Stronghold Crusader 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original castle sim. After 12 years Stronghold returns to the desert with a new 3D engine and powerful Havok Physics. Crusader 2 recaptures the original game’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (57 reviews) - 59% of the 57 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (3,585 reviews) - 59% of the 3,585 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Recent updates View all (29)

April 7

April Update

Size - 3.4 MB
Version - 1.0.22670

We have released a small update to address a couple of issues.

Change Log
  • Fixed the "Fetchez La Vache" achievement.
  • Added an options_override file for players experiencing issues when saving game options. (See below for full details)

Some players have reported that the game does not allow them to load and save games properly. This appears to be because the game cannot access their Documents\Stronghold Crusader 2 folder for an unknown reason. To remedy this we have released an update allowing players to change the directory in which Stronghold Crusader 2 stores all options, saved games, maps etc.

In order to use this players can edit the file in \bin\win32_release\options_override.xml, located in their installed directory. Please read the instructions within the file before editing it.

We strongly suggest only using this override if absolutely necessary, in cases where the default directory cannot be used. Do NOT use this override option if you experience no issues when saving options, progress or saved games within Stronghold Crusader 2.

Please Note: Steam Cloud will not work if you use an override path. Steam Cloud only works with the Documents\Stronghold Crusader 2 folder.

This update should download automatically when you launch the Steam client. To confirm whether or not the download was successful, check the version number displayed in the bottom left corner of the main menu screen when launching Crusader 2. If the number displayed is not 1.0.22670 please restart Steam until the update downloads.

9 comments Read more

April 1

Free Weekend

Play for Free & Get 80% Off!

The full Stronghold Crusader 2 base game is currently FREE to download and play this weekend, with 80% off until Monday. Every player with a Steam account currently has access to the single player campaigns, multiplayer and all secondary modes, such as free build!

How to Play

  1. Install Steam.
  2. Download Crusader 2 for free.
  3. Repel the infidel!

For a limited time only we are giving you and your Steam friends a free ticket to the latest and greatest 3D entry in the Stronghold series. Face old rivals like Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in a series of dynamic, fast-paced skirmish matches, challenge your friends in the unforgiving multiplayer arena or build the world’s grandest castle in free-build mode.

Already own the game? Then invite your friends! Show no mercy in a brutal multiplayer showdown or teach them the ropes using the game’s unique co-op mode.

Crusader 2 will remain available for free until Sunday April 3rd at 20:00 GMT, giving you several full days to enjoy the definitive 3D Stronghold. The 80% off sale will run until Monday 17:00 GMT.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/232890/

14 comments Read more

Reviews

“Crusader 2 is a triumphant evolution of the game that they've held dear for the last twelve years.”
8/10 – GameWatcher

“Minecraft power-users will marvel at the sophistication and visual clarity of its castle-building engine.”
8/10 – Empire

“Unique, fast-paced castle-building action the way it was meant to be.”
8/10 – Hooked Gamers

Special Edition

  • Digital Soundtrack Composed by Robert Euvino
  • 'The Art of Stronghold Crusader 2' Digital Art Book
  • Stronghold Crusader HD: Full game on Steam - Already own it on Steam? Gift it to a friend!

Special Edition Customers


To access your digital art book and soundtrack please install the game, navigate to the game folder and open up a folder titled ‘Special Edition’.

By default this is located at:

C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Stronghold Crusader 2\Special Edition

About This Game



Stronghold Crusader 2 is the long awaited sequel to Stronghold: Crusader, the original 'castle sim'. After 12 years Stronghold returns to the deserts of the Middle East circa 1189, with a new 3D engine and realistic castle destruction powered by Havok Physics. Crusader 2 will recapture the original game’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.

True to its roots this new Stronghold will define old school real time strategy, combining RTS and city builder gameplay. Playing as a brutal Crusader Knight or Arabic freedom fighter, you must use a deadly array of troops and destructive siege equipment to decide the fate of the holy lands. Lead your forces into battle as either Richard the Lionheart or the Sultan of Syria in two historic single-player campaigns, with dynamic events such as tornados and locust swarms. Become the greatest Lord by managing your desert economy and seizing control of vital oases.

