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. Firefly Studios will recapture the original Crusader’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.
User reviews: Mixed (962 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"fun castle rts, havn't played anything but campaign but the combat and building is fun. Needs better production chain descriptions though."

Recent updates View all (7)

October 16

Balance & Fixes Update

Version 1.0.19369

We have released a new update for Stronghold Crusader 2, introducing various balancing changes and a number of hotfixes aimed squarely at addressing player-reported issues:

Balance Changes
  • Wood Camp footprint reduced to 2x3 tiles.
  • Wood Camp cost reduced to 10 wood.
  • Updated starting troops for all AI Lords.
  • Updated all AI Lords' castles.
  • AI Lords will now randomly select their castle size and rotation when starting Custom Skirmish or Multiplayer games.
  • AI Lords will now try to build the largest castle size possible within the available free space in Custom Skirmish and Multiplayer games.
  • Skirmish Trail missions rebalanced to curb rushing the AI Lords:
  1. Breath of the Infidel - Pit of Despair
  2. Desert Heat - Isolation
  3. Way of the Warrior - Lord of The Desert, The Two Brothers and Hope Springs
  4. A Trail of Tears - Mighty River, Predator and Sands of Time
  5. Hell's Teeth - The Peninsula and To The Summit

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed - Slowdown caused by no trees or wood being available on the map for Woodcutters.
  • Fixed - Players receiving a popularity bonus for multiple food types when rations are set to 0.
  • Fixed players’ estates being changed on the mini-map when they were added or removed from a team.
  • Fixed - Players that aren’t in a team in Skirmish and Multiplayer games not being kicked out on game start.
  • Fixed - Multiplayer game lobby not showing correct values for clients when they first join the game.
  • Fixed - Greatest Lord screen being available in non-skirmish missions.
  • Fixed – Issues with Ranger's animation and props.
  • Fixed - Exploit where placing a free wood camp would refund half the cost in wood.
  • Fixed - Village estates colour issues in the Map Editor.
  • Fixed – Various crashes.

Misc Changes
  • Added support for changing available keyboard layouts using ALT+SHIFT.

Please Note - The above version number should now appear at the bottom of the main Crusader 2 title screen. If the version numbers do not match up please exit the game and restart your Steam client, until you force the new update to download.

As a small independent team of developers we really appreciate players taking the time to report bugs and even submit saved games, which is a huge help to us. Going the extra mile like this means we spend less time recreating bugs and more time fixing and testing them. If you are experiencing an issue not listed in the fixes above the fastest way to get a fix is by letting us know. Please do so by submitting a support ticket - Support Site

22 comments Read more

October 7

Infographic & Update Plan

Gameplay Stats

At the end of week one we decided to tally up all gameplay stats, revealing the most interesting figures in the snazzy infographic below. Take a look at your first week of gameplay, which outlines important information such as the number of diseased animals thrown, longest multiplayer game and the total number of castles destroyed:

Stronghold Crusader 2 Infographic

Future Updates

We also feel this is a good time to discuss our current update plan for the months ahead. As we have said before Stronghold Crusader 2 is a hugely important game for us and a title we plan to support with lots of new content. Over the coming weeks and months we will be releasing various updates for the game, focussing at first on bug fixes and fine tuning game balance. Following on from that we have a number of exciting feature updates and DLC planned:

  • Eight additional AI characters
  • New maps for various game modes
  • Classic Crusader 1 maps
  • Steam Workshop Supprt
  • Player requested features such as Strongwall

We could not be happier with the response from players, who have our sincere thanks for supporting the team over the past two years of development. We enjoy reading any comments that reflect fans’ love for the series and those that give us ideas for where to take Crusader post-release. The team is looking forward to implementing some great suggestions and seeing what players can come up with in terms of user-generated content, from custom maps to castle designs. If these early gameplay stats are anything to go by Stronghold Crusader 2 has a long life ahead of it!

45 comments Read more


“For old, war-tested Stronghold players Crusader 2 is a triumphant evolution of the game that they've held dear for the last twelve years.”
8/10 – Strategy Informer

“The game feel polished and modern: It’s properly 3D-modelled and constructed around a rigorous physics engine.”
4/5 – Empire

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

Special Edition

The Special Edition includes:

  • 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

If you installed the game in a different location on your hard drive the ‘Special Edition’ folder will appear in your chosen location. The game’s soundtrack can also be accessed through the Steam Music Player, which can be found under the Library tab by clicking on ‘Music’.

