First of all this is a great RTS castle building game. Second, unlike a previous review, the game does not take 5 minutes to load and will not crash with only 40 troops. In order to play this game,you need a computer that has the recommended hardware. A pentium 3.2 gig, with a Nvidia or ATI video card with 256 megs of RAM, 1 gig of computer RAM is also recommended. Then make sure you defrag your computer. Next make sure you have ALL the latest patches and upgrades for your computer and the game. Video card drivers must be updated to the latest available. The game also has a 1.3.1 patch that is needed to be downloaded and installed.
Now, after you have a decent computer that is up maintained and up to standards, you will have a good play with Stronghold 2. The graphics are excellent and the RTS castle building is good. The skirmish "Kingmaker" maps can be played by yourself or online in Multiplayer. You can also create your own maps with full land terraforming and creativity. You can also download hundreds of user made maps of many varieties and types. The other reviewer who said you can only have 40 troops (or a crash) is mistaken. I have had hundreds of troops of all kinds in a map and it plays well.
For the price of $19-20 dollars for this game, it is a steal. Great value for the price with total replayability. Some have been playing this game for years! Adjust the settings and Foes and select from 100's of available maps and you can have a new game. Or, create your own custom maps. Stronghold 2 is a great RTS and game. I recommend this game with full confidence to anyone who enjoys this kind of RTS castle building, resource gathering, fighting RTS. Great value at a great price!