you liked the original Stronghold, you're going to
appreciate it a whole lot more after you play Stronghold
2 is an inferior game in every sense of the word.
The production values are awful and the game is full
of bugs which will require you to download various
patches. The game is basically broken and I won't
recommend it. There are only so many things that can
be fixed with patches. The problems run deeper than
a simple patch fix - this game requires major surgery.
I have to talk about the presentation. The interface
is decent, but that's about all that I can say for
the game. The story is hackneyed and the animation
and voiceacting are terrible. I know that we don't
need top-shelf, cinematic cutscenes for an old-school
RTS but if you're going to compete with the big boys
you've got to get into the 21st century. Of course
all the production values in the world don't matter
if the gameplay sucks but there's no reason not to
have everything up to a basic standard. Stronghold
2 is definitely below any videogame standard - real
really liked the concept of this game and how it favors
defense. It's more of a methodical approach although
you have to get off your ass and aggressively conquer
enemy territory in the Kingmaker mode. The fact that
it forces reluctant gamers into action is a good thing
since it attempts to give you a well-rounded experience.
can choose the Path of War of the Path of Peace. In
the Path of Peace you will build a walled city and
cultivate a civilization from the ground up. Peasants
are the backbone of your kingdom. They will labor
for you providing food, beer, building materials and
manpower to keep your citizens happy and healthy.
The micromanagement issues aren't taxing but in keeping
your citizens happy you can expect a lot of grief.
way the happiness system is implemented is arbitrary
and impossible to predict. When your citizens are
unhappy they will not perform their duties and will
eventually defect. Once they start leaving it's almost
impossible to get them back and they leave by the
wagonload. The only way to get them back is to offer
them gold and that can be an expensive proposition
leaving you with little cash reserves to improve or
even maintain your city. That's when you have to start
thinking about acquiring some of your enemy's resources.
of the major problems with the happiness system is
that while you're engaged in battle, your peasants
will still be under the control of the happiness system.
Instead of putting aside their differences and pitching
in to protect their own asses from enemy attack they
continue to pout and defect. Very unrealistic. As
if this weren't bad enough, unhappy peasants turn
to thieves and piss off more peasants in the process
creating a vicious circle. You can't always determine
why they turn to crime so you can't do much about
it. Very frustrating.
can only be placed in specific areas, for what reason
I don't know. You can't clear forests either. At least
a top down view will let you see if your walls are
connected. That's an improvement over the original.
like a Lord has its benefits. By taking a wife, putting
on feasts and jousts, you will gain honor. This will
result in money allowing you to purchase estates outside
of the area and it will also let you incorporate the
best knights into your unit giving you control of
the most powerful unit in the game. The ability to
ride a horse acts a shield of sorts as the horse will
absorb the first few hits and die before you.
the AI that causes the game to crumble. They just
don't react realistically and that's the greatest
disappointment that you can experience in a RTS game.
They are very easy to attack. If you approach their
castle with siege units carrying trebuchets and catapults
you can knock down the walls while they cower inside.
Even when they defend themselves in other situations
they will come outside and fight when they could easily
ladder-up the walls and fight from the safety of their
fortress. It just doesn't make sense.
can see that there are some good ideas in this game
but wasted potential "don't count for nothing."
Perhaps more of these flaws will be addressed and
fixed in the upcoming patches but I would wait another
month or so to see what the developers have come up
with before I waste my time with such a sloppy game.