It's not that bad, But..

User Rating: 7 | Stronghold: Crusader II PC
Ok, let me start off by giving you some personal history of mine: I've bought the original stronghold crusader 2 times, 1st as a child, then as part of the stronghold collection. So I know stronghold like the back of my hand. The game has very low standards and can run on any computer. ( 2 gigabytes of ram And 6HDD space. ) The intro screen of the game is only a minute long, and it shows a crusader fighting an infidel. I expected it to be longer, it stars with "1187 AD Cyprus" And then the fight scene shows and cue game. If you've played the original crusader, the menu screen featured a CGI crusader moving about. The new menu screen for 2 has an assassin perched upon a ledge who looks tired and he's facing a starry sky at night while the sands blow around him, with his back turned towards you. On, The menu you have 6 options. Single Load Multi Extras Options and quit. The extras are just credits. Click on single player and you are given the options Tutorial Learning campaign Skirmish Custom skirmish Sandbox And community maps. There is no built in map editor like crusader 1 sadly. Now, the opponents you can face in the game (from the original crusader) are: lionheart, Saladin, wolf,caliph, and rat. (There is no pig this time or scorpion) Newcomers are: the shah, sultana (replaces the sultan) and the slave king. (I would assume replaces the pig) you have a ton of maps, moving on, Now gameplay. The game is EXACTLY like crusader 1, in fact, the voice from the original game when you start the game and start a map are the same. ( Place your stockpile my liege" and "your castle awaits" guy .yep. The only difference is it runs on a 3D engine instead of an isometric one your crusader (king) looks like the one from stronghold 2, They have new units such as Templar knights, (which replace the knights from the first game) and whirling dervishes. There ARE NO animals in the game anymore, at Least I don't believe so. (I've loaded up a sandbox map and looked around, no animals,) you can still get messages from the lords in CGI fashion, but the their mouths don't move much and it just doesn't look right. You can only talk to your allies now and can't bug the other team. The buildings are exactly the same. Just different cosmetic designs. They don't have any more sub menus (e.g to raise morale or instill fear in the stronghold) morale no longer plays a part in the game, you also have something called "estates" that you get by conquering a town. You also can't play as a sultan anymore. (In the original, in the options menu you could choose to play as a crusader or a sultan) Peasants NO LONGER speak. when you click on them, they don't even have a portrait or say anything funny like "no taxes is good taxes that's my motto!" It just has a status.. (It's worth to mention firefly studios hasn't had a good game since they stopped using the isometric engine, their worst being stronghold 3,) Another thing that is missing is the little small CGI windows that would appear when you clicked on a building, this made stronghold unique. I mean now you can watch the person perform their duty, up close with the zoom in feature, but still. Skirmish trails (the game's story mode) consists of six chapters, There's no humor in this game, maybe some, but not as much as the original. You still have random events, but no CGI again in the corner to keep you interested. The music is still great. AI is good. BUT, I mean I've waited forever for this game, paid $60 for it. And all I get is an upgraded/downgraded version of stronghold crusader 1? I mean it's not a bad game, it's fun. But it's not as addictive or enthralling as the original. It could be worse, but I was just hoping for more Is it a bad game? No. In fact I consider it firefly studio's best work since crusader. But is it worth $60? No. Wait until it goes down in price if you really really want it. In the meantime, just buy a copy of the original if you've never played the series. And then buy the other one later and compare the 2 and see which is better, I mean it's a good game, but you can't beat the original.