User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 321 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 321

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  1. Oct 25, 2011
    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 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.
  2. Oct 25, 2011
    Just three words: NO SKIRMISH MODE.......................................................................................................................................
  3. Oct 25, 2011
    The only reason for me creating an account here: To warn you all not to buy this ... "game". Its pathetic lol, no skirmish, **** graphics and overall an unfinished feeling. This is far from playable, and even further away from being a good game. Sad to see the money go down the drain.. again.. Don't make the mistake of buying this game. This is not worth the 5 bucks when it ends up in the discount bin even! Expand
  4. Oct 30, 2011
    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
  5. Oct 25, 2011
    Remember when stronghold 2 came out? It's more buggy then that ever was.. Graphic errors, no skirmish mode, terrible campaign and lots more to list.. Don't buy this until it's on a 5$ sale or 3 years from now when they fix all the glitches.. Why can't they just remake stronghold 1 or crusader to how we all want it to be..
  6. Oct 26, 2011
    Such a disappointment, so much potential wasted :( Weak graphics, full of bugs, boring campaign, tiny maps and a generally very unfinished feel to it. Basic mechanics are of course very similar to stronghold 1 and 2 and that's about the only thing done right.
  7. Oct 25, 2011
    The most anticipated flop of our generation. Crashes left right and centre, poor AI and poorly designed non-immersive maps are only a few things that cast out Stronghold 3 from it's predecessors.
  8. Oct 25, 2011
    No skirmish mode. No kingmaker.
    No AI (i.e. computer opponents to play against in any mode, save for what's scripted in the campaign).
    Multiplayer is broken. You literally cannot play multiplayer. Even if you could, there are four very small maps from which to choose.
    Limited free build mode comprising two maps, both of which are very tiny. To give you some reference, if you took thirty
    wheat farms and lined them up, the first and last would be at the edges of the map.

    I won't comment as to how I like the graphics, because to an extent it is personal preference, but I will tell you there are numerous graphical errors, and castle walls use low resolution, blotchy textures.

    I do enjoy the audio. Music is nice. It's not enough to overcome the game's other faults by a longshot, however.

    The game is very buggy. Some people cannot start the game. Others it crashes for, and still others for some odd reason can only play the game in a foreign language (really). For those of us lucky not to experience these major issues, there still is a whole slew of pesky annoyances and gameplay imbalances with which to contend, to the extent that we're wondering if 7sixty and Firefly Studios accidentally released an early beta version instead of the completed game.

    There are some remedies to Stronghold 2's mechanics that are positive, such as not having to deal with sanitation or criminals, and a better camera UI.
    Your building choices are also more refined, which does mean less indeed, but I think it's for the better. For instance, there's only a church, and no chapel or cathedral. The church has a support structure, the chandler, a producer of candles, which the church requires to perform services.
    The honour system is interesting, I think, but there's no sense in going into it here.
    Housing is nifty in that it changes size and capacity based on distance from the keep.
    Weather and day and night cycles are kind of glitched, but in theory they are pretty cool.

    The game is in major need of some serious patches.
    Even with patches, you'd very likely never see a skirmish mode, as AI is something that takes a very long time to develop, and typically requires coding in the early stages of development.
    There may be a technical reason the maps are as small as they are. If this is true, it's extremely disappointing.

