Jump to content
Mathew Steel

Stronghold Crusader II, Review!

Recommended Posts

The long awaited sequel was released today and as promised my review of the game is here. I hope this review will help you decide whether to buy the game or not, or if you'd just like something to read then here we go.

 

After playing the game for 3 hours, playing through the first 2 campaigns and starting the 3rd, also playing 2 matches of skirmish, this is what I have thought of the game so far.

 

First Impressions

My first impression of the game automatically made me think of SH3. I thought this because of the UI (User Interface) and the way you rotated the camera. Also the controls are similar. Now straight away I had the awful thought that I had spent ?35 on a game, which like Stronghold 3 was broken.

 

But this is simply not true. The game is far better than SH3. Yes the game is similar in the way of UI and the gameplay, but it is different in the way that they have perfected what they could not in SH3. The game is far more optimized, meaning a decent computer could run it at 60 FPS (Frames Per Second) while maintaining fair eye-candy. The graphics look great and although it looks strange at first, after playing the second mission you are back into good old Stronghold.

 

Now allow me to discuss the game, more in-depth.

 

Grid Placements

Something that I love is the good old grid. We all love a good grid. Now for those of you who don't understand, the grid is the area of placement you have. All the Strongholds, except for Stronghold 3 (as far as I know) use the grid. This means everything can be placed in 4 different directions, where as without a grid you can place it in over 12. To some, the grid is bad, to me and most Stronghold fans it's a must. It allows for tidier villages, meaning you will be able to see everything in your castle much easier and it will look much tidier overall.

 

I'm sure this is something a certain Lord_Chris would like, keeping a neat castle.

 

Castle Defences/Walls

There isn't much to say about this but as it is different to SH3, I feel it's a topic I should cover. The wall placement is back to good old Stronghold 2 and Crusader. Walls (unlike other placeable buildings) can be placed in 8 different directions (towers and gatehouses are still 4). The walls are nothing like SH3 where it must connect to another wall in some occasions. You can place walls through existing walls, which simply makes building the best fortress, so much easier.

 

There are a few new defences in the game as well as old ones. Here are just some.

  • Burning Pitch
    War Hound Cages
    Spikes
    Barricades

 

Of course there are many more, but this is all I can think of for now.

 

There are varieties of towers, with placeable siege equipment to go with them. Which again are easy to place and can be used to your advantage in defence.

 

Troops

There are all the basic troops you get in Crusader as well as some new ones. You can use the basic, armed peasants, spearmen, archers, crossbowmen, swordsmen etc. But there are also new troops such as Sargent at Arms.

The troops all have their own advantages, as well as new names. Spearmen are now called Men at Arms like in SH3.

 

Graphics

Something they have not let everyone down on is graphics. The graphics look great just like in SH3. The little details in the troops, walls, towers even the wood cutter huts have great textured detail in them. It really makes the game come to life and makes your castle look even better!

 

UI (User Interface)

The user interface follows which of SH3. It is really useful and quite neat in my opinion. It has everything you need in a small drop down box in the top right of your screen. Some players may not like it, but after using it for a while I'm sure you will get use to it or it won't even bother you much afterwards.

 

Controls can be very irritating especially with troops. I myself hate having to right click to move troops, but you get use to it after a while and really it isn't that big of a deal.

 

3D

The one thing many Crusader fans were worried of, is the 3D aspect of the game. Being 3D means that there are some features that just can't be added into the game. This includes the building cap and troops cap is slightly lower than which of SH2 and the troop cap is much lower than this of Crusader.

 

But the 3D graphics really do make the game much nicer and to me I like being able to rotate my screen.

 

The 3D is something you'll either love or hate, and there is a chance you will end up liking it.

 

Campaign

From what I have played, the campaigns are very fun for any players. New or experienced. Also with the option of being able to change the difficulty to suit your skill level, it makes the game even more exciting!

 

I feel the campaign can get tiring a bit but with loads of other features in the game, there's no need to worry about getting bored of it completely!

