Stronghold: Crusader II PC

Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 186 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: When it was first released in 2002 Stronghold Crusader put a unique twist on the gameplay of the original Stronghold by focusing on skirmish gameplay and replayability above all else. Recently Stronghold Crusader HD gave the game a new lease of life, offered as a free update for existingWhen it was first released in 2002 Stronghold Crusader put a unique twist on the gameplay of the original Stronghold by focusing on skirmish gameplay and replayability above all else. Recently Stronghold Crusader HD gave the game a new lease of life, offered as a free update for existing owners of the game and made available for purchase on GOG and Steam. Crusader 2 has been on the mind of Lead Designer Simon Bradbury since the release of Stronghold Crusader in 2002. It is only now, having become a fully independent studio, that Firefly feel comfortable delivering a worthy sequel to their fans’ favourite game. As a developer their mission is to recapture the addictive, intense gameplay that made the original Crusader a classic. Players can also expect new visuals, a reworked battle interface, new AI characters, environmental threats, new units and real-time physics. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Sep 26, 2014
    90
    Stronghold Crusader 2 was a rare game that I got lost in. I started playing and before I knew it, it was six hours later. Who can resist a game about castle building, economy raising, and taking on large castles full of troops and hazards?. Especially when you can soften up the numbers by launching diseased animals over castle walls.
  2. Sep 23, 2014
    80
    Firefly Studios hasn't quite made a new classic RTS game here, but they were extremely close.
  3. Oct 9, 2014
    80
    I would not recommend it as a single-player game. It simply doesn’t have enough flesh on the bones to be played that way for more than a few days. Fortunately, Crusader was never meant to be played alone.
  4. Sep 24, 2014
    64
    The Stronghold series isn't like Total War, doing a hundred different things; it just needs to get the castles and combat right. On the evidence of Stronghold Crusader 2, Firefly is moving in the right direction, but it still has a way to go.
  5. Dec 3, 2014
    60
    Blast from the past when real-time strategies used to dominate the world. The creators took the concept of the first part almost completely and besides the updated visuals there is no extra value added to differentiate the sequel from the original.
  6. Oct 10, 2014
    60
    Stronghold Crusader 2 is not what we’ve hoped: right now the game doesn’t come close to its great predecessor. Still, there are some original ideas to be found here, but thanks to all the bugs it feels like this game has been released too soon.
  7. Oct 8, 2014
    40
    The game is an anachronism, proving that transposing ideas from the past (without thinking critically about how they should be represented in the present) doesn’t always work.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 53
  2. Negative: 21 out of 53
  1. Sep 23, 2014
    10
    Exactly what I wanted out of the game. If you enjoy the original stronghold crusader this should be equally as addictive. I have put about 6Exactly what I wanted out of the game. If you enjoy the original stronghold crusader this should be equally as addictive. I have put about 6 hours into the game so far. At first I was hesitant but after I progressed through the campaigns I found that this game possesses everything that made the original fun and more. Expand
  2. Sep 28, 2014
    10
    This is the best Stronghold game since the original Crusader and FireFly deserves some credit for this after what I saw from SH2, Legends,This is the best Stronghold game since the original Crusader and FireFly deserves some credit for this after what I saw from SH2, Legends, etc. It definitely feels like a Crusader game and I appreciate the areas in which they simplified such as no longer having engineers and letting the stockpile, granary, and armory have infinite space. I also appreciate how much less space the orchards, farms, and other food buildings require. This is essentially Stronghold Crusader 2 with a modern graphics engine and some tweaks under the hood. The fact they kept the same formula is a very good thing.

    The visuals are also a massive improvement over the original and the game definitely looks great. There's a lot of familiarity which is nice. The fire arrows are a little disappointing compared to the original since they miss that whistle and nice smoke trail. I had to take a second look to make sure the fire arrows were working at all.

    I only have a couple hours in the game so far, but from my experience the game is far more polished than predecessors, though not quite there yet. The game is fun and I look forward to spending more time in it.

    My only suggestion to FireFly is to take that leap and just invest in a solid game engine that's already on the market and has proved itself. Bugs aren't acceptable in 2014 and FireFly has been struggling with their proprietary engine since going 3D with Stronghold 2 which is several years ago now. You have to call it quits at some point and just lease a gaming engine geared for RTS. This way they can focus on gameplay mechanics and design rather than focusing so much on the technicalities. With that said, the engine in Crusader 2 is good for the most part, but still lacking collision detection.
    Expand
  3. Sep 23, 2014
    9
    Firefly Studios has done it, they made up for their previous game, Stronghold 3. I have been awaiting this game for months, and so far itFirefly Studios has done it, they made up for their previous game, Stronghold 3. I have been awaiting this game for months, and so far it lives up to my expectations. I have been playing it since I got it at about 11:00 am on the date of its release, and I not tired with it yet. There are a few things that I found annoying:
    1. No laddermen or Siege Towers.
    2. prone to random crashes (but that may just be my computer)
    &3. like every SH game besides legends (maybe 3 but I got too frustrated at that to notice) I click produce unit X times and I get X soldiers, whereas in Legends I could drag a slider to the designated number and click the produce unit button once to get multiple units (though this is just a personal preference).

