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 (988 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

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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!

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Reviews

“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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
85 of 101 people (84%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Click for Gameplay Trailer - Preview

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

Atmosphere:
+ surprising events
+ nicely hectic
- no cutscenes

Control:
+ 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

Graphics:
+ nice physic effects
+ nice animations
- monotonous maps

KI:
+ 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 :)
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35 of 50 people (70%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
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
Pros:
  • 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)
Cons:
  • 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.
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
80.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Back to the roots - 8/10


Introduction:
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!


Pro:
+ 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


Neutral:
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)


Contra:
- 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


Conclusion:
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.

8/10


----------------------
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29 of 45 people (64%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
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.
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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
49.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Brace yourselves for a lenghty rant-sort-of-review.
Or just scroll down and read the summary.

Being a fan of the original Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader, it makes me sad to report that this game does not continue in the right path that was set by those two games.
The worst thing about this game are not bad visuals, glitches, unbalanced and unfair skirmish trails or even the opposing lords with paper-thin personalities (yes, even when compared to the older games' lords). The worst thing about this game is that it is not fun. Even if you're a veteran player like myself, who really tried to like the game, you have a high chance of wasting your money on this product.

Why is it not fun?
First of all, the "castle-sim" aspect that was the best thing Stronghold series had to offer is gone. Forget about witty comments when you click on your peasants, forget about fear factor and any kind of happiness management. All you have left is ale and religion, and population management was simplified so its only real purpose is to increase your taxation.


Second thing, the AI cheats. Literally. Stronghold Crusader was a hard but fair game. But this game will make you drop it when you realize how unfair it is. The sieges have been dumbed down to massive tank rushes (btw, no more ladders, siege towers and tunnelers). You think crippling the enemy's economy and destroying key structures used in building the army will stop him from recruiting more troops? Think again. The AI will always pull out more soldiers, even when you destroy their barracks, armory and mercenary post. Oh, and they get walls, siege engines and weapons for free.


Technical side of the game is not much better. The graphic quality would barely pass in 2007, and the engine is poorly optimized so expect severe FPS drops unless you have a monster machine. The FPS tends to drop the most during sieges, as there tend to be hundreds of soldiers, and a lot of wall demolishing.



Summary:

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a bad game, whether you're a veteran of the franchise or a total newcomer.
If you want a superb castle-sim, with plenty of humour, good AI, interesting opponents, great art style and 2d graphics and compact and fair gameplay - play Stronghold Crusader HD. This game will not satisfy you, unless you're ready to overlook the game's many problems. But beware, there's not much else to see.
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
149.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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.
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Before seeing the not recommended, please read as there is much to talk about. Being such a fan from the Orginal Stronghold Crusader I saw this and bought it thinking it would be new and just as fun as the orginal, sadly I was misguided. The game wasn't even close to my expectations however it does bring back some stuff Iw as thankful for, such as Ai opponents I loved, skirmish mode and crusader trails. However it was missing lots and lots of things (overtiem these could be added) many siege equitments are gone in the game to name jsut one. The graphics of the game (personally) don't fit the experience. The troop cap is to little and the maps offer to little rescources (one map does but only 1 map, for noobs like myselft at Crusader 2 more maps with more rescources would of been better), in game map builder is gone and instead it is with steam level editor which is much more complicated for the AVERAGE person to use. The variety of the game gets dull quick and it doesn't flow very good (in my opinion). All in all I was disapointed with it and I would get it when it is on sale definately not worth $50 U.S. I give it 6/10
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
At first glance the game looks amazing but in this release state it is not that. Here is some pro and cons for a shorter version:

Pros:
Stronghold series name (no really thats a pro)
good troop variety (both for arabic and crusader units)
military production buildings expanded (no longer buildings that produce 2 of something everything has it's own producer)
mildly good graphics (not great for 2014 but eh I didn't buy it because of looks)
Economy is fun to build (but nothing better than the others)
HEALING UNITS! FINALLY!

