Stronghold: Crusader II
Top Critic Average
Stronghold: Crusader II Media
Stronghold Crusader 2 - Launch Trailer
Critic Reviews for Stronghold: Crusader II
Overall, Stronghold: Crusader 2 does a lot of things well. Managing the economy is important, but it doesn't need to be constantly managed (although you do need to take the right resource path in order to succeed). Combat is the traditional RTS "smash into each other experience" but it works well (despite the questionable unit AI), and building your castle is incredibly pleasing despite the dodgy interaction with terrain. Irritating moments such as the enemy Lord fights and generally high difficulty detract significantly from the game, but it's still an enjoyable romp for any RTS fan.
A game with the mechanics of both Total War and Sim City can be good, but Stronghold hasn't executed the core mechanics of either well enough to fit the bill. Taking the magic out of an often-fantasy-filled era is not the true crime here; it's that Stronghold fails to improve upon the formula of its previous titles.