Gamecock Media Stronghold Crusader Extreme review
Review Date: 21 Jul 2008
Price when reviewed: inc VAT
Reviewed By: Martin Korda
Stronghold Crusader Extreme is ostensibly a re-release of the 2002 real-time strategy game Stronghold Crusader, but with additional battles and a challenging new campaign.
As the king of a medieval town, you must build up a thriving community and then use your workers to fortify your castle before your stronghold is besieged by an enemy army. You must also ensure that your burgeoning community is well fed by building farms and sending hunters into the wild to find meat.
With only a limited amount of time until you come under attack, you must act quickly. The original Stronghold Crusader missions give you plenty of time to build decent defences before the onslaught begins. However, this is anything but the case with the new Extreme missions, which verge on ludicrous. You'll find that you have virtually no time to construct new defences before you're beset on all sides by your enemies. Unless you're a Stronghold veteran of the highest calibre, you'll probably be overrun within minutes and left feeling utterly frustrated by the whole experience.
Visually, Stronghold Crusader Extreme leaves a lot to be desired. The engine appears to be identical to the 2002 release and, as a result, looks very dated compared with the spectacular visuals of more modern strategy games such as Medieval II: Total War. While the sheer number of troops is impressive, the blocky graphics make a mockery of the vastness of the attacking armies, as they look like messy blotches rather than thousands of individual bloodthirsty warriors.
Unless you were completely addicted to Stronghold Crusader and have been hankering for more of the same but with an exponentially higher difficulty level, it's virtually impossible to recommend this game. It's dated, overpriced and mercilessly unforgiving.
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