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!

Key Features

  • 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

    • OS: Windows® XP/Vista/7/8 with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel® Core™2 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
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Windows® Vista/7/8 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
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
223 of 257 people (87%) found this review helpful
58.2 hrs on record
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.
Posted: September 27
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65 of 76 people (86%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Click for Gameplay Trailer - Preview

+ many comments
+ nice sound effects
- orient music nervs after a certain time

+ surprising events
+ nicely hectic
- no cutscenes

+ simple control
+ castle building is easy
- you dont see the weapon range

Game Size:
+ 60 skirmish maps
+ sandbox mode
+ steam version contains stronghold crusader hd
+ 2 campaigns with 39 missions

+ nice physic effects
+ nice animations
- monotonous maps

+ attack your castle on weak points
- ki is very dumb

Units & Buildings:
+ 20 units
+ 8 siege weaponary
+ 8 defense buildings
+ good economy
- formation nearly useless
- no experience for units

New Content (short list):
> 8 KI characters. atleast 6 characters are planed to be added after the release.
> new units:
--- european: sergeant at arms and templar knight.
--- arab: whirling dervish, slave driver, sassanid knight and healer
--- siege engines: fire ballista, war wolf and war wagon
> special abilities for some units:
--- whirling dervish: whirling attack
--- slave driver: boost for slaves
--- assassin: togglable stealth
--- siege camp: arrow storm
--- sassanid knight: charge
> multiplayer coop mode - 1 castle 2 players
> togglable dynamic events: sandstorm, fire, tornados and locust swarms
> new economic system
> new housing system: based on distance from the keep
> unit group formation

Stronghold Crusader 2 embraces this warfare, offering a different units you can choose from to form your attacking force while your personal castle hopefully stays safe.
You start with a set population that increases as you become more popular with your subjects. You can make them happier by decreasing taxes (even going so far as outright bribing them), increasing their rations, or building them inns and places of worship so that they can drink and pray.
Likewise, you can adjust consumption in the other direction to conserve resources and gain more gold, but you'll be less popular as a result. Tying popularity and population growth to troop production gives the game a simulation element, and lends the flow of your economy extra texture. At the same time, the fact that you only need to keep track of one statistic ensures that the sim portions don't bloat and consume the rest of the game.
As you start becoming more popular and more people come to live in your keep, you need to build houses to accommodate them. This is in addition to the structures that produce resources like wood and stone, food buildings, and other luxury services (which also require people to run). By the time you're prepared to march an army towards the enemy, you'll want to construct a wall around your precious production plant.

You can pick many different kinds of units with varying specializations like ranged attacks, speedy movement, or heavy armor. Unfortunately, most of the troops you can employ are really boring. In fact, the Crusaders are all traditional infantry and cavalry. The Arabic forces are a little more interesting, thanks to units like the flame-hurling oil pot thrower, and the stealthy wall-scaling assassin.
You get precious few proactive resources beyond the troops. You can construct turrets and traps to keep enemies away of your castle; you can even boiling oil on them! But then there's the siege weaponry, quite possibly the game's biggest success, and the one way with which your castle walls actually change the way you play. Though castles aren't something you particularly care about tending to, you still must defend them, and their walls serve as a giant target for the opposing teams to breach.
Your army can't breach walls without spending an siege weaponry to break the stalemate that the walls provide. You can also load them with fire or cattle that explode in a cloud of plague.

Make no mistake, Stronghold Crusader 2 is foremost a multiplayer skirmish game. Its single-player campaign is labeled as a “learning campaign”, and though it tries to ease you into the game. it fails to teach you the rudimentary strategy to be successful. The missions punish you with progressively-increasing waves of enemies that quickly outpace your production. The game also provides you with a large amount of skirmishes that challenge you to beat the computer in games closer to multiplayer matches that are more fair than the campaign.

The different maps creates varies points, resource placement and create different game conditions, but the one thing they all share is that they're all fairly small. You need to act quickly and build the right sequence of buildings if you want to stand a chance.

