Review by Knightlord

"Wow. This Game Rivals Age of Empires II, and Some of the Other Great Games of our Time."

Hi. I'm a pretty big fan of RTS's, especially those which are Medieval-Themed. When I was at a friend's house, I noticed a disc with Stronghold printed across the top, with a picture of a knight ready to slice into whatever came in his path. I asked what it was, and was told that it was about castle-building. I never realized that a game that was about that could be so much fun.

Graphics
Nowadays, these graphics are not top of the line. The X-Box 360 is coming out in, like, a month, for crying out loud. But still, these graphics do detail your knight's full body armor, in shiny plate, and your insignia on their chests. Very cool.

Sound
Sound was pretty good. Each type of soldier, (Archer, Footman, Knight) has a different voice, all done pretty well. If you tell a team to go really far across the map, they say different things. Footman go, "Forward!!!!" Over short distances, but "This armor's heavy!" over long ones, for example.

Gameplay
Wow. As with most games, except "Dai-Katana" *shudders* this is where the game shines. You are in charge of almost every miniscule detail of the game. The cool thing that seperates this game from games like Warcraft (Which is still an awesome game, don't get me wrong.) is the fact that to make soldiers, you not only need available peasants, and food an such, but you need to make all the components of said soldier. Rather than just train an Elven Archer from a barracks like Warcraft, you need to have leather armor, and bows for archers. For footmen, you need plate armor, broadswords, and shields. With knights, you need the plate armor, broadsword, shield, and a horse from the stable. Nicely detailed. Some people find it a hindrance. I find it cool. Another thing, unlike other games, where you automatically get people to serve you, you need to be popular to have peasants serve you. You increase popularity by giving your people gold, rather than the other way around, or by giving double rations, rather than standard, and things like that. Another cool thing is the fact that you can place different structures, both types are optional, and have different effects. Good things, like gardens, and statues and monuments, increase popularity, but decrease worker efficiency, since the people tend to dawdle around the pretty things, rather than work. And then there's Bad things, like dungeons, gibbets, gallows and chopping blocks. These decrease popularity, but really get people going out of fear, and increases efficiency. A nice assortment of choices in this game.

Buy or Rent
Are you insane? Unless around your place, you can rent PC games, buy it! BUY IT NOW! Even if you did have the chance to rent, BUY IT!!!! This game is so much fun, and really is addicting. Homework? To Heck with homework! I have enemies to crush, battle to win, and Strongholds to lord over.

Overall
10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/07/05


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