“ Stronghold: Crusader is a dynamic castle sim set in a distant Arabian land, that combines the finest aspects from the city builder and a real-time strategy genres. Within a resilient castle beats the heart of a thriving society full of Fletchers Brew. „
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Stronghold: Crusader is a stand alone expansion for the original Stronghold providing more challenging levels for players who have completed the original game. Although Stronghold: Crusader does not require the original game to be installed, it does not provide any tutorials on gameplay and thus is intended for those who have had experience with the first game. The game jumps right into deep water in the world of the crusades. You must now achieve both economic and combat objectives in a desert enviroment, with only limited farming and building space as well as a lack of local resources. As levels progress the player with find themselves having to fight harder to secure basic resources and building space from the nearby enemy castle which will belong to either a local eastern faction or one of the good old barons we all love and hate from the original game. Being set in a dry, hot desert, the player with find themselves having to battle frequent outbreaks of fire, be it a natural event or caused by one of the new firestarting units the player will be facing as a crusader. When playing as an eastern faction, the player will have access to a new style of castle towers and buildings as well as some new units such as eastern swordsmen. The levels are less story driven and more about defeating one opponant after another which will increase in difficulty as the player progresses. More of a storyline would have been an improvement on the atmosphere of the crusades as this merely feels like medieval europe but in a desert. Most of the sounds and voices as well as music are the same as the original with some eastern music thrown in, which in my opinion is a good thing. The music went well with the first game and its nice to hear two mandolins being played whilst you lay waste to yet another fortress with fire and sword. No upgrade to the graphics in this game but that doesn't seem a problem to me, there can be so much happening at once that having a smooth running lag free gaming experience is exactly what you need.
You can tell from the get go that this game is meant from people that have played the original Stronghold. Sure it gives you a rough idea of what you need to be doing but it doesn't baby you through the first set of missions like the first game does. Considering I hadn't played a Stronghold game for a good few years, I found it a bit overwhelming to begin with. The increase in difficulty was a lot steeper in this then the previous. Once I got used to it again though I found it even more enjoyable then the first. Plot: Although there's a story to the historical campaigns (brief message at the start and end of each mission), there's nothing in the way of that on the skirmish trail. The historical campaigns are based on the Crusades (hence the title) but I found them to be incredibly short. The skirmish fights are where the beef of the game is. When working your way through the skirmish fights, you're basically shown your opponents and then fight to be the last one standing. I did miss the huge story driven missions as they played such a large part in the first game although I'm not sure how hey would of fitted them into the style of game that this follows. For how many skirmish missions there are, I don't think you could have found a plot to fit each one bringing the overall quality of game down in the end. Game play: Basically you start from scratch and so do your opponents and you have to build you castle and army into something great. You need to balance both the defense and general running or your castle with the attacking and army side of things. Build a great castle but army to protect it and soon you have your enemies knocking on your door coming to wipe you out yet focus too much on the attacking side of things and you won't be able to sustain your army be it in gold or new recruits. You get a larger selection of troops then the previous game with the option to raise your army the old fashioned Stronghold way with resources and crafting or you can buy them in through the mercenary post. There's also the option in Crusaders to high Arabian troops too but it depends on your attack/defend plan as to if they will fit. I wouldn't say it was a huge micro management game. You have to build everything yourself but once it's up and running, it tends to look after itself. The only attention you really need to give is to your army just to make sure they are attacking or defending in the spots you want them to. I found that if you leave your troops sometimes, and they are stood upon kill pits, they won't think to move off them and rather they just stand there until dead. It's only something simple but can cause a huge problem and can easily be avoided. Lifespan: Such a huge game and for how cheap you can pick it up nowadays, it's great value for money. Each mission too me around 3-4 hours and considering there are 70 missions, that's a lot of game for your money. There's also the option to play skirmishes with either friends online or by LAN so adds even more length to an already great game. Overall: If you're looking for something not too heavy on the micro management side of things then I would say to give this game a go. Even if you're only into the era of the game I would say it's a good play. It's a game great for newcomers to the genre as well as fans. It's not what I would call a main stream RTS and to be honest it's all the better for it. It knows what it is and stays true to that.
