Stronghold Crusader 2’s Caliph is a ruthless, relentless, aggressive and yet keenly defensive opponent whom players will have to think carefully before approaching.
The best bit of this video is when lead designer Simon Bradbury does an impersonation of the Caliph based on a cutscene from the first game. You’ll know it when you see it. The Caliph is one of eight playable characters in the game who also serve as opponents in eight-player multiplayer, co-op, deathmatch, team deathmatch, king of the hill and capture the flag; you can mix and match human and AI opponents at will, and each character has its own castle, tactics, defences and favoured troops.
The first Stronghold Crusader dropped in 2002, so it’s been a long wait for its sequel. Firefly Studios has turned to crowdfunding to finance the project, and at time of writing had raised over €20,000 of its €100,000 goal. Backers can score beta access; the game is currently in alpha for PC release in March 2014.