Metascore
47

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 29
  2. Negative: 14 out of 29
  1. Nov 5, 2011
    55
    Passion alone isn't enough to make a game great. Stronghold 3 assumes too much of the user initially, and doesn't do enough to keep the village-building fresh and interesting.
  2. Nov 28, 2011
    45
    You may play a feudal lord in Stronghold 3, but the tedious micromanagement and bugs make you feel like a peasant.
  3. Oct 25, 2011
    74
    The folks at Firefly knew what they had to do to win back Stronghold fans, and they mostly did it: Everything that annoyed people about Stronghold 2 is gone, and some great new features have been added. Nonetheless, Stronghold 3 needs a few patches and maybe a price cut before it can starting winning new fans for the franchise.
  4. Oct 28, 2011
    40
    I wish I could say something positive about Stronghold 3. The closest I can come is to call it Stronghold 1 with better graphics. Even that is unfair to the 2001 original, which at least worked on a basic level – a task sadly above Stronghold 3's capabilities. As much as I wanted to like this game, I can't recommend it in good faith to anyone.
  5. Oct 30, 2011
    30
    I could go on with this litany of problems: random peasants that incessantly block the placement of structures, a ridiculously shallow tutorial, stability problems – but there's no need. Stronghold 3 is a very bad game that simply feels like it was hurriedly cobbled together and released with a minimum of testing.
  6. Nov 4, 2011
    40
    Stronghold might have been great once, but that castle has long since crumbled. Spend your ducats elsewhere.
  7. Nov 5, 2011
    59
    Every once in a while, a glimpse of the intended gameplay shines through in Stronghold 3, and you can see the strategic elements for what they should be. However, there are so many bugs and flaws with the game that it can be really tough to get a true look at its potential.
  8. Nov 10, 2011
    58
    Too bugs, unpolished features and design mistakes keep Stronghold 3 far from the heights of the series.
  9. Nov 18, 2011
    25
    Ultimately, Stronghold 3 is a promising game that really could have used another year or two of development time.
  10. Oct 28, 2011
    40
    Stronghold 3 is a bizarre third outlier, clinging to an aging formula but making changes that actually feel like a step back. The real crime here isn't that Stronghold 3 is a bad game, it's the disservice done to a series that has provided so much joy in the past, ruining our nostalgia. Somewhere, a child in a tree fort is weeping.
  11. Nov 3, 2011
    69
    If you're looking for a decent RTS with a few hiccups here and there that could easily be fixed with a patch or two, Stronghold 3 is not a bad choice. If you're new to the series or new to RTS games in general, you might want to at least wait for a price cut but still give it a chance when that does happen.
  12. Nov 23, 2011
    0
    This buggy, unfinished mess of a castle-building sim should never have been released in its current state.
  13. Oct 31, 2011
    20
    Buried beneath bugs, control issues, harsh mission design and even harsher economic balancing, there seems to be a shadow of the old Stronghold as we remember it; sometimes you'll even have a minute of fun here and there.
  14. Nov 9, 2011
    70
    Stronghold 3 its true to its predecessors, too much even! It offers only refined graphics and the night time siege: little compared to what was expected.
  15. Nov 2, 2011
    70
    Stronghold 3 is a successor that takes up the story of the original and continues it. Wit a back to the roots approach, the game tries to avoid disgrace a la Stronghold 2. The new day and night cycles, plus the physics of collapsing buildings, are a stark contrast to largely drab graphics and some clipping problems. The missing skirmish mode is also a problem. Still, all in all, Stronghold 3 delivers a solid military and economic gameplay.
  16. Nov 1, 2011
    60
    Stronghold 3 is one of the last, big, exclusives of PC gaming but it lacks originality and has an amount of bugs able to destroy even the strongest fortified walls. The first patch has made big improvements but there is still a long way to go.
  17. Nov 16, 2011
    50
    I thought I would've been more engaged in both campaigns, but I felt that both modes were pretty bland. Yes, it had its fun moments but they were few and far between.
  18. 40
    Failure of the year – first two games don't deserve such a disappointing sequel as Stronghold 3 did. Few pros cannot hide a pile of bugs and bad design decisions. [Dec 2011]
  19. Nov 9, 2011
    40
    I was particularly looking forward to Stronghold 3, so much so I requested the review months ago, and I still find it difficult to believe that Firefly have so spectacularly fouled things up.
  20. Nov 26, 2011
    56
    Frustrating for newcomers and disappointing for veterans, Stronghold 3 is a combat overhaul away from being any good.
  21. Nov 29, 2011
    50
    What we got is an unfinished, bug-ridden product that should have never seen the light of day. [December 2011, p.60]
  22. Oct 28, 2011
    53
    It really hurts to see a game that could have been great failing because of lots of small and medium problems. Without bugs it could have easily scored 70 or more, the potential is there.
  23. Dec 16, 2011
    30
    Stronghold 3 is boring beyond redemption. The blurb on the retail box should have been written along the lines of "We've run out of ideas, our artists forgot how to draw, and our programmers can't produce stable code anymore, but hey, a long, long time ago we made one really great game!"
  24. Dec 4, 2011
    50
    Nearly charming and challenging enough to be worth enduring sadistic mission design, bugs, and bad controls. Nearly. [Christmas 2011, p.56]
  25. Nov 18, 2011
    50
    Did Firefly fulfill their promises to deliver a worthy successor of the first game for their fans? Definitely not. Even when you don't look at its many minor flaws, you simply cannot overlook all these elements that transform a relaxing medieval game into a catalyst of negative emotions. Stronghold 3 is the hardest game of the series. I don't mind a high level of difficulty, but it should rely on the game's quests and missions, not the mechanics.
  26. 40
    Some people - die-hard fans of the sub-genre spring to mind - might be able to get some entertainment from it, but for me and (probably) most gamers it simply gets bogged down in its hundred and five minor flaws and doesn't have enough 'fun' to make it worthwhile... it dies the death of a thousand tiny paper-cuts.
  27. Nov 8, 2011
    35
    Put bluntly, Stronghold 3 is an unfinished game. It lacks at least a few years of proper development, which is very unfortunate.
  28. Dec 24, 2011
    80
    A traditional strategy with many elements which are too old. Fans of the series may like it still. [January 2012, p.72]
  29. Oct 26, 2011
    41
    This game has done everything in its power to make you want to quit before you experience it all.
User Score
3.1

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 333 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 161
  1. Oct 25, 2011
    2
    I'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 gameI'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 »
  2. Oct 25, 2011
    0
    Just three words: NO SKIRMISHJust three words: NO SKIRMISH MODE....................................................................................................................................... Full Review »
  3. Oct 30, 2011
    2
    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 beforeI 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 »