    The short answer is stay away from Stronghold 3.
    Maybe reconsider if it goes on sale for ten bucks, but only after extensive patching.
  9. Oct 25, 2011
    This game is nowhere near finished, graphics are atrocious and the game doesn't even support 1080p, almost no info throughout the game as to what each building does or how much or whatever it is producing, no display info telling you how much stock you have in a given item other than having to constantly re-check the stockpile. It is a complete mess and such a shame as the gaming landscape could have done with a new game of this type. Expand
  10. Oct 25, 2011
    My biggest gripe with this game is that it bears a full price tag and there is no demo. That is really a problem, because you can't get refunds on Steam and the game is utter crap. It runs well, but looks bad on GTX470 and is missing a lot of features. Feels like a beta version. They just wanted to cash in on the Stronghold name.
  11. Oct 25, 2011
    A nasty surprise for Stronghold fans. This game is very buggy and has an unfinished feel to it. Let me rephrase that: This game has been released in a state it shouldn't be. It's like a fetus gets pulled out of a womb months before its time. This should have never been released in this state.
    Furthermore, there is a lack of skirmish mode, which means you have to deal with the current
    campaigns as they are. They are impossibly difficult, not as much to say the game is challenging, but you have the feeling you're not fighting the virtual enemies, rather the bugs you come across. There is no bonus for standing on walls, and your men at arms get stuck when they can't hit their enemies. What is that all about?
    A lot of people say they don't like the graphics, but I think they're the only pro to this game as far as I'm concerned. I think this game is salvageable with a lot of patching, but for now I'd suggest you all wait till it's in the bargain bin.
  12. Oct 25, 2011
    Incredibly disappointed! The game is not finished, should not have been release in my opinion. Multi player does not work at all at the moment! Huge bugs in game! This game needs a patch to even be playable. Anyone rating the game 10 works for production coz game don't work!!!
  13. Oct 25, 2011
    Don't do it.
    I am a rare partial-blind gamer, Unfamiliar with this series. bought this on steam pre-order, and I concur with the rest of the abysmal reviews. Played this for about an hour before turning it off in frustration. The most striking elements are near non-existent KB controls (important to some folks), lackluster storyline (the opening anyway), small / poorly designed maps,
    and its just TOO similar to SH 1. All the typical ailments of a low-budget game. No skirmish mode. The Settlers series is similar to this and those beat this with a stick. These type of games fail to keep my interest. I was expecting something like Sim-Medieval Kingdom, but its like Castle-Craft gone bad. Expand
  14. Oct 25, 2011
    Lord Solor is a tool. This game does not deserve a Ten. This game is clearly a unfinished product. If you check out firefly official forum, you can see the various gameplay issues that Firefly ignored. Wolf can climb ladders! Wolf can kill your armored lord! Any units can attack walls.
    There is no strong walls option. What is the point of building walls if they don't block enemy
    Building walls and staircases are like pulling your wisdom tooth by yourself.

