Mount&Blade - Warband Beta Impressions @ Critical Gamer
Critical Gamer has some impressions from the Mount & Blade Warband beta, which apparently goes for a straight action approach:
To ease the passage of multiplayer into the game, developers Taleworlds have pretty much dispensed with the RPG trappings of the single player game. Gone are levelling, stats and skills, instead you simply pick a faction and a troop (read character class), with slightly different equip depending on the faction. For instance the Viking-influenced Nords, use throwing axes to devastating advantage, while the Mongol-esque Khergit have their intensely annoying signature horse archers. Earning gold from your kills, you can upgrade and customise your equipment once a battle has started, with plenty of shields, horses and upgraded weapons on offer.