While Stronghold Crusader 2 sounds like an intriguing mix of city builders like SimCity
and RTS games like Command & Conquer
, in practice it turns out to be little more than an average experience that doesn't quite live up to its promise. You take the role of either Richard the Lionheart or the Sultan of Syria in one of two single-player campaigns, and must lead your troops to victory by battling against the enemy and building up your empire. The game offers a mix of combat and resource management, with a number of unique units to use on the battlefield, from archers to assassins, while also building up your castle defenses, by setting traps in order to ensure it stays standing. You'll need to manage the economic side of things too, juggling resources and finances, while planning your assaults and dealing with unexpected events like locust swarms and tornadoes. There are several different modes to try, including skirmish, multiplayer, so-op and sandbox, which adds some variety and challenge to the game but it's perhaps not enough to make this an absolute must play for anyone other than a genre die hard. There's nothing particularly wrong with the game and it does offer some enjoyable strategy fun, which is both fast paced and challenging. There is a good range of units and options to play around with, while the controls and interface and mostly efficient and logical. Visuals are fairly typical for this sort of thing, with the usual isometric view giving a decent sense of scale, but overall, it's just a little too bland for its own good.