Royal Crumble: Stronghold: Crusader 2 Trailer

Time to take it down a notch at RPS towers. It’s been an exciting day, full of violence, murder, ghosts, and terrifying screams coming from the basement. What we need is something more sedate. We need castles and strategy, deserts and caliphs. And while those things can be exciting, the Stronghold Crusader 2 trailer is like a relaxing warm bath, showing off the castle building and castle sacking to a tune that melted my brain. Trailer and info below.

No amount of tag checking seems to bring this up in the system, so it looks like this is news to RPS. The classic castle builder’s stock has dropped in recent years thanks to a run of middling Stronghold titles, but developers Firefly Studios are aiming to rediscover the spark that makes people go glassy eyed and start telling you about their crenelations. And in this game, you might not be able to stop them: the co-op modes allows players to share castles, and fight off other teams of castle-sharers. It has voice chat.

The team are putting it together without a publisher, instead they’re hoping to use Gambitious to crowd-fund the game. Here’s the trailer. For a game with so many units fighting on screen, it really did nearly send me to sleep. It’s like a brain massage.

Things sure picked up when the catapults arrived, eh? Was it me, or could you make out individual bricks crumbling away? I cringed at the accents, though. They’re worryingly stereotypical. Still, with a release date for early 2014, that could change. I really hope so.


  1. Bobsy says:

    “They had massive whips, Rimmer. Massive, massive whips!”

  2. BTAxis says:

    I remember having quite a bit of fun with the first Stronghold game. But somehow, after that one the franchise has lost its charm, I can’t really say why.

  3. bstard says:

    It has Crusader and it has II! Creasing on wish(-its-not-crap-like-Stronghold3-)list

  4. Zippityboomba says:

    Amazing efficiency they get out of those windmills, seeing as how they’re basically indoors. Or maybe they’re peon-powered fans, ie medieval air conditioning?

  5. TheInsider64 says:

    Loved the first Crusader, but apart from formations and slightly updated graphics I don’t see anything new here.

  6. ch4os1337 says:

    I still play Stronghold: Crusader to this day, infact I just finished a 3 hour 3v3. Anyways, this looks a lot better than the garbage that was Stronghold 3 but it’s worryingly not close enough to the original SH:C.

    From the trailer it looks like around 2/3rds of the game is missing. (i’d expect *more* content with this being a sequel) Let’s hope that 2/3rd is missing because it’s not finished and not bad design.

    *Edit, ohh I didn’t read it still needs funding. Well that gives me some more hope that it will be improved. Also the voice acting is perfect… melord?

  7. Tony M says:

    The trailer should have focused on building. When they focus on fighting it invites comparison with the Total War series, and that won’t end well for Firefly Studios.

    • ch4os1337 says:

      This is closer to Starcraft (or Age of Empires) than Total War and I don’t remember those games getting compared often.

  8. yhancik says:

    This device requires a skilled engineer my Lord!

  9. XhomeB says:

    Stronghold 2/3 were pretty abysmal… I so want them to do this right this time.

  10. Gothnak says:

    I remember working on Warrior Kings around 10 years ago in South London with Firefly 2 or 3 stops up the tube working on a very similar game. Black Cactus went bust (damn Microids!) while making a Crusader version of our game, i can’t believe Firefly are still making Stronghold titles!

    • Yannos says:

      I loved Warrior Kings and the “Battles” stand-alone expansion!
      For this; it’s hard to get excited seeing their bad track record after Crusaders 1 … Stronghold 2, Legends and 3 were all pretty damn terrible and it doesn’t seem like this version seems much better. Go back to 2D! You were good at that.

  11. Isoriai says:

    The fun thing about Stronghold series was its Sandbox and overwhelming number of things happening in the game.

    1. Population- I don’t remember there was a limit number of units you can create in the game, Wars can get overwhelming and hectic- thats one of the unique feeling that the original stronghold drive on.

    2. Traps/interactivity/brutality- Throw Tars, set people on fire, spike traps, pouring hot liquid down at enemy in castle gate. These interactivity help put a smile to the face as you watch enemy and allies burn and suffer really painful pain(for a lack of words) as you over-watch the chaotic siege scenes. drowning in overwhelming numbers, and overwhelming numbers of ways to inflict pains to enemies and allies.

    3. Sandbox: The original Stronghold/Crusader had the sandbox ability where you can just control the entire building fun and lets you place down multiple players so you can pit them against each other in any way you like, and switch between controlling any side you like come up with a scenario you really like(if one side turns out to be stronger, switch to the weaker side and help that side out). I sink many hours into this mode

    Stronghold 2 and 3 took away most of that, so what you have left are just bland RTS element with no uniqueness what so ever compare to other average grade RTS game.

    What made the original Stronghold series strong to me is the overwhelming chaos, the smirk on your face when you see cries of pain, and the ability to sandbox those pains…all make it a very sadistic yet rewarding uniqueness of a RTS game that most other RTS don’t have(the average being group A attack group B, slash slash, attack, swing swing, then attack more, create more units, slash slash)

    • Molay says:

      “What made the original Stronghold series strong to me is the overwhelming chaos, the smirk on your face when you see cries of pain”

      Have you not played stronghold 3 on release?
      There was an overwhelming amount of chaos, and I can assure you that there was a face where you could see cries of pain. It still hurts today to think about it.

  12. dagudman says:

    Was I the single one annoyed by the catapults firing themselves, having perfect aim and destroying the walls exactly from the top to bottom?

  13. Kong says:

    No more destroying walls with swords please. That 20th century game mechanic.

    • kud13 says:

      Those were pickaxes. perfectly legitimate.

      • Kong says:

        Knights in full plate wielding pickaxes. I am sure that is not how it was done.

        Try this at home. Have a friend armed with bow and arrow sit in a tree next to a stone wall. You work on the wall with a pickaxe he shoots at you. You are allowed to wear padded cloth armor which is a treat for a pickaxe wielding peasant.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Most units being able to tear down walls was a feature of SH1 and SHC – still widely regarded by fans as being the best in the series. You’re going to see that Crusader 2 improves on SH3 mainly by being truer to the original gameplay. Removing the ability to take down walls with swordsmen(etc) would be counter to this principle as it’s a core feature of the oldest and best loved games in the series. After all the 3D Strongholds erred mostly by fixing things which weren’t broken.

      (Ok most of SH3’s problems were caused by it not being possible to finish the game before release…But that’s a whole other sack of badgers)

      • Kong says:

        Bought it cheap on sale. Did the first missions got bored. Tried the sandbox mode. Who does not dream of building castles? Ordered an attack, saw the knights tear down my walls with their longswords while my crossbowmen and archers shot at them. Watched bewildered how those knights succeeded in destroying my fortress without siege machines.
        I am just thinking, this is not a castle building simulator. More like a weak Age of Empires extension