So I decided to go ahead and do a first impressions of Mount and Blade: Warband.
If you have played Mount and Blade or the sequel then skip to the next paragraph. If you haven't then keep reading. Mount and Blade is an extremly fun game that has unique concepts such as directional blocking and hitting. (you actually have multiple ways to swing your weapon and multiple ways to block) Each fight gives you experience and gold. You will level up various skills that effect you and your party and the gold is to buy troops, items, or keep paying the ones you have. The game is pretty much about riding around on a map looking for fights or going to villages to gather troops to fight with. 80% of your time will be spent on an overhead map where you click and your sprite runs to the location. You will either encounter enemy armies or ally armies, and hopefully not die. The game also features fation vs faction fighting which is a huge part of your mid-late game. There are things such as sieges, skirmishes and old style tournaments. Each faction has unique troop types and there are tons of items to buy and sell.
I recently got this game only a few days ago and have bee playing it quite a bit. I played the original M&B so this game was not a new concept for me. In all reality the game itself feels more like a patch update rather than an actual new game. Some changes I noticed right off though is the fact that the map is new(with the addition of an extra faction) and various other graphic and control upgrades. There also seems to be a more in depth character progression and you seem to be allowed to become the king one day.
While some of you reading this may think "What's the big deal? Sounds like a sequel to me." This is true, it has all the signs of a sequel, new map, new chars, new faction, more items, better graphics/controls, better in general. But the problem I encounter with this is also the thing that makes me love M&B so much. The modding community. The modding community is what makes me feel like this game cheated me out of my money. The game is very well known for having tons of mods which keep it alive and fresh. There may be some such as graphics updates(which can make the game look absolutely beautiful) or battle size changers, (1000 troops vs 1000 troops all at the same time? Yes please, I would like my computer to shoot flames out the exhaust) and some can be highly complex mods. Some that I have seen are complete remakes almost, such as one I saw that was a star wars mod, another was a LotR mod. This is the main reason though I feel swindled in a way, because the game changed nothing that I couldn't get out of a mod... except for one thing
The one thing different about this game that could not be modded is the multiplayer. Now, I used to think I was pretty decent at this game, slaughtering hundreds of NPC's by myself, routing any enemy army that dared cross me... Then I found multiplayer and realized how quickly I actually suck at this game. Whenever I feel good about myself I go and play with the giants of M&B and get crushed as they send me away in tears. I'm lucky if I even get a hit in on them before they slaughter me like a pig. That being said, it is perhaps the most fun I have had in a multiplayer game in some time. There is no feeling like having huge seiges where your archers on the walls are raining death upon the enemy as they all raise shields attempting to defend themselves.
In the end I suppose my experience with this game is a positive one. It has a highly active modding community and enough replay value to keep playing. If you get into modding the game(which I highly recommend, it's simple) then the game will basically always be new to you. All in all, I would definitely recommend this game if you either have not bought the original or if you have but must have the multiplayer. The original M&B is much cheaper but keep in mind that the mods being made are mostly for the newer game. I do plan to do a much more in depth review one day so we will see then how it is.
With all that said, I am off now to go play it some more if that says anything about the game.