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Stronghold Crusader 2 Review

Stronghold Crusader 2: View 5

Has it really been a whole 12 years since the last Stronghold: Crusader iteration was release? Not since September 23rd 2014 it hasn't, a date that saw the release of Firefly Studios' Stronghold: Crusader II. Featuring a significant visual overhaul as well as a delicate pinch of new features, this sequel's got plenty of gusto in terms of real-time castle-building warfare, but I struggle to find anything within the game that is truly unique or impressive.

Rating: 3.6/5

Release Date: 23/09/2014

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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Tribal Wars 2 Review

Tribal Wars 2: View 5



The original Tribal Wars amassed a staggering 50 million registered accounts since its launch back in 2003. In 2014, InnoGames decided it was time that they introduced a sequel to the world. Following the traditional freemium Web game formula, Tribal Wars 2 does nothing new, but enough to keep fans happy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Release Date: 02/09/2014

Available for: Browser

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Banished Review

Banished: View 5

Being on the breadline isn't something you'd expect from the usual medieval strategy title, but this isn't any ordinary middle-ages fodder: this is Banished, a city-builder with a substantial twist. You can forget the idea of owning you own kingdom as you've just been banished from a settlement, and now it's up to you to build your own, not with the intention of expansion and conquering your enemies but for pure survival. A stunningly flexible interface is woven skilfully alongside some back-to-essentials core mechanics and topped off with a great tutorial to produce one of the best city-builders since SimCity 2000, albeit with an incredibly different approach.

Rating: 3.65/5

Release Date: 18/02/2014

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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House of Wolves Review

House of Wolves: View 5

From the genre that brought you Age of Empires comes gorgeously-designed real-time strategy game House of Wolves. Based on a tried-and-tested format that involves the building of structures and the commanding of troops in order to expand your domain, House of Wolves brings a somewhat unique flavour to the action by taking place on a flat, 2D plane that scrolls left and right. It looks wonderful and it's packed with action: it is a perfect flash-based escapade for the passionate RTS-er.

Rating: 4.15/5

Release Date: 25/01/2014

Available for: Browser

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Age of Empires 2 Review

Age of Empires 2: View 5



There are some fantastic remasters out there. Homeworld and Homeworld 2 leap instantly to mind. Then are some poor efforts, like Stronghold HD and now, sadly, Age of Empires II HD.

Rating: 4.5/5

Release Date: 30/09/2013

Available for: Windows, PC, PC Download

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Forge of Empires Review

Forge of Empires: View 5



Forge of Empires is a freemium browser-based game that immerses players in progression through history as they build an empire and ally with fellow rulers. The Middle Age section of the game can be reached after around two weeks of play, and there are three distinct periods to play through.

Rating: 4.0/5

Release Date: 17/04/2012

Available for: Browser

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Crusader Kings Complete Review

Crusader Kings Complete: View 5

Europe is in turmoil. The lands are fragmented into petty fiefs and the Emperor struggles with the Pope. At this very moment the Pope has declared that those who go to liberate the Holy Land will be freed of all sins.

Rating: 4.0/5

Release Date: 14/02/2012

Available for: PC Download

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Crusader Kings 2 Review

Crusader Kings 2: View 5

How do you summarise the act of running your own dynastic bloodline and its political, economic, and social affairs between the years 1066 and 1453? By uttering two words and a number: Crusader Kings 2. Paradox Entertainment have been busy bunnies, issuing lashings upon lashings of tasty improvements to 2004's original Crusader kings including a visual overhaul, improved interface, though the goal is exactly the same: there is no ultimate goal. You just take control a country or kingdom of your choice and the rest is up to you.

Rating: 4.1/5

Release Date: 14/02/2012

Available for: Linux, Mac, Windows, PC Download

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Good Game Empire Review

Good Game Empire: View 5

If you're an RTS fan you've probably lost count of the number of times you've been given not only the keys but the rights to a kingdom and its castle. It also won't be the first time you've been asked to defend the kingdom and expand its borders or inflate its status through sieges and battling. Playing Goodgame Empire will mean that these others game also won't be the last time you're asked to perform such tasks. A strategy-management game of the familiar kind, Goodgame Empire is more casual than most in its approach to the empire/domain management-strategy genre, and for this it should be praised.