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a good "remake", but that alone doesn't make it a good game. Its lack of interesting units, underdeveloped castle-building options, and terrible tutorials hold the game back. Warfare is still fun, and directing an army never gets old. What is miss, is the long term motivation!

Thanks for reading! If you Like my Review, give me a Thumbs up in Steam (not the youtube video).
I make this for the Community and your help is greatly appreciated :)
Posted: October 8
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56 of 83 people (67%) found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
As a huge fan of the orignial Stronghold Crusader I had high expections for this game. I was pretty weary of it after the whole Stronghold 3 ordeal. At first it was kinda weird, but that went away fast. The units and buildings are great. I love the seige weapons in this game. Their expensive, but they really do some damage. The graphics are great as well. I realll like the weather dynamic. A storm came over my kingdom and a lighnting struck my archer. He caught fire and started running down the wall until he parished. I would like to see a flooding added into the weathter dynamic. Overall, the game feels great and is a blast to play.

+Great core gameplay
+More units and buildings
+Powerful seige weapons
Posted: September 25
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42 of 62 people (68%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Amazing Strategy Game, I never played Stronghold before but a lot of other Strategy Games like AOE1+2, Eath of Empire, Settlers and many more and I realy like this Game.

As a beginner the Tutorial is not realy what Tutorial should explain, you have 3 Missions and they are pretty easy, but no Tutorial how to build, make peoples happy or witch Army is better too use, how much they can stand and all the buildings you can build, like church and market. I also miss the tutorial how you play for example how you let the game run faster. For me the first 3 missions are just missions but not a tutorial, so for me as a beginner it was realy hard to understand that game, I had to watch some gameplay videos to learn more about that game.

So as a beginner the missions are realy hard its much different then playing AOE or Settlers, you also can`t change the game mode to easy, normal or hard. But you can play Sandbox, the only problem on playing Sandbox is that there is no enemy and after a small time it`s boring.

Multiplayer is fun if you know the game, as a beginner its pretty hard to enter a match and don`t lose imediately, I hope they will add a better tutorial later or more missions to learn the game and all you have to know.

Game makes realy fun at all and its challanging what keeps me playing this game and learn more every day.

Graphic is nice, game works good with a few bugs sometimes, crash or freezes, but thats nothing they can fix with a patch.

My Pro:
long matches
easy to build a castle
buildings dont need time to build
multiplayer with friends

My Contra:
bad tutorial for beginners
no informations about building and army
NPC seems to have unlimited resources and money (they build realy fast a complete castle+ big army)
fight agains computer start pretty fast, no time to build if you like it slow
no settings to play the game on easy/normal/hard for missions

I give this game a 7 of 10 points, would give it a 9 of 10 if there would be a better tutorial for peoples who never played Stronghold Crusader.
Posted: September 27
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
76.4 hrs on record
Back to the roots - 8/10

As a big fan of Stronghold 1 and Stronghold Crusader 1 I was really happy to read and see, that a new Stronghold Crusader was planned and what the devs wanted to do with it. After just a mediocre Stronghold 2 (and yes it was, at least in my opinion) and the disastrous Stronghold 3 (and yes, IT WAS) it's no wonder, if people are a bit sceptical about another "try". After watching pre-alpha gameplay and the dev diary I could see 'the old crusader 1' in it. The devs wanted to go back to the roots and that's exactly what I wanted. Therefore I have decided to throw in some Euros into the gambling house (preorder) and to cross my fingers, that Firefly won't mess it up this time or it would be their last game for sure. Long story, short answer: this time they could deliver!

+ the old 'crusader feeling' from the past!
+ it's always fun to build castles and to destroy the stuff of other people
+ rebalanced and new units (no more unstoppable horse archers)
+ smarter construction of buildings
+ learning campaign + skirmish trails will offer ~30 hours of singleplayer fun
+ custom skirmish battles with AI possible (and you can change your own color now too)
+ VERY hard final skirmish trail mission (yup, it's fun for your brain)
+ working multiplayer
+ a lot of maps (the old classic maps of SHC1 are also planned to be added later)
+ map editor
+ Steam Workshop support is planned
+ good soundtrack
+ you can throw several animals through the air
+ some of the old german voice actors are back
+ the release version was very playable with only some minor bugs (my experience, maybe not yours)
+ the devs actually care about the game and have further plans for it
+ you can brew beer, germans love beer

