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 (126 reviews) - 60% of the 126 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (3,326 reviews) - 59% of the 3,326 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.

6 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 (126 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (3,326 reviews)
Recently Posted
g0dd
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Huge fan of Stronghold 1, Crusader and Stronghold 2. Decided to disregard the warnings and purchase this.
They got rid of everything that made Crusader 1 good, such as different wall types, large tower variety etc, in favour of a few extra units that weren\'t really needed.

Wouldn\'t recommend unless you\'ve not played the originals, in that case give it a try and see if you like it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fang
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Really good game, its basically a better version of the first stronghold crusader.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sambeaz6
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Sure, this game isn't really a bad game, but it brought absolutely nothing new to the table. It may look quite pretty, but so did stronghold 2. As far as new content, there is almost nothing. All of the buildings are the same, and they slightly changed the soldiers, but took out some of the best features that made the game immersive, such as the gong, rats, and criminals, and condensed the castle building down massively. No more cool feasts, clothes making, and no honour system at all to top it off. I can see that they tried to go backwards to encourage old players to stgart playing again, but trying to create a middle ground between the newer stronghold games and the old ones, just leaves both types of Stronghold gamers disappointed.

5/10 -Very disappointed
Helpful? Yes No Funny
anderiesz
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Product received for free
Swayed by a crop of recent better reviews and bought it on sale - doh! So far cant get the sound to work and the 'learning campaign' seems to have no clickable controls at all. Looks great but so far unplayable - fairly typical for Firefly these days; once a quality niche dev, now apparently a bunch of idiots with no concern for their audience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ξ| JaCkSoN |Ξ
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Old Strongholds are MUCH better. Animations for original Stronghold (& Stronghold Crusader) are much better even though the game is 2D. Very disappointed. If you want real castle sim game, buy Stronghold or Stronghold Crusader HD.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MjrBackstab
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Another Stronghold edition, nothing new.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Barbarossa Bey
( 6.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
Nice game. However it gets quite frustrating to build up again and again everytime you start a new campaign.
Most certainly not as nice as AOE2.. but still worth trying out for crusade era lovers.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
UCSDSEDSELECTRONICS
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 31
THIS GAME IS GREAT. IT IS BASICALLY THE FIRST CRUSADER BUT IN 3D!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
cis SCUM
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
this path is blocked (even though there's absolutely nothing there). least i got it on sale for $10. sorry for everyone who bought it full price
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ade
( 27.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
First Stronghold game I've played and i really enjoy it. Good units, quite challenging (for me at least). It's in the sale at time of writing so at £5.99 it's great value.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Framer
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 30
Product received for free
Outstanding game, just like the original. The negative reviews puzzled me a bit, this game trully feels like a Stronghold game, merrits and otherwise, and I personally look forward to playing it for hours on end!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Crusader King Lionheart
( 12.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
very good game! , but don't get it for this price on steam wait for a sale , or buy it from other sellers online
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Schnoman
( 8.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Great game, some things remain the same as other Stronghold games, while others have changed. For the most part I like the new changes, but I wish some things remained the same or were different.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Death taco
( 12.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
i love this game hours of gameplay i would like to see a roman version great game 10/10 would buy again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Faxi
( 18.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
The game is fun, but they need to add more in to it. A match can take more then 2 to 3 hours. But its fun. The bad thing with game, people that makes troops aldready 10 mintuts in the game and rush your base. The other thing is, when you buildt all things. The only thing you can do is attacking. This game need more like ''bulidings'' it could be awsome if they added like ships to attack with. Just like AoE
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheMysteriousMeme
( 34.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Very nice nice intense and rewarding feeling when victorious and a great sequel and brings back childhood memories of the first game. Complaints: enemy attacks seem like they are of lesser scale but more frequent (AI), which is annoying, no time to relax and its not a oh ♥♥♥♥ factor when you see them coming, its more of a "didnt u just attack 1.5 minutes ago?" and your attacks will constantly be runing into them. The price of 50$ is too much 25 is more like it, but around this time this far after release? 20. deforestization is a issue and i think trees should grow back on all maps. Seems very grindy after a while in a game if you are matched with your oppenet. Peasant cap should be 50 people at the campfire. overall a great game with great economy play, very fun to play with your friends. I would recommend this game very much, Still a big improvement from previous games in my opinion, Not as much grinding for population happiness as it took in previous games which is nice.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DRUNK N HIGH
( 6.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
Product received for free
meh
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Analgeddon
( 81.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
Let me start by saying that i am a huge fan of the Stronghold series, I just love the idea of an RTS with castles and siege weapons. I also purchased and played every part except stronghold 3, and I reeeeeeaaaally wanted this one not to suck.

