Mount & Blade Reviews

GameSpot and have each whipped up their own reviews TaleWorlds’ Mount & Blade. GameSpot gives it a 6/10.

If all you had to do was fight, Mount & Blade might have been a winner. TaleWorlds Entertainment has come up with one of the most innovative and user-friendly re-creations of combat ever seen in a first/third-person RPG, with exciting battles on foot, mounted on horseback, and at the head of a private army. Unfortunately, this derring-do is only one part of a cheaply stitched-together, single-player-only role-playing game that replaces plot with a sandbox world that leaves you without a clue of what to do or where to go. There is something positive to be said for wide-open RPGs that leave the storytelling up to you, but this game is so incomplete that it’ll feel as if you’re being asked to script a heroic saga without the benefit of pen and paper.

At its center, Mount & Blade isn’t so much a structured RPG as an exploration of being stranded in a medieval world. Even though the game gets underway with a detailed character creation process loaded with a D&D level of rigmarole regarding the stats, skills, and personality-establishing questions about your childhood last heard from your shrink, there is no shape to the game beyond that. You roll up as a hero, then head off adventuring in the realistic (meaning no magic or monsters) medieval land of Calradia. There is no story arc whatsoever, so the game begins without a strong sense of purpose to help get you immersed.

And gives it a 8/10.

Quests are simple “go here, do that” affairs which range from delivering letters to executing convicts, but it’s who you perform the quest for that matters. The more quests you perform for people, the better your standing with them becomes. Performing tasks for village elders means your standing with the village increases, which means that you have a better chance of recruiting troops from the village, or better trading relationships with the village.

Performing tasks for Lords or Kings on the other hand means that you’ll eventually get the opportunity to serve them as a mercenary or a vassal. As you progress through the game, you’ll gather your own troops and eventually gain control of your own fiefs.

The more renown you have, the more troops you’ll be able to recruit. Troops can be made of either unskilled soldiers, recruited from the villages, or more experienced veterans recruited from towns. Veterans are more skilled at battle, but they’ll cost more to recruit and employ. All your troops earn experience from battles, and you have the opportunity to specialise their experience as they survive more battles.

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