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Default Mount&Blade - Review @ GameSpot

September 24th, 2008, 10:02
Mount&Blade comes in for a fair bit of criticism at GameSpot, with their review citing the lack of structure for the 6/10 score:
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.
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September 24th, 2008, 10:02
Unfortunately, after trying the demo last night, I feel the same way. There is a definite charm to this game and the controls feel very good. However, I would have loved to see some more meat to this game instead of this sandbox. I may not to the game justice by not having played it long enough (it is supposed to pick up), but as it is, only a niche in the RPG genre will be served, and this niche will probably be very happy with it.
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September 24th, 2008, 10:48
It's a fair summary of a game that is a medieval battle simulator more than anything… Mount and Blade should be compared to Elite or Pirates rather than to RPGs.
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September 24th, 2008, 13:15
Yeah, and I couldn't get into Pirates! neither. Maybe this type of game just isn't for me.
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September 24th, 2008, 13:18
Yet another critics hate - players love game:
#Critic Score 76% 6 reviews
#User Score 90% 896 votes
I miss the days when Gamespot reviewers had a clue about what they reviewed.

This is a sandbox title. Kind of like you know…spore. It doesn't have a set story. It has plenty of seeds for stories though: claimants to the throne whom you can help reclaim what's rightfully theirs, be it through war or by convincing the lords to join you instead of the usurper. The invasion of the Nords whom you can fight off or join. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

This game was designed to work with mods. Personally, to me the original campaign is more of a tutorial. There are plenty of mods out there that are now being redone for version 1.03, some of them have plots and a lot of structure, others are also a sandbox.

Still, to complain that a sandbox game isn't holding your hand enough for you is misguided at best.

With all that said, it's really not a game that can be enjoyed to it's fullest without mods, and as such it really needs to have a better system for getting the word out about them than a forum.

5 users agree with this review

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September 24th, 2008, 14:07
I guess they didn't buy any advertisements at Gamespot then. Over all however, I am glad we saw some good fair reviews on this game. Taleofworlds deserves every little bit of success they can get. I'd really like to see them continue making games.
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September 24th, 2008, 17:58
To say the game is "unpolished" would be a gross understatement. I think the review was fair. It's not merely a sandbox game, it's a sandbox game about a year from being finished.

On the other hand, if they give 6/10 for a game which costs $60, maybe M&B should get 9/10 for the price.

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September 24th, 2008, 19:37
Okay now I really need to know what demo I played that I *thought* was M&B.

In the demo your char starts in a small "fort" (encampment?) with a wooden palisade. You train via tutorial missions within this camp before being sent out (as I recall) to help a nearby hamlet with bandit and/or wolf issues.

Anybody know the game I'm talking about? Demo was out a few to several months ago. I thought it was M&B, but M&B's visuals are not nearly as good as in the demo I played.

EDIT: I think now I also recall that you play part of the game in the sort of pseudo-medieval setting described above and part in an alternative future (our present, maybe).

I hope to God that's not from another game because then I've really thrown you all off the scent.
Last edited by rbtroj; September 24th, 2008 at 22:59. Reason: Additional info
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September 24th, 2008, 19:57
BTW, there is an HDR mod for M&B, which drastically increases the visual quality of the game (combat part). A bit taxing on the system, but my 8800GTX is doing just fine.
http://rusmnb.mirahost.ru/files/HDR.rar

The guy who made it also have HDR mods for GTA: SA, Resident evil, Deus Ex. Link to his site.

http://boris-vorontsov.narod.ru/
Last edited by BlackVoid; September 24th, 2008 at 20:52.
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September 24th, 2008, 20:02
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Yet another critics hate - players love game:
Devs love it too. The other writer in my room has been swapping excited tales of his exploits with the tech designer and QA across the hall.
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September 24th, 2008, 23:14
I'll set aside my personal opinion, as best I can, which is that M&B is great, as it stands now, for a moment and comment on two things that reviews really can't take into account that really hurt M&B in a review setting.

First is M&B's replayability. Throughout the beta over the past few years, I've picked up M&B, played it for 20-40 hours, felt content, and stopped for some months. Then I'd do the same - over and over again. New content in subsequent betas was interesting, but that's not what kept bringing me back. It's just a genuinely fun game to play that I feel is unique and therefore cannot be replaced, like a FPS or RTS, by the next new game in the genre.

