A stronghold is a confined area, generally with good cover. Characters in a stronghold can hold off waves of attackers while remaining protected. A stronghold has limited access points so the defending characters can cover them easily.
Generally a stronghold would be designed as a defensible location for the player. The effect is usually to reduce the pace of the level, but in some cases, a large number of entrances or advancing enemy NPCs can have the effect of increasing tension and challenge.
Entrances to the stronghold may be choke points.
|The Halo 3 level “The Covenant” contains a stronghold. The player is in a large open area and engages enemy NPCs entering through multiple entrances. These entrances are choke points that help keep the player from being swarmed by enemy NPCs, but it is challenging to cover them all at once.||Screenshot not available|
|There is an instance of a stronghold in the level “Fish in a Barrel” of Gears of War. The player and friendly NPCs are in a central area with minimal amounts of cover while being engaged by enemy NPCs from multiple directions. The effect is challenging and high tension combat.|