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Thread: Stonghold 2 gone gold

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member Forward Observer's Avatar
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    Default Stonghold 2 gone gold

    I mentioned this in an earlier thread, but If any of you played or enjoyed the medieval themed RTS/castle building game developed by Firefly studios a couple of years ago, you might be interested to know that Stronghold 2 is due to hit the stores this coming Tuesday.

    I thought the first game quite fun. I just recently reloaded it and played through the combat based campaign again. There is also a shorter economic based campaign. It is a far different game than Medieval Total War in that the campaign has a fixed number of missions that consist of either building and defending your castle or attacking your enemy's stronghold.

    The new game is going to go full 3D and promises to be much more complex than the first game. This time you will not only control your own castle, but also those of your vassals.

    So far it is getting pretty good previews so I am getting anxious.

    Here is a hands on preview at Gamespot.

    Stronghold2
    Last edited by Forward Observer; 04-18-2005 at 01:09.
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  2. #2
    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    I tried the demo for stronghold: crusader, pretty fun game, if they release a demo for stronghold 2 i'll definitely check it out. Apparently spearmen can't take down your walls any more
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II

  3. #3

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    looks good, and know you can have public executions

  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    thanks f.o. :)

    i played the original stronghold and found it ok. tosa and i also played this peer to peer and it was also decent. not great, but ok. but it was lacking in certain areas and had limited replay value.

    i watched the trailer on that link you provided and am always a bit leery of advertising in the form of flash animations. you can make those flashes look like anything you want and more than once i've been disappointed by the differences in the animations and the real game. so, i also read one of the reviews. it does sound better. i didnt see any mention of multiplayer though. i do like the inclusion of the editor and campaign editor, however.

    all in all, this is going to be a game that i'll prolly wait for a demo for before buying. i've been hyped into buying before and am just going to try before i buy on this one.

    nonetheless, thanks for the heads-up :)

    K.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member Forward Observer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Just a minor update. I got the game yesterday and because I had to work quite late, I only had time when I got home to load the game, and play through the tutorial. I also tried one of the individual scenarios designed around a historical castle.

    So far I am not overly impressed. The 3D graphics do look good and everything including the little characters are well modeled. Just judging from the tutorial the game will play pretty much like the first game with a few new units, new buildings, and the ability to control multiple fiefdoms.

    The first thing that struck me was the irritating voice of the narrator for the tutorial. I didn't expect Patrick Stewart, but I also did not expect a voice actor who's nasally voice constantly breaks like that of a teenage boy. He sounds like an English version of Mr. Haney from the old Green Acres TV show. The guy must be related to someone in the company.

    The next thing I noticed is that some of the control functions seem to hang up and in one case did not seem work at all. For example--you are suppose to be able to double click on any unit and all similar units should be highlighted. This is just like the original game, but in the new game this doesn't work.

    I actually got stuck in the tutorial, and could not progress. Somehow I got back to the main menu, and was able to complete it the second time through.

    It was getting late, so I thought I would hang it up for the night and start again next evening. Unfortunately I had to work late again. When I came home, I instead went to one of the old Stronghold fan sites.

    I found that there was already a patch that fixes about 7 or 8 issues, but I also counted at least 15 or more other reported minor bugs that players had already found, including the unit selection issue that I mentioned, that were not addressed in the patch.

    I have come to expect a bug or two in any new release, but not quite this many that, although minor, are so seemingly easy to spot.

    The game does have potential, and I think Firefly will fix the issues. It also appears that none of the bugs seem to be major game breakers, but there are just too many compared to the release of their first Stronghold game.

    All of this makes me think they they should have let this game bake in the oven a few more weeks before release.

    All I can say at this point is that unless you are a avid fan, I'd wait a little while to make sure that they fix all the little issues and make sure that no big issues surface.

