Mount&Blade - Warband Review @ Bit-tech
Bit-tech has a review of M&B: Warband. The score is 7/10, with some frustration that the UI hasn't been improved at all and the pacing of multiplayer. Here's a snip on single-player changes:
If you can overlook some of these annoyingly-still-present flaws though then there’s a few new things that Warband brings to the table – though the emphasis is mostly on the ‘few’, rather than the ‘new’.
In singleplayer, the main expansions come at the higher end of the game and are focused on lengthening the playtime through new missions, rather than expanding the skill tree or supplying new abilities. There’s a whole new area for players to explore, but it’s all pretty untailored and impersonal, lacking in the character required to make you actually love the kingdom you're in.
The kingdom though is what the singleplayer game is now all about, with the logical aim for all new adventurers being to become ruler of the realm, put the new faction under your leadership and turn the lords into your subjects and vassals. Getting there can take a long, long time, but the fact that it’s even possible is going to be a major draw for long-term fans, while providing an incentive for newcomers to prefer Warband over the first game.