2I've come online to get this review in early in the hope that I can save other Stronghold fans from making the same mistake I did. This game is an unfinished, buggy mess and I wish I could get my money back. Pre-ordering games just doesn't pay nowadays as developers seem determined to release their unfinished, unpolished, half-implemented rubbish on the paying public. They've had to make this game on a shoestring budget, and it shows from the beginning with the bugs and the use of black and white drawings in place of cinematics. Mission design is poor, the maps are tiny, the animations are rudimentary and the graphics engine is glitchy.
The game simply isn't worth playing in it's current state, and it's merely a throwback to Stronghold 2 and not the original and best Stronghold 1. You have to be worried when a castle building game doesn't give your troops any defensive bonus at all for being behind walls - none whatsoever. Many aspects of the gameplay are quite simply broken, and there is no skirmish mode, just a horrible lackluster campaign. The dreadful reviews will start pouring in soon - hold off on that purchase, wait till you find it in the bargain bin, which won't be very long. A sad waste of time and money.… Full Review »
I wish all of the other reviews were incorrect. I love the stronghold series and I ALWAYS give a game a good opportunity to impress me before I make a decision. This game just couldn't wait though. As one who loved stronghold 2, I felt empty playing SH3. Gone is my beloved skirmish mode. Even sandbox mode was lacking the ability to build an awesome castle. Maps are microscopic in comparison to SH2 maps. I haven't tried the war campaign but so far the economic campaign has failed to excite. Sure the first two missions were fine but number 3 is a case study in why strategy titles like this need a speed up mode. I'm sorry, I am in fact one of those people who likes to sit back and watch my people go about their business. I love Settlers; Heritage of Kings for that very reason. But it is ridiculous expecting players not to lose patience waiting for wood cutters to level a forest, just to continue. Every facet of this game that I have experienced so far has left me wanting. Imagine, if you can that feeling of getting the Sims 3 after playing Sims 2 with all of the expansion packs and gigs of downloaded custom content. Then add bugs and remove a number of options and things to do from Sims 2 original, multiply it by ten... and the feeling left by SH 3 is still worse. Especially because in the back of my mind is that it is not as if much of what I want will come out in an expansion pack. Large maps, skirmish mode, building variety. I doubt any of this will be added.
I truly wish that I could tell people to try it and see for themselves but accept this warning from someone whom is sorely disappointed with the amount of money spent and the result I got. I am very sorry for all of those anticipating something great, but this game is just not worth it. I really wish I had something better to say but this metacritic account was made just to add to the many reviews all saying the same thing: Don't waste your money. It is an empty game that will leave you feeling empty. The tragedy is two fold. It is a poor game, and we are still left wanting stronghold 3… Full Review »