Game: Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Developer: Paradox Interactive
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
The Republic is one of those rare downloadable addons that are far closer to an old fashioned expansion than today’s run of the mill DLC. Adding to the already massive amount of options and playable characters, The Republic adds the eponymous republics to be played in the less and less true to its name, Crusader Kings II.
Republics are different from their feudal lands in that title retention is not so much a measure of blood, but of wealth. The title of Patrician is held for life, and if you want your family to keep it, you must ensure your heir has the right amount of respect and reputation, and there is no better way of doing this than piling up gold.
For this purpose, republics have an exclusive mechanic, trading posts. Trading posts are akin to cities and castles in the sense that it’s built in a province and developed as such, but it has several peculiarities. They can be built in land not controlled by you and produce wealth for both the owner and the owner of the land it’s in. Unfortunately they can only have garrisons, and do not produce levies, but it’s a small price to pay considering the wealth they bring in. Furthermore, they are owned by a specific merchant family, and you’ll spend plenty of time exploring how to take them from the hands of your rivals.
Still their peculiarities make republics very fun and interesting to play and a breath of fresh air from the constant bickering and war of the default feudal families. After a while the trading empires of the republics will span the map of Europe and there will be bloody conflict for those interesting and wealthy trading posts.
There’s really not much more to this DLC than that, but please don’t take this to be a bad thing. Any fan of the series will likely be looking for any way possible to extend the Crusader Kings II experience, and The Republic manages to do just that.
The Good: More options for a game already overwhelmed by them. The fleshing out of Republics gives more life to the already active map of Europe.
The Bad: Patrician elections are an interesting addition, but it feels less fleshed out as we might have hoped. There is little political maneuvering and your heir ends up as Patrician mostly through the use of massive amounts of gold… a bit like real life really!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
The Republic is, like Sword of Islam before it, definitely a must have DLC for Crusader Kings II. The addition of special rules and mechanics for another group of power players in Europe ensures even more hours of fun, be it playing them or facing against them.
Disclaimer: We were given access to this expansion free of charge. The Republic can be bought through Steam for £7.99.