Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. When you use a trebuchet (an enormous catapult) to launch a diseased cow over an enemy's walls and watch his population drop like flies, you can't help but get that warm fuzzy "I love this game" feeling. [Dec 2002, p.149]
  2. Economy and warfare are well balanced and equally exciting. The gameplay is fantastic, and it will require you to think strategically in stead of just massing up units.
  3. It looks wonderful, plays like a dream and deserves a place in the games collection of any self-respecting strategy fan immediately.
  4. 84
    If you enjoyed the mighty Stronghold, but want a game with even more substance, then sire, your software is ready.
  5. An interesting twist is the lack of fog of war. This takes a while to get used to, but works surprisingly well.
  6. Considering its new campaign options, more-satisfying single-player missions, and tweaked gameplay, it's a safe bet that fans of the original game will have even more fun storming the castle.
  7. Taking place in a barren desert is a nice twist and makes the player go for some other strategy that he may not be used to while playing similar games where resources are plentiful.
  8. It's hard! On the plus side, it is not frustratingly so, as with some dedicated play, most gamers will likely find it to be a rewarding challenge.
  9. Basically, Crusader is just Stronghold but browner, and whether you like it or not will probably have a lot to do with whether you played Stronghold and how much you liked it.
  10. 80
    A much better game than the original.
  11. It's just a few new features away from glory. [Holiday 2002, p.85]
  12. This deliciously brutal slice of RTS gaming is a hugely enjoyable Middle Ages romp.
  13. Compensating for the lack of visual variety is the sheer wealth of interesting and engaging play modes. [Jan 2003, p.83]
  14. The Arabs are the most disappointing addition to the game. Instead of a fully realized faction, they're window dressing. [Jan 2003, p.110]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Dec 22, 2010
    Listen to the users and not the critics on this game as this is by far underrated. A great cross between an RTS game and a sim providing more realism. While the AI are fairly predictable this game can still be very challenging, especially when undergoing the crusader trail which requires you to perform certain tactics in order to establish a foothold to win that level. Designing your own map and playing it is always a lot of fun, or even better, downloading someone else's maps and playing them. Even though the game includes a huge amount of maps, there is community fourms that design many great maps for players to download and play. Extremely cheap game, any RTS player should buy it. Full Review »
  2. Aug 29, 2011
    when 7 years ago i played this,the first best game i played,i play a whole afternoon when i first play it ,hope stronghold 3 will be like this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2012
    This is, without a doubt, the greatest game I have ever played. I started playing it over 8 years ago, and it is the ONLY game which I have continued to play at least every few months for such a huge period. I can't really explain, but it just has this great feeling. I was really hoping stronghold 3 would be like this, but it appears they decided to remake stronghold 1. It seems firefly accidentally stumbled into some designer fantasy magic land, and took all these wonderful ideas from there, to make this. Unfortunately, they have yet to replicate this amazing game, and I doubt they ever will. I cannot describe how strongly I recommend this game, not just to people who enjoy RTS - that should go without saying, but to EVERYONE. BUY THIS GAME.
    Don't listen to the critics, they are more concerned with sounding witty than evaluating the game, listen to the players.
    Oh, and firefly, if your there, take stronghold back to the desert where it shines. Having to fight over tiny pieces of oasis is awesome.
    Full Review »