While Stronghold 3 is the worst received entry into the franchise to date, don't let the negative reviews stop you from picking it up for under $5 on sale and enjoying the second chapter of a story started over 10 years previous with the original Stronghold.
I personally find the game frustrating and enjoyable in equal parts, yes, there are bugs in the game which can make you want to pull your hair out at times, the difficulty of some missions is not for the faint of heart and on some level appeals to the inner masochist.
This is a game you must play for yourself to truly appreciate the ambitions never fully realized due to it's broken state at release, cry the beloved castle.
+ The price, on sale I got it for less than $5
+ The graphics, I personally love the weathered impressionist atmosphere of the game world
+ The single player campaigns by themselves are lengthy enough to keep you occupied for a dozen hours or more
+ Includes map editor for you to create your own eyecandy scenarios or MP skirmish maps
+ The removal of the grid means building placement looks more natural, good for those who love eyecandy
+ Great flexibility in designing the medieval castle of your dreams
- The dynamic castle design (post grid) was never fully completed and you'll have units getting stuck in the walls which is annoying as hell
- The story is told through the use of hand drawn illustrations, if they had been full color the presentation would have been superb. As is, the black and white charcoal smudges feel somewhat unfinished.
- The leaderboard for mission scores is offline with little likelihood of being restored
- Peasants can get stuck in buildings
- Killing pits are all but invisible, good luck deleting them if you want to put another building in your minefield.
- The game is prone to unpredictable crashes, sometimes when you are creating a game save.
After experiencing first hand the problems with this game I can understand why players who bought this game full price are still seething. That said, I do recommend picking this game up on sale if you've played and enjoyed Stronghold 2 or even if only to understand why the release was such a disaster.