Horses, spears and large hats – Mount & Blade: Warband

Out of nowhere, my body decided that I had been free from illness for far too long and thus, decided to give me a runny nose. I’m going on two full waste-bins now and I’m digging into my supply of pocket tissues. If the leakage keeps up at this rate I’d be all out before hitting the bed.

Unable to meet my friends today or do any revision whatsoever, I’ve decided to do something that isn’t too taxing on the brain and where I’m able to sit back and incline my head in such a manner that watery mucus doesn’t happily free-fall onto the desk every other second.

So here I am blogging with my one-month-overdue presentation of TaleWorld’s Mount & Blade: Warband.

This is my first foray into the Mount & Blade series, going with Warband on recommendation by friends and various forums. Fire & Sword didn’t really appeal to me since it introduced firearms but I might give it a go in the future. Besides, there’s a wide assortment of mods for Warband with a multiplayer community still going at each other with lances and what-not.

What follows documents the rise of Hades, my first and only character so far.

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Now these pictures were ready on March 20th. Hades has since gone on to establish his empire, over-throwing his former King and crushing another faction to control almost half the continent. Like Rome, he expanded too far, too fast and suffered heavy casualties and losses over several fronts. Relinquishing control of a total of eight villages and castles, Hades rallied his main army at the capital to replenish supplies and strengthen his numbers.

Since there wasn’t any new content left until conquering all of Calradia, I decided to stop my campaign there, dooming Hades to an eternal stalemate with his foes. Will I revisit the game and allow the man to fulfill his dream of a united Calradia, strong and at peace? So that he may return home and do nothing but chase bandits, hold feasts and stand around with his NPC wife talking about inventory and political standing?

I most probably will. I’ll have to create a female character too for a second playthrough, not to mention take a look at some of the more popular mods out there. It’s a wonderfully pleasant game, and while the scale and tactics of the game do not compare to titles from Total War (for example, large-scale confrontations are reduced to multiple skirmishes until either side runs out of able-bodied troops) the strong focus on character progression is enough to set it apart with its own identity.

The graphics have been a barrier to some but don’t let that stop you! The controls may seem a little awkward at first–especially once you get a taste of mounted combat, but give it a couple of hours and you’ll be deep into your journey on carving out a name for yourself.

As the games have been released for quite some time, they’ll go on sale quite frequently, giving you the perfect opportunity to get either Warband, Fire & Sword or the entire collection. In fact, Steam has it as their weekend deal right now, with the collection going for just USD$7.50.

Since I’m such a big fan of medieval settings, I’ve been keeping an eye out for new developments from TaleWorlds.Their next title, War of the Roses, is looking to be absolutetly spiffy.  Updated graphics while keeping the signature combat controls in a team-based setting seems like a recipe for success. Unfortunately (or not), its a multiplayer game. Think of it as Call of Duty but with bows and swords instead. I’m hoping it’s just a platform for them to experiment before giving us fans a full single-player experience to live out our horse-riding, sword-swinging, castle-raiding fantasies. But hey, maybe that’s what Mount & Blade 2 is all about.

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