Cons:
AI does not need a economy (the Wolf the main enemy in the game doesn't even bother with even trying to look like he uses one)
your troops are still brain dead (Idk how many times I lost loads of troops because I had to mouse over my castle fix something and my men had let archers and crossbows kill them without even trying to run or fight)
Maps are too small (8 player games feel like you could toss a rock at the others, they fix this by making a cap of units 1000, so 5 players get 200, 2 players get 500, etc.)
Unit capped at 1000 (This is 2014 for God's sake raise it, but I know why they can't because:)
Poor optimization (or memory leaks unsure) I have a PC with 16GB Ram, Nvidia 650 Ti 2GB, Intel i5 3.2GHz quad core, this shouldn't be happening to me:)
Game lags badly when over 500 units (and when I say badly I mean my FPS was at 1-5 the whole time, I literally quit because it took 20 minutes for my units to exit the damn castle)
Features stripped from the original (the Good Evil system is gone, want engineers? NOPE! How about a moat? Go play SC1 this SC2 we don't need moats, oh and how about siege towers? Hehehe this is 2014 we don't need them)
Walls are made of plastic (I mean seriously I shoot maybe 3-4 shots at a 4 thick wall and it's gone, I can take out a strong castle fairly easily by just using 1 cat 50-100 horse archers and maybe 7 templars that is all I have ever had to use)




The closing part:

I want to love this game I really do, but it is not fun. I played 10 hours and have no desire to play any more than that , the AI does not have to build a economy and units just appear out of thin air (I literally destroyed the Wolfs merc center and the units just pop up where the merc center was throughout the game)

This game is not a honorable addition to the SH series, and I wish they would not have called this Crusader because that was one of the only AAA series not undone by idiots who think they can make a better game. If Firefly reads this then here is to them:

Your game as it stands right now is TERRIBLE, you failed at remaking a wonderful game and you are losing fans for it BUT. But, this game has potential why? Because it is Crusader, bring back the engineers, beef up the walls, bring back moats, and for GODS sake give me back my siege towers. I want to believe that you guys didn't lose all your good talent and that this was a oversight somehow, I want to believe someone took SH3 and mixed it somehow with this game and your fixing it now and removing the bad things that that devil of a man put in here.


Conclusion:
Stronghold Crusader 1 was and IS the best Firefly video game to date, do not buy this until they fix the sloppy work they did here. If you must buy it, I beg of you wait for a sell like 50% off please.


EDIT:
I WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME I REALLY DO, but I literally have no drug or drink strong enough to make this game feel like a good game, if your still reading to this point I want you to know don't make the mistake I did buy AI War, Rise of Nations, Age of Empires 2, anything but this heck if you have to burn the money just don't give them it I am tired of their terrible games first Stronghold 2 and 3 now this? I am officially no longer a fan of the Stronghold series thanks Firefly
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
this game is basically a retexture of the previous games, it even recycles audio from the previous games, and in addition of reducing the types of buildings. they removed many of the features that made the earlier games fun and addictive, resulting in what i can only describe as a SCAM and a MONEY GRAB.

DO NOT BUY THIS GAME
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
I am a stronghold fan so i decided to make a short review.
Stronghold crusader two is a downgraded version of Crusader 1 in short talk.
I am sorry to say but the game is full fo bugs and doesn't run smooth at all an most of all doesn't add anything that stronghold crusader 1 didn't had but it has removed things that made the original series. So i stik to crusader 1 and strongly recommend others to do that to. I wished this to be a great game by the way.
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7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
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!
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
I REALLY LOVE THIS GAME :D From SHC1
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
75.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
10/10

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)
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Dear Firefly,