 

Skirmish

Skirmish is the same as Crusader. There is no huge difference in-game but the custom options make it even better. Allowing you to set starting goods, advantages, starting troops, even adding PT (Peace Time) into the game! They really did a great job in my opinion!

 

 

There are many other features in the game which I haven't covered. Simply because I have not had time to try them all out. But from what I have played so far, the game is absolutely phenomenal. For any of you who thought it would be a repeat of SH3, then I ask you to think again. The game is way better than SH3 and I would choose it over most other Strongholds.

 

Overall Rating- 9/10

 

Thank you for reading,

Mathew


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it does sound pretty good indeed. Thanks for you review!

 

Spearmen are now called Men at Arms like in SH3.

 

And SHL. :)


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

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

Useful Articles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must tell I am very glad to see so many good reviews of the game. I see also those players complaining about bugs in the game, but I do have that much fate in Firefly to believe they will fix those bugs and issues.

 

I will ask in my the store in my town if they are getting Crusader 2, so I could get boxed version. If not, I will see about the Steam, but definitely I will not rush into anything. I still want to see those bugs fixed, but I am an optimist about all this right now, and I believe Firefly will do a good job with this new game.

 

There are still few things I think the game is missing, such as siege towers and laddermen, but since they were added in Stronghold 3 in some later patch, I hope they would do something similar with Stronghold Crusader 2. Laddermen were part of any medieval siege, and they should be having their place in Crusader 2 in my opinion. :)

 

 

Thanks for that nice review Mathew! I haven't tried the game, but I agree with those things you said - which would apply in general. For example, what you said about user interface, and right-clicking to move troops. There are many games that use that right click, and it does have it's advantages. Speaking about interface - we will get used to it. Also, about what you said about 3D - I am sure there is no one who wouldn't like 3D. 3D is a great feature, and I do like it. The only thing I was worrying is performance, and them not being able to put some other features such as moats and other stuff.

 

Now I shall wait to see how's Firefly doing fixing those bugs and issues, and like I said - to see if there's any chance of buying a boxed version (although I wouldn't be buying it right away).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well an update with bug fixes was released yesterday :)

 

I love the game so far, I'm glad the review helped you :)


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well an update with bug fixes was released yesterday

 

I saw that, you'll have to let us know of any further updates somewhere :)


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

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

Useful Articles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review, Matthew.

 

I went and got the game yesterday, although I usually don't buy on day 1 to spare myself the woes of the bug-fixing period. But yesterday I just felt like it and gave it a shot. I can say that so far I have not regretted it.

 

Sure, there are now lots of complaints about bugs on the official website. And some players must have been in really bad luck with getting permanent crashes. Well, maybe I am just lucky but my game runs fairly enjoyable.

 

I played through the tutorial and one small campaign yesterday without real any issues.

Trying multiplayer, I got kicked out of the lobby a few times (not sure if a bug or if I really got kicked by the host) and in the lobby my game did crash once yesterday and once again today. But the next try I got into a 2v2 game and it ran stable and without any lag throughout the whole game (about 2h).

 

It was a nice match, too. I was the first lord to be eliminated, but that's not the point (and not unexpected either - I am not terribly good at MP, medicore at best). But with some help from my ally I was able to put up a good fight and the other team needed 2 or 3 attempts to break through eventually.

 

I stayed on to watch as they ganged up upon my ally and after a long siege he spectacularly went down in flames - literally, since his castle was hit by lightning from a thunderstorm and he did not have enough wells to put out the spreading fire.

 

Very good fun all in all and if FireFly can get the MP games to run reliably, this game could be a real little gem.

 

2014-09-24_00007.thumb.jpg.94b7d6c349cb505dbb4a641f84074f95.jpg

 

P.S. I thought I might share this picture of the grand finale

Edited by Nigel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear you enjoy the game. Perhaps you'd like to join the gaming event Saturday? Against AI lords so no need to worry about losing :)


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Against AI lords so no need to worry about losing :) "

Hehe, speaking of that - you may just ask me how to setup the game, and to lose - it's a appear I am the expert here for putting too hard games for myself and my team. :) At least when playing original Crusader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Glad to hear you enjoy the game. Perhaps you'd like to join the gaming event Saturday?

