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: Mixed (2,353 reviews) - 63% of the 2,353 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Recent updates View all (27)

February 8

Lunar New Year Update

Size - 8.5MB

We have just released a small update adding three extra skirmish maps to the game!

New Maps
  • Around The Cross (4) - Each player has ample natural defenses surrounding their estate, but whomever controls the high ground in the center will gain a significant tactical advantage.
  • A Long River (6) - Different elevations, estate shapes and levels of resource availability present a unique challenge for each player. Adapting to your surroundings is key to victory!
  • Fire Fight (2) - Sparse arable land means enemy players must rely on collecting pitch to support their economy, giving the advantage to those who can maintain and protect a steady supply line.

Discuss the new update: Change Log

Please Note: This update should download automatically when you launch the Steam client. To confirm whether or not the download was successful please check the available skirmish maps for one or all of the above map names. This update will not change the version number from the previous update's number (1.0.22616).

We hope you enjoy the new maps and we'll see you online!

3 comments Read more

December 22, 2015

Mini-Campaigns, Optimisations and New Maps

Version - 1.0.22616
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hBim1Bz7-Q
We have released two mini-campaign DLCs for Stronghold Crusader 2, alongside an update for the game adding fresh maps and optimisations. Formerly a pre-order exclusive, we have released these mini-DLCs so that all players can complete their Crusader 2 collection. Stronghold veterans and achievement hunters can now buy each DLC individually on Steam:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/317590/
http://store.steampowered.com/app/317591/

Winter Update

We have released a small update for Stronghold Crusader 2 addressing a few issues. This update adds four new maps to the game, as well as fixes and optimisations to prevent variations in worker productivity during larger games. Special attention has been given to Woodcutters, due to their importance to the player economy.

Read More: Change Log

New Maps
  • Ruins - This map's unique setup provides up to four players with a reliable source of Stone, but leave the elevated center uncontested and even the mightiest walls will crumble.
  • Mirage - Eight players must cross the great desert to reach fertile grasslands and enemy castles, but be quick! If left undisturbed opponents can and will build mighty strongholds.
  • Three Rivers - A turtling player’s dream! Three castles stand high atop their own hill, providing strong natural defenses. Resources on the other hand lay scattered about the map in strategically vulnerable locations.
  • The Fork (Sandbox) - Your castle is on a mountain at the conflux of two great rivers. Venture outwards to discover plentiful resources before testing your castle design with wave after wave of AI sieges.

Please Note: This update should download automatically when you launch Steam. To confirm the update was successfully downloaded and installed, simply check the version number displayed in the bottom left corner of the main menu screen after launching the game.

If the number displayed is not 1.0.22616 please restart Steam until the latest updates download.

Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoy the update!

9 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

Ultimate Edition


  • Stronghold Crusader 2: Special Edition – Includes digital art book, soundtrack and a copy of Stronghold Crusader HD.
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 – One extra copy to gift to a friend!
  • Four DLC Packs – Do battle with The Pig, The Jackal, The Templar and more across 30 single player missions.
  • Bonus Mini-Campaigns – ‘Delivering Justice’ and ‘Freedom Fighters’.
  • New Shields – Take the fight online with 10 unique coat of arms designs.

Featured DLC



Their horsemen ride like thunder across the plain, like the kings of old! The Jackal and The Khan DLC introduces two warlords destined to lead their forces across the wilds of the desert plain. Outcasts forced to survive on their wits and the loyalty of their men, both are nomads in their own way with the animalistic Khan and fearless Jackal representing the ultimate challenge for Stronghold players.

The final character pack DLC for Stronghold Crusader 2, The Jackal and The Khan adds nine new missions, two AI opponents, ten achievements, five custom in-game shields and multiple castle designs unique to these new Lords.

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.
Helpful customer reviews
1,048 of 1,131 people (93%) found this review helpful
143 people found this review funny
9.0 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.