To dominate the battlefield you will need to command more than 25 unique unit types, mastering their special abilities. Raise morale with the Sergeant at Arms, charge in with the Sassanid Knight, use Archers to launch an arrow volley or scale castle walls with the deadly Assassin. Once your skills have been perfected put them to the test in skirmish mode or take the battle online with up to eight human and AI players. Create teams, choose different AI opponents and design your own map in the ultimate skirmish or multiplayer game!



  • Build the Ultimate Castle - Design mighty strongholds and fill them with fiendish traps to crush your enemies!
  • Skirmish Mode - Lay siege to your enemies in fast-paced custom skirmish matches against the AI.
  • 8 Player Multiplayer - Mix and match human and AI players, maps and game modes to set up your ideal multiplayer game.
  • Battle a Wide Range of AI Lords - Classic AI characters return alongside new blood, each with distinct personalities, castles and play styles.
  • Challenge the Crusader Trail - Test your mettle across a range of increasingly tough skirmish campaigns.
  • Co-op Play - Share control over castle building, troop control and resource management in Co-op Mode.
  • Castle Sandbox - Dive into the Map Editor or Free Build mode and construct the ultimate castle without fear of attack.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB or AMD Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10 64-bit with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB or AMD Radeon HD 5830 1GB or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: This is the minimum spec recommended for hosting a multiplayer game.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (57 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (3,585 reviews)
Recently Posted
F35H
31.1 hrs
Posted: August 27
Overall: Collector/Sale
Secondary recomendation: Play the original

-Cons:
Slight-Medium unbalencement between units
Glitchy
Most of the buildings generally look pretty ungly

-Fandom Cons
Tries to make characters (*Cough Cough* The rat) grow up with you, but miserably fails
You can't get lines from the characters anymore
Stronghold 2 looks better than this

-Middle Row
Core gameplay hasn't changed for the most part
Lack of variation (Although understandable due to it being an RTS)

-Pros
New Units offer great variety
Decent secondary art aesthetic (Secondary being non-gameplay oriented)
Music as usual hasn't changed since the original making an excellent atmosphere and vibe

I would pick this up if your a collector, but I would just suggest the original for anyone else

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Summarily Executed
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 25
I love Stronghold Crusader, it's a really awesome game and it's very enjoyable. I still play it with my friends, it's really awesome. I was excited for Stronghold Crusader II, updated graphics would be awesome, maybe some more complicated mechanics and new units would be an improvement. But this game takes several steps back from it's predecessor. It doesn't have the same UI tools, such as flattening buildings into a floorplan format for building castles, and rotating builds is increbily clunky. The game has been blakanized into 5 DLC packs, where even your choice in icons is limited if you don't buy all of them. For me personally, I wouldn't buy this game until they seriously patch is and sell all the DLC bundled in one edition for about $30. I already paid way too much for it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Percevalex
14.7 hrs
Posted: August 22
i used to be a crusader franchise fan. Now this game is complete crap.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TomHW
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 19
I dodn't enjoy this game when I played it for a free weekend. Thank god I didn't buy it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Travistheboss
171.1 hrs
Posted: August 17
Love this game i have 171 hours on it and i have always loved stronghold games this is a great game to play!!! :D
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Abhi
4.4 hrs
Posted: August 13
Product received for free
Stronghold Crusader 2

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the simplest of RTS games. It is the follow up to the critically acclaimed Stronghold Crusader and builds up on its predecessor. Stronghold Crusader 2 features all the elements you would expect from a game of its genre but nothing intuitive enough that you would be really amazed by.
The singleplayer campaign is labelled as only a learning campaign but is unable to fulfil even that job. You play either as Saladin’s or King Richard’s forces against the other. The campaign does nothing else but pits large waves of enemy troops before you can keep up with your production. It is based as a multiplayer skirmish game and it suffices the job. In Stronghold Crusader 2, you start by building your economy and building your troops. You need to attract to come and live in your keep by making buildings such as Inns and Temples. Once you set up the castle, you need to protect it and try to demolish your opponent’s at the same time.
The maps available in Stronghold Crusader 2 are so small that you can literally see the other player’s progress at the same time. There are multiple choke points but these maps are prone to get very quickly rushed and that tactic is the only thing you will see players doing in the multiplayer. The no. of unit types available to you are very basic. There was not a single unit which I had not seen before in a RTS game. After the castle is set up and your economy is building itself, it remains but a match of who will produce faster. The only satisfaction comes from destroying the enemy castles with your siege weapons as your army can’t really get through the walls by itself. When you do demolish your opponent’s castle, it gives you a sense of achievement which is where the game shines the most.
The visuals of Stronghold Crusader 2 are average to poor. There is no real variety in seeing units crashing against units. The building designs are fairly simple but it looks really good once you have set up your keep and it is churning out units. What really makes Stronghold Crusader 2 fall is the amount of bugs it has. Enemy units plainly running in through the walls, frequent crashes and freezes are only some of them. It is wrong for me to expect them to patch up as it has been nearly 2 years since the game came out.
Even then if you can look past the bugs and other problems, what awaits you is a fairly Run of the mill RTS game which may provide you with a couple of fun hours.


