I have been playing the beta version of this game for years. I really can't say enough about how addictingly fun it is. You'll tell yourself "one more battle" for hours at a time.
The community at www.taleworlds.com is top notch and the developer actively listens to people's feedback and suggestions. There is an amazing mod community as well, allowing you to play almost completely different games for free. One of my favorites is a mod that changes the game to the era of the Roman legions and lets you place your infantry into formations, throw spears before charging, etc. If the Roman times aren't your cup of tea, you can download mods to add muskets, pistols, or even pirates.
While I'm relatively new to the game, I have to second M. Bosken's opinion. Mount & Blade is one of the best games, if not THE best, in recent memory. That's not hyperbole from some overenthusiastic fanboy. It's the fact, as you will find out after the game is released. (Check out Gamespot's player reviews for M&B if you don't believe me: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/mountandblade/player_review.html )
For those who don't understand how we can be playing a game that hasn't been released yet, it's available in beta version right now and you can purchase a license key which is good for the game both now and after release. The unlicensed version is the full game, not some feature-limited demo, but it does limit your character to level six, which still offers a fair amount of play. Try before you buy--and you will buy--at: http://www.taleworlds.com/ . (Since this is Amazon's site, I will point out that, as of right now, buying through Amazon will save you five bucks over the current price at the dev's website...)
I've been playing this game since the first BETAs (.6XXs). it was awesome then. . . now. . there is no describing it. i havent yet played a game like this out of all ive played. some of the widest sandbox gamplay ive ever had. a very realistic medival warfare gameplay with nice political stuff going on. you can comand your own troops, fight with them or not. oh fighting system. . just ZOUNDS! feels like you are actually there fighting, and you can fight from a horse too, including horse archery and Couch Lancing, done very well. i could probably rant on this forver. try it if you are nto sure. but there is little about this game not to like.
go visit the forum when you have a chancem this game has a HUGE modding comunity, and these mods are plain AWESOME http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php.
I wonder how his game has been missed by so many people?
Ok, the big thing for many may be that there is no multi player mode. For me, I like to have the option to pause or break at any given time.
This "just on more fight" or "just let me finish this mission" gets me too! Before you know it, an hour has passed.
I have no mods installed, as the game is only a couple of days old for me, but I am sure that it will add a whole new layer of gaming experience on top of what already is a great game.
There are minor issus, for example if you have a mission to deliver 5 Cattle to a village and you can track down only 3 at in the area and drive them back, the mission report does not state that you have 3/5. So you need to keep track of that yourself.
I think many people, including myself, overlooked this game because it got mediocre "professional" reviews. I downloaded the demo after reading so many positive player reviews, and purchased the game soon thereafter. When you see that the so called "professional" reviews deviate significantly from the player reviews, that is usually a good sign to read the player reviews.