    Caveat Emptor,, er , and Cheers

    p.s. They also recyled a lot of the music and unit voice responses from the old game, which I find a bit cheezey
    Last edited by Forward Observer; 04-22-2005 at 03:34.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member Kraellin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    i've seen this happen before. a company is making pretty good or even very good 2d games and makes the move to 3d and the programmers find themselves a bit over their head and short on time due to the extra work involved in a 3d engine.

    like you, i'm fairly sure firefly will fix most things, but i'm still waiting for the demo :)

    thanks f.o. :)

    K.

  7. #7
    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Quote Originally Posted by Forward Observer

    The first thing that struck me was the irritating voice of the narrator for the tutorial. I didn't expect Patrick Stewart, but I also did not expect a voice actor who's nasally voice constantly breaks like that of a teenage boy. He sounds like an English version of Mr. Haney from the old Green Acres TV show. The guy must be related to someone in the company.
    I thought the voices in the original (or the demo anyway) were pretty annoying, I think they consider that 'humour'.

    Thanks for the review, I'll wait for the demo
    Yes, Iraq is peaceful. Go to sleep now. - Adrian II

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    You can tell from the very beginning that it was released before it was ready. My computer ran Doom 3 fine but i cant run Stronghold 2 good even on the lowest possible settings. And the weird thing is, the graphics are not very advanced or good looking to begin with.
    Last edited by John86; 04-25-2005 at 21:03.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member Forward Observer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiji
    You can tell from the very beginning that it was released before it was ready. My computer ran Doom 3 fine but i cant run Stronghold 2 good even on the lowest possible settings. And the weird thing is, the graphics are not very advanced or good looking to begin with.

    There is some sort of memory leak/performance issue that many are having with the game. From what I have read on the boards it is affecting just about all systems ranging from medium to high end---even those systems with lots of ram and top notch graphics cards. Some claim no frame rate improvement at all even setting all the game effect sliders to minimum.

    For myself, I have a fairly high end system, and the game ram pretty well until I got to one with a huge map and lots of activity going on with several hundred troops on the screen. This would seem understandable, but I found that if I saved at this point, exited the game, and then return to the same save, the performance was greatly improved.

    This seems to be one of the few work arounds for the slow downs, and it is what makes most think there is some sort of memory leak bug in the game.
    Also when I exit the game it seems to take several minutes for desk top to start functioning normally. This is sometimes another sign of a of a software memory leak.

    I was mistaken about the first patch. It did correct most of the minor, but obvious, bugs like the all unit selection function. There is another patch promised, but I have no idea if they can fix the performance issue which is so widespread that it just can't be simply user problems.

    I cannot imagine this performance issue not being encountered in beta/play testing, but so far it has not been a show stopper for me, and even though I am actually enjoying the game, I still feel like it was pushed out the door too soon.

    More later.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Did you have the "Instant defeat" problem by any chance? Whenever I started a campaign, I instantly recieved the defeat picture. Fortunatly, it just started to work one day and it's fine ever since.
    "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." -Ronald Reagan

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member Forward Observer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    I only played through the tutorial and a little bit of one single scenario before I installed the patch, but I haven't encountered the defeat screen unless I truly lost.

    I am on Chapter 7--defense of the monastery--but I haven't been able to devote my full attention to the game because of work. I did think that it was a nice game design idea that at this point the story branches allowing you to take an honorable or a dishonorable path, which in turn has you either defending or attacking the monastery.

    I thought Chapter 6 quite a bit of fun because it had a little bit of everything in it. You start from pretty much scratch, build up a castle and army, then acquire or conquer at least 3/4 for the outlying villages, defeat a viking mott & bailey type stronghold, then assault Edwin's castle, and finally rebuild this same castle for an all out counter assault. This mission has to have a lot of re-play value to it because there would seem to be several strategies that would work to complete the objectives.

    I have had a new problem with certain buildings not seeming to start up even with available peasants and supplies. The work around seems to be to demolish the building and immediately re-build it---then it seems to start working.

    cheers
    Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Demo is out. In German only. I suppose I shall have to try and muddle along as best I can.