    If you want to save money, don't buy this game. Buy Stronghold 1 or 2. Stronghold 3 is a epic fail game.
  15. Oct 25, 2011
    I literally created this metacritic account to warn people away from Stronghold 3. This game is full of bugs and I want my money back! I reloaded a saved game, it wouldn't recognize I had stuff in my stockpile. I reloaded again. My wall was glitched up so that it wasn't connected. The multiplayer is not working and no skirmish mode... which leaves this game devoid of life. What the heck are they thinking to release a game in such a shoddy state, it should be illegal. If I had any member of firefly studios in the room with me right now I swear I would throttle them with no remorse. Expand
  16. Oct 25, 2011
    Such a shame......... Game was talked about such potential an its now Day 2 of release an I have returned the game for my money back. Bug ridden launch of yet another PC title. It feels they release these games for the pure need of sales to get their budget up since they peeked it an had run out of funds, so they sell a unfinished unpolished game to gain revenue so they can fix the issues an implement the rest of the games ideas with the new found source of money they receive from sales. Very poor business ethics from the PC industry the past 2-4 years. It is getting really annoying....It is like they want me to just buy a Console an never look back with the type of lack of respect they show us consumer PC gamers. Game tries to show you the light at the end of the tunnel but merely fails horribly. No skirmish in a RTS game is a complete ruin of the style of game it is, where is the replay ability without skirmish???? No Kingmaker makes even LESS replay ability..... What do they expect us to do buy a game for 50 dollars to play a 10 hour campaign if that an then just notch the game off on are list of what to do next? This title is a slap in the face to PC gamers of the genre this title supports, They talk in their Dev videos how they did so much not to fail like supposedly Stronghold 2 did, Well it had its issues at launch I will be honest, but after some patches an time I rather play that game then this supposed "new" an "better" version. They were so negative towards SH2 that they even made the story take off from the original SH1, that right there tells you they do no have confidence in their ability to make games. I warn anyone who buys this game within its first month of launch, for it will take some time fixing the mass of Bugs this game is experiencing at the moment. Wait a few if months for it to hit the bargain bin or hit the sales rack on steam or at Retailers such as Gamestop store or their Online download system "aka" Impulse that for some reason they now changed it to the name of their stores, which on a side note I thought was stupid... I liked Impulse as the name more then the Current. An stay Clear from Origin unless you just HAVE to have a EA game or you will die. (rumors say it has a spyware in the software to take your information an sell it to other companies for marketing purposes, be careful)
    Well I hope this post helps people save some money. I give this game a 3 out of 10 because they attempted to do something at least, even if it was a massive launch PC title failure again. Maybe a few months down the road it will be playable an enjoyable like SH2 became when its issues were fixed an corrected. The only Thing good going for this game is the introduction of a Physics engine making the the destruction of Castle walls an Town buildings look more realistic an the peoples "AI" bodies having a "rag" doll effect to their lifeless corpses. I sure hope some other big titles coming out that I am waiting for do not do this as well, Such as Skyrim from Besthesda.... Especially after how horrible RAGE was an still is after multiply patches to try an fix it, yet still have not. Wish the PC industry would get their **** together... I am really considering going back to Xbox or Playstation, I know they go through their issues now an then but at least with a console I did not spend $2,000.00 plus dollars to make a top end gaming machine just to get crappy game after crappy game released
  17. Oct 25, 2011
    I guess the glorious days of the Stronghold Franchise are over. Stronghold 3 has HUGE bugs, currently no speed regulation, graphics looks like came out of 2002 - to shortcut this - for my taste... a Nr1 lame game. Stronghold 3 earned a place in my personal FAIL BUY's list.
  18. Oct 25, 2011
    Worst Game Ever. 10 years since the original and this is the best they can manage? Buggy, crappy graphics and disappointing game play. PS, A sketch for a cut scene is as lazy as it gets. I demand a refund. SAVE YOUR MONEY DO NOT BUY.
  19. Oct 25, 2011
    This game is awful. The tutorial is far too brief. The gameplay is sluggish and antiquated. The controls feel unfinished. The graphics are very poor and glitchy. After 20 minutes of play I feel totally robbed of the premium price that I pre-paid for this game. Shameful.
  20. Oct 25, 2011
    Beyond unpolished, unfinished. Not only the combat system is buggy and full of oversights, it is faulted by design. No care has been put at all in this game. The economics mechanics are not the best of the series, but at least are better than Stronghold 2's.

    Only the music and the sound effects are acceptable. Voice acting is OK. Graphics are all right if you don't care too much, but unit
    animations are sub-par.

    Some reviews say it needs "a few patches". But it needs to be redone.
  21. Oct 25, 2011
    Buggy, over-simplistic and but a shadow of it's former incarnates. There is so much to hate in this game, and forums everywhere are overflowing with it all. All in all, avoid.
  22. Oct 26, 2011
    I am a hardcore Stronghold Fan. I have played every one of them, one, two and crusader.

    My recommendation? If you want to know what Stronghold 3 is, take all of the objects from Stronghold 2, and put them in an exact copy of Stronghold 1, then make the game terribly buggy, unresponsive and just all around sh*tty. First, the game does a have a few things going for it. Castle construction
    certainly has a few more options (a few) and you do get 72 directions in which you can place buildings, which allows you to pretty much make your city look the way you want and fit buildings into tight spaces. Secondly I really like the story telling method of black and white scenes with the Wolf's voice over it.

    Lastly, the fact that the Jackal is in this game, from the Crusader games, is a highlight.

    Now for the bad... Oh the bad...