o mediocre graphics (it's not bad but it isn't too great too, could be better, but I don't care that much about it)
o not much visual variety...because of the crusader setting of the game which means desert, desert, desert, some palms, some oasis, some rivers, mountains and have I already mentioned desert? (that's no contra)
o no moats anymore (I miss them, because they contribute to a more challenging defense, but let's be honest...moats don't make that much sense in a desert)
o no leather armors anymore (crossbowmen need and wear steel armor now, macemen need no armor anymore)

- not all promised features are in yet (Coop playing as the same lord, strongwall option)...but they will be added later
- little lags in multiplayer, if there are a lot of units running around
- main menu artwork isn't that great
- horrible ingame info-vids of the AI players, when they decide to attack or want stuff...poorly done!
- the AI hasn't changed much...they can be pretty tough, but they're predictable, don't act that smart and cheat
- no 'good karma' (monuments, garden, ...) and 'bad karma' (gallows, cages) buildings anymore [popularity bonus of church services, beer production, food and taxes is still in]
- no laddermen anymore (no tunnel diggers too, but I don't miss them, because they were bad in the original)
- I REALLY miss the voice reactions of the peasants, if you click at them

Stronghold Crusader 2 isn't revolutionary. Nothing spectacular has changed compared to Stronghold Crusader 1. Some new stuff got added, some stuff has been changed, some stuff got cut out and everything is presented with new graphics in 3D now. As a yummy topping you're now able to play Multiplayer with no problems or workarounds. Is it bad, because there's no major advance? No, not if you ask me. Why should you change a formula, which works well? All I wanted was a updated version of Stronghold Crusader 1 with a working multiplayer via Steam, nothing more. And that's what I got. I'm happy with my purchase and can recommend it to all the old fans of the old Stronghold titles, which share my expectation. If you're looking for brand new mechanics and stuff, then you won't be that satisfied.


~ Do you want to add something to the review or do you want to share your opinion? Feel free to make a comment.
Posted: October 17
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25 of 39 people (64%) found this review helpful
26.1 hrs on record
5 hours into single player campaign and some skirmish and I'm loving SC2. A vast improvement on the devastatingly disappointing Stronghold 3. Yes, it's quite different from Stronghold Crusader, and it's probably more user-friendly for newcomers to the series, which is fine by me. As far as building castles and invading other's castles goes, this is the dogs ballistas.
Posted: September 28
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23 of 37 people (62%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Stronghold Crusader II asks you a lot of questions. Should I Invest in Iron? should I have Arabic Troops or English? where will my walls be best defended? and what resources do my allies have? The Campaign Is interesting But real strategy lies in skirmish mode. Strategy I have not seen in a lot of games these days. A avid fan of stronghold 1 and crusader I have spent countless hours into those games. I feel the same strategy applies here. Not to mention castle raids feel epic. tower collapse and enemies fall from them. Its everything I wanted from a stronghold remake. If your a fan of medieval warfare I greatly recommend. stacking is a bit weird and AI is not perfect but It feels like a stronghold game should. not like 2 and 3 and that weird one where there was magic and monsters???

Stronghold crusader 2 is a must for anyone looking to strategically defend and build a functioning castle in the heart of the crusades.
Posted: September 25
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
33.4 hrs on record
The best of the Stronghold series so far! A very solid and addictive game.
Posted: October 13
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
The Opinion
I wanted to love this game. I really did. After only three in-game hours, I can honestly say that THIS is not a Stronghold game. I've tried looking at it from all angles; seeing it as not a continuation to a series that was plagued by Stronghold 3, but as a sequel to the Stronghold game that stole my heart - Stronghold: Crusaders.
Even as such, this game fails to deliver. Nothing was built upon - nothing - and if I were to be honest, I would even go as far as to say features were removed. Good features. Important features. What you've been left with feels like the Civilisation game released on the Xbox marketplace; it's cute, but not a full fledged Stronghold game.
Where are my Engineers? Laddermen? Tunnelers? Moats? Why is building my castle so... generic?
I wouldn't have minded a re-skin of Stronghold 2. Nor a remake of the original Crusaders. Given this as the alternative, I would've honestly rather pay an additional $54.99 (CAD) for Firefly to just add Skirmish to Stronghold 3, not release a half-game riding the coattails of previous successes.
Will I continue to play? Yes. I refuse not to. This game may lack... everything... but damn it, if I want simplicity and don't feel like an RTS like the AoE series, I'll play this.
Will I recommend this to friends? No. Friends, fellow fans, I've played scapegoat. I've lost this round. Continue reading if you're interested, I'll try to go more in-depth.

