11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Hack and Slash Your Way to Glory,
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This review is from: Mount & Blade: Warband [Download] (Software Download)
I bought this game after playing the demo and I have to say it is probably the most addictive game I have ever played. Build a character, raise an army and surround yourself with random characters whose skills and equipment you can upgrade, and you have the basic thrust of this impressive "sand box" style ancient medieval combat simulator.
Offering a mixture of RPG and RTS style elements, Mount and Blade Warband allows you to become master of the land of Calradia via a mixture of military prowess and diplomatic savvy, oh and military prowess. As another reviewer noted, this game soaks up time to play, so expect your computer room to turn into the time warp zone. I've found myself playing into the wee small hours just to get in one more battle - it's really rather macabre, but there's something quite satisfying about felling your enemies in a single swat of a sword, axe or other primitive weapon.
On that basis this is where the game really excells. Your champion can be adorned with various weapons and armor from the medieval world. Axes, knives, swords and crossbows, all have their strengths and weaknesses, and you'll find yourself exploring towns looking for better bits of kit to festoon your equipment list and AI partners.
I have yet to try the multiplayer component, but the single-player mode has plenty of things to offer. As mentioned there is a political component. Swear fealty to a lord and you'll be tasked with protecting the realm and join the king in defeating his enemies. Beseiging a castle is particularly entertaining.
Now graphically the game is not as spectacular as say the later Total War franchises, but it makes up for this by being immensely immersive. Your ability to create and control a character and hack down your enemies before you is quite cool. It's also challenging and you use the mouse to direct your specific blows, stabs, parries and strikes, while also using your shield to block, if you have one. It's a brilliant concept which is also a lot of fun, albeit frustrating at times.
Obviously there are other characters to interact with and even maidens or heroes to marry, if you choose. It all makes up for a very cool world which is not limited by a specific storyline, you are free to make your own destiny.
Double thumbs up.