    Perhaps the most important thing for any game to have is good control. Control, control control. This game has terrible unit control. Playing the first military mission, where I had a mere 7 units I could barely command all of them. Clicking on enemies is downright stupid because half the time your men will sit and have a tea before realizing the enemy has a sword through his chest. Also on the first mission I experienced the Firefly version of Fog of War. It is basically an invisible cloud that makes a path look totally clear until you walk towards it. Not like normal FoW, where it is darker so you can TELL that something might be hidden, but literally just hiding units from view. Stronghold has never done this before, why now?? I managed to pass the first mission though, and thought, well now I am on to building so I am sure that was just me flubbing around in the beginning. Second mission starts up and I need to gather goods and locate missing soldiers. Once again I assume the game has the invisible fog of war because I can't see any soldiers on the map. I place my stockpile and my granary and start building farms. Then I realize I need wood. I go to the industry panel and...

    "Wth is that?"

    The logging camp is easily the biggest building in the game. I actually played free-play and tried to find a bigger building. No dice. It also seems to produce less than the 1 person huts from before and cost 6.6 times as much. Well it looked kind of cool so I placed it and tried to keep working. Then I was attacked by wolves.

    Many Stronghold fans are familiar with wolves. Many are also familiar with the popularity meter, a unique feature of Stronghold. With the arrival of wolves my popularity dropped to negative 15. This made no sense to me since I was used to the 100 point popularity system that the other games had and now this new system has screwed me over. The wolves killed my loggers, which lowered my population, which made my farmers leave, which drained my food to 0 which gave me less popularity. I immediately rage quit.

    I did try out creative mode too. Castle building is total crap, trust me, I don't need to go into the finer details. Let me just say housing now costs somewhere between 20-60 wood but you don't get to choose, it is decided by how close you are to your keep. Why? Because the game says so.

    This game is a severe disappointment. DO NOT BUY. DO NOT RENT.
  23. Oct 26, 2011
    This game is garbage. The developers knew what they were doing when they released this trash. Shame on them. False COOP gameplay advertising on Steam during preorder was criminal. I'm disgusted at Firefly and what they did to this franchise. Whenever I see high marks from user reviews for this game, it's clear they work for the company...gross.
  24. Oct 27, 2011
    STAY AWAY !!! Thx to the piracy I saved myself money This game is totally unplayable I wanted to have fun not to be irritated. first of all where the heck is difficulty level ??? second: in the advertisement i heard about realism. so please go to the shop buy bread and find out the very next day /read mission/ that there is no bread available to buy or produce ??? can i forget how to build a farm or bakery just like that ??? new construction should be added not removed and if You guys try to make the game difficult that way - so its bad way !!! third i should be able to buy everything in market building and first of all the items that i cant produce in the first place. 4. i gave that game 4 mission time to convince me that its a good game. and stuck on fourth mission its to difficult for normal player and to annoying. camera control is bad. and the space bar view is useless. Bugs everywhere. Time control would be nice. I,am into strategic games and i hoped to have good game instead i have seen lots of potential wasted. Shame on You Firefly Studios and again thanks to the pirates. It's not like i would say its good to use pirated version but now days i think there is new mission for them to show the crap to the people !!! and they did as to stronghold 3. I would like to buy quality good designed games. I like playing games and i support the companies which are producing games i like. Once again I dont want to be misunderstood piracy is not good for the companies and players too but its good source of knowing what to buy and what to forget Uninstalled deleted forged. Waste of hdd space and money if You intend to buy. Expand
  25. Oct 26, 2011
    I loved Stronghold 1 and Crusader - not so big on 2 and Legends, but this... this is by far the worst RTS I have ever played in my life. NOTHING works as it should, nothing is thought through. It's like they've taken all the worst parts from previous Stronghold games and none of the good, and then added a million bugs.

    Graphics are broken and ugly. 1920x1080 isn't an option, but if I pick
    1600x900 it stretches the image for some reason, so I have to play in a 16:10 resolution on my 16:9 monitor with black borders, just to be able to see an unstretched image. Game speed is ridiculously slow. Walls don't protect units behind them, animals can climb ladders, no audio cues when your men are being attacked. No explanation of what anything does and no tooltips for most buttons. Economic system is atrocious and resource management is hell with no HUD indication of resources. Fighting is atrocious and no fun at all. Etc.

