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Mathew Steel

My Review

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Stronghold 3 has been out for a decent amount of time now, and this review is possibly quite late. If you are still actually pending on whether to buy the game. Then read on. Or if you're sitting at home feeling blank cause you have done nothing productive all day. Then read this to keep your brain happy :D

 

First Impression:

My first impression of SH3 was quite good. I played the War Campaign first. The first mission was exciting (although similar to SH2). The missions were great in my opinion. Each one lasted a fair amount of time and there was quite a lot of missions with varying objectives.

 

I liked the graphics as they were a lot more advanced than any other Stronghold game. Of course this made the game lag slightly. Something I did notice was the game was slightly poorly optimised. My specs were fairly over the recommended requirements, but even after fiddling with game graphic options, when moving the camera over a building crowded area, FPS dropped quite a bit. This was easy to look over as it wasn't too much effecting my gameplay.

 

Troops:

A lot of old troops from SH2 and Crusader were back in this new sequel. The troops had new voices and were actually quite well designed, scripting and graphics. I recall a numerous amount of times where I would just stop, zoom in on swordsmen, and just admire the graphical details on their armour and weapons. Same could be said for all the troops.

 

I did notice some bugs with troops and barracks. Sometimes a rally post would be placed, if the player selected a separate rally post then when placing a new building another rally post would be created in the same place. This wasn't awful, but it did make me follow crossbowmen (one of the slowest troops) walk for 2 minutes to find the rest of the little buggers.

 

Buildings:

Buildings again, like most of the things in the game, were well designed. The new option to be able to rotate the buildings in over 16 directions was really useful when plotting out different parts of the castle. It also brought the ambience of the game to life, by allowing the player to be able to create a street of hovels.

 

Speaking of hovels, the new hovels were designed to look like Tudor time houses. This was a nice little feature I felt, as this again adds the ambience of living in those times, to the game.

 

Buildings were more categorised in separate icons and were now easier to find what you needed in a much shorter amount of time, even if you are new to the game.

 

Castle Walls/Defences:

These again were well designed, with the walls looking even more realistic and new towers, it made the game a lot more fun to play. Stone curtain walls were brought back into the game and were now useful for blocking small parts of the castle off. Again being able to place the walls and towers in a numerous amount of different directions made it a lot easier to design a great castle.

 

New defences were added such as the wooden stakes, which although didn't do any real damage, were quite useful for distracting the enemy or holding them back.

 

A downside to the walls. They were a big pain in the ... toe ... to place. Sometimes if 2 towers were placed too close to each other, it would be almost impossible to add a wall between them to connect them up. This was really frustrating and really limited the castle defences.

 

UI (User Interface):

In all fairness this is something they did well. There was a small scroll down box on the top right of the screen which told you the important stuff. This includes, food rations, food units, ale rations, ale units, church mass, candle units, gold, taxes, triggered events, random events, popularity effect. All in a neat small box that could be kept down or minimized until needed.

 

The game itself would talk you through everything you needed in the different campaigns, so this helped with using the UI itself.

 

Tutorial:

The tutorial, was, let's face it a waste of space. It taught you nothing but how to keep popularity up. Nothing too great about buildings, defences etc. The best way to learn how to play, was from diving straight into the campaign.

 

Map Editor:

This...where do I start...map editor. I wouldn't say it's useless, people have managed to create "decent" maps using it. But compared to how easy scripting and designing was in SH2, it's not great. The map editor is a separate application and when opened you are given no tutorial of how to use it. For players with no internet, you better hope you have a good amount of knowledge with computers, cause the editor is useless for that.

 

Downsides:

-Although the graphics were great, the game was poorly optimized

-Again with the great graphics, this means a building cap had to be implemented to stop client and server lag

-Troops cap was far too low

-Lots of missing features on launch

-No kingmaker (although some custom made maps have attempted some sort of kingmaker)

-Broken promises

 

Overall:

The game itself isn't bad at all really. It is a fun game, but unlike SH2 or Crusader, you really need to be in the mood to play it. And even then, it's not a game that you will want to play for 2 hours straight, since it just gets boring with the lack of features.

 

I think the main problem with the game, is bugs and disappointment.

 

The creators promised so much more than we as customers were actually give.

 

The Decision:

 

Would I recommend it: If you are a fan of the Stronghold series, yes. If not, possibly.

Do I like it: As I already said, it isn't a bad game, but it is quite disappointing to me, from what the trailers showed.

Overall Rating: 7/10


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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This is a fine review. Sorry I haven't commented anything until now, but I have read the review, and I did consider it before buying the game myself. I only meant to tell few more things.

 

Troops: I also like how they made some troops to have some new abilities. For example, spearmen are in Stronghold 3 called men at arms, and they are able to through their spear. In earlier Stronghold games they are pretty much useless, and that is not the case here.

 

Tutorial: I agree that tutorial tell very little, but one can find out a lot more by playing economic campaign. I believe that Firefly meant to make it this way - the economic campaign is in some way an advanced tutorial as well - with difference that it doesn't tell you what exactly to do. It guides you, while you have to figure some little details by yourself.

 

Would I recommend it: If you are a fan of the Stronghold series, yes. If not, I would tell you try Stronghold Crusader and Stronghold 2 first. If you one liked those two, than there are good chances that you will like Stronghold 3 as well, but you may miss some features.

 

PS: I hope we could try a multiplayer game some day, Mathew. :) If you decide to make a gaming event for Stronghold 3 I would definitely join.

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The thing about stronghold 3 is like what they was doing with it but one downside was no skirmish fair enough I can live without as there multiplayer which leads to the other downside which is it constantly crash specially with more than one opponent which crashes often as well which is a problem as multiplayer was the one of the things I look most forward to specially upgrading the keep :P the game it self is a good game but don't expect much from multiplayer is all I can say. I did try a few months ago to try multiplayer again crashed when starting/loading and there has been no updates since so I guess it aint change much I guess what you start a MP game just pray luck on your side lol

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Do you know if we can save the game in multiplayer, and load it if the game crashes?

I do know the autosave has been disabled by Firefly, but the host could save the game manually now and then though...

Edited by EaglePrince

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The game can not be saved in multiplayer (as far as I know). I doubt it will be implemented now as SH3 isn't as popular as the new release!


"Gofyn wyf am galon hapus, calon onest, calon l?n."

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they wont be doing anything for stronghold 3 specially as it already gone gold but I would love if they fix MP stability but they wont but if they did I would play it a lot

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The game can not be saved in multiplayer (as far as I know).

Too bad to hear that.

 

they won't be doing anything for stronghold 3 specially as it already gone gold but I would love if they fix MP stability but they won't but if they did I would play it a lot

I believe many others would be playing it as well.

 

Stronghold 3 is indeed a special Stronghold game - just when you look at it, you can see how different it is compared to other Stronghold games. I don't know what are Firefly's plans after Stronghold Crusader 2, but it would be great indeed if they came back to Stronghold 3, just like that went back to Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader to make the HD patches. Unfortunately I do realize it is not so likely that they would come back to Stronghold 3 now; but on the other hand, Stronghold 3 and Stronghold Crusader 2 have similar engines (if I am right?), so it should be easier to them to fix some things in Stronghold 3 after their experiences with Stronghold Crusader 2.

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Stronghold 3 and Stronghold Crusader 2 have similar engines (if I am right?)

 

Correct. SH3 and SHC2 use the same pre-built game engine.


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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That is great to hear!

In that case I do hope that they will be able to patch Stronghold 3 some more to make things better. I believe the only difference between those two is the fact that in Crusader 2 they brought back the grid, and buildings ca be rotated in only four directions like in Stronghold 2.

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Now would it not be great if they took both games and melded them together, then we could have the best of SH3 and SHC2 then make what ever type of maps we want.

 

You could have the Sultan in the desert flowing into the grass lands of King Richard, battles fought over desert oasis and forested hills full of iron, could be interesting!

 

Arabian Lords fighting European Lords fighting great battles online in the desert and the forests!

 

Oh Well, just a little dream!

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That even sounds like a great game, maybe FF could consider it for SH4. After seeing that idea, I now have a good idea of several types of terrain, i.e. ice, desert, forest, mountain.etc and each terrain gives different advantages and disadvantages.


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

Useful Articles

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