Mount and Blade Warband is a stand alone expansion to the successful indie game, Mount and Blade. Strange as it sounds, it's more of a medieval simulation than an actual game. I had very high expectations for Warband since the original was breathtaking.
If you ever watched Braveheart, Troy, Gladiator, or Lord of the Rings, then this game is for you.
Some of the changes from the original Mound and Blade include: increased graphics, new faction, new territory, and the inclusion of multiplayer with 64 players.
It's important to run through the tutorial to familiarize yourself with the controls, which include archery and horse combat. At first, controlling your warrior is going to be frustrating, but you'll get the hang of it. It can be especially tough if you set blocking to manual, as opposed to automatic. Controlling direction of the block is probably the hardest part of the game. Well... maybe not harder than horse archery. You can make life easier by using a shield, but if you plan on being elite, you need to learn how to block.
There are a plethora of options to configure your epic battle. I immediately set up a 200 vs. 200 battle on an open field with archers, infantry, and horsemen while yelling "FREEDOM!" during the entire game. It was a dream come true.
The single player has not changed much. Like its predecessor, Warband is a sandbox RPG with no linear story line. You’re sent into the game with a horse, a weapon, and delusions of grandeur. You are free to roam the land as you see fit, while building up your army. Will you become a vassal, do mercenary work, raze villages, or start your own kingdom? It's up to you to decide.
The multiplayer is where it's at. Thankfully, I did not experience lag in any of the games, even the 64 player ones. I also had no trouble finding servers or players. The siege mode seems to be the crowd favorite. This mode entails capturing or defending a castle. As you can imagine, playing as the attacking side is extremely tough. I've also seen servers that increase the number of online players to 200.
I cannot give enough praise for this game. Steam has me at 134 hours of game time on the original Mount and Blade. This does not include time spent playing outside of the Steam client, in order to play mods that require earlier versions. If you are looking for a game (or simulation) with medieval combat, nothing comes close.
Review is a segment about my opinion on things. I like things, and you like things too. Before you run off and buy something, you should check out my review. Chances are if I like it, it’s probably awesome.