Crusader Kings 2: Republic DLC Review

You might think the only problems you will face come from the outside, with Nobles and other Republics trying to keep you in place. Sadly this is not the case. Within each Republic families will feud against each other. Once in a while you will have options to act against them, where a huge tug o’ war of Prestige and Money will be waged. Sometimes these battles can be extremely draining, as I once had to pay 600 coins in bribes just to make sure a rival family would not take one of my key Trade Ports. You can “kill” a family, but a new one will always take its place. The President has the power to suggest that a more powerful family surrenders some of its ports to one of the weaker families, something I had personal experience with. Thankfully if your House Head has high enough attributes any attempts at weakening you can be stopped.

Crusader Kings 2

In the Republic there tend to be two types of Random Events. Those that bring you money, and those that make you lose money. While you have no control over which happens when they also hold little long-term consequence, as in this case. You cannot decline the offer and you will receive a handsome sum of coin just for receiving it.

The Good and the Bad

The Republic offers another perspective for people wanting to try something different. Republics are sufficiently different to any other type of nation that it is almost surprising. All the while Republics are not weak, they are well capable of defeating far bigger opponents, not only thanks to their armies, but also Mercenaries their money can buy. It’s a war of influence, as Republics and Families that manage to control Sea Ways will benefit greatly from it. The Intrigue is still rich and troublesome as always. Wars as destructive and war-like. While I was skeptical at first I found the new options sufficient to make this a worthy purchase. There are some “Buts” however.

This is something that has been troubling me for some time, the lack of special Intrigue or Events that you yourself can initiate. You can still hold Tournaments, Hunts and Fairs. Unlike Islamic Rulers you do not have any additional options that Christian Nobles do not have. The sole exception is asking the President for more Ports, or as President attempting to weaken one of the other families by confiscating theirs. I would had personally hoped that Balls could be organised instead of just “Feasts”, as in the case of Nobles, where you could pick themes, or the “richness” of the event. Perhaps build a more impressive fleet, organise a parade, or attempt to establish connections with the Far East (or as far East as you can go). While there are random Events that show this happening you cannot make them happen. It is sort of understandable, since importing massive amounts of Spices back home would make your ridiculously rich, quickly. Something seems to be lacking.

Perhaps I am also stuck on the scenes from Assassins Creed 2, with all the Masquerade Balls (that was the 15th-16th Century more or less, while that is the time when Crusader Kings 2 games end). Perhaps I hoped I would have more influence over the production, purchase and sale of goods (like in Patrician 2). Sadly, despite the “branding” and being a Merchant Family you are not playing a Merchant Game. It is still Crusader Kings 2, with its Intrigue, Politics and Wars. As such it is clear that the Republic DLC is an addition to Crusader Kings 2, and not a full grown Medieval Economic Simulator.

Summary

Looking back at the previous DLCs that have been released for Crusader Kings 2 I must say we have a decent choice of options, depending on who you wish to play as. Playing as a Republic is different from playing as an Arabic or Christian Ruler, however the Byzantine Empire beats the other DLCs by a long-shot for one single reason, you have a “Big Task” of rebuilding Rome. In that sense the Republic gives you an opportunity to build a merchant family, but as I found out during my incredibly long playthrough as a Venetian family you reach a stage where you are so rich and powerful that your only enemy is a lack of imagination. Even when you hold a lot of power your enemies can undermine you, destroy your ports and half or ultimately destroy your income entirely. It’s still a challenging game, perhaps more so if you decide to play on the grander political scene and not only be a Merchant Family but also a King. Overall though this DLC gets a solid 8/10. The additional choice in your game setup is very welcome, and while there are plenty of additions to playing a Republic it is not wholly what I hoped it would be. A sort of The Guild 2, but done properly, is what I can almost compare it to, just without all the production possibilities.

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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