Most helpful critical review
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
90% of it is a step backward.
on July 21, 2011
Fire & Sword promised the addition of gunpowder and banking and a realistic map to the Mount & Blade franchise. What was not mentioned was that these additions would be made to the original Mount & Blade, not as a continuation of the evolution from Mount & Blade to Mount & Blade: Warband.
The addition of guns and bombs is fun. Blowing stuff up is always fun. The fights are pretty, but the AI hasn't been updated to reflect these new possibilities. Tell your troops to squat on top of any hill and fire at will, and the computer team obligingly walks into a hail of lead and melts away. I have yet to see the AI troops use grenades. They can't afford them? The ridiculous penalty for autocomputing battles / getting wounded remains; so long as you take the field, overcoming 4:1 odds is no problem. Without you, your troops can barely manage to survive even odds. Even worse, your best troops suspiciously start dying out of proportion in your absence.
So the tactical game is OK, mindless but fun. But the strategic game is buggy and TERRIBLE. All of the additions made in Warband are gone: varied terrain and cultures? Gone. Social life? Gone. Businesses? Gone. And the banking system? A joke. Your money is tied to the city it is deposited in. And tends to disappear. You're better off just hauling around all your cash, and weaseling out by not saving if something bad happens. The WORST bug tho is the use of the garrison commander to train troops. A fun idea, but I've found that sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you get nothing, and when you do get the troops, they replace the bottom categories on your roster. Say you have 30 musketmen, and go order a reiter. If the reiter actually appears when you leave, he'll be in place of the 30 musketmen if you didn't have any other reiters. Ouch!
Bottom line ... still fun, but just for wasting time. For a more rewarding experience, stick with Warband.
Add'l complaints (could be an endless list .... )
I continued to play F&S for awhile, then went back and started a new campaign in Warband just to make the differences obvious. Compared to WB, F&S's map is a joke, the gameplay is circular, the NPC dialogue is mindless an unimaginative, the graphics are a downgrade, the troop types are limited, the promotion tree is flat and shallow, economy static, architecture and map layouts simplistic .... so much was missed in F&S. Even basic physics errors: some maps have some kind of clipping problem on at least one edge, sort of like an elastic event horizon. Retreating troops get stuck and bounce back and forth as if staked to a rubber band (until someone puts them out of their misery). It's comical, but this game is not presented as a comedy.
The only possible salvation for it is that it is (to my knowledge) the only game offering multiplayer, FPS action in a 16th-Century setting. If you're hard up for that, here's your game.