Journey to distant Arabian lands renowned for brave warriors and fearsome weaponry in Stronghold Crusader HD. The highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling Stronghold, Crusader throws you into historic battles from the Crusades with fiendish AI opponents, new units, 4 historical campaigns and over 100 unique skirmish missions.
User reviews: Very Positive (759 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 31, 2002

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Recommended By Curators

"The highpoint of the castle-building series mixes economy with siege warfare. Some minor UI issues, outdated animations, but great game regardless."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Journey to distant Arabian lands renowned for brave warriors and fearsome weaponry in Stronghold Crusader HD. The highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling Stronghold, Crusader throws you into historic battles from the Crusades with fiendish AI opponents, new units, 4 historical campaigns and over 100 unique skirmish missions.

Story

Relive the historic Crusades as Richard the Lionheart and the Saladin, Sultan of Syria. Lead a determined group of Crusaders, forged by centuries of barbaric warfare, amidst the haze of the desert heat then fight for your freedom as the mighty Saladin.

Stronghold Crusader HD features several campaigns documenting the First, Second and Third Crusades, as well as conflicts within the individual Crusader states. Battles such as Nicea, Heraclea, siege of Antioch, Krak des Chevaliers and the Siege of Jerusalem all feature, as do the Crusader Trails from the Stronghold Warchest and Stronghold Crusader Extreme.

HD Edition

With new high resolution graphics you have more control over your soldiers than ever before. The new HD battlefield view allows you to zoom out and play in real-time, with the whole map on one screen. Advance on the castle gates while flanking the enemy from behind, feign retreat and lead your foe into a deadly trap or just sit back and watch the destruction unfold.

Both Stronghold Crusader and Stronghold Crusader Extreme are included in Stronghold Crusader HD. Extreme plays exactly like the original Stronghold Crusader, only with a few additions. The unit cap has been increased from 1000 to a staggering 10,000 troops, special Tactical Powers such as the Arrow Volley can be used and new buildings make their appearance alongside the Crusader Extreme skirmish trail.

Features
  • Join the Crusaders or the Saladin’s forces in 4 historical campaigns.
  • Fight through 100 unique skirmish missions, each one more challenging than the last.
  • Design and build your desert fortress, with a working economy and brutal killing zones.
  • Command new units with unique abilities, such as the stealthy Assassin and nimble Horse Archer.
  • High resolution graphics allow you to view the entire map on a single screen.
  • Steam Cloud support for saved games.
  • Updated for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 compatibility.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Pentium® III 500 mhz
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB DirectX 8.1 Compatible
    • DirectX: Version 8.1
    • Hard Drive: 850 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
    • Additional Notes: GameRanger software will be installed for mutiplayer matchmaking support
Helpful customer reviews
116 of 142 people (82%) found this review helpful
77.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
This game is worth every single penny, my lord!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
67 of 77 people (87%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
OUR FOOD STOCKS ARE DWINDLING, MY LIEGE.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
64 of 74 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
"This game requires skilled engineers to play, m'lord!"
Was this review helpful? Yes No
31 of 32 people (97%) found this review helpful
151.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Feel the satisifaction of building your own castle while at the same time demolishing someone else's.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
40.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
*****
5 out of 5

The gaming equivalent of heaven.

Stronghold Crusader is a castle building strategy game. Whether you like castles or medieval times is irrelevant, if you like strategy games you will adore this game.

Coming off the successful 2001 hit Stronghold, Stronghold Crusader removes and improves elements of its predecessor to galore the public with a map editor and a skirmish mode, however for newcomers a game tutorial is sadly not available.
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24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
This is a long review, so if you want a brief summary of why I recommend Stronghold Crusader skip to Results and read from there.

Firefly Studies strikes again with the best Stronghold game in the series. Stronghold Crusader is a brilliant game that mixes Castle Simulation with RTS combat, and resource management.

