When this game was first introduced which was some time ago, Stronghold Crusader was an excellent game and it’s still out there, attracting players. The new extreme addition, offers other features such as better battles, a challenge option newer maps and other features. The platform, however, it relatively outdated by the current standards of technology and the new content is not intuitive enough to make up for that.
If you have not played before, you’ll find that the Stronghold games are based on economic strategies. As the lord of a feudal castle and the lands around it, you must manage the intricate economic structure of supply and demand in relation to food supplies, weaponry, and goods for your tenants. Player will need to oversee a number of different functional economic chains. Huts in the woods serve as the posts for hunters to provide venison, wheat planted in the field will provide grain, a woodcutter will provide the supplies for building, etc. Other details need to be managed as well such as milling the grain, baking the produced flour. Everything leads down a chain of events and each impact the economy. While the premise is great, you can still see the wear and tear of the game’s age. When the game moved to a 3D format, it was riddled with bugs and little was done to improve the graphics. The resolution selections are outdated and the game gets blurry or pixelated. The animations are basic and utilitarian as is the audio.
Two versions are available for download but the second iteration is so challenging that it is recommended that one stick with the original version which makes it less expensive since you can pick it up at a bargain. Hardcore fans will want to try out the newer version, though. The Crusader Extreme Trail offers 20 new missions that are so complicated, you’ll easily grow frustrated. You’ll be dropped into a group of spear throwers and arches along with your keep and the surrounding peasants and just a few supplies. You’ll only have a beat before you are attacked by a large throng of villains without the necessary prep time. You’re economy will be on hold and already the bad guys are banging down your door. You can try to build but you won’t have the time to do so and thus keep them out. This will make them plenty flimsy and they’ll be taken down without much effort. The game play doesn’t improve afterward either. The missions you have to follow are just as frustrating and ill conceived.
As a rerelease of a much older game the new content doesn’t really make it sufficient enough to invest any money in it. It’s priced high and it’s difficult and frustrating. The original is better than its follow up and it wouldn’t be recommended to anyone trying it out for the first time. Die hard fans may enjoy it but even they will likely prefer the game in its original state.