Now i spent some time with it and i will tell you what i think are the positives and negatives.

positive:
-New physics system
-3d and its grid based, so it placing walls works without problems
-the game overall looks quite cool
-setting, music, atmosphere
-its a stronghold game, wooooo
-you can play coop on the same castle, which is a cool feature
-new mercenary troops, like healer, flame pot thrower, slavedriver...
and now the negative stuff:

1) enjoyable competitive play is impossible because of the following:
-super stupid troop maneuvering:
lets say you have fast bowmen, slow mantlets (movable shields), and you want to attack a castle.
it is not possible to make those troops move at the same speed, so your bowmen will approach faster than the mantlets, which gives you two possibilities: bowmen dying from enemy fire before the mantlets have moved to the destination, or babysitting your stupid troops without being able to do anything else.
this was already done way better in stronghold legends, why did they fail at that in this game?

-no build-up time for walls/buildings: when you want to build something, you click it and its there, boom. same goes for removing buildings. oh you attack my castle? well i better build another f*cking wall behind the wall you are attacking.
oh you set my building on fire? i better just remove it so the fire doesnt spread. oh you destroyed my building with a trebuchet? i just place another one there for 50 wood.
you cant build things near enemy troops, sure, but if you want to besiege a castle from afar the enemy just doesnt really care. he can stall you until your troops are dead.

-no laddermen, no siege towers: well, focus on resources and build a 200m thick wall. im extaggerating here, but you get the idea. also, why arent they in the game? we already had that in the previous titles! :(

-no fog of war: thats a real bummer. if you keep looking at your opponents castle (no problem with hotkeys), you know when and where hes attacking all the time. suprise attacks not possible.

-siege equipment is expensive: there are some really cool things, like mantlets, trebuchets, fire wagons... but they are expensive and most of them are not viable because of the reasons stated above.


So this leaves us with only one strategy that is viable in competitive play:
Spam a ton of woodcutters. sell everything and buy wood. spam all other resources, and even more woodcutters, no walls needed. now you have 10 times more gold/resources than a guy that builds a cool castle. spam crossbowmen and knights, build 20 catapults, and go face. thats it. thats the entire competitive play. and everyone does it and its so boring.

also, this just leaves out all the cool things that should make this game great. fancy siege weapons? nope. strategic play with special units and cool abilities? nope. long time besiegement with deep tactical play? noooope.
just spam resources faster than the other guy and go face.

2) AI opponent lords are as stupid as they were in all the previous games.
and they all do the same thing: they build their castle until it has a certain size, and they just send troop waves in certain time intervals. like stronghold 1 from they f*cking year 2001.
the only things that vary between the different enemies are: units used, amount of units used, type of food/resource buildings used, and the way the walls and towers are placed.
i mean there is NO improvement since 2001.

3) the game has less features than the previous titles in general:
no laddermen/siege towers, you cant choose which resource is produced by an allied province anymore, all those little things.


so to sum it up, the game has the same flaws that every stronghold game had before for 14 years.
competitive play is stupid (at least i think it is), and its not very feature rich.
i really hoped this game would give me the old stronghold feeling back, but it has too much flaws to be great.

if you are unsure:
the game is fun if you just want to play with your friend or some casual battles against some AI lords.
but you shouldnt buy it if you want a super fluid competitve experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
53 of 61 people (87%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
81.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
Let me start by saying that i am a huge fan of the Stronghold series, I just love the idea of an RTS with castles and siege weapons. I also purchased and played every part except stronghold 3, and I reeeeeeaaaally wanted this one not to suck.