More Information
  • Looks Pretty (Despite a few weirder texture maps...)
  • Different Style Maps (stone in one corner, iron in another)
  • Community (whether angry fans or not, it's got a living community)
  • No Laddermen
  • No Moats
  • Slower Resource Gathering (resulting in longer, uneventful games)
  • No actual Engineers (I guess peasents just magically know how to man ballistae, trebuchets, and so-on)
  • Poor enemy selection (The new enemies already feel generic)
  • Many Stretched Textures (it may look pretty, but not as pretty as it could)
  • Weird in-game stuttering and freezes (Before anyone explodes on me, blaming my rig, I have no issues running Shadow of Mordor on high at 1080p (60fps avg.), or Endless Legend, or Stronghold 2 or 3, or Tomb Raider)

All-in-all, this game is not done. At least, it better not be.
Visuals: 8/10
Combat: 6/10
Castle/Town Management: 4/10
UI: 8/10
Unit Differences: 3/10
Enemy AI: 5/10
Gameplay Feel: 4/10

Do what you will with this, buy it if you want, Hell, you might even like it. But I cannot recommend this as an honest Stronghold game.

Gamers may have changed, Firefly. Choosing to buy into industrious brands like "Call of Duty" and the like, but your audience has not. We have not grown stupid over the years, and we will continue to wait for an actual Stronghold Crusader 2.
Posted: October 19
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
125.1 hrs on record
This is my updated review for SHC2 after 3 patches and 100+ hours of gameplay...

The name of the game should have the word" redemption" attached to the title because it is exactly that. Leagues better then SH3, better then SHL and a tad better then SH2.

With the exception of a few crashes in multiplayer the game does run very well on my system.
AMD 8350
8 Gigs Ram@1600
Gigabyte HD 7870 2GB
Windows 7/64
While the graphics are not top notch nor cutting edge for a castle sim/medieval warfare title they{especially coming from a small gaming studio} are more then adequate.

The gameplay is quite simple......Build a castle/ecomony as well as an army then go looking for something to kill. While the game is fun in single player i do consider multiplayer to be where its at and it is interesting seeing all the different build and play styles that players have to offer.

The game while good is not perfect and still needs some small balance and bug issues addressed. Knights cannot cross bridges w/o dismounting their horses which is odd considering that trebuchets can and they weigh more.
Multiplayer also needs some small balancing issues as it stands right now it is way to easy to get a thriving economy using candles/bread/ale. Dervishes also seem to be a bit OP.

Ideas for the future....
As far a s DLC goes a European map pack/unit pack would be something i would definetely get behind. More lush green forested maps......longbowmen possibly added as a unit.

For my review after 100 hours of gameplay and 3 patches i hereby give SHC2 a....
8.3/ 10

Depending on future updates/DLC this number can easily rise.
Posted: October 20
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18 of 30 people (60%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
For those coming from the multiple years of playing Stronghold: Crusader and all its variations, (HD, Extreme) This game fails on what could've been something so much more. Overall, FireFly really just took the game into a different, unsuccessful direction that cripples the game from the start. The failures of this game pile up the longer you play, and you won’t be playing for long.

Most of the positive reviews are from players who have never touched Stronghold:Crusader before, and are probably bots being spammed to promote sales. Almost all of the negative reviews you see for this game are from veteran players like myself whose hopes of seeing an even DECENT modern Stronghold game fade away.

