Crusader Kings is a primordial PC series whose games have always adapted exclusively to the keyboard and mouse. Therefore, it was quite difficult to imagine how Crusader Kings III would play with a gamepad. The developers were faced with the task of not only transferring the game to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, but also making sure that the gameplay did not cause discomfort. Did they manage to do it? Let’s take a look in this review.
When you first enter Crusader Kings III, we are greeted by a tutorial, which I still recommend not to miss, even if you are an experienced player of the PC version with hundreds of hours of play. The fact is that the tutorial, among other things, explains the management in detail, and it is by no means standard here. Yes, the training mode is very long – I personally went through it, as they say, in two runs, because at one moment I got tired of a ton of text, which tells in detail what and how to do. However, only after completion can you be ready to develop your dynasty with a gamepad in hand.
This review is not a guide, so I will not consider the management in detail. However, I will note some features that you should know about before buying. To begin with, I will say the obvious: playing with a keyboard and mouse in Crusader Kings III will still be more convenient. Sticks are simply nothing compared to a cursor when it comes to strategy. However, do not rush to get upset, because this is not StarCraft II, where an incredible reaction is needed, so in general, even on consoles, it is played quite comfortably. Without nuances, of course, it still could not do.
The main problem that I noticed in the first place is the way to switch to cursor mode. This happens when you hold down the left stick for about one second, which is terribly inconvenient. At the same time, it is impossible to change the control settings, so you just have to put up with it. In fairness, in the gameplay itself, the cursor is not involved and is needed mainly in order to read the hints. However, from time to time, especially at first, this function is indispensable.
The rest of the management turned out to be successful – as much as it would be possible on consoles. The interface is quite large, switching between windows is fast and everything is intuitive. The PlayStation 5 version, by the way, has a slight advantage over the Xbox Series X|S version – the presence of a touchpad on the Dualsence. Thanks to her, you can quickly change the speed of the gameplay by swiping left or right.
By the way, about Dualsence. The developers have used the tactile feedback of the gamepad, which can be felt during important events. It happens casually and barely noticeable, but still a nice bonus, though not vital. In principle, there is nothing to tell about the technical part. The project looks the same as on PC, supports 60fps and doesn’t have different graphics options. Just launch and play without worrying about the picture and performance.
In general, it is strange that Crusader Kings III was released only for the current generation. The game weighs only 3 gigabytes (on PS5) and does not look very demanding, so with proper optimization it could well run on older consoles that millions of players still own. So if you haven’t had time to switch to Next-Gen, then there is still a PC version for you.
It is unlikely that anyone expected that the port of the strategy from PC to console would be better. Of course, this did not happen, but the developers still managed to transfer Crusader Kings III as efficiently as possible. Management turned out, though unusual, but generally convenient and intuitive. The interface has also been redesigned perfectly for a “couch game”. If you are an avid console player who does not let go of the controller, then it is definitely worth a try. However, if you have a choice between PC and console, then it’s better to stop at the first option.