To The Extreme, I Rock Your Castle Like A Vandal


Stronghold Crusader Extreme has a demo out. There’s actually different versions for each language you have to download separately, clocking in between 191.61 Mb (For the English) to 213.68 Mb(For the Spanish). What are the Spaniards getting that we don’t? Is it more extreme? Can the Spanish take things which the English constitution wouldn’t manage? This isn’t fair, Goddammit. Er… Impressions follow.

Yeah, we’ve been mean about the title of Stronghold Crusader Extreme before, but doesn’t mean we’re not going to continue to. The demo actually showcases what an oddly MPDy little game this has now become – which isn’t actually necessarily a bad thing. Four levels are included – two from the old-skool Crusader campaign, and another two in the new Extreme mode. The compare and contrast, the first two levels feature nothing more violent than four horsemen occasionally turning up to stop you gathering apples. The other two feature hundreds of soldiers spewing forth in seconds and tearing, en masse, towards your castle.

And God powers.


It’s actually a fun little package. I always had a softspot for the Stronghold games, despite their obvious flaws. The City-builder-meets-Wargame thing works well, and I did enjoy a morning of gathering apples. And, Extreme mode plays like some of the videogame extreme mods which always amuse me – you know, the ones which let the railgun in Quake 3 fire like a machine gun or whatever. I occasionally hoped for a developer to say fuck it, and just give weapons that brutal in a game to see what that God-like power would feel like. Crusader Extreme, in its own way, kind of does that. It throws away Stronghold’s brain and replaces it with a sugary donut coated with meth.

The joy being nowt else has changed – you can still play the old Crusader modes. All the extra content ever is there. It’s just that you’ve got this new mode which is only possible due to the march of processors, which at least has it’s own style. While I’ve yet to beat either mission, the trick seems to be to realise that the initial thing is to get a Mercenary hiring place and start hiring. Make sure you’re getting serfs turn up, but get those men out in mobs and causing casualties. Pay attention to the bar you’re building on the right, unlocking the God powers. The low-level arrow-storm is just something you generally throw down to thin out enemy ranks, but being able to spawn units of knights or drop rocks from the skies have obvious utility.

I think it’s worth a play
. God knows I’ve got things I should have done this morning other than play this, but I don’t regret it. Though I probably should have waited for toknight.



  1. Babs says:

    Best post title ever.

    Going to give this a go, I loved Crusader but I don’t have my old copy so this could give me the urge to re-visit it.

  2. Ben Abraham says:

    * groans *

    “toknight”? Puh-lease!

  3. gaijin says:

    “four horsemen occasionally turning up to stop you gathering apples”

    ah, the legendary four horsemen of the apple-ocalypse?

  4. jamie says:

    Was laughing at the intro paragraph, “lol” I said, good job

  5. Tunips says:

    I don’t seem to be able to produce men in anything like the numbers the enemy can. Any tips? Or am I just not ectreme enough?

  6. FunkyLlama says:

    That pun at the end borders on the vomit-inducing.

  7. Kieron Gillen says:

    Turnips: You aren’t EXTREME enough.

    I haven’t done it, but what got me going was… well, first make walls to block yourself in to start with. Then buy a mercenary plant. Then make sure you have a couple of orchards – I think you need people making apples to give food to make more peasants to turn up. As peasants turn up, turn them into archers. Get them on the tower and you should be able to cause a load of chaos on anyone who comes near. That’ll start building your EXTREME! meter so yuo can start using effects.

    Around this point, you’ll have to start going on offensives, at which point you’re on your own.


  8. Matthew Gallant says:

    Light up a stronghold and wax a crusader like a candle?

  9. Fumarole says:

    Vanilla Ice? Groan…

  10. terry says:

    Massive ups to the titlist crew *whistle posse* Haven’t tried the demo yet, as I am still playing through Stronghold II. Does this ever get more like “Castles”? Right now it seems to be Ye Olde Commande and Conquere.

    edit: the extra filesize of the spanish version is down to the inquisition – those fluffy pillows don’t compress well :(

    edit 2: is here all week, and available for christenings/bar mitzvahs etc

  11. Zyrusticae says:

    Hah, I love it. It’s not actually that much harder than the standard scenarios – if anything, less so because of the new “extreme” powers (gawd that word is funny), but I’ll be damned if it ain’t fun.

    Tip: Horse archers and assassins make any offensive easy as pie. So long as you have enough of them…

  12. j39hsieh says:

    oh i played the original Stronghold. Enjoyed it immensely. Went back and played sandbox, and in general just doodled and messed around with the economy/people and building strange/magnificent/jaw-shutting wonders of the middle ages.

    Key to keeping peeps turning up is to have low tax, enough food to give extra rations, no torturing, churches to fill that emptyness inside (yes u know its there) , and i thinkn some plants and fountains to make stuff look nice.

    OH yea space bar is a lifesaver for getting a killer castle layout, with stairs and mazes for the enemy to run thru while archers stand atop and laugh .