developer: FireFly Studios
publisher: FireFly Studios
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet, players: 1-8
game language: English
game release date for PC:
Stronghold Crusader HD for PC is an improved edition of a popular RTS game created by FireFly. This edition increased the maximum resolution supported to 2560x1600 and added the possibility of zooming the camera in and out. In terms of the mechanics, the HD edition does not introduce any changes, offering the entire content of the original 2002 release, along with additional units, scenarios and tactical options brought first by the Stronghold Warchest and Stronghold Crusader Extreme editions.
Again, the player takes on the role of a castle's supervisor, but instead of the action being set in Europe, the player is taken to the Middle East and takes part in events taking place during the first three crusades, during which the Europeans were supposed to seize control over the Holy Land. Throughout the several singleplayer campaigns, the player completes a series of story missions acquainting them with successive mechanics.
As befits an RTS game, balancing between prosperous economy and powerful army appropriately is the core mechanic here. Thus the player has to launch a chain of production allowing to feed the inhabitants, give them clothing and tools necessary to craft weapons and armors.
Apart from standard campaigns, Stronghold Crusader HD for PC offers a series of individual scenarios focusing on developing the economy or performing sieges. In the latter case, the player decides whether they want to be given control over the assilants or the defenders. Depending on the choice made, the player uses mainly fire arrows, wolf pits, battering rams, catapults, ladders, etc.
Up to ten thousand units can face another such massive group at a time here, including both regular knights and archers, as well as cavalry riders and assasins. Introducing view scaling to the game allowed to capture a larger part of the battlefield. The game brings a set of additional, tactical options which can affect the course of the battle to a large degree.
For those who prefer a multiplayer experience, scenarios that can be completed by up to eight players in one session were added.
Apart from the improvements in terms of resolution and camera work, Stronghold Crusader HD for PC does not introduce any changes related to the audiovisuals present in the original release. Thus archaisms are visible in contrast to modern-day real-time strategies.
Game score 9.0 / 10 calculated out of 285 players' votes.
age requirements: 12+
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 1.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphic card 256 MB (GeForce 6800 or better), 802 MB HDD, Windows XP/Vista/7