So we are currently experiencing everything that Gamescom has to offer and that, luckily enough for us, included a visit with the team at Firefly Studios. Now, first things first, we need to address *that* YouTube E3 reveal trailer. Initially it was a bit confusing, to me at least, to see the criticism that it drew (after all it was a work in progress), but it was clear that it was rooted in fond memories for the original.
This is entirely understandable, because after all fond memories of games are what makes them so appealing, and the remaster market so profitable. All of that being said, playing the game today absolutely ticked every Stronghold box.
Taking the series to the Far East is an inspired choice. It has allowed the story to take advantage of the tumultuos nature of the region across a huge time period. The game includes famous military leaders from China, Japan and elsewhere as it seeks to replicate the successes of the preceding games. Although it may not be as instantly appealing, under the surface it has allowed for the game to include a number of unique units and military advancements that will absolutely set this apart from it’s peers.
Elsewhere, the warlord system is inspired, extending the estates system beyond recognition and allowing the player to take advantage of tactical advantages provided by vassal warlords, as well as offering a unique tactical perspective to the real-time series, more reminiscent of grand strategy games like Total War.
Even at this stage, a number of the concerns from the trailer have been addressed with far greater detail in the landscape and units, as well as some very Stronghold-esque combat and economy management.
Keep a look out for the full preview soon and, honestly, if you are a long time fan of the series I genuinely believe you have nothing to worry about.