Electronic Theatre is the latest website to offer up a preview of Mount & Blade: Warband based on firsthand time with the beta version of the multiplayer expansion pack.
The game plays as would be expected online, with the familiar gameplay modes of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Conquest, Battle, and Siege. Players get the opportunity to buy new equipment prior to each round, increasing statistics of attack, defence and other variables, but the new equipment must be purchased again in every new game. Like ShadowRun, this system gives the player flexibility and allows them to experiment, mixing-and-matching the various options with little worry about how they spend their winnings. However, it does also mean that each battle acts as an individual, rather than another part of the player's career.
There is a definite tactical edge to the combat, and one that only extended play will reveal. The different class types and different weapon combinations provide different strengths and weaknesses, with the on-paper principle of Mount & Blade: Warband's combat being an extended game of Scissors, Paper, Stone. However, while the archer may suffer a lower statistic for close combat than a trained swordsman, skill does come into play when on the battlefield, and the penalty suffered does not necessarily mean a battle lost.