Those eager to build and defend castles must be getting impatient. Stronghold Crusader 2 was meant to release on Tuesday but is now delayed until September 23. Never mind though, because when it does release it will feature the series’ first female opponent in the form of the Sultana.
Stronghold Crusader 2 - Firefly Studios' Holy Land-set castle-building, castle-maintaining and castle-sploding RTS sequel - is due out this summer, and will hopefully arrive in a better state than the shambolic Stronghold 3. This new trailer offers a flaming, besieged look at the game's Skirmish mode, which will let you play co-operatively or in rival teams online. Providing you can breach our defences, make sure you have a watch of it after the break.
It must have taken ages for those history people to build their massive, ornate castles, all in the knowledge that someone would inevitably attempt to siege, sack, and destroy the place. Fortunately, in Stonghold Crusaders 2, your medieval fortresses will only take a few hours of light mouse clicking to make, not years of hard and potentially futile labour. A new trailer shows off how these historical jerks will attempt to ruin your grand designs.
Do you find that your fortress is too easily, and too often, breached by rodent-like enemies? Possibly even actual rodents? Or maybe it's just that the isometric view just makes it a little tough for you to get your architectural skills on. Whatever the case may be with your Stronghold Kingdoms castle, your problems can now be alleviated, thanks to this free, fan-made mod.
There are brief, fleeting moments when Stronghold 3’s mix of medieval RTS and city building coalesce into something enjoyable. Garrisoning troops in watchtowers, using trebuchets to launch diseased cattle at the enemy, then switching back to your Keep to construct more hovels, and using the popularity boost to tax the socks off your impoverished workers. It can be a frantic challenge that’s wholly satisfying.
The rest of the time, you’ll be too busy fighting bugs and obtuse systems to engage in deep and empowering strategy.
The perfect castle takes "a lifetime to build" according to the Stronghold 3 launch trailer, an imperfect castle will cut those lifetimes very short. Whether it's death by trebuchet, diseased badger or flaming suicide cart, your cheerfully loyal peasants are likely to suffer. At least it will be funny. Stronghold 3 is out now on Steam, Direct2Drive and Gamersgate. Find out more about how Firefly have tried to bounce back from Stronghold 2 in our Stronghold 3 preview.
"I don't like the look of those torture engines!" a villager declares cheerfully in the latest trailer for Stronghold 3. The castle building sim looks set to feature the happiest peasants in PC gaming, even their cries of "the wolves are coming!" seem laced with a disarming sense of hope and optimism. "I'm being eaten, sire! Also might I say you're looking very fine today!" he might add.
But will their unshakeable faith in our good intentions stop us from pelting them with diseased badgers? No. Ready the animal trebuchets for Stronghold 3's release date on October 18. It's available to pre-order now on Steam.
Seige sim Stronghold 3 is available to pre-order now on Steam. Anyone buying the game before it's released later this year will get a bonus Tower of London level, and a free copy of the original Stronghold. While you won't get the sequel until it reaches its enigmatic "Q3" release date, you'll be able to download and play the 2001 medieval city defense sim right away.
The Stronghold games are all about building a medieval complex capable of withstanding any enemy attack. While keeping external forces at bay, you'll have to satisfy the peasants within by throwing jousting festivals, or holding public executions if you're a meanie. The third game is set to add new building tech to streamline fortress construction, and night-time battles will add some extra drama, because war is scarier in the dark. You'll find some fresh Stronghold 3 screenshots below.
You're in a castle. You have enough food and clean water to last for months. "Ha!", you think "that foolish besieging army will never breach these fine walls. Truly we are safe." Then comes the distant sound of a trebuchet firing, and something sails over the wall, blocking out the sun. Is it a cow? Is it a pack of diseased badgers? Firefly Studios, developers of castle building and besieging sim, Stronghold 3, want you to decide.