This review is part of the Steamified Community Review program. For similar reviews and fantastic giveaways please visit http://www.steamified.com/.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Colonel Stauffenberg
192.9 hrs
Posted: August 11
A very quality Game with Great Graphics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
thomasgdl1
0.8 hrs
Posted: August 10
Product received for free
Play the original.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheUniquePro
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 7
its not the same
Helpful? Yes No Funny
B.T.K.A.Z
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 4
minecraft rules
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
Product received for free
Stronghold Crusader 2

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the simplest of RTS games. It is the follow up to the critically acclaimed Stronghold Crusader and builds up on its predecessor. Stronghold Crusader 2 features all the elements you would expect from a game of its genre but nothing intuitive enough that you would be really amazed by.
The singleplayer campaign is labelled as only a learning campaign but is unable to fulfil even that job. You play either as Saladin’s or King Richard’s forces against the other. The campaign does nothing else but pits large waves of enemy troops before you can keep up with your production. It is based as a multiplayer skirmish game and it suffices the job. In Stronghold Crusader 2, you start by building your economy and building your troops. You need to attract to come and live in your keep by making buildings such as Inns and Temples. Once you set up the castle, you need to protect it and try to demolish your opponent’s at the same time.
The maps available in Stronghold Crusader 2 are so small that you can literally see the other player’s progress at the same time. There are multiple choke points but these maps are prone to get very quickly rushed and that tactic is the only thing you will see players doing in the multiplayer. The no. of unit types available to you are very basic. There was not a single unit which I had not seen before in a RTS game. After the castle is set up and your economy is building itself, it remains but a match of who will produce faster. The only satisfaction comes from destroying the enemy castles with your siege weapons as your army can’t really get through the walls by itself. When you do demolish your opponent’s castle, it gives you a sense of achievement which is where the game shines the most.
The visuals of Stronghold Crusader 2 are average to poor. There is no real variety in seeing units crashing against units. The building designs are fairly simple but it looks really good once you have set up your keep and it is churning out units. What really makes Stronghold Crusader 2 fall is the amount of bugs it has. Enemy units plainly running in through the walls, frequent crashes and freezes are only some of them. It is wrong for me to expect them to patch up as it has been nearly 2 years since the game came out.
Even then if you can look past the bugs and other problems, what awaits you is a fairly Run of the mill RTS game which may provide you with a couple of fun hours.


This review is part of the Steamified Community Review program. For similar reviews and fantastic giveaways please visit http://www.steamified.com/.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Product received for free
Play the original.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
i used to be a crusader franchise fan. Now this game is complete crap.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
171.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Love this game i have 171 hours on it and i have always loved stronghold games this is a great game to play!!! :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
164.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
A very quality Game with Great Graphics and down to earth gameplay. I really enjoyed the Military options and diversification of units. There are also drawbacks, such as not very many offline missions or fun sieges. I also wish Ballistas did some damage, Right now it does less than a crossbow yet a crossbow bolt is like 1/100 of the size?!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
2,443 of 2,629 people (93%) found this review helpful
336 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2015
***Die-hard fans of the Stronghold series, please read this review before making your purchase. You won't regret it.***

As a long time fan of the Stronghold series, this game was such a let down. Yes, it is *technically* a Stronghold game, and it technically is the sequel to Crusader, but overall it is not even close to being on par with the rest of the series.

--First, the Good--

At its core, the concept of Stronghold is still the same here. You'll start off building a settlement, gathering resources via a supply chain, ultimately crafting weapons to arm a force of soldiers.