-What turns me off as a 10+ year Stronghold:Crusader player-

-Stronghold:Crusader 2 just doesn’t seem like a finished game. Animations aren’t complete, this is most noticeable when watching the Duc Volpe (The Wolf’s) message animations, which are well done and smooth, to the paper mache, 5 frame animation for Saladin.
-The game is dumbed down. There are no more moats, engineers, fear factor, decorative items, or laddermen.
-The UI is ugly, and appears rushed. This looks like anyone without decent drawing skills could have done the art for the menu screens/ The main menu screen in Stronghold: Crusader looks better than the main menu in 2. The lobby UI for multiplayer doesn’t even show other players in the lobby. While some details are cool, the overall vibe is Aladdin than a brutal strategy game set in crusader times.
-The map sizes are so small, they counter this by slowing everyones economies down, to the point where its simply not fun because you have to wait forever to get resources.
-Stronghold:Crusader had epic campaigns, and Stronghold: Crusader 2 can only offer 3-5 mission mini stories that don’t feel as grand or as impactful as the original.
-The gameplay is slow. This is due to the horrendous changes they made to building costs. 20 Wood for an apple farm is reasonable, but 60 wood for a dairy farm? 100 wood for a mill? How are people supposed to develop economies without falling asleep? You are guaranteed to spend all of your starting gold on wood, or die due to you being crippled by having to wait 10 minutes to collect 100 wood.
-Castle building was thrown out the window. This is primarily due to the small map size and new clunky and slow resource mechanics. There are two wall options, thin and regular, and considering how weak walls are, if you want an enclosed keep, you have to spend at least 500-1000 stone, which by the way, will take you half an hour to accrue.
-While the graphics are nice, you would be better off playing Age of Empires 3.

Those are the primary concerns with the game. Bad gameplay, slow economy development, bad and ugly UI, and an unfinished feel, this game robs hopes of FireFly every making something as epic, or downright fun to play as Stronghold, and Stronghold:Crusader. This game is a horrendous attempt as a successor, and many veteran players would gladly go back to playing the original than wasting their time with this unfinished mess.

The anger and frustration in this review comes from the countless failed attempts FireFly has made. Stronghold 2. Stronghold 3, and now Stronghold:Crusader 2 are miserable failures, and it’s hard to comprehend why nothing has changed regarding the production of these sequels to the God-Games, Stronghold and Stronghold:Crusader. $50 is theft for an unfinished game that would never sell if it didn’t have the Stronghold name. I wouldn’t even play this game if it was free.

0/10. For $50, they are stealing money from hopeful fans. There is nothing fun or exciting about this game. You are better of buying Stronghold:Crusader HD.
Posted: October 2
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
29.2 hrs on record
If you don't want to buy this game because SH3 sucked... Here is a review for you:
This game is nothing like SH3, it's far far FAR better!

As you can see from the other reviews and game play, it is a huge improvement and successor to the SH series!

Long Live Crusader!
Posted: October 10
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
44.1 hrs on record

I have been playing Stronghold since I was a child, I started with Stronghold 1 and I still can remember the campaign like it was yesterday! The best Stronghold parts for me were Stronghold Crusader and Stronghold Crusader 2 ! I love this part, sure it's not PERFECT yet, it's still lagging when you are in big battles against big units, but it's not that bad and I am sure they are fixing it soon. The graphic is very good, the stories are very interesting, the love for details and backrounds are very historical correct too. For example, if you play an european/christian Lord you can build pigfarms, if you play an arabian/muslim lord you can buld sheep farms instead to get meat. The Multiplayer is probably working better then every other Multiplayer in every other Stronghold game before! There are only two things I have to say about the multiplayer that aren't really positive. 1 . There are not really many servers! Even when you got " high latency " games filter activated. 2. You have many players who just like to RUSH the game and don't really enjoy it, they attack you after 5-15 minutes with hundreds of horse archers... BUT if you open a server you can set a peace time from 5 - 30 minutes! So the enemy can't attack you. Many server got a peace time in from 5 - 15 minutes, but for me personally it isn't long enough, I like to my castle up with love :-D, but everyone think different about it !

Well, all I have to say is... GET IT ! This game is definitely way better then many other " Medieval " games I played before, and even if the game wouldn't have a multiplayer it would be worth buying it, because the campaign is definitely the best thing, Stronghold is famous for very good campaigns.

This game is a lot of fun for people who like MULTIPLAYER and SINGLEPLAYER! Everyone who loves " Medieval " games should have Stronghold. It's absolute worth the price and definitely not a waste of money.

