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Default Mount&Blade - Warband Reviews

April 14th, 2010, 10:50
Here are three Mount & Blade: Warband reviews. First, a 2 Minute Review at Australian site Games On Net. Their score is 3.5/5:
If this is your first foray into the Mount & Blade games, it's definitely the best place to start, and the price isn't exactly steep. The graphics are cleaner, the game is less buggy, and there's more for you to do than in the original. But if you did buy the original and were hoping for substantial improvements in what TaleWorld are generously calling a "sequel" then you might be slightly underwhelmed. It's more of a spit-polish on the single-player mode than anything else and the multiplayer mode, while fun, is a missed opportunity.
Next, Elder-Geek, who say they were "less than impressed":
The combat is brutal in Mount & Blade: Warband. You canít charge into battle expecting to take 20 arrows to the chest and then have your health regenerate if you just hide behind a rock for seven seconds. A few solid blows will raze even the strongest of men. If you find yourself too far ahead of your army, youíll quickly be surrounded by the enemy and subsequently, your men will have to drag you from the field. Discretion, tactics, and pace are the name of the game. You need to know when to hold Ďem, know when to fold Ďem, know when to walk away and know when to run. Also having your archers thin their numbers before your infantry reaches their front lines helps, too. It is absolutely exhilarating when you win a battle against a team that outnumbers you. And the feeling you get the first time you attempt to siege a castle is something I havenít felt with gaming since I was much younger.
…and Gamers Nexus, who loved it and score 82%:
The singleplayer campaign is just as great as the original, but the focus is definitely on multiplayer for this expansion. The campaign map has changed a little bit; there are now six factions, players have an expanded ability to lead their own kingdom, marry for political gain, and even force other kings into vassalage; influence from the Total War series can be seen all over the campaign. You can build up an army of thousands, rule a kingdom, a rebel army, or command a band of brigands that thrives on pillaging small villages and caravans. Quests are somewhat unimaginative and dull, but they get the point across. The roleplay element has been revitalized with the inclusion of Warband, adding more options for companions and personality conflict than expected for a war game. Itís addictive and tough to quit, just like the Multiplayer.
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April 14th, 2010, 10:50
I have to say I'm disappointed with Warband. I put my faith in TW and pre-purchased it and it feels like a waste of money now I've played it enough.

The multiplayer doesn't interest me because it's very, very underdeveloped and in my opinion sloppy with many issues that are fine in SP but when exploited by players online it's real bad. It's very barebones in any case, just a few basic battle modes and constant respawning with no organising in the teams. It would have been cool to be able and run a semi persistent campaign world, similar to Dungeon Siege or Freelancer, with players running about doing their own thing and occasionally interacting if they wish (maybe even competing to be marshals in the same realm or for the heart of the same fair maiden, complete with duels etc) alas they did not attempt any of this and imo took the easy way out.

The single player has some additions but few of them haven't already been done by mods, even if they're ever so slightly better here (like the morale, which in the user made mod causes enemies to run to the edges of the map, while in Warband they actually exit the battle map and form into a new party that tries to flee - though in the mod it seems to happen more often and more realistically, not just when there are too few units left to matter as in Warband).

In any case, it won't last as long as the first game since progression through it feels much the same with the same skills, the same battles, the same armor and weapons aside from a few additions which aren't even top tier items and will therefor see little use (like the Elite armors which have similar stats to the Heraldic mail armors, give or take a point or two, yet are heavier, or the new Sarranid faction's swords).

It's essentially the same game with a few enhancements that aren't beyond the scope of mods (or version numbers), and overall has lesser scope than mods like Sword of Damocles do. It's quite absurd that people are asked to pay more or about as much as they paid for M&B, especially in Europe (I paid $25 which at the time was like less than 20 euros, Warband cost me 26.95 euros with the 10% pre-purchase discount which today is $36 or so) for this thing.

They didn't expand the tactical aspect within battles in any real way (the AI still just rushes to you giving you little time to position your units properly, even though you can now assign troops to custom battle groups, not just infantry, cavalry, archers, etc), and while they did expand the kingdom management aspect it's not beyond fan mod features, while the way some things are currently broken (garrison wages, tax funds, etc) it's not even worthwhile for players to own many fiefs.

The graphical improvements are also minimal at best, the game is still ugly with crude models and low resolution textures, it just has the addition of crude basic normal maps and HDR now, which don't help the overall visual quality. Fan mods like graphical enhancement, polished buildings and hopefully soon polished landscapes did far more to upgrade the visuals of M&B so TW's efforts were a total waste of precious resources that should have been put into tangible game features and fixes.

My advice to every owner of M&B is to wait for a price cut, by Christmas it's probably going to be on some Steam deal for $10 or less. It's worth about that much as far as new content goes, unless you really want to play multiplayer or something, but imo that will get old very fast even for those who like it and it will be up to mods to offer actually compelling game modes that go beyond its simple barebones content. I made a mistake, feel free to laugh at me but be warned.

For new users however, Warband is the version they should get, and they'll get their money's worth with the playability of a grand, unique game, though they should still wait a month or two for the bigger issues to be resolved, if they are. It's just a shame long time supporters got fucked over like this. This is essentially Warband v2.0 Beta (there are loads of issues with the new mechanics, as well as issues existing since the original M&B they've yet to fix) sold as a full new stand alone product. I'll not be supporting TW's next project if it's similar (and With Fire And Sword is similar or worse by what I've seen of it, but I suppose that's not strictly TW, though they did whore out their engine and what not and allow them to sell a product that's an M&B mod at best, much like they're doing with Warband).
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April 14th, 2010, 15:23
What did you expect? Its made by a small production team. Not played warband yet but iam must give them credit for what the accomplished with such a small group of people.
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April 14th, 2010, 15:28
Originally Posted by ikbenrichard View Post
What did you expect? Its made by a small production team. Not played warband yet but iam must give them credit for what the accomplished with such a small group of people.
Taleworlds is no longer a "small production team" plus they didn't even fix issues / add improvements that 1 man made modes of original m&b did .
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April 15th, 2010, 05:28
I think you guys are being a bit hard on this game.

If it sells well, I have a pretty good feeling improvements will be made.

Sure there are exploits.. But kicking and banning works as far as I know.

I think it's a fine product for 30$! Although I would agree you'll get more out of it if you NEVER played the first one..
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April 20th, 2010, 10:39
i love it . thouht it was made by a small team, it think it would be great
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