Stronghold 3

Stronghold 3 review

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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.

Stronghold 3 trailer celebrates launch by building a fortress and burning peasants

Tom Senior at

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.

Stronghold 3 trailer features pleased peasants and hungry wolves

Tom Senior at

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"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.

Stronghold 3 Steam pre-orders come with free copy of Stronghold

Tom Senior at

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.

Stronghold 3 opens trebuchet ammo poll, Kingdoms beta launches

Tom Senior at

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.

PC Gamer UK Podcast 44: The Lost Podcat

Tom Francis at

Wet and shivering, the lost podcat scurries into the warm glow of your RSS feed. We know, it's been two and a bit months. We are sorry. To make up for it, here's the podcast we recorded at the same time as the Team Fortress 2 special but never got around to putting up. We'll also have a new and shiny one for you within the week, when our regular podding will resume.

Rich explains what's new in Dragon Age 2, and tries to excuse BioWare using the term 'hotrodding the art style'. Tim's seen Relic's Warhammer 40K shooter, Space Marine, and has lots of good things to say about Company of Heroes Online. Craig actually talks about a strategy game for the first time ever, and it's one in which 'raise the GDP of China' is a mission objective. Meanwhile Tom - hello - explains the brutal difficulty of trying to bake 300 loaves in Stronghold while stalking mounted archers with your slow but unstoppable terminator king.

Download the MP3, subscribe, or find our older podcasts here.

PC Gamer UK October issue - Portal 2

Graham Smith at

PC Gamer 218 has already emerged through the letterbox-shaped portals in our subscribers' doors. You can now buy it via the newsagent-shaped portals in your town or city. Do you see the rhythm I'm building here? This month we sent Tom to Valve in a plane-shaped portal, and he came back not just with the first information on Portal 2's brand new co-op, but interviews with Gabe Newell about Valve's follies, future and Left 4 Dead's fairy origins. Oh my.