Peasantville: Stronghold 3 Financinomics

Britain, yesterday
Stronghold 3 isn’t that far away now and I’m as excited as a peasant with a new pitchfork. Much has been said of the fancy physics and the way they’ll affect traps and breaches, and much more has been said about diseased badgers. To remind us that it’s not all pestilent wildlife and siege warfare though, Firefly have lifted their portcullis to let a new trailer slip into the world. It concentrates on the economic side of the game. That means maintaining the castle and the village around it. It also means listening to the demands, hopes and fears of your people, which, like a British weekend, mainly revolve around ale, wolves and the ever-present possibility of being placed in the stocks.

Blimey, they don’t half whine, do they? But I’ll forgive them because they’ve probably all got various forms of pox.

As Alec pointed out when he had a look at the game a couple of months ago, it’s looking like a return to form after the disappointing Stronghold 2. There should be a combat trailer soon enough, so we’ll get to see some of those fancy physics in action. But, for me at least, this will be the meat of the game. An engaging historical strategy simulation that doesn’t involve stacks of men thrusting implements at one another. It’s not out until October 18th but if you preorder on Steam, you can download and play the first game right now.


  1. TillEulenspiegel says:

    I loved the economic campaign of the original Stronghold. Wish they’d managed to combine the two parts a little better, like Lords of the Realm did.

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    • iyokus says:

      Why is every screenshot of this game so damn YELLOW? I hope that horrible yellow filter isn’t as bad when you’re actually playing.

  2. JFS says:

    Oh, the music. Did the English version have that easteregg jester rocksong as well?

  3. almostDead says:

    I must say that when I watched the trailer on steam I thought, how can you possibly present a game in a less interesting light. It was a naff trailer indeed.

    • Burning Man says:

      Yeah, as a Stronghold n00b, I must say that the trailer seems to have absolutely no interest in enticing newcomers. I still have no clue what it’s about. My takeaway is, “A graphically inferior cousin to Sims Medieval, with sillier voices. Oh, and with a dash of Tropico.”

    • Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

      Maybe I can sell it since I quite enjoyed Stronghold The First. The appeal lies in setting up a fortress from scratch and then watching as the attacking army attempts to crack it as visa versa. When done correctly it really is rather fun and challenging.

      Then again I grew up playing the Castles game and I remember tittering with pre-adolescent glee when the man on the CD-video talked about the castle “motte”. You had to be there and eleven years old.

  4. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    Prediction: There will be bugs! Oh yes, there will be game-breaking, hair-pulling, pitchfork-anal-sexing bugs!

  5. Persus-9 says:

    So a trailer about the economic aspects of ruler-ship leaves Adam Smith as excited as a peasant with a new pitchfork? I guess even after 235 years some things just never change.

  6. Chris D says:

    They sound charming enough but I was really hoping the meat of the game would involve siege engines, devious traps and boiling oil.

    • Bobsy says:

      Historical kill-joy ahoy!

      You didn’t pelt the enemy with boiling oil. Oil was at a huge premium, and you didn’t waste in the enemy’s scalps. Boiling water was almost as good anyway.

    • Chris D says:

      I think the only proper response to that is: La-la-la-la! I can’t hear you!

      You’ll be telling me vikings didn’t actually have spiky helmets next.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I’ve read that oil was used indeed, about as frequently as modern armies use nuclear weapons. Sometimes you just don’t have a choice. But hot sand was used more often.

    • Fiatil says:

      You’ll be happy to hear that there’s still lots of traps and killing and boiling liquids in the game regardless of how much fun peasantry simulation is thrown in there too. The previous games have had something along the lines of a war campaign and an economy campaign to choose from. and I doubt that the developers have forgotten how much people can enjoy each of those parts separately as well as together.

  7. Turin Turambar says:

    Why. Why it look so ugly in comparison with the first Stronghold…

    • Coins says:

      Because this was filmed in Shitville, where everything looks horrible.

  8. db1331 says:

    Is there anyone who plays these types of games who doesn’t rule with an iron fist?

    • Zorganist says:

      Stronghold makes it a lot more beneficial to play as a benovelnt ruler, as your people will start leaving your castle if you’re too hard-fisted.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      If these were real people, I wouldn’t mind an iron fist. But digital cybermen are so cute and defenseless, that I almost always show my soft side.

  9. blind_boy_grunt says:

    already linking to old articles like you’ve been always here? Isn’t it time to let the other candidates get their try… or is this permanent now? If so i demand a “gaming made me”!

  10. Martel says:

    What’s the multiplayer like for the Stronghold games? For this one co-op is listed, but how would that work? There seems to never be enough co-op games out there, so my interest is always peaked when I see one with that tag.

  11. MrPants says:

    I can only hope they’ll be getting the Oblivion voice actors in to fix that placeholder job. Surely junior developers are better used on code reviews than in the recording studio.

  12. Fiatil says:

    As a huge Stronghold 1 fan (and even a stronghold 2 fan!) this trailer looks awesome. The voice acting sounds to be perfectly in theme with the rest of the series, and the graphics are a nice step up and look much cleaner than the last. Given their last few projects I’m not expecting much of a grandiose game, but assuming it’s not bug-ridden at release (haha) I want to play it so so bad.

    The second game was a bit of a mess on release, and it definitely wasn’t helped by its not-quite-so-great 3d graphics, but it added a lot of great new features to the mix. The territory system that divided the map into provinces made the game much more interesting in my mind; importing and exporting as well as taking over land for certain resources added a good amount of depth.

    • megalomania says:

      Yeah I went and replayed Stronghold 1 when RPS first covered this, and picked up Stronghold 2 (which I’d not played before) while I was at it. I was pleasantly surprised. Like you say there was a lot more depth, and I didn’t find the micromanagement too arduous at all. Then again my main reference point for city builders these days is Dwarf Fortress, so maybe my perspective is a bit skewed in that regard.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      So you like both DF and Stronghold 2? Maybe I should take a second look at the S2.

  13. Stormbane says:

    That is the most horrible texture work I have seen in recent years.

  14. Tatourmi says:

    What’s with the graphics? Yeah, I know, not important and stuff, and I sort of agree when at least it looks coherent. But something about the colours and models just doesn’t do it for me.

  15. matrices says:

    Is that a trailer meant for the general public? Because seriously, what the hell was that…a transvestite voice narrating some muddy looking scenes of idyll.

  16. Cosmo Dium says:

    the game looks promising, but the graphics looks dated by about seven years. just sayin


  17. atworkforu says:

    Why do the voice actors all sound like John Stewart doing his British impression?

    • c-Row says:

      I liked the voice acting, but then again English isn’t my native tongue and you all sound funny to me.

  18. Roaring Panda says:

    Oh god the annoying bloody voices

  19. bagitomacho says:

    I really don’t like judging products by its trailers but given that they seem to have put little value in the presentation of their trailers, I’m starting to have my doubts on this upcoming game’s overall quality.

    I loved the first game though. Great times with it. So I’m hoping I’m wrong and this turns out to be a fantastic hit.

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  21. Thants says:

    That’s some quality terrible voice-acting. Not quite up to Men of War standards, but it’ll do.

    • Suilenroc says:

      I liked the voice acting in Stronghold 1. It always had me imagining my peasants as the mud farmers from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It’s worth noting that all the voices and music from that trailer are from Stronghold 1. Either development isn’t very far along, or they’ll be reusing most of the sound assets from the first game.

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