Stronghold Crusader 2

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a game by Firefly Studios
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: RTS Games, Medieval Games
Stronghold Crusader 2
Stronghold Crusader 2
Stronghold Crusader 2
Stronghold Crusader 2

Real-time Strategy sequels can take their sweet time. We know that all too well from the Starcraft debacle - where the original's successor came out 12 years later. The Stronghold Crusader series seems to have followed the same suit, as Stronghold Crusader 2 sees the light of day - guess what - 12 years later!

There's always a tad bit of wonder why these things take so long to develop. Maybe it's because they are trying to create a perfect sequel to an already perfect RTS game. Stronghold Crusader, although it did get praised, did not receive universal acclaim. But alas, developers FireFly have has over a decade to make this game - gotta be pretty good, right?

Welcome Back, Crusaders

The best way to look at Stronghold Crusader 2 is a modern upgrade from the first game. Anybody who has played the first one will get that familiar look and feel - and possibly some nostalgia from all that time spent on your parents' PC playing it. There's been a graphical overhaul, new campaigns, new units, enemy AI that isn't ridiculous, and a couple of new mechanics.

Stronghold Crusader 2 plays like any old RTS, much like the original. You'll spend a lot of your time in skirmishes in the battlegrounds of the middle-east - building castles, gathering resources, and slaughtering your enemies to ultimate victory. The game is not just as simple as churning out units - there's an economy to manage as well so you can afford these luxuries. Destroying castles is going to need some hefty siege weapons after all!

You'll be pitted in a 12th-century world of Richard II vs. Saladin's forces - and all campaigns and skirmishes will be based around the unvarying sandy environments. There are several intriguing management tactics presented and seemingly a challenge to win your war - sadly, this is where the game becomes a little uninteresting.

Apart from the bland maps - tactics and warfare feel a little stale. You can generate swathes of troops and just bulge them into your enemies' territory without much resistance - leading to no reason to manage your stronghold well. Outside the basic units - there doesn't seem to be much room for development to overcome any enemy challenges. For a potentially intricate strategy game, the whole experience feels very plain.

...But Does It Hold Strong?

If you remember what Age of Empires III tried to accomplish with its home city features and emphasis on game management - you'll recall it fell a little short. Stronghold Crusader 2 has fallen flat on its behind here - very disappointing considering what 12 years of development could accomplish.

5

What we have here is a bare-bones RTS that offers a lot of ideas. But it seems someone was afraid to follow up on them. Challenges are rare, excitement is bleak, and honestly - you'll get tired of looking at sand pretty quickly. Anybody looking for nostalgia will not be happy - and anyone seeking an immersive RTS game should look elsewhere.

Pros:

  • Combat between units is fun
  • The signature castle building mechanic is still engaging

Cons:

  • Very bland in terms of RTS mechanics
  • A lot of potentials that were not delivered upon
  • Lack of challenge makes the game uninteresting

Download Stronghold Crusader 2

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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PC Screenshots

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