This section contains reviews of both Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader. If you are aware of any reviews that are not listed, please contact Lady Arcola
IGN Review – Stronghold : Crusader
If you enjoyed the mighty Stronghold, but want a game with even more substance, then sire, your software is ready. Stronghold is one of those rare games that comes along without any fanfare and ends up being really special even though nobody really expected much from it. However Crusader had a few of us salivating before its release, as the original game was such a promising appetizer
Strategy Informer – Stronghold: Crusader
About a year ago Firefly Studios, Stronghold hit the store shelves. With very little anticipation and not a great deal of press, Stronghold managed to soar into the RTS limelight and gather in a great following. Stronghold was an instant hit, and its follow up game, Crusader is sure to be a smash amongst the hardcore RTS gamers.
Games First – Stronghold: Crusader
Fans of the original Stronghold will find Stronghold: Crusader an improvement in every way?it adds an original and challenging setting, Arab troops and more combat options, and more and better gameplay modes. But perhaps the most interesting improvement is that while the original Stronghold focused perhaps a bit too much on castle- and economy-building over combat, Stronghold: Crusader does an excellent job of integrating both its castle-building simulation and real-time strategy aspects. While a few rough spots remain in the game?s real-time strategy side, Stronghold: Crusader is still the best combination of these two genres yet.
ZDNet Australia – Stronghold: Crusader
Stronghold: Crusader shares much in common with Medieval: Total War, the current darling of the RTS scene. Both are games of strategy and tactics, set in the barbarous conflicts of the Middle Ages. Both offer the player substantial campaign, skirmish and multi-player options. But where Medieval takes a top-down approach, looking at the overall strategic view, Crusader works from the bottom up, simulating the primitive economy that supports your pikes and archers. It has more in common with The Settlers than Defender of the Crown, and will appeal to a different sort of gamer.
Strategy Informer: Stronghold
by Brent Hopkins
There are a number of minor problems with Stronghold, the new real-time strategy from Firefly Studios/Godgames. However, these flaws don’t detract from what is, overall, a thoroughly entertaining experience.
Outside of the aforementioned lapses in realism and the simplicity of the political model, there a few more noteworthy deficiencies in Stronghold.
Defensive gurus of the RTS genre finally get the chance they’ve been waiting for.
There’s a lot to play in this with the military campaign, military battles from both defensive and offensive sides, economic scenarios, and mulitplayer. You should be playing this for a while.
OVERALL SCORE (not an average) 8.7
Link: Stronghold: pc.ign.com
GameSpot UK: Stronghold
Build a beautiful castle and defend it well. Just make sure you haven’t left a hole in the wall.
In the final analysis there is so much detail here that you should enjoy playing Stronghold despite its limitations, especially if you enjoyed other mediaeval strategy games like Lords Of The Realm.
GameSpot Score: 7.6
With four pages this is one of the more verbose reviews we have found as far.
Link: GameSpot UK: Stronghold
Eurogamer Review: Stronghold
It’s Just A Model
— John “Gestalt” Bye
Way back in the mists of time there was a game called Castles which, funnily enough, revolved around building castles and then raining arrows and pouring boiling oil on anybody foolish enough to attack you. Flash forwards ten years and Stronghold has brought this wonderful concept up to date with a dose of real-time strategy and sim elements.
Rating – 6/10
You can give your comments to the review, which I did and suggested people come and have a look here to see what the fun is all about.
Action Trip – Stronghold : Crusader
In a word, this game is a sight for sore eyes for all RTS gamers who liked Age of Empires. The gameplay is simple yet deep, and the plethora of resources will in no way represent a burden to players. Economy and warfare are well balanced and equally exciting. The gameplay is fantastic, and it will require you to think strategically instead of just massing up units.
Score: 85 (Very Good)
Stronghold is a medieval strategy/simulation game. It is quite realistic, no magic or monsters. You begin as the lord of a small peninsula. Your father was ambushed and killed in a former war, and you are out for revenge. This is probably the worst aspect of this game, except perhaps the developers name God Games, whose logo is a demonic looking gargoyle.
There are a few problems, so I only recommend this to teenagers and adults, although there is nothing that will particularly scar a child for life.
Overall Rating: 5 stars
With Firefly Studio’s title, Stronghold, you can take control of your own heap o’ stone and turn it into a thriving community. Or a smoldering ruins if you’re not careful.
By – Carla Harker
Review Score: 89
pros: Just the right mix of strategy and city-building.
pros: Beautiful, detailed graphics and an easy to use interface.
cons: More buildings would’ve added to the diversity of the castles.
cons: Voice acting is annoying more often than not.
Firefly Studio’s Stronghold is an exciting blend of strategy and simulation of a quality unmatched by most developers’ first releases.
Link: GameSpy: Stronghold
Mr. Fixit Online: Stronghold
Stronghold is a kind of sim-castle set in post-Norman England, which combines much of the gameplay elements of Age of Kings and sim games like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Settlers. The nod to Age of Kings is more than in just the era the game is set in, but also in the collectable resources of stone, gold, wood and food, even down to the hotkey for the keep being “h”. It is in no way an RTS clone, though, it simply pays its respect to one of the greatest RTS series ever.
— ©2001 Tim Partlett, aka Gx_Farmer.
The review ends with a positive recommendation and has a nice bunch of screenshots.
GameSpot – Stronghold: Crusader
Last year’s Stronghold was a slightly uneven combination of city builder and real-time strategy game, with an emphasis on siege warfare. It had the distinction of being the only castle simulation from a major publisher since Interplay released Quicksilver’s Castles II in 1992. Aspiring warlords could forgive Stronghold’s shortcomings, since the original game gave them the opportunity to build and raze walls, pillage countrysides, and launch cattle from catapults. Firefly Studios has now polished up its old game nicely and has sent it on a long road trip into the Crusades.
Score: 8 (Great)
GameSpy – Stronghold: Crusader
The old adage is true: any game that lets you catapult a dead cow has to be good.
It’s a bit too simple to flatly say that Stronghold: Crusader is “better than the original” or “those who enjoyed Stronghold will love the sequel.” This standalone mini-sequel to last year’s hit is crammed with additional game options, and may actually convert those who didn’t like the original due to its limited variety and puzzle-like scenarios.
Score: 80% (Very Good)
PC Game Review: Stronghold
A collection of reviews to which you can add your own. The game is rated on Gameplay, Graphics and Sound coming together in an overall rating.
Overall Rating: 3.81 out of 5
Gameplanet Review: Stronghold
By Luke (24 November 2001)
FIREFLY STUDIOS’ BRAND NEW game Stronghold is being marketed as a ‘castle sim’. A curious decision, since really the game is a classic base building real-time strategy game in every sense – and a pretty good one at that.
Ups: More depth than most RTS games; well produced; a bit of character; fun and accessible.
Downs: Poor enemy AI; the economic and military halves of the game don’t quite gel; neither half is complex enough by itself to make the economic-only or military-only game types very appealing.
Bottom Line: A good solid real-time strategy game, which should keep fans of the genre happy. However, despite the ‘castle sim’ tag, simulation fans will not find much to cheer about. Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 (Good)