hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Stronghold 3

Preview: Besiege your neighbor in Stronghold 3

1:00 PM on 07.07.2011 // Ryan Perez

Do you think castles are awesome? Of course you do; everybody does. How about torturing naughty peasants in order to keep the rest of the population in line? Me too!

Stronghold 3 is for those of us who miss the days when strategy and simulation were best friends -- that time when destroying your enemy and managing your food output went together like pickled eggs and beer.

It’s been over six years since Firefly Studios released Stronghold 2 to poor reviews and a mixed fan reception. From what I saw of Stronghold 3, they've spent the last six years heeding the suggestions of critics and thinking of a few ideas to get the series to turn heads again.

Stronghold 3 (PC)
Developer: Firefly Studios
Publisher: Southpeak Games
To be released: Fall 2011

For those of you who aren't familiar with the series, Stronghold 3 is a real-time strategy game where your goal is to build up a strong keep, raise a powerful army, and crush anyone that you might perceive as a threat. The game is also part simulation, which keeps things pretty interesting. Growing resources, upgrading fortifications, managing taxes, and keeping your subjects happy are but a few of the tasks you'll have to do to ensure a strong monarchy.

I didn't get to play the game, but observing it reminded me a lot of games like Tropico and Black & White 2 (minus the giant creature.) You take on the role of a leader and are in charge of everything that goes on inside the high, protective walls of your base. Want to be a noble lord? Lower taxes and make life easier for your subjects, at the expense of income. Tired of workers dragging their feet around the lumber mill? Then display one of them in a bloody, iron torture cage. That will put a spring in their steps!

The strategy elements seem pretty basic, but deep enough to keep real-time strategy gluttons somewhat satiated. The game emphasizes defense more than offense, so don’t expect to be building armies 10,000 men strong. With that said, there is considerable depth in terms of how you protect your keep. Several structures, traps and wall types are at your disposal and provide a lot of potential for intricate defenses. As a fan of the film Braveheart, knowing that you can pour hot oil on attacking troops put a smile on my face. I’m evil like that.

Stronghold 3 has received a nice visual overhaul thanks to the German-designed Vision Engine. The previous two games in the franchise were 2D, but Stronghold 3 has decided to join the modern age and venture into full 3D. It's not the best looking strategy game on the market, but the graphics do affect the gameplay in a variety of ways in part thanks to Havok engine

For instance, crumbling walls look pretty nice as they fall apart, bad weather can actually cause the morale of your troops to sink considerably and lightning storms can even be the difference between victory and defeat. Other cool effects include the fog of war kicking in during the night and making it more difficult to spot enemy attacks. Buildings are no longer built on a grid either and are instead free to be constructed anywhere without obstructions.

Firefly’s goal is to embrace the qualities that made the original Stronghold popular, scrapping the ones that made its sequel a bust, and adding a few new touches to keep things fresh. One feature that made my brow rise was their leaderboard: While Stronghold 3 has a typical scoring system that ranks you accordingly, you can narrow down your results based on location.

Say you live next door to some guy you really, really hate, who also plays Stronghold 3. Not only can you both set up camp based on your actual location (i.e. 5555 Asshole Neighbor St.), but you can also compete against each other directly. Mind you, a feature like this depends completely on the popularity of the game, but that doesn’t keep the idea from being intriguing.

One can only imagine what types of feuds (or brutal murders) could result of such an intimate leaderboard system. Come Fall of this year, perhaps we’ll find out. And if there’s actually an Asshole Neighbor St., and you live on it, then maybe you should keep an eye on this game. This preview is a sign!

Photo Gallery: (3 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Ryan Perez,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Batthink avatarBatthink
This GrumpOut video was pretty funny to me (props to TheBadSpoon on the Dtoid chat room);
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Sonic Lost World is coming to PC on November 2nd for $25! I may double dip, hopefully they'll make the final boss less rage-inducing. Ah well, I can always grind for extra lives lol.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Older. Grayer. Wiser. Dick still works. #Ballin
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Wow I just want a mic for the PS4...why are they so expensive ;_;
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Went to play MGSV, got prompted to download the MGO data; it's not on the PS Store yet. Or maybe it's Kojima-san's way of telling me it's not the real MGO data, but is instead a janitor who once protected me from a puddle of pee and now wears my face.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Going grey >>>>>>>>>>> Going bald
Rudorlf avatarRudorlf
Recently watched the Cannon Films documentary, by the director of Not Quite Hollywood. Super entertaining, hilarious, and it almost made me want to watch some of the Cannon films. Almost.
CaimDark Reloaded avatarCaimDark Reloaded
PEOPLE! PEOPLE! PEOPLE! Tomorrow I'm meeting Shade of Light in RL!
able to think avatarable to think
Tip for those who have plasma TVs and are playing MGSV; go into settings and make the weapon icon only appears when you're aiming. I had to buy a new TV because the weapon icon got permanently burned into my plasma.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Any of you cute little butts gonna be at London Comic Con?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
You felt your sins crawling on your back... [youtube][/youtube]
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
what was the first game that used crowd motivated you to contribute ?
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Mad Max, Critters and some The life and times of Tim to finish the night. T'was a good day.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I was excited to learn one of my favorite Philip K. Dick novels, The Man in the High Castle, would be receiving its own TV show. After watching the pilot, I'm cautiously optimistic. Looking forward to the rest in November.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I'm going to be honest; this is my new favourite line in anything ever. GOTY 2015 and all that. Also cocks: [img][/img]
I thought Laura Kate's Destiny piece for Polygon was pretty neat.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
Bungie have decided Kojima isn't the only one who can do 4th wall breaking shenanigans. Congratulations Destiny players, you're all now The Taken King.
I have (jokingly) wanted a remake/sequel to Geist. And then I went to YouTube to watch a longplay to see it in action again and thought, "nevermind!"
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Stronghold 3

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -