Mount & Blade: Warband Preview

The editors at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have turned their attention toward Warband, TaleWorlds' upcoming multiplayer expansion pack for Mount & Blade.
Mount & Blade was always a triumph of game over graphics. It looked old when it was released, and even with a wide range of mods giving it HDR and high quality textures, it still looks considerably worse than some games released even 5 years ago. Thing is, none of that stuff has ever mattered, because it gets the feel of being in a medieval battle perfectly. It was glorious, running down pathetic peasants on your courser, axe held high, ready to lop off heads. It was glorious because it was, for the most part, easy. You were the badass on the field of battle, racking up the kills and making a name for yourself.

Take that online, and suddenly you're the underdog. It's the same as with any single-player/multiplayer transition, moving from protagonist to just another guy, but here it feels that much more powerful and jarring, if only because it's taken this long for TaleWorlds to get multiplayer working, and you're still just as vulnerable as you were in singleplayer, it's just now the people you're fighting are that much more handy with their pointy sticks and shiny swords. If you charge a pikeman, you're more often than not going to come out with an extra hole in your body.