Conclusion: Judging the game as a modern day release would be folly. It cannot stand up against recent strategy titles (few as there may be) and it does not have to. I have to look at the value that the HD version offers over its original and the pricing as well. It has to be said that Stronghold HD ’s interface is detrimental to the overall experience. It has not aged gracefully and is more of a hindrance than a useful tool. Gameplay on the other hand, did age gracefully.
Pros: Whopping new screen resolutions will make you feel more in control. Eleven years after release, Stronghold is still a captivating game.
Cons: The aging interface should have been updated. HD only means higher resolutions, not new graphics.
Excerpt: Winter Wolves is a company known mostly for visual novels. Its games stress the importance of narrative and choice, giving players options governing the ways in which stories can be told. Although Planet Stronghold is the second RPG from the company, after Magic Stones , the game doesn't entirely stray away from the developer's visual novel background.
Conclusion: The Stronghold series starts out strong, but goes south fast. I’m surprised I didn’t make the connection to the Stronghold games to the Anno (Dawn of Discovery) games as they play out in a similar fashion. If you’re looking for a good time sink and really like management and tower defense games, you’re in for a treat with Stronghold and Crusader.
Conclusion: Unfortunately, in-between mission taunts by your opponents are the only continuity between the each segment of the campaign. Completion of one battle or economic goal brings new types of military units and structure possibilities, but one must build a keep, town, and army from scratch. Stronghold would have been improved immensely if units carried over from previous conflicts, with surviving soldiers improving their proficiency as in Shogun.
Excerpt: Stronghold is a kind of sim-castle set in post-Norman England, which combines much of the gameplay elements of Zeus, Age of Kings and The Settlers (No wonder because the founding members of Firefly Studios worked on the Caesar and Lord of the Realms games). So what's is unique on this game?
Excerpt: Castle building sims have been few and far between. From the handful of titles that have graced shelves over the era of computer gaming, very few were memorable enough to be recalled today. Of these, the one that stands out was Lords of the Realm 2. The design team hailed from the heyday of the reign of Sierra and became known as Impressions Studios. They would go on to create more empire sims including Caesar 3.
Excerpt: "Stronghold combines the best of the city-building and real-time strategy genres. The economic and population modules convincingly reflect the basics of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Most importantly, this game takes these important and complex details and makes them fun to handle.
Stronghold is Strategy and Structure Amid Medieval
3 December 2001
Excerpt: A man's home may be his castle, but if you want to keep your Middle Ages home safe, then it better be a stronghold. Fans of the old Castles series will be overjoyed to discover a new realtime castle building sim for their PC. Players become the chief architect for wooden Motte and Bailey castles, advanced stone concentric designs or even fortresses never before seen.
Excerpt: Stronghold is both a real-time combat game that focuses entirely on castle sieges and a village-management simulation in the vein of Zeus or The Settlers. The subject matter alone gives Stronghold a leg up. It's been years since a game let you pour boiling oil on invading hordes, and Stronghold simulates castle sieges well enough to recommend it to those who are interested in the premise. But it's a hesitant recommendation, due to a poor interface and mediocre campaigns.