Stronghold Crusader HD

Stronghold Crusader HD 1.41

A strategy game with the Crusades as historical background

Stronghold Crusader HD is a strategy game with the Crusades as historical background. In this respect, it combines city-building with warfare strategies, which means that a great deal of planning should be devoted to creating fortified strongholds that can effectively resist the enemy’s siege weapons.

Luckily, the game supports a combination of up to eight human or AI players. This way, if you cannot find anyone to play with or against you, it is possible to fight against the machine instead.

Just like in other similar games, there is not any story, except the one derived from the historical context. Instead, there are four campaigns you may pursue, each with its own battles, more than 50 in total. However, if you do not want to engage in such a long gameplay, it is also possible to pick one of the 100 skirmish missions. In all cases, you are allowed to pick a difficulty level to make the game easier or more challenging.

The game is different from previous versions in this series in that it takes place in the Middle East, so desert landscapes are quite common. Likewise, economic missions, such as gathering a specific quantity of resources, do not deter you from building your castles. In this respect, if you are more into building than fighting, it is possible to play in a sort of “sandbox” mode, safe from your enemy’s attacks. Moreover, there are new military units with undermined or overpowered skills.

The game has excellent graphics, which look more realistic than other similar applications, mainly because the scale is respected. Besides, the sound effects also have their share in engaging the players.

All in all, I have to confess that Stronghold Crusader HD is the kind of game I love. However, there are a few things I would like to see improved. For instance, the building tabs should be more conveniently arranged. Likewise, it would be good if there were more hotkeys to control your units more easily. Similarly, AI could be enhanced to conduct more effective assaults. Regrettably, this game does not have such a big player base compared with other tools, which is important if you are thinking about playing with other people. The game can be purchased from Steam.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Supports up to 8 players
  • Single-player and multiplayer game
  • Settled in a real historical context
  • Multiple campaigns, battles and missions
  • Allows setting a difficulty level
  • Sandbox mode available
  • Realistic graphics
  • Excellent sound effects

Cons

  • The building tabs should be more conveniently arranged
  • Needs more hotkeys to control your units more easily
  • AI could be enhanced to conduct more effective assaults
  • Not a big player base compared with other tools
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