Mount and Blade – Warband Beta

OMG Knight

So, the Mount and Blade Warband Multiplayer beta is out, and it’s pretty…pretty…well there’s no words to really describe it. It’s a middle part between “It’s quite good” and “It’s needs some work”. So is it Mount and Blade WARRGGGHband, or is it Mount and Blade Poorband? Apologies for the pun, hit me later.

See this as a very very close version of the original Mount and Blade, but from looking at it so far, some of the best improvements have been in the graphics department. Metal armour has a nice shine to it, blood on weaponry looks like actual blood rather than someone attacking a ketchup sachet, and the weather is suitable, although I’ve yet to see a night map in the beta, at least one that any servers are playing. To use a worthless tagline for the game, it’s like if the multiplayer for Dark Messiah wasn’t terrible, and didn’t have morons who simply spam spells while standing at the back being thick. The Battlefield 2 of medieval fighting games. It’s got all the staple gamemodes, point control with tickets (ala BF2), Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, but with one interesting addition. Siege. The idea being that one side has a castle and the other…doesn’t. It’s got ladders, siege towers, and those pretty awesome slit castle things that you can shoot the face off the nearest Saranid from.

Get the doctor!

So, having used the tagline that its Dark Messiah-ish, which many consider to have the best sword fighting in any first person game ever, how does it shape up? Well. Feh. Sometimes it feels natural and brilliant, with sword swings either clanging against an opponent’s parry, or slashing against armour or flesh, and the other times it feels really pathetic. The clunk of hitting a shield sounds so uninspiring, and it feels annoyingly static and clunky.

Parrying being rather the art form of lucky, with the idea behind it despite being sound, in practice ends up useless, as you die when your shield breaks. Of course there is the ever-present element of spam, and it’s here in force. People running forward slashing away with their two-handed glaive or sledgehammer will often reap kills with zero effort, mainly down to the attack speed being outrageously fast, and the time between blocking a blow and attacking being too slow. Kicking an enemy feels totally uninspiring as well, being very hit and miss in nature and often not actually staggering them enough to get a hit in, before they block.

2012 Javelin Event - Jorgsson takes to the plate.

Interesting enough, it also has a form of gold system. You see, you purchase all of your armour, weapons, arrows and other curios upon spawning with a set amount of starting gold. From then on it seems to go into wizardry, with amounts awarded from killing enemies being unexplainable, and the gold you are left with after death varying from colossal mounds to pennies. It also has an interesting, yet fiddly Character creator, meaning that you aren’t entirely faceless, until you put on any form of armour and then all personality is lost. It also suffers from a massive case of Oblivion face, in that every woman is absolutely hideous, and some faces defy logic. The lack of documentation hurts it badly, though being a beta, it’s expected. So is it worth it? The original is currently on Impulse at around £5.00 (at time of article), and the singleplayer variant is fun on its own. See this as an unfinished, but highly interesting, Battlefield: Medieval.

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~ by Cloak Raider on February 28, 2010.

One Response to “Mount and Blade – Warband Beta”

  1. Release date is being aimed at the 30th of march. The Single Player part is a revamp of the first game, but with several new features, such as marriage and a more comprehensive diplomacy system.

    The faces may be remade for the release, or on the first or second post-release patch. There is (as of 06/03/10) a competition running on the forums to provide character bios for 10 characters in the Quick Battle feature.

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