    This game is horrible in every way, completely unfinished and certain areas, like the cutscenes, clearly showcase how little this game has cost to make, in terms of both money and labour. Releasing a game in this state at full price (or at any price, really) is no different from picking someone's pocket, and Firefly are nothing more than petty thieves.
  26. Oct 25, 2011
    I was really looking forward to this game. Preordered it. SO disappointed. Laggy (even on my very high spec nearly new laptop), still lags when graphics set lower and lights turned off. Crashes out.... oh I can't even begin to list all the problems.

    I wish I'd never wasted my money :(
  27. Oct 25, 2011
    Don't buy this unfinished, buggy game actual...
    There is no skirmish mode, no ai support for MP - not even a working MP.
    Your peasants eat 3x food as normal - and your maps are tiny - so you will build food buildins only - no space for a castle.
    You cannot build wall on wall and your walls become broken by food units...
    This is just a part of negative things on the current Stronghold 3
    release. But the badest things are response like this:

    "Stronghold 3 was designed as a throwback to the original Stronghold. Itâ
  28. Oct 25, 2011
    I was incredibly disappointed with this game. Even without the multiplayer and AI issues, simple game play is awkward. Resolution is surprisingly bad. Wooden walls won't connect, and leave gaps that can't be closed. There is no good way to see why or what's wrong. When you delete walls, little visual slivers are left which can't be deleted, but can be selected and keep other functions from working correctly. Placing any sort of property gives little indication of why it can't be placed, it would be nice to see a highlight or flash of the offending piece of ground/property. Installation took me two hours, due to numerous download/delay/crash/uninstall/reinstall errors. They were all solvable on Steam support site, but seriously? Two hours. There is not as much notice in popularity, granary, etc. changes. I got caught a few times. When you play some of the economics campaigns you don't have limited time but if you take longer than 100 days you get no points. Seriously? This is only with 5 hours of play on Economics. I haven't even started the combat stuff yet. And seriously, who wants to play in the rain? If you ask me, the new 'look' is hard to see, way too granular and really takes away from the game. I liked a lot of the complexity of the SH2, and am sad to see it gone, at least in economics mode. The small map screen is way too big for the overall screen, it would be nice to be able to minimize/resize it to smaller for those of us without 46" monitors. Overall, I'm just really disappointed that I waited this long, paid this up front, lived through the ridiculous delays and then got this. I guess if you want to make cool looking physics trailers and blow dudes off a wall, this is awesome, but if you want a castle-building good time, go back and play SH1. Expand
  29. Oct 25, 2011
    It was advertised as having coop. There is no coop. Therefore, they are dirty, dirty, liars. It's full of bugs and quality of life issues. Avoid this game!

    And to the apologists claiming we should take it easy on them because all new games are thanks. The gaming industry consistently rakes consumers over the coals on everything from release dates, missing features and
    buggy/broken gameplay. I say this is unacceptable. Name one other product you would pay full price for that was missing parts or broke down 30 seconds after you used it. Why should developers get a free pass? Their mistreatment of us will continue so long as we (the consumer) allow it. Stand up for yourselves. Speak with your wallets. And stop giving money to designers who are half-assing it.

    Demand quality.
  30. Oct 26, 2011
    this is the worst piece of **** game that i've ever seen in my entire life! i just don't understand why firefly does this to its fans

    and @ all the firefly-members here: would you PLEASE stop creating accounts here just to give this game a (undeserved) 10 and to tell people how great it is? you know very well that this game is CRAP! it's just ridiculous what you're doing, nobody will buy
    this game just because you're writing fake reviews here -_- Expand

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 29
  2. Negative: 14 out of 29
  1. 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]
  2. Dec 24, 2011
    A traditional strategy with many elements which are too old. Fans of the series may like it still. [January 2012, p.72]
  3. Dec 16, 2011
    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!"