Crusader Kings 3 - Release Date, Gameplay Features, Trailer and more!

By Edward Mass 14 May 2020 1

The original Crusader Kings was a novelty experience in the Grand Strategy genre. Focusing on blood rather than states, it represented a truly interpersonal and quirky character-based setting that pulled all that was messy and fun about the medieval world into focus.

Crusader Kings II took this concept and turned it up to 11, creating one of the most immersive character-and-dynasty-driven experiences outside of dedicated roleplaying games. The subsequent DLCs (most of them at least) continued to deliver innovation after innovation that cracked open the primordial egg of the original game and truly allowed it to fly.

Now Paradox Development Studio is set to give us another quantum leap in one of the most unique and entertaining strategy games in computer gaming. Even with the excitement around Crusader Kings III, it's hard to imagine how they could remake the wheel, but they're going to give it their best shot. Here's everything we know so far about this upcoming release...

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Crusader Kings 3 Release Date

Crusader Kings 3 will be releasing on the Paradox Store, Steam and the Microsoft Store on September 1st, 2020.

It will retail for $49.99 / £41.99 / €49.99, with the Royal Edition costing $69.99 / £57.99.

Crusader Kings 3 Pre-Orders & Editions

As of the time of writing, Crusader Kings 3 is available for pre-order. There are two main editions: The normal edition and the Royal Edition:

  • Crusader Kings 3's normal edition comes with hte base game and the 'Garments of the Holy Roman Empire' content as an added bonus.
  • Crusader Kings 3: Royal Edition comes with the base game and bonus content above, as well as an 'Expansion Pass' for the first wave of DLC, which at the moment is reported to be:
    • Fashion of the Abbasid Court (Available day 1)
    • First Flavor Pack
    • First Major Expansion
    • Second Flavor Pack

Crusader Kings 3 Trailer

Crusader Kings 3 Game Features

Below is a breakdown of what we know of various game features. Most of this has come from our initial preview/interviews, but as time goes on the development team will be expanding on all of this and more in regular dev diaries. If you want to see what they team have to say on specific topics, you can read the diaries here.

  • Character Focused Gameplay: Every character you play or interact with has their own unique personality. Events and options in the game are largely determined by the type of person you are.
  • Infinite Possibilities: Play as any noble house from Iceland to India, Finland to Central Africa over five centuries. Interact with wandering guests, stubborn children, devious spymasters and saintly holy men in an elaborate tapestry of medieval life.
  • Waging War: Rally your vassals and raise your men-at-arms to besiege enemy castles or put down rebellions. Personal prowess on the battlefield can win you great honor, but strategic planning is the path to victory.
  • Royal Marriages: Spread your dynastic DNA throughout the world, stamping your royal seal on the crests of kingdoms and duchies far and wide. Marry for power and raise children to press claims on new lands.
  • Saints and Sinners: Keep faith with your religious leaders or perform great crimes in the interest of the state. When the going gets tough, you can always embrace a heresy or craft a new religion more in line with your character’s priorities.
  • Schemes and Skullduggery: Learn the secrets of your courtiers and vassals so you can blackmail them for their support. Seduce your way into a superior’s good books, or plot the untimely demise of an unfortunate relative.
  • Events Inspired By History: Experience great holy wars, peasant revolts, cadet branches of dynasties, heretics, superstition, castles, knights and wars over inheritance.
  • 3D Character Portraits: Characters age and change appearance as their traits take a toll on their body. The higher the rank, the fancier the clothing.
  • And much more: Holy Orders, mercenaries, pagan and Viking raiders, easily customized rule sets and a beautiful new map to play on.

crusader kings 3 men at arms

Crusader Kings 2 vs. Crusader Kings 3

  • The Inventory System from Monks & Mystics has been cut for the interim, but it may return. Henrik recognised it is an important role-playing feature but for CK2 it was often abused to facilitate modifier inflation via items in a way the game couldn’t account for.
  • The Old Gods (867) start date will still be usable but they've cut other start dates. Same End Date expected of 1453.
  • Crusader Kings 3 will launch with roughly “half” of CK2 + Expansions in terms of features, and roughly “two-thirds” of CK2 + Expansions in terms of written content.
  • You won’t be able to have a Horse Pope at launch. Generally, the team are taking a more ‘serious’ approach to the game for the initial release, and there will be Hearts of Iron 4-style Game Rules that can turn off/on supernatural content.

On re-releasing older content from CK2:

We’ve thought a lot about that. I don’t think we want to replicate the same expansions CK2 had. I think some of the features will come back. We have to think about how we package that, whether they’ll be paid or free, and of course I’m leaning towards if a feature is returning it should probably be free and we should charge money for completely new stuff. That’s the general philosophy - there might be exceptions with a returning feature that’s partially paid-for, but in general I don’t want to retread the same territory in the same way.

Crusader Kings 3 Map

crusader kings 3 map

Crusader Kings III is due out on the 1st September, 2020.

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