Story:
As the title depicts Stronghold Crusader takes place in the Crusades. You play through the Asia minor, The Middle East, as Europeans and Arabians alike. The story takes place across four campaigns where you start your journey as Emporer Alexus of the Turkish Army commands you to take ahold of Asia Minor. You spread European influence across the land, but it is short lived as the Salidan rises to power and destroys the settlements of the Europeans and claims back the lands. Unfortunately for him the crusades were not over, and the Germanic armies arrive deploying castles across Asia minor as they claim lay to the holy lands. Stronghold Crusader takes place across the first to third crusades and then creates an alternate reality that is the post-crusade wars that pit you against your worst nightmare: The Rat, The Snake, The Pig, and The Wolf.


Campaign:
Stronghold Crusader has four campaigns which teach you how to play the game from the basics to the most advanced.

The Call to Arms
Call to Arms offers five basic missions which although simple are in fact challenging in their own rights. The first mission encompasses basic castle siege, the second basic defense, the third resource management, the fourth resource massing, and the final one a more complicated castle siege. This campaign is a great way to start into the Stronghold Series as it introduces the elements of gameplay in an interesting way that keeps you entertained. Typical tutorials are rather uninteresting, but Call to Arms changes that by providing dynamic missions that introduce the game with diverse scenarios.

Saladin’s Conquest
After the conquest of Call to Arms you pick up the campaign as Salidan who is retaking the land stolen by the Europeans. All the missions in Salidan’s Conquest are sieges; these involve taking castles from the enemy. All of Salidans missions are rather simple, yet offer diversity in how you conquer your foe. You are limited on units and must use unique units to push through the enemy defenses.

The Kings Crusade
After the Salidan has kicked out most of Europe the quest continues as the third crusade picks up and its up to the Europeans to hold off their fortresses from the Salidans onslaughts. The Kings Crusade mostly focuses on castle building and defense, similar to Mission 4 of The Call to Arms. Each level provides new features which give you a better mechanism to defend you castle and equip you against an ever stronger foe until you eventually must siege castle and rebuild it from the ground up.

Crusader States
The campaign begins after the third crusade and is a fictitious rendition of what we expected after the Third Crusade ended. You play in the Middle East as lord’s squalor over various lands and it is up to you to defeat your foes. Your mission through the Middle East pits you against the foes of the past: The Rat, The Snake, The Pig, and The Wolf. The further you get into the campaign the more enemies you get pit against.


Gameplay:
Stronghold Crusader is noted as being the best Stronghold game; it took what was good from the original and expanded upon it beautifully. Stronghold Crusader is a castle simulation game, where you manage a castle politically, economically, and sociologically. You must maintain various food types, keep your people happy, while simultaneously ripping them dry for every penny they have. You need to build a well-oiled machine, but unlike most strategy games Stronghold has many resources. To build units you must obtain gold, you must build their weapons, you must provide peasant, you must feed them with various food stocks, and you must obtain the resources required to build those weapons. For all of this to occur you must keep peasants within your castle by making sure they are happy, once they start to leave your castle will crumble from within before your enemies even hit your walls.

Stronghold Crusader takes that and incorporates mercenaries, units which cost gold and require less work to obtain. Of course they cost almost triple that of a non-hired unit, but offer quick turn-around. Not only did they add mercenaries, but they included Skirmishes with AI, which allow you to play the game without playing the campaign. The AI is rather intelligent and will keep you on your toes, and not only that but the maps are designed to require intense combat. This game will make you fight over limited agrarian land and low wood stocks.

Hints:
>When you start a map drop the gamespeed to 20, this gives you loads of time to set yourself up before the match really begins.
>When playing the crusader states the game gives you sometimes up to 7.5k gold, if you drop the game-speed to 20 and place a market you can buy Maces and Leather Armor. Then quickly build an army of Macemen to take out your foes before the match can even begin. This does not work on all missions, but certainly helps.
>Bread is the easiest food to build-up. If you are trying to optimize limited farmland use wheat as its easy to mass.


Results:
Stronghold Crusader is the best castle simulation game out there right now. It offers the joy of castle simulation with the intensities of combat. I would recommend this game to anyone who is thinking about taking part in the Stronghold Series, it’s a great place to start as it will pull you right in. Stronghold Crusader is a fantastic game for castle simulation fans and real time strategy fans alike. I would recommend this buying this game even at full price, but if you can get it at a discount its worth every penny and you won’t regret it.

Pros:
+Four amazing campaigns which teach you how to play the game without being boring or repetitive.
+The AI has various levels of intelligence which makes them fun as well as challenging.
+They added mercenaries which allow you to build emergency armies quick, but cost extraordinary sums of gold.
+Finally Skirmishes have been introduced; you don’t have to play the campaign or multiplayer. You can just mess around by yourself.
+New strategic limitations, such as limited grass for agriculture which makes you consider your strategies.

Cons:
-I couldn’t minimize the game; it would minimize but not maximize (Windows 8.1)
-When playing you could not open steam overlay, one of the commands for steam overlay is a command for the games GUI display.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Another great classic among strategy games.

Definately worth looking for Medieval History enthusiasts, Age of Empires players and generally everyone that's looking forward to a well done Castle Building (quite similar to city building with a military approach) Strategy Real-Time game.
The style makes this very unique.
The music speaks for a lot, with authentic and faithfully created Arab flutes, the desert everywhere!

It's really worth it, even if the "HD" doesn't look as great as some other remakes - it works great and that's all that I personally could ask for, as there isn't that much to improve here really aside from issues with launching the game.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Much better than Stronghold Crusader 2, unfortunately..
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Very fun, very smooth, very simple RTS experience. Nothing to complicated like EU4 and nothing to dumb like Rome 2. Highly recommend to anyone who likes RTS.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
189.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 2
Awesome game. Much better than Stronghold Crusader 2! If you like strategy games in medieval age then this is the game for you!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Dont look at my play time I have played this game for hundreds of hours when i was a kid. This game is...amazing. Truly amazing. There are few words that are able to describe how crazy good this game is. No it does not have the depth of StarCraft, but its not designed to be a competitive game. Its a casual fun strategy, that you can play with you mouse. But dont let that turn you away from the game. There is plenty of challange for hardcore RTS fans like me. You can make the matchups very imbalanced, and there is not just one type of AI, there are 14 diferend adversaries, and no they are not just dificulties, they build their castels diferently, and use diferent types of army. There are historical campaings, but they are very underwhelming IMO.
If i have to rate this game it would be a 9/10. If i have to trust the biast nostalgia 17/10 :). But a more realistic verdic would be 9/10. A must own for all self respecting RTS fans.
NOW BEGONE FROM HERE GO PLAY THE GAME INFIDELS!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
an amazing RTS with hours of entertainment (this is my new account my old one had 300+ hours) it is hard for new players but once you get around it, its amazing

i suggest this game to any RTS player, new or old

it can be slightly broken at times and no longer has a ingame online skirmish ( but you can still play online with GameRanger)

i can't wait for the sequel should be awesome!

ad me if you ever wanna play :P
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
This game is for me like my best toy from childhood. I very Recommended !!! Very nice simulation of middle-age life
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
Best RTS in world's history.
In pt-br: ♥♥♥♥ QUE JOGO BOM CARA !!!
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
22.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
The best strategy game of all time. It promises a lot of fun for sure. Very recommended to buy.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
29.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
PITCH needed
STONE NEEDED
not 'nough wood m'lord

Even though this game is old as ♥♥♥♥ its still better than the majority of new(er) strategies
10/10
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
Now I own the The Stronghold Collection, this is included with the collection. I purchased Stronghold Crusader HD on Steam because I want to show my support yet again for this video game. It is by far one of the best ever made. I know I just could of installed the Stronghold Crusader HD patch for free, giving you HD if you already own the original. But I would rather buy the game again to show my deep support. One of my all time favorite video games.

Why you MUST buy this video game:
Great Music
Epic Map Edit/Creator
Lots of content
GREAT STORY!
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
Can't Place that there M'lord.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Honestly this game, and the original Stronghold (HD) are some of the best, if not the best RTS games of their decade. There have been a few developers that have tried to replicate the success and capture the magic that these two games had, but none of them have succeeded. A must-play, and an excellent rock-solid RTS. I've spent many, many hours on these games and I still love them to bits.

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