The latest expansion for the epic medieval grand strategy game [amazon_textlink asin=’B006NU6M5S’ text=’Crusader Kings II’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’n3rdabl3-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’d50e8297-cb8b-11e7-9561-fd58cfa25bb1′] has been released, titled Jade Dragon. The latest of many expansions released over Crusader Kings II’s long shelf life, this new addition focuses on simulating the looming presence China had on the the Indian sub-continent.

For those who haven’t played Crusader Kings II, the game is a truly immersive and incredibly detailed grand strategy game. Instead of playing as a nation, as in most grand strategy games, in Crusader Kings you take control of a ruling dynasty. The game seeks to simulate the political intricacies of the medieval world, so you have to try to survive and succeed in a world where you cannot trust your own court, brother, wife or basically anyone. You can plot to murder your King to take his throne, or try to destabilise your neighbours by funding rebels in their land, or even try to have an affair with a nun who happens to be your sister for shits and giggles. The game is amazingly detailed, and trying to convey everything you can do into a single article would be impossible.

One thing that Paradox are fantastic at is expansion packs. Playing Crusader Kings II in 2012 was a very different experience to playing it now, with not only DLC expanding the experience but many free patches also adding additional content. While in the base game you can only play as a Christian medieval lord, with the expansions you can play as an Islamic ruler, a Mongol cheiftain, a Hindu Maharajah, a Viking chief, a merchant prince and basically anyone else who had land and wasn’t the Pope (come on Paradox, where’s my Vatican DLC?). In addition to extra types of characters to play as, expansions have also completely reworked entire aspects of the game, from disease mechanics to your family issues.

So what is Jade Dragon adding? Well, as mentioned before they are trying to work in the impact China had on the Indian kingdoms and other nations on its borders. While it is a bit disappointing that China itself is not being added to the map, Paradox have explained that this would be impossible due to the constraints in the games engines. Instead, they have opted to add various mechanics to simulate the looming presence of China. If you live near to China, you can opt to try to appease the Emperor with gifts so that they may lend you assistance or even try to marry one of his daughters. If you ignore them, China may try to conquer you themselves. Additionally, China also has it’s own internal conflicts off screen, so sometimes they may be weak and at other times they might be immensely strong. It all sounds very interesting, and it’s nice to see the Indian subcontinent, which has not been updated too heavily since it was made playable, get some love.

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Both Crusader Kings II and Jade Dragon are available for purchase on PC.

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