There are familiar units: Archers, Macemen, Crossbowmen (Crusader). Horse Archers, Slaves, Assassins(Arabic)..as well as some new ones, including the Healer and many other Arabic mercenaries not previously seen. You can build walls, towers, siege weapons and all sorts of defense mechanisms for keeping the black knight at bay.On top of that, many familiar faces return, such as The Rat, Richard the Lionheart and more.

The game is, of course, a 3d Model game, bringing the Crusader series at least one generation ahead.

And...that's about it. Honestly. If you were a fan of the original series, it may warm your heart to actually have some new Stronghold content to play with, but there really isn't anything new and exciting here.

--Now, the Bad...where do I begin?--

First of all, the game is somewhat broken. There are plenty of times where characters models won't animate, and it's not uncommon for characters to simply float across the map in the standard model "christ pose" without any animation. Even the oxen who carry the stone in the game would freeze when moving on an angle. Stone walls are another mess. Too often, staircases would end up with a wall piece right in the middle of them, creating a strange unrealistic graphical error. These are only some of the visual phenomenen that occur while playing.

That brings me to another issue...wall building. Not only do walls cost way too much in this game, but there is pretty much no room for creativity when building your castle. In the original/Crusader 1, you had so much control over every little aspect of your wall design. You could build walls of all different heights, staircase pieces, granulated walls all down to the very last square. This gave us castle builders so much of a blank canvas that virtually anything was possible if we knew how to use those pieces the right way.

In Crusader 2, 90% of the wall building is done for you when clicking. A wall piece is pre-built for you to include parapits on one side, a wall space, and parapits on the opposite side. You can no longer just build a simple piece of stone wall, the basic building block (almost literally) of the original series' castle building element. Sure, you can add towers and all kinds of siege weaponry, but the fun and joy of really creative a keep down to the last detail is completely lost here.

The cost of walls adds to another huge gripe with this game...balance. It's my understanding that a patch has re-balanced some of the economy issues, but the game is still WAY too unbalanced when trying to get your city up and running. Too often I find myself running out of resources right at the beginning of a match, even when set to give myself a huge advantage over my AI counterparts. For example, a windmill in this game costs 200 wood. In the original? 20. So it costs literally 10 times as much here. That would be fine, except woodcutters don't harvest 10 times as much wood here. They harvest roughly the same amount as before.

This leads to a TON of waiting around to gather resources right from the git-go of any match. Sure, there was always that element in the original (as with any RTS), but there is a considerable difference here. I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, even though I have what would otherwise be the basics of a civilization in place.

Ah, civilization...a thriving, breathing melting pot of people going about their daily lives, each contributing to their society in their own way, all while maintaining their own unique personality...yeah, Stronghold Crusader 1 was a fantastic game. Say goodbye to that here.

I mean, sure...you get to see the workers doing what they do in 3D, but it's not the same. Peasants say NOTHING when you click on them. No Monty Python-esque man impersonating a woman "morning your lordship!" or "no taxes is good taxes, that's my motto!", just silence. No adding flowers, maypoles, dancing bears, gauntlets, guillotines, stretching racks...good/bad popularity control is just gone.

Speaking of voices (ha), this might be one of the most dissapointing aspects of Crusader 2, and I honestly didn't see it coming.

The voice acting in this game is TERRIBLE. I mean that in every sense of the word. I have friends who can do cooky voices that would have been better candidates.

A great example is the men-at-arms. Remember the way they sounded in Stronghold 2? They were dopey lummixes, and rightfully so given their rank. Or how about their original counterpart, the spearmen? They were rough, working class fighters ready to stick a spear in whatever you tell them to.

Here's what I want you to do: We're gonna do a test. I want you to read the next sentence I say in quotes out loud. Don't use any exciting voice, or cooky impersonation, or anything. Use your normal speaking voice. Ready? Okay, say this out loud:

"Man at arms, ready. Close ranks."

Congratulations! You've just landed a gig providing voice over work for a video game!

The level of enthusiasm in these vocal takes can only be described as the bare minimum. Without trying to be funny, I've found myself honestly wondering if they simply had one of the programmers provide voices. As annoying as he was, we all have to admit that at least The Rat had a memorable personality. His voice has now been replaced with some Joe Everyguy off the street. You'll forget him as soon as you end the game.