    The good definitely outweighs the bad. The physics engine is amazing (I especially like seeing the archer corpses fall limp over the battlements). The graphics are great, especially the textures of the water and the sand. Although I was hoping for a little more diversity with the number of lords for skirmishes (for example: it has the rat and the wolf, so why not the pig and the snake?). But all in all it is a great comeback after the failure of Stronghold 3, and I would highly recommend this to anyone.
    Expand
  4. Jan 4, 2015
    6
    The game play comes from an era when programmers had tons of ideas but only few grams of tools. Nowadays things had changed. Unfortunately notThe game play comes from an era when programmers had tons of ideas but only few grams of tools. Nowadays things had changed. Unfortunately not for the good of players as programmers now have tons of tools but only grams of new ideas. Expand
  5. Sep 24, 2014
    4
    A big disappointment. In my first review, I stated that AI has been improved a lot. Several hours passed, I realize that I was wrong. In termsA big disappointment. In my first review, I stated that AI has been improved a lot. Several hours passed, I realize that I was wrong. In terms of unit management, AI does an excellent job, you won't have a chance if AI has a similar army size of your army. However, the reason why AI can rush so quickly is just because AI cheat for resources and units. Just try to destroy more and more AI's buildings, you will finally find out that opponent AI can still spawn any units they want even they don't have the necessary buildings and resource.

    The game has cut out a lot of content from the Stronghold Crusader I, you have less buildings in this game. Also, the details, animation, actions, voice and description of units are either absent or greatly reduced. Graphics becomes 3D now but it looks even worse than the 2.5D HD graphic in SC I.

    Single player campaign just look like a in-game tutorial, so your main game modes are the skirmish and sandbox mode. However, due to the reduction of details, there is no fun in sandbox mode compared to SC I. There are still various glitches or bugs leftover (e.g. units getting stuck, missing voice or sound, unresponsive mouse pointer, etc.), just take a look in the steam forum.

    Overall, the game doesn't worth $50 as there are not much innovation. Choosing the SC I instead may be a better purchase option.
    Expand
  6. Sep 24, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. READ ALL THESE USER COMMENTS BEFORE YOU BUY !

    I am one of the stupid ones who got my hopes up after seeing reviews and hearing 'its the original game, but much improved with more additions bringing it up to date' ... and so i bought it.
    What a mistake!
    IT IS MISSING MANY THINGS FROM THE ORIGINAL!!!!!
    No laddermen
    No seige towers
    No engineers! to use, build or put into your seige equipment. This changes gameplay massively, as it used to take time to get decent wall defences, because you had to first build the engineers workshop, produce engineers, and build a big enough tower, then build a ballista/mangonel etc on it, and then put your engineers in them for them to function. Now i just buy a bloody ballista tower as soon as the game starts and it begins shooting longrange hail marys from the get go.
    What about PIMPING my castle... **** in 2002 i could put flags and the likes around, not in this remake.
    No EVIL / NICE system in the castle. Gone are the days of building dungeons and setting out heads on spikes to scare your populace ****less so you can tax them etc... this also kills gameplay in a big way, that was so much of the fun!
    Have to agree with most of the other comments.. The WALLS come down like polysterene blocks, so effortlessly and quickly.
    Maps are tiny, one of the only flaws in original also. but its 2014 youd think they could have fixed that!!! Makes it annoyingly irritating to have resources far from castle so you can NEVER fully have your castle emcompass everything. You are always rebuilding or defending your resource buildings out in the middle of nowhere.
    No more leather armour
    No info when you scroll over buildings etc
    No more peasants saying provocative gestures when u click em
    No tunneling men?? that ive seen
    The AI keep repeating the same tripe over n over again, its 2014 ! get a heap of new sayings in there not just 1 or 2 !!!
    AI is not improved, they do the same **** over n over again from what ive experienced.
    Ahh the list is endless.

    THIS GAME HAS BEEN DUMBED DOWN !!!

    IT HAS LESS THAN THE ORIGINAL !!!

    Gameplay is not even as fun as original !!!!! :(

    Ok, rant over.

    Graphics not good, but ok.
    Only cool thing was haybale launcher thingy.
    So if your into firey haybales then fork over all your dough, otherwise DONT BUY !
    Expand
  7. Sep 26, 2014
    0
    A big disappointment. In my first review, I stated that AI has been improved a lot. Several hours passed, I realize that I was wrong. In termsA big disappointment. In my first review, I stated that AI has been improved a lot. Several hours passed, I realize that I was wrong. In terms of unit management, AI does an excellent job, you won't have a chance if AI has a similar army size of your army. However, the reason why AI can rush so quickly is just because AI cheat for resources and units. Expand

See all 53 User Reviews