Mount&Blade - Review @ Worthplaying
Worthplaying posts a review of TaleWorlds' Mount & Blade that takes a look at the pros and cons of the game overall, giving it a final score of 7.5/10:
All this choice is merely an illusion, though, because it all amounts to the same thing and leads to the same place. Fighting is what M&B is good at, and it's no surprise that there are really no other options than to fight. Every quest action you complete or unique party member you recruit is good for only one thing, and that's battle. All but one of the skills you learn help you out during, before or after a big fight, and the purpose of making money is to hire more troops for the next war. Even the reason to fight is to increase your renown and money so you can increase your party capacity and bring on more troops to fill the newly opened spots. It's a vicious loop...
Mount & Blade boasts solid battles and the eventual freedom to fight whoever and whenever you want while maintaining a kingdom, and it's a powerful draw. Some people with an inclination toward Civilization-era strategy and a well-honed trigger finger will find a lot of joy in conquering the lands of Calradia. The community surrounding the game proves that, and thanks to them, most people can conquer the otherwise impossible learning curve present at the beginning of the title. It's a concept with a lot of flaws and not much in the way of variety, but an indefinable charm spurs you to continue improving your character and roaming the land.