To be fair, I need to point something else out, though, about the voice over work, and that's that there are a lot of recycled vocal takes from previous games. Archers still sound like archers, crossbowmen like crossbowmen, etc. However, it's about 50/50 as far as which characters use the classic voices, and which use Joe Everyguy.

It might sound petty to be so bitter about this, but as (I'm assuming, since you've read this far) you are a die-hard Stronghold fan, then you KNOW how important the voices are to this series. They are the character, the personality and the life of the game! They're what make you feel like you are controlling living, breathing people of all different sorts, whose lives hang at your fingertips!

The original games did all of that in spades, and they weren't even 3D rendered!

--The Bottom Line--

I haven't played much of this game, but I'm fairly confident that won't change. I could go on forever about the other issues that are impossible to ignore (such as the buildings and terrain feeling like they're from two different games), but I feel I've beaten my own horse to death here.

From what I gather, a team of less than 10 people programmed this game. I don't mean this review as offense to them specifically. They created a game, like they said they would. They accomplished something that I, of course, haven't...but it's almost like giving credit to Nickelback. I may hate their music, but at the end of the day they're creating albums and I'm sitting behind my keyboard judging people.

That being said, it doesn't mean that I have to LIKE Nickelback.

That was a bad way to end this review. Sorry to take a punch at an easy target.

Judge me all you want for that, just please don't buy this game. It's something you can't take back.






Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
586 of 668 people (88%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
122.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2014
Please read on before simply accepting this as another "Yes" review, because this a very mixed opinion. First, I would like to clarify this is from the Point of view of someone who has been playing Stronghold since the first game came out, and has consistently played every single installment to near completion - Aside from Kingdoms, which is mediocre imho. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you won't - Anywho, this is how I felt.

The Good:
- Solid skirmish mode, much like older renditions of the game.
- Very old school Crusader vibe/feeling to it. Remake successful.
- All of the new units are interesting, aside from the slave driver - Which I don't care for.
- New Unit special abilities are cool and add depth without overpowering or ruining units.
- New Siege engines that are also interesting and for the most part useful.
- Resource caches, Lion Dens, Outposts are all neat additions to the old crusader formula.
- Varied AI characters like the original and a promise of DLC Lords in the future.
- Really like the "curtain walls." I was skeptical of them until I used them in a trail mission.
- Took the good things from SH3 while leaving out most of the bad things.
- Neutral territory reminds me of the old territory system of SHC.
- The new buildings (like the wooden barricades for example) are interesting.
- Genuinely enjoyable game with as much replay value as the original.
- New ally system where allies mood affects how willing they are to do your bidding.
- Departure of Free form SH3 buidlings. Return of efficient, grid-based building system.
- Better physics, especially in regards to arrows - which bounce off and break on walls.
- More realism, such as troops pulling out pick axes and tools to smash walls down.
- Beautiful destruction physics. I've gotten into trouble from watching castles go down.
- Unit costs fixed or improved (Assassins especially brought back to reasonable price!)
- Much simpler Editor than SH3, albeit still with as many options.
- Able to play as other lords, and even choose what your lord looks like in skirmish.
- Buildings change when playing Arabic or Crusader Lords.
- Genuinely enjoyable game. Can't even lie, I will put 100 hours or more into this, easily.

The Bad:
- Stone is completely unbalanced. Walls cost 7 stone just for 1 square
- So, 100+ to make 15 Tiles of wall! WTF? So even a basic castle is 500 to 1000's of stone.
- Furthermore, walls also break much quicker - Causing lots of problems in the heat of battle.
- Buildings have ridiculous costs, which is ridiculously high (200 wood for a Market? Seriously?)
- Bare, boring, pathetic campaigns - So much for paying $10 extra for "additional campaigns."
- No campaign is longer than 4 Stages, and the mini campaigns are Only 2 stages long!
- Cavalry units cannot attack buildings anymore, making them significantly less useful.
- All of the Special Edition Features (cost an additional 10 dollars) were pathetic at best.
- Half of the artbook is on the official site for free, and it's only about 20-30 pages.
- The two mini campaigns take 10 minutes, and the 10 shields speak for itself in lame-ness.
- Only redeeming thing was the soundtrack. basically you paid 10 dollars for an old OST.
- Missing the things introduced in SH2 that were memorable, like feasting, honour, etc.
- While many did not like those features, I feel like the economy is really bare without them.
- Mediocre Maps. Crusader only had 3 or 4 maps I didn't like, this one has 3 or 4 I do like.
- Many maps don't have any resources available, or are too unbalanced to enjoy.
- Pretty much need the Map Editor if you want to have truly good maps.
- some glitches and crashes, though this is to be expected.
- pathetic sized unit caps and building caps.
- At 1 v 1 it's perfectly fine, but even 4 player matches feel very tiny.
- Bland building selection, needs more towers, bastions, etc. SH3 had so many options!
- Overpriced with the promise of even more (paid) DLC in the future.

