inside of me burning again, and with the help of this DLC, that same fire will burn my enemies!
I hope our friends over at Paradox Interactive will make a lot more expansion packs for this amazing game!
|+ Many great new features||– AI is still dumb|
|+ Cool artwork|
|+ DLC's are cheaper than sequels|
|+ Minor tweaks we were waiting for|