I really wanted to love Stronghold Crusader 2, but I don't. I was disappointed right from the start. I will address my issues in the order I came across them. Forgive me if I sound petty but I had such excitement for this game and to come across an intro that looks like it came from a 15 year old game was utterly disheartening. I tried to push the fail image of two poorly animated warriors, one who vaguely looks of jack sparrow, out of my mind upon entering the game. The menu seemed ok, nothing wrong at first glance. Looking at the single player options though I was again remorseful. Hardly any missions and nothing that matched the wonderful historic castle mode from the first game. I played every castle in the original stronghold and hoped to see it return with an Arab twist but foolish me. I then chose to see how the game play was. I gasped when it loaded, it seemed like a direct copy of stronghold 2. To say my excitement was dead is an understatement. Pretty epic though, you killed my desire to keep playing this new game in fifteen minutes.
Somehow I managed to keep going despite this sickening feeling in my stomach. I think the final blow was the stunning lack of features I had come to love. It baffles me how you choose to keep such a mundane feature like STAIRS on the barracks but completely destroy all the cool towers and their features. I thought that being able to put troops inside towers was one of the coolest features. Putting siege equipment on large towers a no-brainer, to now be left with stupid ballista scaffolds.... WHAT?! Those would be a great addition to have but not the only option. If you would finally add wooden palisades from the first Stronghold and create some further options with that, then you might have a great set of features. However like I have come to expect from your company you bring more disappointment than Bungie's new story free MMOFPS garbage. Not to mention the lack of innovative wall traps, stone baskets, monks, leather armor, wax for candles (currently material free production), siege towers, diggers, ladder men, moats, workers who repair walls automatically, short walls, and one of the most annoying the ability to lower building height so I can avoid everything getting in my way. Have you tried to build walls it your own game? It can take like 30 seconds to get the wall icon to appear in an area because it is on a corner or near a building. Unless the idea is just build a square and forget about actually making an interesting castle..... IN A CASTLE SIM. Pretty sad when you can't improve on a game you made almost 15 years ago.
I got the game so I could play it with my wife. Stronghold crusader was one of the few games we enjoyed together. Besides for the new one lacking anything exciting or innovative, we need to deal with the worst optimization I have ever experienced. I bought two new computers in anticipation of this games release. To say it runs like dog excrement would be praise. Playing this game over steam with anything over three players on lowest setting is impossible for us. The only thing I have to say to you as a company is this. You are just as useless as EA and Activision if you think you can phone it in like this and promise to make it better with DLC. Why should I give you more money to fail? These things should have already been in the game! It is clear to see you took the mass market video game cookie cutter formula. Make a game and promise how awesome it will be. Focus test everything, then remove every part that might confuse a simpleton. I am surprised you still include Crusaders and Arabs, they might offend someone.
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8 of 15 people (53%) found this review helpful
42.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
The best of the Stronghold series so far! A very solid and addictive game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Not a bad remake of the original.
Infact, its almost exactly like playing the old one, only with nice 3d graphics,
no moats , and poorer voice-overs.
Gameplay has been smoothed out a bit though, which is nice.
And perhaps updates will bring more content.

The game has however been unplayably laggy during late game
on a machine that's about halfway between min and max specs.
Either overly performance hungry (in its current form) or dishonestly advertised.

Nice game if youre new to stronghold crusader, otherwise a neat (and pricey) graphics update.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Only recommend this game if you have a lot of patience. My laptop usually runs games reasonably well, but when playing this, the enemies attack you too soon and when they do, extreme lag makes this game unplayable. Whether or not its my laptop I dont care, very unsatisfied customer and a total waste of £30
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
I have played the first Stronghold Crusader, and must say that I can't see so much changes in the 2nd part. the game is boring, as always that 4 enemy You have to defeat just changing the misson map. there is som bugs as well, for example when I created some knights and wanted to assign horses to them, some horse stuck and I cant make a calvary knight anymore, as the horse in the line is cant find the solder, so need to demolish the stable, and build a new one.. over 8h of play I'm not interested anymore as all the missions seems to be the same, just varying the gold, and the enemies (from that 4-5 available ones). if You a fanatic SC player then go ahead and give a try, otherwise just buy the much cheaper SC HD version, it gives You almost the same joy...
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Crusader 2 is an OK game. . . Its not great but its not terrible either. I have only a few hours into the game and that was enough to really experience everything it has to offer and get bored of it. The gameplay is dumbed down and the AI is rather stupid. . . You have to micro manage is all the wrong places, defence towers rarely fire and when they do its at the wrong target.

This is a $10 or $20 game tops! There is very little effort put into the game and overall really not worth it in the long run. Its a dumbed down remake of Crusaider with less content, but look pretty graphics. . .

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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Until this feels like a complete game, I cannot in good conscience recommend it.
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