The Director's Lesser Known Games Volume 9
Mount & Blade: Warband Console Edition
Type of Game: Role Play Game with Multiplayer
Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4
Mount & Blade Warband takes you into the war torn land of Calderia. What you do once you get there is up to you. Will you be a bandit, robbing caravans and villagers while running from the law? Will you be a merchant, hiring mercenaries to defend you from bandits as you sell goods from town to town? How about a lord, loyally serving your chosen king and helping him (or her) become Emperor? Or would you rather become the emperor by taking over the entire realm? You can do all this and more if you feel like it.
There are a ton of great things about this game. The graphics have improved upon the original release, the controls are a bit more fluid than mouse/keyboard, and there are fewer bugs. For those of you who aren't familiar with the original release, here's the great stuff about that!
Combat - The combat in this game is set in third person (but you can go to first person if you'd like) and features melee, ranged, and cavalry attacks. That's right, you can fight on a horse. Or you can fight a horse on a horse. Or you can fight a horse while on the ground with just your hands.
Weapons/armor - The weapons in this game are varied. There are multiple types of melee weapons with different effects (like bonuses against armor or shields), multiple types of shields, multiple armors, etc. This game has the most varied arsenal I've personally ever seen. The weapons range from swords to lances, from arrows to javelins, the list goes on. You can equip up to 4 different types of weapons (3 if you equip a shield). Oh? You're wondering about the lances? That's right, you can act like a knight and joust people. Awesome, right?
Horses - They have several different types of horses in this game that are suited for different play-styles. You plan on being that guy who charges head on into the enemy on your horse? Get yourself an armored one. Are you more interested in speed? Grab yourself a fast one. You want a fast horse that can take some hits? They've got that too! They also have slow, weak horses for those of you who are a bit cheap.
Map Movement - The map movement is similar to how you move troops in strategy games. It's eagle view, and you click to travel. When you get to your destination, the game pauses automatically so time doesn't pass while you are deciding where to go next. Worried about not finding anyone to fight with? Don't be. There are raiders and such wandering around the map looking for fools to take their gold. Worried about fighting too much? Get a large enough amount of troops with you and they will flee in terror before your might.
Skills - Nearly everything in the game is based on what skills you have (and don't have). From combat to movement speed on the world map, I'm not exaggerating when I say that if you can do it (except cheat) then there is a skill for it.
Locations and Characters - They appear one dimensional at first glance but if you pay any sort of attention things get pretty deep pretty fast. The locations are similar yet unique and vary by type. Each separate kingdom has its own design for its villages and towns.
Last but not least, the price. This game (as of this review) is only 19.99 USD + tax and has more content than your average AAA 60 buck game. Like, a lot more content. Just one playthrough can take you weeks, months, even years depending on your play style. That doesn't even take into account replayability.
Not many of these, but gotta be fair here. The graphics, while improved, aren't great. The learning curve for this game is pretty steep, and a few stops to the wiki are pretty much guaranteed. The controls are fluid but not very intuitive. For instance, the directional indicator is not an aiming reticle but it makes you feel as if it is one. Aim with the blade, young padawan. There also isn't much voice acting, but that's probably due to it being a budget game. Indie for the windie.
Right now this game is pretty cheap, and it has a ton of content to offer. If you've got a lot of free time and are looking for a way to pass that time try it out.