Firefly Studios has just released a new developer diary confirming the return of The Rat in Stronghold Crusader 2. The Rat was one of four original antagonists in the best-selling Stronghold (2001) and a character that fans of the upcoming Crusader 2 have been keen to see return:
In a developer blog post on the Crusader 2 website, Firefly wrote about their decision to bring back one of the ‘Big Four’ and how The Rat will help make one key improvement to the Stronghold series:
“It gives us great pleasure to announce that The Rat, one of the four most notorious AI Lords in the Stronghold universe, will be returning to wreak havoc in Stronghold Crusader 2. There is always a certain element of nostalgia at play when making a sequel to such an old and beloved game, but that’s not our reason for bringing him back. The return of these classic characters is among our most frequently requested features for the game, making the addition of The Rat to the Crusader 2 roster a direct response to the community. We are making this game with your help, so please keep the suggestions coming!
Whenever we are at public events like PAX, EGX or Gamescom people often tell us that they have fond memories of The Rat, The Snake, The Pig and The Wolf. These characters are synonymous with the original Stronghold games, players grew up with them and naturally want to fight them in Crusader 2. We have said this many times before but it’s yet another perk of self-publishing, we can make calls like these and decide on the AI character line up ourselves.
It also makes a lot of sense from a design perspective. It’s no secret that The Rat was one of the weaker opponents in the original Stronghold. Putting him in Crusader 2, along with the game’s Tutorial Campaign, gives players something to practice with before they go online or take on the more difficult opponents. It has always been part of our mission statement to give the series a steady, approachable learning curve and hopefully these extra additions to the game get us a little closer to that goal.”