Now i spent some time with it and i will tell you what i think are the positives and negatives.

positive:
-New physics system
-3d and its grid based, so it placing walls works without problems
-the game overall looks quite cool
-setting, music, atmosphere
-its a stronghold game, wooooo
-you can play coop on the same castle, which is a cool feature
-new mercenary troops, like healer, flame pot thrower, slavedriver...
and now the negative stuff:

1) enjoyable competitive play is impossible because of the following:
-super stupid troop maneuvering:
lets say you have fast bowmen, slow mantlets (movable shields), and you want to attack a castle.
it is not possible to make those troops move at the same speed, so your bowmen will approach faster than the mantlets, which gives you two possibilities: bowmen dying from enemy fire before the mantlets have moved to the destination, or babysitting your stupid troops without being able to do anything else.
this was already done way better in stronghold legends, why did they fail at that in this game?

-no build-up time for walls/buildings: when you want to build something, you click it and its there, boom. same goes for removing buildings. oh you attack my castle? well i better build another f*cking wall behind the wall you are attacking.
oh you set my building on fire? i better just remove it so the fire doesnt spread. oh you destroyed my building with a trebuchet? i just place another one there for 50 wood.
you cant build things near enemy troops, sure, but if you want to besiege a castle from afar the enemy just doesnt really care. he can stall you until your troops are dead.

-no laddermen, no siege towers: well, focus on resources and build a 200m thick wall. im extaggerating here, but you get the idea. also, why arent they in the game? we already had that in the previous titles! :(

-no fog of war: thats a real bummer. if you keep looking at your opponents castle (no problem with hotkeys), you know when and where hes attacking all the time. suprise attacks not possible.

-siege equipment is expensive: there are some really cool things, like mantlets, trebuchets, fire wagons... but they are expensive and most of them are not viable because of the reasons stated above.


So this leaves us with only one strategy that is viable in competitive play:
Spam a ton of woodcutters. sell everything and buy wood. spam all other resources, and even more woodcutters, no walls needed. now you have 10 times more gold/resources than a guy that builds a cool castle. spam crossbowmen and knights, build 20 catapults, and go face. thats it. thats the entire competitive play. and everyone does it and its so boring.

also, this just leaves out all the cool things that should make this game great. fancy siege weapons? nope. strategic play with special units and cool abilities? nope. long time besiegement with deep tactical play? noooope.
just spam resources faster than the other guy and go face.

2) AI opponent lords are as stupid as they were in all the previous games.
and they all do the same thing: they build their castle until it has a certain size, and they just send troop waves in certain time intervals. like stronghold 1 from they f*cking year 2001.
the only things that vary between the different enemies are: units used, amount of units used, type of food/resource buildings used, and the way the walls and towers are placed.
i mean there is NO improvement since 2001.

3) the game has less features than the previous titles in general:
no laddermen/siege towers, you cant choose which resource is produced by an allied province anymore, all those little things.


so to sum it up, the game has the same flaws that every stronghold game had before for 14 years.
competitive play is stupid (at least i think it is), and its not very feature rich.
i really hoped this game would give me the old stronghold feeling back, but it has too much flaws to be great.

if you are unsure:
the game is fun if you just want to play with your friend or some casual battles against some AI lords.
but you shouldnt buy it if you want a super fluid competitve experience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
56 of 75 people (75%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
49.99 on Steam? What are you guys thinking? You can buy this anywhere else for under $20.00. It's a pretty good game but not for $50.00.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 28
very good game! , but don't get it for this price on steam wait for a sale , or buy it from other sellers online
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
Positive:
>All DLCs are cheaper than the game
>Can rotate every angle
>Some characters are back in SC2 (love the nostalgia)

Negative:
>Can't focus on attacking 1 single target
>Switching formation is making the movement slow
>When attacking using Maceman, they're running fast to approach the enemy
>You need at least 1 or 2 space to use the stairs through the wall

