Metascore
63

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. The vastly improved graphics are a joy to behold, the new punishment stations add a dimension to gameplay and the various modes will keep you playing 'til doomsday and beyond. It's almost perfect atmosphere-wise, and I could not have wished for anything more.
  2. There are a handful of games that provide greater economic depth, or are more immediate and spectacular on the field of battle, but few marry these two traditional aspects of real-time strategy so seamlessly and with so much charm. [PC Zone]
  3. If you're into serious castle-building and siegecraft, nothing else comes close. [July 2005, p.64]
  4. The new perspective works excellently and the added buildings and units are welcome. It's a shame some of the old problems, like the unconvincing AI, are still around, but the intricate economy and unusual siege play make it stand out.
  5. It is a breeze to get started and there are helpful hints to aid those new to the genre.
  6. A more in-depth take on strategy than normal, but not quite a "Rome"-beater. [June 2005, p.93]
  7. Whether you want to follow the story-driven campaign, or simply reconstruct the motte and bailey delights of Dover Castle, you'll be hard pressed to unearth an RTS that plays for keeps quite as well as this. [PC Gamer UK]
  8. Stronghold 2 is addictive in its complexity and rich in its many-layered economic management system, not to mention challenging (yes, partly thanks to the lack of help in learning how to play the damn thing).
  9. Manages to provide an engaging combination of simulated medieval warfare and peasant life without getting too lost in the mundane details that can easily wreak havoc on such a title.
  10. Even with the painfully long load screens and the lags in the game play I still enjoy this game.
  11. A satisfying blend of Sim and RTS - strategy fans, medieval groups and jousting wannabes alike should make sure to check this out as soon as possible.
  12. It's a game with style, in the true sense of its word. That is, it has decided what it wants to be and then just does that, without worrying what the world may think of it.
  13. It's the kind of game you could've bought three years ago for the same price, same graphics and same gameplay.
  14. Not as ground-breaking as the original, but still a rewarding experience.
  15. Tries to do just a bit too much and ends up not really excelling at anything.
  16. 70
    The graphics are supreme and almost unmatched in today’s strategies, but with "Age of Empire III" just around the corner, we can’t see Stronghold 2 sustaining life for a long time in anybodies gaming world.
  17. Neither the RTS-style combat nor the castle sim elements of the game live up to today's standards. [June 2005, p.135]
  18. It wasn’t a lot of fun to play, and it didn’t run very well on my computer. All it did was remind me how much fun Stronghold was, and that I should go back and play it sometime.
  19. 67
    The story is a mess, visuals are lifeless, and gameplay is flawed on many levels.
  20. Stronghold 2 isn’t poorly developed; it’s just a combination of bugs and a bad front end that keep Stronghold 2 from being a must buy title.
  21. Just doesn’t feel like a finished game.
  22. A reasonably original take on the 3D RTS genre and it does offer some good gameplay, but some of the more technical aspects let it down - such as the visuals, the engine's performance even on lower settings and the somewhat disappointing battles.
  23. With the combination of some of the absent design aspects, the forcing of micromanagement, and the sub par graphics, I can only marginally recommend this game.
  24. A poor story, weak artificial intelligence, and plenty of bugs mar what otherwise could have been a simple yet fun castle-building game.
  25. The predictability and low AI of your opponents do their best to wreck the game completely. So although some missions tend to be fun, the effect is completely ruined by the monotonous process of rebuilding your kingdom or performing a set military attack.
  26. 50
    But it's impossible to ignore the unfinished feel of the "final" product and even though it received a patch almost immediately after release, a lot more support is needed to make this a game worth investing a lot of time in. It's simply not finished yet.
  27. Perhaps more of these flaws will be addressed and fixed in the upcoming patches but I would wait another month or so to see what the developers have come up with before I waste my time with such a sloppy game. [5/5/05]
  28. 50
    If you're like most gamers, however, it may be too much like a post-graduate MBA sim of life running a distribution center of some sort.
  29. A bad video game- resting on laurels established four years ago. New features that allow you to buy up and build on captured land do little but add a fleeting distraction.
  30. 40
    But all of this good stuff is marred by the technical issues. This is especially true concerning the AI, which doesn’t offer up a convincing challenge.
  31. No other game before or since has so gracefully integrated maintaining apple orchards with setting hundreds of screaming knights on fire. [Aug 2005, p.68]
  32. In the end, though, there's just not enough fruit underneath all the rind. If it's an all-in-one medieval strategy game you're after, just Alt-Tab really quickly between "Medieval: Total War" and "Castles II"--that'll come closer than Stronghold 2 does.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 139 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 59
  2. Negative: 27 out of 59
  1. Disappointed
    Sep 2, 2005
    3
    Some of the buidlings aren't rotable for placement, logs aren't cleared from the environment, so you can't build anything on Some of the buidlings aren't rotable for placement, logs aren't cleared from the environment, so you can't build anything on it. Selecting 10 archers to fit into a outpost is simply near to impossible. Too many troops and you will experience "unselected" bugs. Lousy AI. Stupid concepts : Why can't I feed my viliages with a vegi plot, and eel but I can hold a feast with them. Why must there be hornor before I can recruit people. Why Can't I build structures/castles in land not belonging to me. U mean in real life this doesn't happen? Full Review »
  2. JosephL.
    Sep 7, 2006
    6
    I enjoyed the game but found some technical problems and bugs kept it from being a truly memorable gaming experience. First off the graphics I enjoyed the game but found some technical problems and bugs kept it from being a truly memorable gaming experience. First off the graphics and sound were adequate. The swaying trees and miscellaneous animals roaming around as well as the peasants going about their daily lives. Very nice. Hearing pikemen and bowmen scream their heads off as they get blasted off the wall by a trebuchet ... Freackin awesome. However, the lag issue is a problem ... which occurs even if your above the recommened requirements and play on a lesser setting. That sucks. Plus the forced micromanagement I saw someone else write about is definately a downer. I like being able to manually pick peasants and decide where to send them or what to build ... not build the building and have them go to it with no option for changing his job later. Oh and the biggest one ... not being able to build buildings or walls in lands outside of mine that I capture ... THAT really sucks. Makes it almost impossible to defend unless you send a huge army to EACH estate. Not feasable. Anyway. Maybe some of the concerns and issues we have will be implemented in a Stronghold 3 perhaps? hmmm? Better storyline ... better AI ... increased building and peasant control ... yeah I like the sound of that. Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2013
    4
    The A.I. is retarded, and the bugs are ridiculous. Crossbows shoot faster than bowmen, a small rock from a mangonel causes an area of affectThe A.I. is retarded, and the bugs are ridiculous. Crossbows shoot faster than bowmen, a small rock from a mangonel causes an area of affect attack that sends men flying, and knights are useless on foot due to the fact they have to sheath and then redraw their sword every time they kill an enemy and move on to a new one. Just stick to the original, you cry from disappointment, despite the new features. Full Review »