Second is the moddability. M&B is thoroughly moddable (well 1.0x will be soon, I hope, when the modding kit is released) and most of the game can be changed (the game logic is all python and changeable). Even throughout the betas some of the mods were incredibly exciting. I know you can't usually put your money down on the prospect of mods, but with M&B I believe you can if only by seeing what beta modders accomplished even though their efforts were hampered by the ever changing landscape of M&B itself during the beta. Now that M&B will remain feature-stable, I think the modding prospects are outstanding!
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September 24th, 2008, 23:38
Originally Posted by rbtroj View Post
EDIT: I think now I also recall that you play part of the game in the sort of pseudo-medieval setting described above and part in an alternative future (our present, maybe).
Ashes: Two Worlds Collide perhaps? I haven't heard about any demo being released, the game is in 3rd person, party based and their website is no longer online, so I doubt it is the correct game. But that is the only indie RPG I can think of that has both a medieval and a modern setting.

Screenshot from the game.

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September 25th, 2008, 02:24
Originally Posted by Guhndahb View Post
Second is the moddability. M&B is thoroughly moddable (well 1.0x will be soon, I hope, when the modding kit is released) and most of the game can be changed (the game logic is all python and changeable).
Many great mods were abandoned half-way through because of the game being updated every six weeks. Unfortunately, I'm guessing it's going to keep being updated on the same schedule for a long time to come.

If there were a finished product right now, I expect there would be some great mods coming out, but unless the modding kit fixes the forward-compatibility issue, the modding community will continue to be crippled.

I personally would wet myself if a decent pirate mod could get finished.

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September 25th, 2008, 02:58
Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
Ashes: Two Worlds Collide perhaps? I haven't heard about any demo being released, the game is in 3rd person, party based and their website is no longer online, so I doubt it is the correct game. But that is the only indie RPG I can think of that has both a medieval and a modern setting.

Screenshot from the game.
Nope, but that looks cool - I may have to check it out!
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September 25th, 2008, 03:11
I might have figured out the game I was thinking of (may have to download the demo again to be sure). I believe it's "Hard To Be A God".
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September 25th, 2008, 04:55
Aha! Yes! It WAS Hard To Be A God! And now I remember why I uninstalled it so fast: I'm left-handed and couldn't map the controls to the numpad.

Sorry to have dragged all of you along with me on this tiresome quest. You may return to your regularly scheduled lives.
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September 25th, 2008, 10:58
I've never been a sandbox game guy, and I probably never will be. I prefer to have a story to follow, factions and what not.
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September 25th, 2008, 17:24
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
Yeah, and I couldn't get into Pirates! neither. Maybe this type of game just isn't for me.
That might very well be the case. I dont know how much story the mods can add.

I think M&B does it's thing well, but if the reviewers expect a RPG with story it is bound to get crappy scores. It is unfortunate if they dont mention the moddability, but then reviewers often miss that (even for ultra main stream titles).
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September 25th, 2008, 17:35
It's too bad that you can't just skip the RPG stuff and go straight to the fighting.
(review from gamespot)
Just one thing to say: lol @ gamespot.
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September 25th, 2008, 18:19
Originally Posted by Zaleukos View Post
That might very well be the case. I dont know how much story the mods can add.
I think the tools are there for storyline, but it's not made for that and I'm not expecting anything great in that regard. M&B is much better for those who either really like the combat or like to imagine up their own stories as they go, which I consider a very useful skill for playing sandbox games. I'm a member of both camps and so M&B appeals to me. I even enjoy the somewhat half-assed political/reputation system. I certainly understand why it doesn't appeal to everyone.
Originally Posted by skreeg
Many great mods were abandoned half-way through because of the game being updated every six weeks. Unfortunately, I'm guessing it's going to keep being updated on the same schedule for a long time to come.
You may be right, but I suspect the fact that the features are frozen should help significantly. I think a lot of the tweaking will be in the text files that hold all the constants used by the game and less with modifying the python scripts. I also think Armagan and the rest of the TaleWorlds crew must be awfully tired by now.

Many, even most, mods inevitably get abandoned, but I personally feel confident that a few quality mods will be released for M&B. I'm obviously speculating here and that confidence can't translate into any form of assurance for anyone but myself.

For now, I think the mod with the most potential is the ambitious but reasonably milestoned Realism Mod.

Edit: Zaleukos, I used your quote as a jumping off point. I wasn't disagreeing with you.

I also should point out that I consider story and character interaction to be my favorite two elements in gaming, and M&B pretty much has neither, fortunately it's other good points are enough that I still quite enjoy it.
Last edited by Guhndahb; September 25th, 2008 at 18:27.
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