Rating: 4.0/5

Release Date: 20/09/2011

Available for: Browser

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Medieval 2 Total War Review

Medieval 2 Total War: View 5

Sega and The Creative Assembly's Total War series has historically gone from strength to strength, and now we've got a so-called indirect sequel to Medieval: Total War that continues the series' gritty and strategy-woven approach to conflicts in times past. Expect big things from Medieval II: Total War, a game that immerses you in the religious disputes, armed conflict, and politics of the period 1080-1530 with the series' trademark depth of strategy, detailed conflict, and nothing-short-of-epic nature.

Rating: 4.4/5

Release Date: 13/11/2006

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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The Guild 2 Review

The Guild 2: View 5

To what extent do you like do you like your games to be detailed about their subject matter? Quite? Rather? Pleasantly? None of these adverbs  even begin to touch upon on the extent to which The Guild 2's gameplay goes into every painstaking detail with its medieval-based dynasty simulator that's bordering on life-simulator territory. Detailed visuals and an original approach go some way to distracting from the micro-management heavy gameplay, but the detail is such that only the most dedicated fan that enjoys obsessing over the miniscule details will truly enjoy this title.

Rating: 3.05/5

Release Date: 12/10/2006

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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Knights of Honor Review

Knights of Honor: View 5

As King, it is your duty to lead your people in their struggle to raise your kingdom from its humble beginnings to a position of power and prestige...

Rating: 3.85/5

Release Date: 01/05/2005

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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Crusader Kings Review

Crusader Kings: View 5

While it may be true that the Total War series pretty much has the grand-scale real-time strategy genre sewn up in most respects, people should remember that it isn't the only option to turn to for gamers that are looking for almost total control over a civilisation's every action, reaction, and ultimate fate. Crusader Kings is the seventh iteration of its type from Paradox entertainment, and it promises to offer a civilisation sim with an all-encompassing scope and staggering depth.

Rating: 3.65/5

Release Date: 28/09/2004

Available for: Mac, Windows, PC, PC Download

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Stronghold Crusader Review

Stronghold Crusader: View 5

Stronghold was a decent game, giving players the chance to get involved in a military or economic campaign involving light village management and heavy, heavy sieges, all in real-time fashion. It was exceedingly flawed however - Stronghold: Crusader hopes to right these wrongs. This time we're entered into the infamous period of history that saw the Crusades take over much of the high and late middle ages. Improvements about here including interface tweaks and content additions, making for a considerably improved siege-based experience.

Rating: 3.9/5

Release Date: 31/07/2002

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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Stronghold Review

Stronghold: View 5

With (dare I say it) an overabundance of games that try to desperately simulate medieval-period grand strategy from a macro-simulation perspective, it's somewhat refreshing to play Stronghold, a game that's concerned almost entirely with siege warfare. Enjoy Stronghold's real-time combat approach battle as you balance your castle-besieging skills with the management of a small village-like settlement . It's not quite as epic as the real-time strategy competition, but there's a lot to be said for being in almost complete control of siege-based combat.

Rating: 4.05/5

Release Date: 19/10/2001

Available for: Windows, PC Download

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Top 10 Free Medieval Strategy Games Review

Top 10 Free Medieval Strategy Games: View 5

Let's be as brutally honest as the medieval period was simply brutal: gamers are on the whole a fairly tight bunch. What's that? The new iteration of my favourite game series has gone up in price? Looks like it's fallen now fallen out of favour now. Charging for DLC? You've lost me, I'm afraid. And you can forget squeezing money out of me for barely-worth-it expansion pack. Many may not admit it, but when you've just spent upwards of a few thousand units of your chosen currency on a blisteringly fast gaming PC, you're not exactly going to be thrilled about the prospect shelling out even forty to fifty of those very same units of currency on expensive games. So give your cards - both the graphics and credit/debit kind - a rest by indulging in any one of these medieval strategy titles in this top-ten list, all of which are effectively free-to-play endeavours.

Rating: 4.5/5

Release Date: 30/11/0002

Available for: Browser, Windows, PC, PC Download

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Middle Ages Games for PC

Tribal Wars 2

Tribal Wars 2

A sequel which builds upon a franchise that's got over 10 years of gameplay and experience behind it, Tribal Wars 2 is a browser-based, time gated massively multiplayer strategy game. Players start with a small settlement that can be grown gradually either through attacking or forming alliances with other players.