I hope you have fun with the game, and if you are looking for a player who likes to enjoy his matches and likes to have a bit more time to build up his castle,economy and military, you are free to add me :-)

Greetings, me :-P
Posted: October 17
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
just buy stronghold crusader 1
Posted: October 13
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32 of 62 people (52%) found this review helpful
8.5 hrs on record
Remember Stronghold 3? Yeah me neither. Apology accepted, milord.
Posted: September 26
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
68.3 hrs on record

music 10/10
voice 10/10
gameplay 10/10
graphics for rts 10/10

in one campaign mission ratty... saved my ♥♥♥ while calling me peasant 10/10

still i want moat, ladder, peasant talking etc "ALL" old stronghold stuff implemented.
tree growing...
even more harder and cunning AIs who force me to build castle rather than just putting towers with crossbows
more extra large maps like tornadoes

after improving crusader 2; i want Stronghold Legends 2 (i will buy it promise)
Posted: October 21
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
42.7 hrs on record
After the mediocre Stronghold 3 and Stronghold Legends, Crusader 2 brings the series back to their roots.
The developers tried to copy the positive aspects of Crusader 1 and improve them with new features.
However, instead of ending up as an improved version of the first Crusader, the game became a much more RTS-like title. which plays much more different than Crusader 1 than I expected.
What the developers did is basically simplified the whole castle building to a state where almost every building makes sense. This gives the game a much more fast-paced gameplay in the Skirmish Mode.
Compared to Crusader 1 or SH2, the units also seem to be better balanced. Spamming Horse Archers or Knights is for example much more difficult than in the previous game(s), because they can now be countered easily by macemen or whirling dervishes.
The whole combat system in general is improved by special abilites the units have. So instead of having useless and useful units like in Crusader 1, the game has offensive and defensive units with their own abilities. This gives armies a certain variety that can also be seen in games like Age of Empires 2.
I also feel like the current AI Lords are way harder to beat than in Crusader 1:
When the Rat is building catapults (so his sieges are not completely useless ;D) and the Wolf builds a stronghold that lets your castle look like a hovel, you know ♥♥♥♥ just got serious :D
But despite these aspects the game still has many flaws that need be patched and improved.
The most important would be performance improvement and bug fixing.
On big maps with many opponents the framerate drops under 20fps even on good PCs.
Also knights are sometimes unable to get on their horses or units stop moving entirely.
In terms of balancing there are still some things the developers need to change:
They already lowered the wood cost of woodcutters in previous patches, but there are still some buildings that seem a little bit too expensive, for example the market that becomes unvaluable through its 500 gold price or mills that cost 200 wood each (guys I want my awesome bread empire back :D).
Despite that they need to add some more NPC Lords( Ssssnake plz :D), Units and buildings that are missing ( for example ladders, tunnels, moats, Gardens and voice overs for your peasents).
All in all this game is different from the Stronghold games. It may not feel that much like a complex castle simulator anymore, but more like a well balanced Strategy Game with castle building elements.
Fact is, there aren´t many games today that have this kind of gameplay, so Crusader 2 has a unique gameplay.
Depite its current issues I recommend this game to everyone that likes strategy games and/or the stronghold series, but keep in mind that there are patches coming that may be improving the game that much, that games like Aoe2 or Command and Conquer have a serious competitor.
In Germany we would say:
"Abwarten und Tee trinken." :D
Posted: October 20
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
107.9 hrs on record
Extremely Fun and Challenging CityBuilder/RTS, best played with friends in co-op, a very good time.
Posted: October 2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Always a fan of Stronghold, and super excited to see an all-new Stronghold Crusader 2. The first moment I hit the game, the nostalgic feeling rush back at me. The new version, obviously, have a better graphic, and yet still able to retain its originality from the previous Stronghold. The game system is so much smoother and easier to handle. The armies are much more massive than before, and with different perks for each characters. The campaign is a challenge just like the old one, and there's an open world where you can do whatever you want. What really makes me love this Crusader 2 is the new, better, concise method of building the wall. It gets so much better and easy to coordinate while building the wall !

If you love a castle-sim + war + mercenaries + siege, then you are going to love this game.
Posted: October 2
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