All in all, I feel like the game as a whole is really good - But I feel like it is horribly overpriced. 50 Dollars is too much. I felt like none of the features I got in my "special Edition" were all that special, and were not worth 10 dollars more. I feel like this game would've been much more fair to be sold at around 20-30 dollars instead (Crusader was 19.99 when I got it on release). Do yourself a favor and try and get it on sale, or at discount - it is a very fun game and I will keep playing, but it is incredibly over priced - Especially the "special edition" which was anything but special.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
663 of 829 people (80%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
73.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
Stronghold Crusader 2 is the successor to the successful RTS castle simulation game of the same name from 2002, With a full skirmish mode supporting up to eight total players (including fan beloved AI bots) and all new castle co-op skirmish mode, Crusader 2 is your ticket to castle simulation paradise.

For new Stronghold players:

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a real time strategy game set during the crusades, it has a stronger focus on combat as the ingame economy has been streamlined from the other Stronghold games. You are charged to provide food and entertainment for your workers who, in turn, form the backbone of your economy. Mine Stone, extract pitch, farm wheat, or chop wood. Once your stockpile has a steady flow of raw goods you are ready to refine them into weapons, drink, or processed food types. A strong economy is mandatory to support an ever growing military.

On the militant side of the game you have one of the hallmarks of the Stronghold franchise, entirely modular defense system. The map has a grid superimposed upon it which is used to align and place structures. Each wall is placed piece by piece, every tower and gatehouse where you want them. Lay traps such as killing pits and pitch ditches for your enemies and garrison your archers atop your great towers. There are many defensive and offensive tactics to experiment with, sally forth and meet your enemy in the field or bring the fight to your castle and employ traps and tower mounted siege engines to your advantage.

In skirmish mode the base objective is to kill all enemy lords, although multiplayer games have a greater range of victory conditions. The single player campaign has custom objectives and scripted invasions/events. When Steam Workshop becomes available for Stronghold Crusader 2 players will be able to create and share their own skirmish maps and custom missions.

For existing Stronghold Crusader HD players:

The biggest difference players coming from Crusader HD will notice is the transition to a full 3D game engine. Many of the same units feature in both games but I'll make a note of where they differentiate. Crusader HD fans will also notice a simpler overall economy with many previously gimmicky mechanics streamlined or just removed.

Maps:

The following times were recorded using the time it took an archer to traverse a flat terrain map and are done on the diagonal (corners: top left to bottom right). Stronghold Crusader 2 has an additional map size and all map sizes for Crusader HD use numbers to represent size (eg 200x200).

Stronghold Crusader HDStronghold Crusader 2
Map SizeTime in secondsMap SizeTime in seconds
Tiny20
160x16046Small60
200x20058Medium100
300x30088Large140
400x400118Extra Large220

Buildings:

-Changed! Faith - churches now operate similar to the Granary and needs candles to operate which are built in the chandler's workshop.
-Changed! Inns have remained largely unchanged but you only need to place one inn now to cover your entire populace.
-Changed! The Stockpile, Granary, and Armory now have unlimited storage capacity meaning you only need to place one.
-Changed! Iron Mines now require an Ox Tether much like Stone Quarries
-Changed! The Market can now be set to auto sell goods when they reach a preset threshold.
-Changed! each weapon type requires it's own unique workshop.
-Changed! Tower mounted siege engines can not be placed on stone towers, they incorporate their own wooden tower.
-Removed! Hunter's Hut, replaced with Pig Farm
-Removed! Fear Factor has been removed, troops will no longer receive a malus or a boost based on your economy.
-Removed! While not exactly a building, moats do not feature in the game.