 

Thank's for the invitation, Mathew.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) my weekends are usually spent with my RL friends and family. And this Saturday in particular, we are having guests at home.

 

Weekday evenings are my best times for playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've ordered it from Amazon, it should be here by Saturday. But I won't be playing online then, I want time to get to know the game first. And next week I don't have any time to play any multiplayer games. But I'm sure we'll all get to eventually :)

 

Thanks for sharing that image @Nigel, that looked like one awesome battle ;)

Edited by Lord_Chris

Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

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

Useful Articles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad to hear so :D. Perhaps you could join us in the next event?

 

Also Nigel I'll try and host one next Friday for you. I'll make another event as it gets closer :)


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well since we are posting Crusader 2 reviews I'll copy mine originally posted on Steam. 85% of 500 players there found it helpful! http://steamcommunity.com/id/dekayonsteam/recommended/232890/

 

---

 

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the successor to the successful RTS castle simulation game of the same name from 2002, With a full skirmish mode supporting up to eight total players (including fan beloved AI bots) and all new castle co-op skirmish mode, Crusader 2 is your ticket to castle simulation paradise.

 

For new Stronghold players:

 

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a real time strategy game set during the crusades, it has a stronger focus on combat as the ingame economy has been streamlined from the other Stronghold games. You are charged to provide food and entertainment for your workers who, in turn, form the backbone of your economy. Mine Stone, extract pitch, farm wheat, or chop wood. Once your stockpile has a steady flow of raw goods you are ready to refine them into weapons, drink, or processed food types. A strong economy is mandatory to support an ever growing military.

 

On the militant side of the game you have one of the hallmarks of the Stronghold franchise, entirely modular defense system. The map has a grid superimposed upon it which is used to align and place structures. Each wall is placed piece by piece, every tower and gatehouse where you want them. Lay traps such as killing pits and pitch ditches for your enemies and garrison your archers atop your great towers. There are many defensive and offensive tactics to experiment with, sally forth and meet your enemy in the field or bring the fight to your castle and employ traps and tower mounted siege engines to your advantage.

 

In skirmish mode the base objective is to kill all enemy lords, although multiplayer games have a greater range of victory conditions. The single player campaign has custom objectives and scripted invasions/events. When Steam Workshop becomes available for Stronghold Crusader 2 players will be able to create and share their own skirmish maps and custom missions.

 

For existing Stronghold Crusader HD players:

 

The biggest difference players coming from Crusader HD will notice is the transition to a full 3D game engine. Many of the same units feature in both games but I'll make a note of where they differentiate. Crusader HD fans will also notice a simpler overall economy with many previously gimmicky mechanics streamlined or just removed.

 

Maps:

 

The following times were recorded using the time it took an archer to traverse a flat terrain map and are done on the diagonal (corners: top left to bottom right). Stronghold Crusader 2 has an additional map size and all map sizes for Crusader HD use numbers to represent size (eg 200x200).

 

>> Stronghold Crusader HD

Map Size | Time in seconds

 

160x160 | 46

200x200 | 58

300x300 | 88

400x400 | 118

 

>> Stronghold Crusader 2

Map Size | Time in seconds

Tiny | 20

Small | 60

Medium | 100

Large | 140

Extra Large | 220

 

Buildings:

 

-Changed! Faith - churches now operate similar to the Granary and needs candles to operate which are built in the chandler's workshop.

-Changed! Inns have remained largely unchanged but you only need to place one inn now to cover your entire populace.

-Changed! The Stockpile, Granary, and Armory now have unlimited storage capacity meaning you only need to place one.

-Changed! Iron Mines now require an Ox Tether much like Stone Quarries

-Changed! The Market can now be set to auto sell goods when they reach a preset threshold.

-Changed! each weapon type requires it's own unique workshop.

-Changed! Tower mounted siege engines can not be placed on stone towers, they incorporate their own wooden tower.