This game is dedicated to 1 of my friend. As I enjoyed playing this game, I really wish that firefly could fix the bugs and some errors.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
this path is blocked (even though there's absolutely nothing there). least i got it on sale for $10. sorry for everyone who bought it full price
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
First Stronghold game I've played and i really enjoy it. Good units, quite challenging (for me at least). It's in the sale at time of writing so at £5.99 it's great value.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
Thank goodness I got this game for 80% off on a sale. It is in no way a $50 AAA title. Graphics are a throwback to a good 10 years ago. Game momentarily freezes every time it does a save and then jerks around your last input request as it catches up. Crashed or locked up a couple times already. The game's overall pacing is much quicker than I recall, too, being less like a "castle sim" and more like a standard RTS that happens to have slightly more advanced than usual wall construction. Control inputs and notifications are out-of-date (no queing of orders? no notice when enemies are knocking down my buildings?)

A.I. is a nice challenge. Very well done in that regard. It's the only reason I'm tempted to recommend this game. The technical problems and downfalls overall will keep me from going all the way to complete the game, though, I can feel it dragging at me already. And seriously, this was a $20 title at best. It would only be a $50 title of this was the year 2000, because that it clearly where it hails from, controls, graphics and all.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
This game is ok, but it certainly does not live up to the other games, in my opinion you should just get stronghold crusader and stronghold crusader extreem, they are much better.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 3
To buy, or not to buy. If it is the craving for the style of the old stronghold games that you are looking for, you will be massively disapointed. If it was a fun and involving strategy game that you are looking for, again, you are to be disapointed. If you are looking for an in depth city/castle builder, unless you've played all the Anno, Age Of Empires, and earlier stronghold games until you simply cannot stand to play them any longer, then this MIGHT be worth the buy if it is on sale.

I bought this game whilst it was on sale, undetered by the overwhelmingly negative reviews i had read earlier, I foolishly bought the game with the low expectation that it would be at most a poorly re-done stronghold 3. Even with those low expectations I was still let down. The campaign takes well over an hour of unskippable grinding gamplay that inst even remotely interesting before you even get to do anything remotely interesting. To make matters worse, there was no mention or easily recognisable option that would speed up the game speed, and so it was almost when i was at the end of my patience when i discovered that the only way to change game speed is with the hotkeys "+ or -", making this game a hell of a drag for the beginning of any single player match

The multiplayer is barely any better, it shows none of the fast paced action of stronghold 2 or its predecessors, and the matchmaking was very poor and scarce.

In summary, unless you have played every other strategy game you own until you cannont bear to play them for one moment longer, do not buy this game. I would instead recommend watching the opening cinematics for AOE1 in 240x 180p than recommend somebody actually buy this game and play it
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
As a person who grew up with the original Stronghold Crusader, I would not recommend this title.

If you truly wish to play a good Stronghold game please just get the original Stronghold Crusader, the sequel, Stronghold Crusader 2, is not worth 35 euros for a mediocre Stronghold game. It is overall a worse game than the original Stronghold Crusader.

Stronghold Crusader 2 misses alot of the old features from Stronghold Crusader and is alot more simplified, and generally alot more boring in my honest opinion.

If graphics matter to you, get this game. If not, then get the original Stronghold Crusader game.
DO NOT GET THIS GAME IF IT'S NOT ON SALE!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 8 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
Stronghold Crusader 2 HD is probably the best installment of the Stronghold series. This is the version I keep finding myself coming back to time after time after time. The units, buildings, and economics run smoother and more intuitively in this version than in any other. The action is fast paced though so if war isn't your thing, make sure to jump into the economic series!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
The game is fun, but they need to add more in to it. A match can take more then 2 to 3 hours. But its fun. The bad thing with game, people that makes troops aldready 10 mintuts in the game and rush your base. The other thing is, when you buildt all things. The only thing you can do is attacking. This game need more like ''bulidings'' it could be awsome if they added like ships to attack with. Just like AoE
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
69 of 84 people (82%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
48.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
First things first, let me tell you that I'm a veteran stronghold player/fan from the old days, ever since the first stronghold came out I've played all stronghold titles except stronghold 3 and stronghold kingdoms up to this point. And also I've played this game both before the optimisation patch came out and after that. And I must say, I really can't join the obvious hate train on this one. Maybe you'll dismiss me after these words, but first hear me out.
Not only will I bring some closure on some of the infamous aspects the other reviewers have pointed out about the game in it's early stages, but I will also recommend you which Stronghold game you should look for according to your interests.

