The best strategies for weak computers. Part 3

In the early 2000s, the strategy genre was in its heyday, and novelties poured in like a cornucopia. Already the 3rd blog I write about them, but the number of hits does not dry out. Let’s remember some more of the best strategies that left the most vivid mark in our memory.

Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader
The economic strategy of Stronghold and its sequel Stronghold Crusader will allow you to build a medieval settlement, as well as defend and storm castles. The game was a pioneer in its genre and many of its aspects were unique for its time. It was released by Firefly Studios in 2001.
In the first part, the action takes place in Medieval England in 1066, and the continuation is devoted to the crusades in the Middle East in 1094-1187.
Stronghold quickly gained a huge army of fans who play it to this day.

Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader are made in 2D isometric graphics, but today they are available in HD versions with support for high widescreen resolutions and look very decent.In my opinion, the old 2D (isometric) games that received high-resolution support do not look as outdated today as the 3D games of that time.

The 3D sequels: Stronghold 2 , Stronghold Legends and Stronghold 3 were no longer as popular as the first part and are almost forgotten today.


How can you judge the popularity of old games that are not even in the Steam library, you ask? A very clear example of the popularity of the game is the number of users distributing it on torrent trackers.

Starcraft is the most popular RTS released by Blizzard Entertainment in 1998. The conflict between terrans, protoss and zerg instantly gained cult status and Starcraft even became an esports discipline. Almost everywhere where a local network and a couple of sufficiently powerful computers were available, there were fierce battles. And there is nothing to say about computer clubs, Starcraft registered there for many years and only with the release of Warcraft 3 did its popularity begin to fall.

In 2017, a re-release of StarCraft: Remastered was released , which has noticeably improved graphics and support for widescreen resolutions. This is a good reason to remember the strategy-legend.

Empire Earth
The Empire Earth series of games is very similar to the game Civilization 4 , which switched to real time. We have access to different eras and many civilizations. There is a system of “heroes”, a system of “morals” and wonders of the world.
The first part of the game was released in 2001, the second in 2005, and the third in 2007.

However, the most popular and interesting is the first part of Empire Earth . In the new parts, the authors abandoned too important features of the game, for example, the upgrade of units or the armor system disappeared. This is not the first time that developers have simplified a strategy that has found its niche precisely due to the complexity and unique game mechanics. And as a result, they get a faceless, pass-through RTS, which is forgotten after a year.

Rise of Nations and Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots
The Rise of Nations series of games is another example where the authors tried to cross the dynamics of Age of Empires with the depth and intelligence of Civilization . And in the case of the Rise of Nations series of games , they succeeded much better than with Empire Earth .

Rise of Nations has tough battles, gathering resources, cities, and wonders of the world. And in general, all this together looks organic and is played with interest. The first part was released in 2003, the sequel – Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots , in 2004.

In 2014, a remaster of Rise of Nations Extended Edition was released , which improved the graphics and added support for high resolutions.

Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends
The third installment in the Rise of Nations series, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends , was released in 2006 and was radically different from the first two installments. It has a unique fusion of magic and technology, and the action takes place in a fantasy world where three factions oppose: Vinci (with steam technology), Alina (mages) and Quatli (alien technology).

The emphasis in the game is on the construction and development of cities and their districts. There are also heroes with unique powers.
The game is very original, original and I remember it much brighter than the first two parts.

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth I and II
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth I and II are the most interesting strategies in the Middle-earth setting of J. R. R. Tolkien. The first part was released in 2004, the second – in 2006. The games allow you to control four factions: Gondor, Rohan, Isengard, Mordor, and members of the Fellowship of the Ring.
The battles are very dynamic, the economic component is well developed, and the graphics are good even in the first part. But these games also have disadvantages: in the first part, you can build buildings only in certain places, which does not add variety, and multiplayer is not available today due to the closure of official servers.

But The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth has its own army of fans that supports games on torrent trackers: there is an HD mod for the games, the ability to play over a local network has been added, and unofficial patches have been released.

A series of games Worms or “Worms” , at one time was very popular. There is still debate as to what genre they belong to, and most agree that this is a tactical strategy. Many games in the series have been released, both in 2D, and in 3D, and individual arcade games, but the most popular and memorable are Worms Armageddon (1999) and Worms World Party (2001).
It is interesting that games can be played not only over the network, but also by several people at one computer. And the gameplay is so reckless and exciting that I guarantee you that if you try to play “Worms” in the office , then all work will stop.

As is often the case, the transition to 3D spoiled the atmosphere of the game, and “Chervyachkov ” was almost forgotten. But in 2015, a re-release of Worms World Party Remastered was released with improved graphics and support for high resolutions.

As you probably noticed, Remastered versions have been released for all more or less popular strategy games. Often they are made by amateurs and fans and their quality is much better than “factory”. The most unsuccessful remaster of Warcraft III: Reforged is a very clear example of this.

Well, the third part of the blog about old strategies is coming to an end, and there is still a lot of materials left: you must definitely tell about the Command & Conquer series of games , and about the early games of the Total War series .
Usually, my preparation of material ends with the replenishment of the collection of games, and this time it will be Worms World Party Remastered . I completely forgot about “Chervyachkov” and have not played them for 15 years.

Links to previous blogs about old strategies: part 1 , part 2 .

PS About the system requirements of games, I think, you can not write, only in exceptional cases, if some “remaster” will require something more powerful than Intel Core 2 Duo, it’s worth mentioning.