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Teala's Wickedly Cool Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

Mount and Blade Warband - Review

Posted by Teala Monday May 3 2010 at 11:38AM
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Of all the single player  RPG's I have ever played the original Mount and Blade is without a doubt the single best game ever my opinion.   Oh I know people we snicker and say. 'she's lost her mind', or 'that is whacked because KoToR was the best!', or 'stop drinking the cool aid Kristi the best was   and Mount and Blade sucked...' yadda, yadda, yadda...   I would have to say if those other RPG's were truly better than Mount and Blade why is Mount and Blade still on my computer and still played weekly.   Yes...from the moment I first tried this game I have not stopped playing it and for a single player game - that is incredible - especially an RPG'.     RPG's usually play out to the end of the story and that's're done(unless you play mods for games like Neverwinter Nights or Oblivion) and the game never gets touched again.   That is not the case with Mount and Blade for me.

With that said, I cannot say the same for the recently released stand alone expansion Mount and Blade Warband.   TaleWorlds blew it on this one.  Sorry guys and gals at TaleWorlds...but I cannot sit and write a review about your newer iteration on one of my favorite games I have ever played without being honest about why your latest version of the game blows chunks.    Sure I've read all the other so called reviews from places like IGN, Gamespot and the like and they're all giving you high marks.    Which I find amazing - truly - and totally mind boggling...because the only saving grace to Mount and Blade Warband is the fact that the multiplayer actually works for the most part....other than that...if I say how I truly feel the amount of fanboy hate I would get would melt my monitor into a pile of molten ooze.

Oh and yeah, BTW I did your beta for Warband and I gave my support, tested, made suggestions and posted bugs.   So I know your game very well and not just from playing the released version.   What I do not understand is why did you decide to release the game in such poor shape?  It is unfinished, unpolished, bug ridden pile of ....frak!   If the company that published your game, Paradox, made you release so soon - drop them and get a new producer.   Seriously...I cannot believe you'd release the newer version of Mount and Blade in the condition it is in and to top it off have the cojones to actually charge $29. US for it?!  Are you serious?

The single player game needs so much work and has so many bugs I do not even know where to start?  I am serious here.    Place holder script or no script and what is with "Not Yet Implemented ' - this in a released game that you charge $29. US for?  Guys/gals...that is not how you win over fans.   Not by releasing a POS game and Mount and Blade Warband is a POS game - period.   The other reviewers that praise it and give it high marks are so full of it...OMG. I mention I saw or read their reviews while putting mine together and they are all taking some weird arse pill and not playing the same game I am playing.  It still has the open-ended sandbox feel, but unless things work as they should - that open-ended game play is no longer an option.

You know I said and I suggested it, as did others during beta, that you were to focused on tweaking combat when you had an existing system all ready in place that worked well.   Remember I was in beta and the majority of your work was put into fixing combat and making it deeper (at least from my perspective that is what I saw) forget really giving us a better version or expansion that really was an upgrade from what we got in the original.   No...concentrate on combat and tweak it and mess with it and...sorry but the animations for a lot of the combat now are uglier and worse then the original(just my opinion of course) and just watching my characters body distort and twist as she tries to perform certain strikes and movements makes my heart sink and face cringe because that is not "my Mount and Blade" made better...but some evil, twisted, and ugly clone trying to be like the original and fails.

I will give you high praise for the the multiplayer simply because I am glad you added it to the game.  I will not praise it any further than that because it lacks depth, it lacks polish, it is bugged, it is unbalanced and since beta version 1.741 it got worse - not better.    Compared to that old beta version your released version  is just...well it sucks.    God I wish I felt differently but I am can I give a review I feel is honest and straight forward if I lie not only to myself, but the many others that read my blog - I cannot do that.   I always tell it like it is from my point of view as a gamer and this is no exception despite my love for the game and wanting it to succeed for you(trust me I spread the word about your game more than you can ever imagine) I cannot honestly sit back and tell people to buy this game in it's current state.   So lets get the bad out of the way first.  Here is a few choice reasons why.

1) Bugs in both the single player and multiplayer game - lots.   How are we to finish quest if the quest are broken?  Simple question - simple answer - you can't.   Because simply put single player game is loaded with such bugs.  Scripting errors and unfinished aspects of game.    To list the bugs and issues I encountered would take up to much time and space on this blog and I seriously doubt anyone would sit and read through all that.  Just how bad is the single player version of Mount and Blade Warband?  I quit playing it and went back to the original.   When TaleWorlds gets it up and running smoothly with patches, then I play the single player game of Warband.   They have released some patches but they are slow in coming.    For a game that cost $29 US - its not worth buying yet.

