Released (on Steam): 31 Mar, 2010
Genres: Action, RPG
Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment
Publisher: TaleWorlds Entertainment
Steam Price: £14.99
In a land torn asunder by incessant warfare, it is time to assemble your own band of hardened warriors and enter the fray. Lead your men into battle, expand your realm, and claim the ultimate prize: the throne of Calradia!
Mount & Blade: Warband is a stand alone expansion pack for the game that brought medieval battlefields to life with its realistic mounted combat and detailed fighting system.
Completion: Several campaigns completed and a few multiplayer battles
Playtime at Review: 350.0 hours
Total Playtime: 408.1 hours
Achievements at Review: 57/80 (71%)
My rating: 9.2/10
Your choices matter
Play however you want
Large sieges and battles
Even more replayability with mods
Pretty poor graphics (doesn't matter when the game's so awesome)
Clunky movement (but great fun)
A couple of annoying bugs (nothing saving frequently can't solve)
At the time of writing this I have over 350 hours in the world of Warband, and around the same in With Fire & Sword, so I think anyone could have a guess that I enjoy the game.
Now first of all, I have to say the graphics are practically ancient. The graphics were well out dated when the game was released back in 2010, so to compare it to some of the games around now would be shameful. The movement is also pretty robotic, or at least there's nothing graceful about the movements. There can also be a couple of annoying bugs, particularly with breaking lords out of prison, but that's nothing reverting back to a previous save can't fix.
With that said, I love this game. Screw the graphics and the clunky movements, the gameplay is amazing.
On the surface the game looks pretty simple, but once you start delving further into the game you reaslise a hidden depth. You realise your interactions with every lord counts towards your personal relationship with them. This relationship can then impact on your marriage to one of their family members, or how likely they are to follow you if you decide to take up the fight for the crown.
You decide what army you want. You can hire a variety of different units, quite often starting from a lowly militia or bandit, but through experience they can level up to become great fighters. You decide whether to have an army of cavalry, archers, infantry, even horse archers. And each kingdom's units are different. Some infantry will carry swords, others great glaives.
You can encounter potential companions, all with their own story to tell, and all with their own likes/dislikes. Some won't get on with other companions, some won't like you stealing from villages, but you can level them up and make them into the warrior you want them to be. Or level them up ready to make them a lord one day, you choose their skill progression. You choose their equipment too. Give them the best weapons and armour on the market to make them into absolute killing machines.
Attack and siege castles and cities (this is my favourite bit). Have huge battles trying to penetrate the walls of a fortress and wipe out all defenders and reinforcements. Have a final stand-off in the trone room, one last rush for victory, and one last chance of survival for the defenders. Then potentially become the ruler of the castle you've just taken, depending on the path you've chosen already.
There's so much more to it than what I've written already, like ambushes, feif reputation, wealth and improvements, companion interactions, quests, kingdoms, consequences of winning/losing battles, items and equipment, morale and food, army size, renown, right to rule, and I'm gonna stop there before I go too deep and start listing things in my sleep.
All in all this is an amazingly fun game that I would recommend everyone give a shot. Don't judge based on the graphics because you'll be missing out on a true wonder.
Posted on 22-12-2018