By Joseph Luster

Those looking to relive—or try for the very first time—one of the more celebrated real-time strategy war games of the last couple decades will soon be able to do so in the form of Stronghold: Definitive Edition. The latest release of the BAFTA-nominated game that originally launched on PC back in 2001 is on the way from FireFly Studios in November 2023, giving us all another crack at the now-vintage (hey, we don’t make the rules!) castle sim.

Stronghold whisks us away to medieval England and tasks players with breaking through defensive lines to capture enemy castles and reunite a scattered kingdom. As you build your ultimate fortress, you’ll need to fend off incoming enemy assaults and balance city building with both offense and defense throughout. All told, two classic campaigns are present with 26 single-player missions, as well as a brand new narrative campaign from FireFly Studios founders Simon Bradbury and Eric Oullette. The new campaign comprises 14 missions that take your forces on a mission to find Sir Longarm’s captured kin across the English hinterland. There’s also a new historical “Castle Trail” with 10 unique scenarios, so there should be plenty for fans both new and old to explore when Stronghold returns.

The old visuals have seen dramatic rehauls—from textures and lighting to animation improvements—all from the original artists. Stronghold: Definitive Edition also lets you take the battle online with extra maps and full Steam multiplayer support, and it all looks to be updated regularly with community content from fans through Steam Workshop. No matter how well a game is executed, it’s ultimately the players that keep it alive, so it should be interesting to see what all the creative minds out there do with this reinvigorated classic.

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Publisher: FireFly Studios
Available: November 2023

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