It took me a long time to finally beat this game, but I am proud to say I have done it. Stronghold 3 is an interesting addition to the series. It adds incredible depth into the story and lore of Stronghold series. If anyone has played Stronghold Kingdoms many of the ideas for how that game is played come from Stronghold 3. I personally think this game is a fun game with an incredible campaign. But in all honesty there are a lot of problems and I won't hesitate to list them all out for you. Military Campaign:
Stronghold 3 starts off after Stronghold 1, essentially skipping what is the terrible tales of Stronghold 2. With improved voice acting and better cinematic (realizing that using in game graphics for cinematics was an awful idea - thanks Stronghold 2) Stronghold 3 creates a story which really revives the series. Set ten years in the future you play "The Boy", the main character of the original stronghold series. In this tale enemies attack the kingdom you worked so hard to restore pushing you out of the capital. You must recuperate and slowly retake your kingdom. To do this you fight off the offspring of The Rat, The Pig, and a new foe The Jackal. Throughout the story you figure out a much greater foe exists The Wolf and he is back for vengeance. Economic Campaign:
In the economic campaign you play Lady Catherine who is trying to rebuild the country, particularly the Abbey, after the war has ended. In this you must complete tests by meeting economic growth factors. The Economic Campaign shies away from military and allows you to play a game featured on running the day to day life of a castle. The Problems:
What's wrong with this game? Well there is a lot that makes this game terrible in most people’s eyes.
1) There are lots of bugs; in fact I had to save about twenty times per map just because I didn't want to take the chance of my units getting stuck in walls or random places. On a few maps you only get a couple units and if one of them gets stuck it can be the difference between a victory and a defeat.
2) The units attack one unit before spreading to attack others. This means the first time your archers attack an enemy they all fire at the same enemy. The wasted attack results in a couple second delay which allows the enemy AI, who spreads their attacks, to hit all your untis. The end result is the computer has killed a bunch of your archers.
3) There is no Skirmish mode, they took it away again!!! I don't know why they keep doing it seeing as everybody wants it, but they do.
4) My game crashed every time I quit the game resulting in me having to sign out of Windows and sign back in. This can be very annoying and at one point caused my save to go corrupt (hence why I started saving about 20 times per match).
5) You can only slow the game down to Normal speed, so no longer can you use the slow speed to establish yourself.
6) The graphics are not that great, especially seeing as how this game is a more recent edition to the series.
7) I could not play with duel monitors; every time I would try the game would lag beyond playability. Now some would say this is my computer, but seeing as I can play essentially every other game with second monitor up and watching a TV show I don't think it is my computer.
8) There is a building capacity; this really limits how you can play in some missions. Results:
If you can get past all the deficits the game offers, and instead just enjoy the game for its story then it is a blast to play. I thought the campaign was amazingly well played out, and the story had me wondering constantly what was going to happen next. The dialogue before each mission was very well done, and if you already listened to the dialogue you could simply skip it. The gameplay is much better than Stronghold 2 and the units are much cleaner. The idea of auto-market functions is incredibly useful (you can make your market sell resources if you go over a certain amount). And incorporating the statues to generate honor is incredibly helpful as you don't need to waste space on banqueting goods.
I recommend Stronghold 3, but only if you can get it for a good deal. Its not easy to look past all the problems with this game and still enjoy yourself, especially if you paid full price.
+Amazing story with beautiful campaign
+Added statues to generate honor instead of having to use banqueting goods
+Market has auto-buy/auto-sell features
+Trees do not disappear as quickly as in Stronghold 2.
+Added nighttime battles. In a couple levels you must defend a castle at night, which requires you to use fire to light up areas of the map in order to see approaching enemies.
-Lots of glitches, bugs, and errors.
-Poor unit AI
-The enemy on the campaign isn't very bright and doesn't maneuver his units very often.
-Lowest speed is normal speed
-No skirmish mode
-Doesn't function with dual monitors
-THERE ARE NO BOATS, THE STEAM PICTURE DECIEVED ME!!!!!