Stronghold Crusader Historical castle simulator pc game System Requirements Processor 100% pc compatible Operating system windows 98/me 2000/xp Cp: pentium2 300mhz (550mhz preferred) Ram:64mb ram (128mb ram preferred for internet play) CD-Rom 8 times speed Hard drive space 850mb Graphics: 4Mbyte DirectX 7.0 or later compatible video card Sound direct 7.0 or later compatible sound card Keyboard and mouse : Microsoft compatible Modem: 56k(for internet play Hi this is my 3rd ever review and hope it helps you out Stronghold crusader is the second release in the stronghold line of games. In this game you dont play as one Lord you can play as four different Lords Richard the Lionheart, Saladin or Sultan of Syria. The fourth campaign is a training Campaign. The game itself is mainly a castle Simulator, in the game the player has to manage growing crops feeding your population sorting out weapons manufacturing. The good thing is everything depends on everything else, for example developing a field for grazing cattle you are able to do two things. You can make cheese from the milk and you are able to kill the cows and make leather jackets for your crossbowmen. The game its self focuses on castle management and not so much on the fighting aspect. The game is fun to play and has some interesting aspects to it. Some examples ,are the boiling oil for siege defence, if the boiling successfully kills a victim you then see the victim run round for about 5 seconds on fire. A second example are the hunting dogs which you can release and they will attack your enemies troops. In the game you have 25 different types of soldiers you can train, some are swordsmen these are the hardest infantry you are able to train but there slow moving. Each unit has its advantages and disadvantages which you will have to think about to win the game. The game unlike the first has a mode which allows you to choose PC opponents and then fight them on a map. Also if you have played the first game The Wolf, The pig and the rest of them are back in this release. Or you can use the crusader trail which is a mission made up of 50 short games were you can fight battles and there is a small developing story to that as well. The game itself is mostly made up of several medium sized missions which explore the whole story of the crusades in to the holy land from the views of different groups of people. While you play the game you have 2 advisors one which is a scribe who informs you if you are low on food or if your population wants a church being built ect. The second adviser is a captain and he informs you if your under attack or if you will be attacked also he tells you if the battle is going your way or not, which I think is a nice little add on to the last game The effects them selves are good but you do seem to get a ghost effect when there are arrows being shot. The game does move a little bit slow like the first one but it is not much of an inconvenience. The game is fun, easy to get use to and is suitable for 12year olds and even adults really and it is quite comical at times as well. This can be seen when people of your town are at the pub or chatting to each other. Over all I will give it 7/10 but it is one of those games which is addictive. You can pick it up for around 20 pounds thanks for reading Owen Wordley
A standalone expantion pack to the european seted Stronghold. This game is one of the best castle simulator I have ever palyed. It simulates very well all the problems of managing a castle at middle ages. You have available all kinds of traps you can imagine from pitch that your archers can set on fire to wooden stakes. You also have the usual buildings to create weapons, house for your inhabitants, etc. There are so many things that I can describe them all, has this simulates every aspects of castle building and management. I really can't think in anything they had missed. The game does have a big weak point though. The graphics are very ugly and you can see the pixels on them. Good old warcraft 2 had better graphics. A must to all medieval/fantasy fans, but if you are looking for a good looking RTS you better go somewhere else. Minimum Requirementes: Processor: 100% PC Compatible Operating System: Windows? 98/ME/2000/XP CPU: Pentium? II 300MHz (550MHz preferred) RAM: 64MB RAM CD-ROM: 8X Speed Hard Drive Space: 850MB Graphics: DirectX 7.0 compatible 4MB video card Sound Card: DirectX 7.0 Compatible sound card Keyboard & Mouse: Microsoft? compatible Modem: 56K (For Internet Play)