2) Graphics are still dated and circa oh I dunno - 1999.  Seriously it is the year 2010.   Stop pandering to the lowest common denominator of your player base that is still using Windows 98 and running DX 7.0!  Yes you know you are we discussed this countless times on the beta boards.   You'll catch more fish with shinier bobbles and lets face it - first Mount and Blade had charm despite it's lack of better graphics - there is no excuse for your newer version not to look better - I swear the trees in Warband look worse than those in the original.   Guys/gals - can we try doing better - much better in the next version?  Please? 

3) Multiplayer is good, not great, it needs more work and more polish and less adding of weapons and tweaking existing combat - fix what you have first!   God I was in beta and before you refined two-handed combat you added more two-handed weapons and mucked it up even more!   Why?   I still do not understand this.   Call me crazy but isn't it best to get something right and working correctly before trying to add more and messing it up even further before you even got it working right? this day it boggles my mind and makes me wonder what was going through the developers heads.   Yeah I know it was beta, but in all the beta's of games I have ever been in the developers got it working right first before adding more - that is not what TaleWorlds did and it disappointed me a lot.    Also multiplayer lacks depth. 

When you think of what you could have done(instead of mucking up combat) like adding tournament play, campaign play and or some kind of ranking system - all we got were maps where players go and meet up and whack on one another or try to destroy a piece of field artillery like a catapult or take control of a castle.    Yes it is a blast, for awhile and you can get into a fight really fast - but lets face it - it doesn't have anything to keep people coming back for more.    On the forums players themselves see the lack of depth and took things into their own hands and have added tournament play, and campaign play to the game as best as they can - archaic at best due to the nature of game itself and what not, but clearly(as was suggested by me and many others during beta) you're multiplayer needed more than just maps for people to meet up and fight on.    Tournaments and campaigns would have taken this game to the level it should be at in this stage of development and sorely it is lacking.    I hope that in future versions we see this kind of game play added.  Please.

4) Bot AI instead of getting better seems to have gotten worse.   Needs tons more tweaking and work.

5) Terrain generation needs lots of work in the single player game.   Some of the terrain generated in the mountainous regions is just - well - insanely stupid and is almost impossible to play on.    I know you guys can do better TaleWorlds and there is no reason that this aspect of the original couldn't have been improved.  

Good stuffs in Warband.

1) Quick combat game play improved a lot in this version.  Much more depth of play and more choices of how to set up matches.   Nice touch adding background history to the leaders of the various factions.   Good job here. 

2) Multiplayer combat can be fun!  Great fun!  In fact I'll take Mount and Blade multiplayer combat over any other FPS on the market right now.   If TaleWorlds ever gets their act together and really makes this aspect of the game shine - OMG I'd never play another game - ever. 

3) Addition of new faction the Sarranids gives us more options.   One thing...where are the camels this faction needs to finish them out.   They need camels.  

4) Multitude of weapons and armor to choose from all with their own unique style of fighting that the player can employ and master.  Clearly a carry over from the orignal and glad this part of the game still shines.   We get swords, axes, lances, bows, spears, many ways to kill your enemy - the one thing that truly makes this game so great - the combat.  Whether on foot or on horseback, no game currently on the planet can match Mount and Blades - period - even if the Warband version needs cleaned up and refined - it still cannot be beat.   This and this alone is what makes this game so great.  When others have tried and failed TaleWorlds did not.   Do not compare Mount and Blades combat with such games Oblivion or Darkfall, because those games totally fail in this aspect and are not even in the same league as Mount and Blade.   I cannot praise this part of the game I said even Warbands version is still better than the best any other game offers and Warbands is fugly and clunky.

5) They did add better textures to weapons and armor which is good.   However the could upgrade the character models as well and lets hope they do this in the future.  Along with the horses, trees and everything else.  

As I said at the beginning, I love Mount and Blade, it is without a doubt one of the best games I have ever played and continue to play, but the same cannot be true of the newer incarnation Warband.   The multiplayer is all I mess with from time to time, the rest needs finished and filled out(including aspects of multiplayer).   I cannot honestly tell others to buy this game yet.    So I will say wait...wait until Warband is in the bargain bin at your local game store or online game distributor for $5 dollars.   Then get it.    Right now it isn't worth it.    Let's all hope that TaleWorlds continues to work on this game and make it better than this last iteration because this last one really disappointed me.  

Please, please TaleWorlds, get a new publisher, get more funding and hire a few more artist and programmers and make this game the game it should be.   I know you can do better.   I have seen what you are capable of doing - Mount and Blade is awesome!  Oh how I love it.   Warband on the other hand.   ::sigh:::   

Score:  2.5 out of 5,   

or if you like 5 out of 10,

or for those that prefer 50 out of 100.  

There you go.  That is the best I can give it.

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