About the claims saying that this game is unbalanced. Let me point out that this game, is both warfare-wise and economy-wise, is more balanced than any other stronghold game that I've played. In older games, bread production was the way to go in all situations, and sword production was the thing you should go for, simply because all other melee units were simply trash compared to swordsmen and knights, removing the reason/need for more than half of weapon workshop options and the soldier options. Mantlets and horse archers were simply overpowered, and it was the best choice to amass them. In Stronghold 2, siege engines were so broken that you could defend a "castle" without building a single wall, or you didn't need to actually move in your melee units to kill advancing swordsmen, because they couldn't even get close. But in this game, you can see that all of those issues I mentioned above don't exist anymore.

In first crusader game, everything was so cheap that money virtually didn't cost anything after you've set your core economy in place, having thousands upon thousands of gold and not even being able to find a way to spend all of that was simply meaningless, and at the same time arabian units were simply way too expensive to train early on. But in this game, you can always feel the pressure of being short for money, from all the way from beginning to the endgame, as it should be. And this doesn't mean that it's impossible to build a rich settlement, there are actually new features that immensely help with that!

For example, in this game a market is not required to sell or buy goods, but still there is a market building option. Why? Because this market building provides autosell and autobuy options. And stockpile, granary and armory buildings have unlimited space. Honestly, these are the most important reasons why this game is actually superior to any other stronghold game (stronghold 2 didn't have unlimited stockpile). Anyone who've played enough stronghold games can know, that it's a pain in the ♥♥♥ both trying to manage the stockpile by selling excess stone so that your bread production chain won't crumble upon itself, and trying to command your units in battle at the same time. Let's say that you don't have iron reserves but you really need some armor in your armory. But you cannot stop what you are doing and buy iron because the enemy is keeping you busy all the time. Worry not! Just set some iron to autobuy, and the system is already set in stone. You just set your autosell and autobuy options and sit back and enjoy warfare while the money counts itself. The new minimap and UI are also way better than the older games. It's easier to spot units on map, and UI is customizable and you can see how much goods you have in your stores at the top of your screen all the time, if you wish so. The new popularity chart is vastly superior to the older games, aside from the default popularity displays, you can see both the daily income and consume of food, ale, and candles, so when you increase the rate of rations you don't have to pay attention to your granary all the time to figure out if they are declining or not. Which makes setting taxes and setting your economy a lot easier than it was in older games. Another example that points out that it's still easy to have a rich settlement: the default tax rate is "low taxes" now, and it doesn't exert a negative effect in your popularity.

Roughly all buildings are more than 2 times as expensive than it was in older games, and that is a welcome addition. It's a bit harder to spam quarries to get rich early on, and it's still possible. Now there is a reason to set up other types of food farms as well, and even at the beginning you are still able to set up bread production if you play right. And also multiple food types provide way more popularity bonus than it did in original games, now you can raise your tax rate by one level just by having all food types in your granary. So having multiple types of food production is relatively not something so useless contrary to how it was in original games.

Now, there are 2 more important melee fighter options alongside swordsmen. Sergeant at arms and templar knights, which (other than armor) requires pikes and maces, respectively. Sword production is not the only important weapon production anymore. In this game, european archers are better than arabic archers, so opting to craft regular longbows are not obsolete anymore. Horse archers are way more squishy and fire way slower while on the move, all archers are way more accurate and they do not miss horse archers anymore. Mantlets are way weaker to arrow damage, it's not possible to just create 100 mantlets and have an invincible army. Mantlets cannot go on walls anymore, so you can't just build one tower and a few archers and a mantlet, and have the most unbreakable defense ever. Knights, sergeant at arms, and arabian melee cavalry are all very expensive units, so training swordsmen does not become something obsolete when you are short on money. Some siege engines are way more expensive than they were in original games, and some of them are also even cheaper, making them relatively more balanced. If you want to have a strong army, you will have to train some of those expensive units, and that will constantly keep your economy in check and you won't be swimming in meaningless amounts of gold. Gold will be important throughout the game. All of the things I've counted by now clearly shows how more balanced and therefore, a better gameplay this game provides compared to previous games.

