Sand walls

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
Author and references

It happens in life to go back to watching a movie or to reread a book, after many years, and to realize that it was not exactly as we remembered it. Memory sometimes plays tricks, adding non-existent details or nuances.

In the world of video games, especially retrogaming, this compensation is essential, but there are series that would be better to rest in peace. The boys of Firefly Studios bring us back to the heart of the battle: this time the Westerners will have to contend with the terrible warriors of Saladin and his armed troops. Once you meet them, you will immediately understand that the fearsome warriors on horseback will be really tough and that to face a big enemy ... you need a big castle! Also in this chapter, the moment when you raise the surrounding walls to protect your possessions is always functional and captivating.. Whether you surround a natural barrier such as mountains or the sea, or choose to protect natural areas such as oases, you will have to procure quite a few goods, given the high costs. And this is where the game begins. To go into more detail you will therefore have: a rich tutorial in which to know the basics, which concerns the positioning of the first warehouse up to resistance from enemy attacks, the campaign in which you will represent the Christian army, with all the aesthetic and managerial references of the classics Western castles and the time when you have to fight shoulder to shoulder with Saladin. Except for the tutorials, the difficulty is never at the highest level. The repetition of the same few actions to quickly have the resources available to create an army is an element that plays in favor of the immediacy of the action of the battle, which will almost always see two sides colliding head-on (until the final attack at the castle), for this reason the strategies to be learned are almost always quite basic. Despite this, it will take some time before the outcome of even small skirmishes can turn in your favor and that this is as natural and simple to administer as it really is.

Stronghold Crusader II is a comeback that primarily caters to its old fans

Take us by the ... hand

Although you may not be used to tutorials, in strategic titles it is essential to familiarize yourself with all those elements, indispensable to the game's economy, which allow you to take control of primary sources of livelihood, deposits and natural elements to be exploited, and then make the best use of it during the game. In the specific case of Stronghold Crusader 2 this is one of the parts that still works wonders today, as in the past.

The simple and essential objectives will try to tease in you the optimal choice in the use of the adequate number of artisans or soldiers, exploiting the available resources. In these first actual missions it is essential to try to go beyond what is imposed on you in the missions, also to better understand how to move around the territory. The fact that you have to build a castle on sandy ground means that you must necessarily disperse your men over a very large area and for this they could suffer attacks from both enemies and beasts ready to tear the poor unfortunate to pieces. The pace of the game is always very tight and there will not be many boring moments, so it is better to prepare your craftsmen and troops to defend the area quickly and immediately. Once you have managed to collect enough funds it will be time to erect your coveted walls. Once the typology has been selected, just place them on the designated area, as long as there are no natural "barriers" on the imaginary trajectory such as trees or small clearings that prevent their construction. If you do not want to create perfect squares, you will be given the opportunity to join the lines of the perimeter, with a magnetic coupling, which forms diagonals in the various conjunctions, so that also aesthetically, as well as technically, you can indulge yourself in engineering works. However, the most important aspect is that of being able to "furnish" your structures with a verticalized and very versatile system. In fact, if you are rich enough, you can, for example, create a first circle of walls, later enrich it with walkways and connect the various structures together, perhaps using the useful towers. The latter are fundamental as archers are very lethal, being able to offer them a practical and comfortable shooting area will prevent you from preventing the opponent from getting too close to your fortification and starting to "gnaw" your wall defenses.

When intelligence is lacking

Artificial intelligence is often the least logical and fun there is, which is why it is often also the most difficult part to program. All fighters in Stronghold Crusader 2 will gladly accept the forest of arrows that will swoop down on their heads, without even batting an eyelid as their first unfortunate comrades in arms fall a few meters from them. With a catapult you can gut the mighty stone walls of castles (or suffer the same sort), watching with pleasure the effects of the Havok engine that animates the falling stones.

In the latter case, the imperturbability of the "perfect fighters" will ensure that nothing changes in their disposition, until the coup de grace and the visit of the "grim reaper" will ferry them to the other world. When you do not act directly on troops with specific tasks, in the hope that they do what you want and do not decide to ignore your orders, they will choose to walk around the enemy area as if they were in Disney World. In fact, they will suffer damage from everywhere and without trying to gather around a single enemy at a time to take them down but, on the exact opposite, it could happen that only one of them can decimate a handful of your men. Let's not forget the multiplayer part, the real gem that has always fascinated many players: the possibility of demonstrating to human opponents that our war skills are better than theirs still exists and works well. Alone or in the company of someone, better if a friend with whom we have studied every move at the table, it could be the push that will guide you to the purchase, it being understood that the technical defects found just above remain, considering that in some cases you will have artificial intelligence is also involved in enriching, so to speak, the dish.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • The editorial team uses the ASUS CG8250 Personal Computer
  • Intel Core i7 3770K processor
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card
  • Windows 7 operating system

Minimum requirements

  • Intel Core2 Duo 2Ghz processor or equivalent
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Scheda video NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB o AMD Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB o migliori
  • 4 GB of disk space

Recommended Requirements

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Scheda video NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB o AMD Radeon HD 5830 1GB


Digital Delivery Steam Price 34,99 €


Readers (23)


Your vote

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a product built and packaged for those fans who, after twelve years, are willing to do anything to be able to play this series again. Some choices, which his predecessors could be forgiven, in the name of greater "carefree" and immediate fun, now show the side of the inevitable passing of time. It cannot be ruled out a priori that it still enjoys more.


  • It does not require large configurations to turn
  • The tutorials are always fun, but the strategy is all of the player
  • Multiplayer battles
  • Release made for aficionados ...
  • ... which will not meet the favor of new users
  • Sometimes simplistic mechanics
  • Revisable artificial intelligence
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