-Removed! Hunter's Hut, replaced with Pig Farm

-Removed! Fear Factor has been removed, troops will no longer receive a malus or a boost based on your economy.

-Removed! While not exactly a building, moats do not feature in the game.

 

Units:

 

-New! Slave Driver - whips nearby slaves into a frenzy

-New! Healer - units within range slowly regenerate HP

-New! Whirling Dervish - a poorly armored melee unit with a strong first contact attack

-New! Sassanid Knight - light knight with special charge attack

-New! Ranger - proficient with both sword and bow but has poor range

-New! Sergeant-at-Arms - units within range receive a HP boost

-New! Conscript - basic weak units, no weapons required to recruit

-New! Hussite War Wagon - can station units inside, provides protection and mobility

-New! War Wolf - super catapult

-New! Burning Cart - creates fire on impact, triggers traps

-Changed! Spearman now called Man-at-Arms and can throw his spear

-Changed! Maceman only requires a mace to recruit now

-Changed! Knight now called Templar Knight and can fight mounted or on foot

-Changed! Fire Thrower renamed to Oil Pot Thrower

-Changed! Battering Ram - Can now only destroy Gatehouses

-Changed! Catapult - can no longer throw diseased animals

-Changed! Portable Shield renamed to Mantlet

-Removed! Slinger

-Removed! Ladderman

-Removed! Siege Tower

-Removed! Tunneller

 

Engineers are no longer recruited but automatically provided if required when recruiting siege engines. Also, due to the 3D engine many of the map tricks previously used to create eye candy are impossible but there are a fair selection of set pieces to add some much welcomed variety.

 

Note: for those wondering how to access the map editor, go to your steam library dropdown menu and elect to filter your library by Tools. The map editor should show up on the list of utilities as 'Stronghold Crusader 2 Map Editor'. After a small 2MB install you are ready to start map making.

 

I apologize for the poor formatting of the table, it seems BBCode for tables is disabled in this forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks David, this really is, very helpful! :)

 

I think this is probably the most detailed review I've read on it, it definitely deserves a rep point from me.

 

The bbcode for tables is something that the forum by default, just doesn't have and there are no mods for it either so we're kind of stuck at lists.


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

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

Useful Articles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my review not as detailed as the one from EaglePrince but I hope it's worth to write it.

 

The first time I played this game it was less buggy then SH3 which isn't very good.

But you get the feeling that you're playing a Stronghold Crusader game again, which is very good.

And they have skirmish back with serveral maps you can choose from.

You got 8 AIs to play against so it's pretty much like the the first one.

The gameplay is nice and fast paced which is good.

Now when you choose Arabian faction then you get other towers and walls (doesn't make a big difference).

There isn't any Fear system like it was in the first one which isn't that bad.

And there are no moats, laddermans and no siege towers.

You can find the map editor under library then tools there you can download it. It's the same one as SH3

The game isn't full price at least here 35? for that price it's very worth to pick it up I already had loads of fun with it.

 

That's my short review, hope you like it:)

 

(sorry for bad english if I make a mistake that happens when I write long texts)

 

(Written in a minute and half so not bad in my time)

Edited by xiiMaRcLeoN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

xiiMaRcLeoN your English was good and understandable, I'm assuming you meant less bugs IS good instead of ISN'T. I always feel like I should talk in other peoples language as it's more respectful to them, unfortunately I only speak French and English so apologies.

 

The review was nice and I agree with you. I myself find the different factions and walls a nice little touch :D


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have questions for a individual user, you should shoot them a PM as they will be more likely to see it.


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

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

Useful Articles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a stronghold series veteran, after playing it for a couple of hours...i have to say it's a...c**p. Idiotic AI of our soldiers, failed 3D, really, i expected something more, i'm not suprised that this game was in bundle...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sorry to hear you think this, and if you'd like we can discuss this more in a new topic. But the last reply to this topic was 3 years ago. Please do not necro post unnecessarily.

 

Closed.


Quote

The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

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

Useful Articles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...