    I was fond of the original Stronghold, but found Crusader a bit limited because it was really only a skirmish game. I like having both skirmish and campaign. How does Stronghold 2 do on this point? Does it have both modes this time?
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg
    Demo is out. In German only. I suppose I shall have to try and muddle along as best I can.

    I was fond of the original Stronghold, but found Crusader a bit limited because it was really only a skirmish game. I like having both skirmish and campaign. How does Stronghold 2 do on this point? Does it have both modes this time?
    It has two campaign modes- Peace and War. They are well done except for the enormus amount of bugs. The new patch should be out soon which is supposed to fix the bugs. Im not fond of the skirmish mode. For one thing, theres no stats after the battle like in the original stronghold. And dont even try playing multiplayer until the new patch, its impossible. Im curious if anyone got an online game to work yet and if so, how?
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  14. #14
    The Anger Shaman of the .Org Content Manager Voigtkampf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    I reviewed the game and have gotten a very negative impression.

    Itís filled with bugs, itís ugly as hell (even with the 3D engine) and doesnít have a bit of the spirit of the first Stronghold.

    Combat is hideous, AI seems to walk through he walls, your and enemies soldiers walk through each other, the paste is fast and you have basically only few seconds to figure things out. It is unbalanced as hell; I used the logs, dropped them of the castle wall and see them roll over dozens and dozens of men, it was ridiculous, two thirds of attackers were wiped out by logs that had more power in them than a Sherman tank.

    Oh, yes, and the patch is already out.

    Economic part is better, but still not satisfying IMHO.

    I miss the old Stronghold.

    Btw, magazine reviews range around 60-70 %, somewhere reader reviews reach up to 80 %. Thatís it. Enjoy at your own risk.




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  15. #15
    Senior Member Senior Member Dorkus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    SH and SHC were very fun games, but SH2 just doesn't cut it.

    There are basically zero gameplay innovations, and the bugs/performance issues make SH and SHC much more fun. They took 1 tiny step forward in graphics, and 10 steps backward in gameplay.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Gosh, how opinion differs. Reading about on HeavensGames stronghold site most people seem quite happy with the game, bugs aside. The second patch is reasonably close to release.

    The demo was fun ... considering I had no idea what half the buildings were, and the objectives were incomprehensible. Gah! It just goes to show how terrible the British education system is - my 2 years of German didn't include a thing about building and maintaining medieval castles!

    I liked the feasting, lord's kitchen, and the other similar details added to flesh out the civilian side of castle life. It gives something to do between bouts of tipping boiling oil over invaders. Honour is perhaps a good idea, but from the demo it's hard to get a good feel for it.

    At the same time, some of the additions promise to introduce fiddly micromanagement, rather than something fun. Gong and rats being prime examples. Crime, possibly too, since it doesn't look like anything can prevent crime. You can only catch the perps. So there's the same potential for happy peasants on double rations with plenty of ale to turn to crime as starved, overtaxed wretches who hate your guts.

    The 3D doesn't add much, and in many ways the old 2D graphics were more nicer. I wouldn't call them ugly though, and the landscape is quite pretty in some places, especially the water. It seems like a lot of the flavour is missing; the funny animations, the silly voice clips, the many and context sensitive peasant quotes. But then demos never include all this stuff, and I donít speak German too well.

    The game is being sold a little cheaper than the usual brand new price here; a conscious decision, not a reduction due to it not selling. I really enjoyed the old strongholds, and the old city builders. Itís been so long since I last had something like that to sink my teeth into
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member Dorkus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    Well, SHHeaven forums were very negative at first. (see my post for example)

    But most of the people who didn't like the game have disappeared.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Stonghold 2 gone gold

    The 1.2 patch is out. Does this improve matters much? I'm really hoping this game can be fixed up until it is worth the £18 I can get it for.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


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