The siege engines do not knockback units they hit as they did in Stronghold 2 anymore. Even though it was fun to watch your hapless enemies in that situation, it was inarguably overpowered. However, siege engines do knock soldiers down from walls when they hit them, and that is an instant kill regardless of what type of soldier it is. (and in Stronghold 2, crossbowmen would survive those falls) This is much better, and more realistic.

Did I mention that the game got an optimisation update roughly more than 6 months ago? Yes, I already did. I must admit, the game looked promising but it was literally unplayable before the patch came out because of the massive FPS drops in skirmish games. But now, that's all gone, it only happens rarely when you are nearing the maximum number of buildings limit in a full on 8 player game. And it mostly depends on how strong your computer is, really. If your system cannot run some of the games that came out last year, it might as well be pretty normal that you are having problems while trying to run this game. For that, I would only advise you to upgrade your machine. Other than FPS problems, a lot of bugs the reviewers have pointed out are also gone as well, sure still a few might happen from time to time like cross positioned models, knights not being able to mount horses and archers not being able to mount war wagon while they are moving, but it occurs rarely and doesn't make the game anything short of enjoyable.


-Because of the maximum word count Steam review system enforces, I will continue my review in this review's comment section, and you can read there if you are interested-
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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
First thing that pops up is account creation. Only get basic shields for your profile until you unlock the rest. You can sign up for emails from firefly to get 10 additional shields...seems odd for a full price AAA game, but alright. Couldn't figure out how to continue, so I had to restart the game.
Into the homescreen.

First thing I notice are DLC's being advertised down the bottom of my screen. Not too in my face, but still a bad sign. Menus seem easy to navigate. Setting up my first custom skirmish.
No idea what the faction-like button is and nothing explains it - no tooltips either. Nice to see some familliar faces in the enemy AI (Rat, Wolf, Sultan). About half of the faction-like head things are not available to me to pick, so I assume they are the DLC they were advertising on the homescreen. Set up a 1v1 with medium difficulty and a slight cash advantage for me because I haven't played this in a while.

Start of the game seems pretty similar to Stronghold that I remember. Buildings look a little more 3D but nothing too great for 2016 graphics. Lack of tooltips still makes the game pretty confusing to pick up; thankfully my knowledge of SH will get me through the first trials. Apple orchards seem a lot smaller than I remember them, not sure how this will turn out.

- Large mercenary-guarded short-cut routes could make the game interesting
- Strategic resources guarded by animals
- Smaller resource deposits
- Food seemed incredibly difficult to secure (at least on the map I was playing on)
- Mercenaries launch attacks on you (ARGHH)
- AI doesn't suicide men into your walls if there is a long way around
- Archers are much more realistic
- Resources seem to take a lot longer to aquire than I remember
- AI targets strategic resources when attacking - wood, stone and iron camps
- Wall building is incredibly different. No different wall heights and simplified building. Still can't have diagonal gates for some reason either. Expensive AF.
- There are estates which players can capture which bring resources in for your empire
- Barricades make an interesting addition
- I like the new weapon-making buildings. Removing leather armour was a good idea
- Strategic resource bar on the side is a helpful addition
- I wish there was some way to build a small tower outside your 'build zone' similar to the baracades. Like a wooden tower or something


Edited connclusion: I would give this game a solid 7/10 once I played it a couple more times on an easier difficulty which helped me sit back and see more of the game. Estates are a cool idea and there are a surprisingly large amount of different ways to cross a map which I think is good. The new resource bars are a welcome addition. Overall, I think the game is an improvement over Crusader in many ways. Lack of tooltips and some overall bad ui makes the game a bit annoying.

Edit 1: What I think this game really needs is a GAME TIME ADJUSTER. This is a unique RTS in that instead of starting off with simple mircomanaging and then making your way slowly towards complex systems and buildings it dumps you right into the middle of the game. You need to move FAST or you get left behind. Having a pause button (for single player anyways) would help new players get a handle on the beginning of the game. The AI can place buildings all over the map simulatneously whilst a new player must navigate around and figure everything out. Having 2 and 4 times speed would really help with the painfully slow resource intake.

Edit 2: Changed some things about earlier after second playthrough
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
238.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 1
Great fun 200hrs plus enjoyed every minute
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13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
This game is beautiful. Not the best Stronghold Games so far, but still, its beautiful. Endless possibility with map editor, community map is better and absolute bigger map than the previous titles, Castle sim mode is the best, unlimited building, YES UNLIMITED BUILDING, i've gotten to 700 population in castle sim mode and let my peons pay super high tax XD.

ignore the bad reviews, if you are truly follows stronghold, you shoul try this one, BE AWARE though if you have slow pc, I do not recommend it. It's going to be a laggy adventure for you.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 2
For the -80% sale, this game is a solid deal.

I have no interest in comparing this to other Stronghold games, and I don't care if the graphics are a bit dated. For what I have played, it's enjoyable, and that's basically all that matters... at this price. The subject matter and RTS style appeals to me in a big way. Playing during the free weekend made the game a purchase for me.

That said, there NO way I'd buy this for the full price. Maybe I'll change my tune on this after 30+ hours, but not likely.
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16 of 25 people (64%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
After a very long series of patches I can finally honestly review this game. TL:DR- Score: 8.5/10


After a series of very long patches, over the course of two years, this game is finally worth the purchase. The bugs have been fixed, minus the occashional graphical hic-up and everything has been through a balance pass. It may not be the original Stonghold, that everyone seems to base their opinions of this game on but it has vastly improved since it released.

Pro:
-Castle building is fun and simpler to use than before. There is a lot of room for creativity, if you're creative you can design quite impressive castles.
-There is more of everything since Crusader 1. More units, buildings, mechanics, etc..
-The game is actually challenging! If you don't use your resources correctly you will lose. Which I see a lot of reviews complain about but the fact is if you can't manage your resources correctly, it's not the games fault, It's yours. Sorry.
-Steam Workshop. All those complaining about, "small" maps you can find hundreds of custom made skirmish maps.
-Graphics are improved, duh, but the game does look good.

Neutral:
-The DLC is good for the price as long as it's on sale and does add a lot of content. Especially the two newest ones. However, they have patched in a lot of FLC as well.

Con:
-My main compaint is the way the story is set up. I miss the structure of the original strongholds mission design where you fought through each kingdom, growing powerul as you advaced. Crusaders 2 campaign is broken into trail missions which loosely tie together but each one sets you as a different lord. Soloman or Your crusader. However, they are still fun to play, and there are a lot of them
-This is just a minor gripe but I would like to see units that don't stack anymore, like the Total War series. It's not really a negative but It still bothers me.

Conclusion: If you like Stonghold don't be dettered by all the old negative reviews that mean nothing because all their complaints have been fixed. This is still Stronghold just a little different, which isn't a bad thing. If you're on the fence, and can't decide whether or not to buy it just buy it and if you don't like it refund it. If you do like buy all the DLC's because they add so much to the game, but only on sale like right now.


Score: 8.5/10

Edit: I haven't put much time into the game. Before people start calling me out, in my defense I've been waiting for all the FLC, DLC, and patches to be released to put serious hours in. I played little by little after each patch, waiting for the right fixes and now I finally feel the game deserves a reinstall, and game time.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
Honestly.. i dont know why people write so many bad reviews on the game. Its called making the game a bit more difficult.
just because you cant make walls or buildings as cheap as you were once able to. This game is not no where near as bad as peopl make it out to be. Someone posted that you could only place one stone wall at a time? that is a lie. i have played the older strongholds sense i was a child. i do not think the games is worth 40 dollars U.S, but sense its on sale 9.99 its worth every penny on sale!. Buy
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Why are people giving this such a bad review? I didn't play it originally because of the poor reviews... but now that I've played it.. It's awesome! Tons of fun :) I'd value the game around 20-30 dollars.
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