Units:

-New! Slave Driver - whips nearby slaves into a frenzy
-New! Healer - units within range slowly regenerate HP
-New! Whirling Dervish - a poorly armored melee unit with a strong first contact attack
-New! Sassanid Knight - light knight with special charge attack
-New! Ranger - proficient with both sword and bow but has poor range
-New! Sergeant-at-Arms - units within range receive a HP boost
-New! Conscript - basic weak units, no weapons required to recruit
-New! Hussite War Wagon - can station units inside, provides protection and mobility
-New! War Wolf - super catapult
-New! Burning Cart - creates fire on impact, triggers traps
-Changed! Spearman now called Man-at-Arms and can throw his spear
-Changed! Maceman only requires a mace to recruit now
-Changed! Knight now called Templar Knight and can fight mounted or on foot
-Changed! Fire Thrower renamed to Oil Pot Thrower
-Changed! Battering Ram - Can now only destroy Gatehouses
-Changed! Catapult - can no longer throw diseased animals
-Changed! Portable Shield renamed to Mantlet
-Removed! Slinger
-Removed! Ladderman
-Removed! Siege Tower
-Removed! Tunneller

Engineers are no longer recruited but automatically provided if required when recruiting siege engines. Also, due to the 3D engine many of the map tricks previously used to create eye candy are impossible but there are a fair selection of set pieces to add some much welcomed variety.

Note: for those wondering how to access the map editor, go to your steam library dropdown menu and elect to filter your library by Tools. The map editor should show up on the list of utilities as 'Stronghold Crusader 2 Map Editor'. After a small 2MB install you are ready to start map making.

Check out TotalBiscuit's review of the game on YouTube: http://youtu.be/1lORmgVXOFQ
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1,050 of 1,342 people (78%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
I am one of the stupid ones who got my hopes up after seeing reviews and hearing 'its the original game, but much improved with more additions bringing it up to date' ... and so i bought it.
What a mistake!
IT IS MISSING MANY THINGS FROM THE ORIGINAL!!!!!
No laddermen
No seige towers
No moats
No engineers! to use, build or put into your seige equipment. This changes gameplay massively, as it used to take time to get decent wall defences, because you had to first build the engineers workshop, produce engineers, and build a big enough tower, then build a ballista/mangonel etc on it, and then put your engineers in them for them to function. Now i just buy a bloody ballista tower as soon as the game starts and it begins shooting longrange hail marys from the get go.
What about PIMPING my castle... **** in 2002 i could put flags and the likes around, not in this remake.
No EVIL / NICE system in the castle. Gone are the days of building dungeons and setting out heads on spikes to scare your populace ****less so you can tax them etc... this also kills gameplay in a big way, that was so much of the fun!
Have to agree with most of the other comments.. The WALLS come down like polysterene blocks, so effortlessly and quickly.
Maps are tiny, one of the only flaws in original also. but its 2014 youd think they could have fixed that!!! Makes it annoyingly irritating to have resources far from castle so you can NEVER fully have your castle emcompass everything. You are always rebuilding or defending your resource buildings out in the middle of nowhere.
No more leather armour
No info when you scroll over buildings etc
No more peasants saying provocative gestures when u click em
No tunneling men?? that ive seen
The AI keep repeating the same tripe over n over again, its 2014 ! get a heap of new sayings in there not just 1 or 2 !!!
AI is not improved, they do the same **** over n over again from what ive experienced.
Economy is broken. Just build candlestick maker buildings and sell them at market and basically dont have to build any other resource buildings cause you can buy goods at market from candlestick profits!

Ahh the list is endless.

THIS GAME HAS BEEN DUMBED DOWN !!!

IT HAS LESS THAN THE ORIGINAL !!!

Gameplay is not even as fun as original !!!!! :(
It starts to freeze up on any settings medium or higher... on ultra it sucks as soon as you have over 2 ai one one map.
Not my pc, i built a high specd rig with 4.8 eight core an 3g graphics card etc... poorly designed game. i run all other games on ultra no probs.

Ok, rant over.

Graphics not good, just ok. until it starts to freeze up.
Only cool thing was haybale launcher thingy.
So if your into firey haybales then fork over all your dough, otherwise DONT BUY !
I hope they fix this game but i highly doubt it !!!
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320 of 389 people (82%) found this review helpful
57 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2015
Extreme cheating for ai. Destroy every f*cking resource building of theirs and they keep spawning soldeirs without losing gold or resources.
GG WP
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