Crybabies Couching Lances: M&B Warband

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I was pretty excited to get into the M&B Warband beta a few weeks ago, and since I’ve figured out how to get the game running under Windows 7 (it took some doing) I’ve been on the beta server on a nightly basis squaring off against other squires & knights of great renown.

As you might expect from Taleworlds, Warband is still a bit rough around the edges. They’ve got some networking work to do- desyncs are fairly common at this stage, and it used to be that once at least every four or five rounds someone would desync, become invincible (but still visible on the map) and zoom up into the sky to hang there until they re-synced, crashed, or we changed the map. 

When it works, though, it really works. The maps they’ve made are perfect distillations of everything cool about normal singleplayer M&B scenes- the ruined castles, the pastoral fields, the bubbling brooks and leafy trees covering low hills. The graphics have been bumped up considerably (I’m not sure if they’re still using Directx 7) and, of course, the combat is killer. Just trotting out to battle with six or seven of your comrades in plate mail around you feels embarrassingly good in a dress-up Renn Faire kind of way. And I’m totally open to that kind of pleasure in the comfort (privacy) of my own home on a computer screen. 

They’ve got balance work to do with the weapons, but for the most part the actual fights in this game are even better than the ones in singleplayer- because the human you’re facing knows all the tricks too, so you can’t be too gamey about things. It’s all about conserving your shield, striking prudently, keeping distance or closing depending on your situation, using cover, etc. And when you catch your opponent’s guard down and knock him out with a killer overhead smack from your warhammer the neighbors are probably going to hear your Booya.


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Mount & Blade Boxart


  • Developer: TaleWorlds
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Genre: Sim
  • Release Date: January 28, 2015
  • Link: The Official Site
  • ESRB Rating:

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