Sure we all remember and like the first Crusader, and we'll all play it now and again, but rehashing it is a mistake.

User Rating: 7 | Stronghold: Crusader Extreme PC
We all remember when the first Stronghold came out, with its revolutionary castle sim based play. When Crusader came out, it got even better with the ability of multiple lords on single maps. Crusader was all in all an excellent game, well worthy of a 9 or better. It is this commonly known fact that led Firefly Studios to produce a second, Extreme Crusader.

Sure we all remember and like the first Crusader, and sure we'll all play it now and again, but rehashing it in such a generic form is a mistake. If anything, I think Firefly Studios should have taken the first Crusader...upgraded it to modern graphics like Age of Empires 3, and then released it to the public with a new set of campaigns. However, they chose to release it with all the old graphics. As a result, it looks dismal when compared to the games being released alongside it.

Firefly also amped up the unit numbers. Now, instead of using a few archers to attempt to stem an army of're using an army of archers to attempt to stem an entire civilization worth of swordsmen. Stronghold was always good, but when you put that many units marching in ranks together, the graphical result looks quite silly, as if the troops were cut out of paper. The new Crusader campaign takes an extraordinary amount of work to beat as well. Instead of having a few minutes of spare time in which to get your economy up and running, you're faced with entire invasion forces a minute into the gameplay. My first match in Extreme led to defeat in the first few minutes. I was so used to the old Crusader that I though it'd be alright just to start building my town...get up some Orchards for some food, then put up some stone quarries to build a barracks and some walls...but instead I was beaten halfway through putting a hovel up.

So why did I give it a 7? I suppose Stronghold Crusader is a great and deserving game, so it deserves nothing less than a decent score. But the game is aged, and I'd sincerely like to see a version with new graphics.