Originally Posted by Nerevarine
Yeah, unfortunately that's part of the reason why I haven't gotten around to playing it yet - I don't really like the lack of a "sandbox" campaign in strategy games. I really liked what Neocore did with King Arthur, when they included a story campaign, but the player could pursue it whenever they wished or distract themselves with other things. I enjoyed having both the freedom of a sandbox campaign and a storyline to pursue as well, but with that being said, I'll definitely still play King's Crusade. I love the setting, and there aren't enough "realistic" and quality Crusader strategy games around to pass it up.
The first and most important aspect to bear in mind about Crusader Kings 2 is that the player doesn't take the usual role of a country. You aren’t the de facto leader of France, for example; you’re just a nobleman with a small mass of land. Your goal in the game isn’t to lead your country to supreme victory by quashing or controlling every other territory on the board; all you want to do is look after your family. Really, that’s all anyone wants to do.
Of course, this perfectly illustrates the appeal of Crusader Kings 2 – that much of the risk isn’t based merely on tactical know-how or the number of knights you’ve got on your lawn. Instead, it’s based on the personality of your enemies and the flow of diplomacy. Social strategies are a lot harder to predict, more nuanced and – dare we say – more interesting. There’s a delicate balancing act involved as you weigh decisions and gather information – information more closely tied to the narrative than ‘The enemy has five catapults.' It’s potentially a more engaging structure for a strategy title, and one we’ll be watching closely as Crusader Kings 2 approaches its release.