Villages are controlled clicking on the different buildings. Going to the headquarters gives options for the construction of new buildings, while clicking on the barracks will allow control over the production of military units.

The ‘tribal' aspect unsurprisingly plays a large role. Tribes are made up of groups of players, who seek to gain control over as much as the game world as possible, reaping the rewards for teamwork and combined might. There are features for communication and intertribal negotiation included that make management and cooperation between players within game easy.

There's no active combat, as battle is resolved automatically based upon a calculation that takes into account troop attributes, morale and a little bit of luck. Settlements can be attacked until their loyalty reaches zero, at which point they can be taken over.

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Medieval II: Total War

Medieval II: Total War

The fourth game in the Total War series by Creative Assembly, Medieval II: Total War was released toward the end of 2006. Like the other games in the series, Medieval II: Total War is a combination of turn-based organisation and real-time tactical battles. Encompassing more than simply warfare, it also requires that players become involved in politics and religion.

The campaign lets the player choose from one of several factions, tasked with building a civilization that is politically, economically and militarily competitive. A player's turn consists of moving resources around the map to key strategic points. When a battle is begun, it can either be automatically resolved, or handled personally by the player - launching the game's defining feature, the real-time tactical combat.

The end of campaign mode comes when one faction achieves the chosen goal - either defeating both historical enemies and controlling 15 territories, or in the larger campaign, controlling 45 territories and one or two defined, key cities (such as Rome or Jerusalem).

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Age of Empires II HD

Age of Empires II HD

For those otherwise unfamiliar, Age of Empires is a real time strategy game that focuses on relatively short missions, where the player must build a settlement from scratch, gathering resources, building defensive perimeters and buildings, training units and equipping them. This is a combat-focused game, so military production and enemy destruction are the primary objectives.

A very basic remaster of the classic Age of Empries II, the HD remaster integrates Steam Workshop and multiplayer functionality.

Other remaster perks are sparse. Higher resolutions are supported, but no changes have been made to graphical assets, animations, interface or unit control. The game still struggles in massive skirmishes, something that a remaster really should have been able to address.

Settlements can be upgraded through ages, each of which visibly changes the appearance of buildings and units.

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Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings II

A grand strategy game from Paradox Interactive, Crusader Kings II is a complex and engrossing Middle Age game. Released in 2012 and still receiving patches and additional content, the player is responsible for their very own medieval dynasty.

Strategic use must be made of marriages, assassinations, war and political negotiations to ensure that the dynasty survives the cutthroat world. Historically accurate, it features characters such as William the Conqueror, El Cid, Alfred the Great, Saladin and Charlemagne.

Unlike other strategy games, there is no set target or victory condition, so ‘success' is entirely in the mind of the player. Performance against other dynasties is measured via the collection of prestige points, the goal being to overtake the Habsburg, Rurikovich and Capetian dynasties. The game will come to an end when either when it reaches the year 1453, or the player's character dies with no heir.

This is a game that can eat away hours upon hours, but has a steep learning curve. For those looking for something incredibly complex to chew on, Crusader Kings II comes highly recommended.

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Stronghold Crusader HD

Stronghold

A remaster of the successor to Stronghold, Stronghold Crusader HD retains the successful mixture of castle and city building and real-time strategy. This time, the setting has been moved from the English countryside to the Crusades. More specifically, the campaign lead by Richard I against Phoenicia and Palestine under the command of Saladin.

Players can take command of either side, taking part in battles and making use of tactical combat with a range of military units and devilish castle defences.

In addition to the units retained from Stronghold, Crusader introduces assassins, horse archers, fire throwers, Arabian swordsmen and fire ballista. There are four campaigns and a fully-fledged scenario editor. Multiplayer mode is also supported, which features four historically accurate campaigns.

It's not the greatest remaster, something that it has in common with the HD version of Stronghold, but it does look and perform a little better than the original version.

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Crusader Kings Complete

Crusader Kings Complete

Like its successor, Crusader Kings Complete is a grand strategy game where the player must create a successful Middle Ages dynasty, gathering prestige until they are recognised as the most successful dynasty of the era.

This game introduced famous historical figures, such as William the Conqueror and Edward III. While it's still a capable and enjoyable game, it is surpassed in almost every way by its successor, and it lacks the polish and iterative improvements that made Crusader Kings II a massive success.

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