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103 of 140 people (74%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2015
I honestly want to get into this game. As a kid both my brother and I put 1000 plus hours into SC1 easily so you could say we are big fans. The whole game just feels clunky and the entire possibility of running your own castle and making it a happy or horrid place to live in is totally gone. The game shifted towards more rts style and the graphics were better off as sprites in the old games. Sadly I wont be able to get any nostalgia (or my money's worth) out of this unpolished, glitchy, foul turd. The only reason I bought it was to support FireFly Studios with the hopes that eventually they go back to the old style or ammend this F***ery by pumping out a SC1 expantion pack to take me back to chewing through a whole quench gum tin in a single game against 7 Wolfs.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
39 of 57 people (68%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 9, 2015
If you're here because you loved the first one, you've come to the wrong place. I bought the game of that very reason and it was a mistake. I thought to myself after reading the reviews (pretty outdated) that they had improved the game since the release, this is cleary not true. Bugs, fps drops and game crasches has been a threat to me. I have tried to like it but it dosn't have the same feeling as the first one. I'll just return to Crusader 1.
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50 of 78 people (64%) found this review helpful
206.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2015
As a big Stronghold franchise fan, I can say that this game is worth buying.
It's not that great as the original Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader was, but for me it delivers fun.

Pros:
+Sieges are really fun, especially against AIs (they don't send 40crossbowman and archers on one tower)
+Troops are balanced, you can do well with both Arabian soldiers and European ones
+Wolf, Saladin and Richard are really well made and fun to play against.
+You don't have to train engineers in orded to make siege equipment, which was really boring in original SC (you can simply buy siege equipment in siege camp, which is more convenient)
+Devs are still trying to patch the game despite it's low popularity
+Some good old music from original SC
+Co-op mode kind of thing

Cons:
-Bad looking buildings (most of them are just boxes and also farms, exept the hops farms are ugly as heck)
-Badly animated AIs messages
-Badly voiced AIs (i'm talking about Polish version here)
-DLCs... although they contain really well made AIs i wouldn't spend 5$ for each of them.
-You can't sustain on the battlefield with little, low populated castle, you pretty much can not go below 50 peasants, unless you are playing against Rat.

Overall, this game is much better than people draw it to be...
but if you are not into Stronghold series, i don't think you will be happy with this game (lack of story in campaign sadly and mutiplayer is not the best option for a newb)
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59 of 95 people (62%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
35.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2015
The Stronghold series has always been extremely difficult to summarise, but I guess the unfortunate word that I tend to use is "frustrating". It hasn't ever recaptured that momentum that Stronghold Crusader delivered back in 2002, producing games that didn't deliver for a variety of different reasons.

Unfortunately, I don't think newcomers to the game will enjoy the game as much as we do. It still has a lot of content missing, and areas such as the menu's and HUD are definitely missing a much-needed improvement. The graphics aren't as good as you'd expect, and the AI is broken at times. Troops refuse to obey your commands due to bugs, and so on. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, thats for sure.

With this said, I do rate Stronghold Crusader 2, and I do enjoy playing it. It has been great for a player like myself who grew up playing the original. Just to have the feel of Stronghold again, to get a taste of what originally made it so successful. Character dialogue is witty, the gameplay is fast, and the numerous scenario's that you partake in provide excellent replayability. The tutorial and majority of skirmishes are brilliant, even for me a few of them I kinda thought "..how the hell am I supposed to do that?!" but you eventually get into the groove of how the game dynamics work. Its good to progressively see yourself get better & better, as you challenge yourself further by adding multiple AI and restricting yourself to using certain units/buildings. I haven't completed the campaign as of yet, but so far its been extremely good fun.

So for fans of previous Stronghold titles, I am sure you will learn to appreciate the game for the quality it has, though somewhat trapped inside a conglomerate of faults. For newcomers I am skeptical as to how much you'd enjoy it, as there are other titles in this genre that do much more then what Stronghold Crusader 2 provides. Still, SC2 provides some memorable moments and entertaining game scenario's, yet lacks the full package we truly want to see that follows in the originals footsteps.
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