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Look, a Distraction! – A blithesome prologue

Hey, listen!Blithesome: lighthearted, merry, cheerful

It is time for a new segment that I have been ruminating on for some time now. “Look, a Distraction” will be a recurring article basically entailing anything I feel is worthy of distraction, be it games, movies, TV shows, etc. We all need a break from our MMO of choice from time to time and Dr. Klassi is here for you! Mostly “Look, a Distraction” will be me discussing/reviewing various games. Not a review like most sites mind you, but mostly whether or not I enjoyed playing it and would I recommend it. As I have made mention of before, I’m not the MMORPG playing robot that Ferrel is (his words, not mine). I enjoy a variety of genres of video games and I tend to get bored with many and try out a lot of games simply because I can. With the fact that I’m now working and can’t spend all day playing a video game, my standards have increased so to speak. So here is the first of possibly many…

The first game of my series is… Mount & Blade Warband. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, but I have a feeling that most of you haven’t. Most of the people I’ve talked to have never heard of it. Mount & Blade Warband is an action RPG set in a fictional medieval world. Players create a character and customize the appearance and then choose which of the 8 kingdoms they will start in. Then the game opens up and allows the player to do basically whatever they want within reason. You can gain influence with a faction and become a lord eventually becoming a king while you strive for world domination. Or you can be a noble knight, marauding Nord, the Viking/Norse equivalent for the game, or whatever else.

The combat is quite fun, and a bit challenging, especially so in the beginning. Weapons swings are in the direction you move the mouse: up, down, left, right; blocking without a shield works the same way. So to block a thrust, one must look slightly down while pressing block and the same for the other directions. However, when you have a shield, you only have to press block. But beware: the shield has a durability rating and will break if it is hit too much. Blunt weapons break shields easier, spears do more damage thrusting than swinging, and some weapons can be used with either one or two hands. The combat plays out well, and you can’t take on too many opponents at once or you will get overwhelmed and killed. Which is something I like, too often you are some sort of medieval superman cutting through enemies like wheat while screaming “HULK SMASH.” Now the AI isn’t the greatest, and once you learn how to block and attack well you can basically kill everyone as long as you don’t get swarmed. It is very satisfying to ride around on a horse with a spear stabbing the enemy in the chest while listening to some Viking metal. Guess which faction I chose.

Now Dr. Klassi, you said this was an action RPG! Yeah I’m getting to it, shut it. You have a multitude of skills to help you in your quest for world domination or whatever you crazy people plan on doing. Some of the skills help your character do more damage with certain classes of weapons and some of them help your party in general. Some of those increase the rate by which your party heals, or lets you take prisoners to ransom off later. It’s a fun system and I have logged quite a few hours roaming the countryside assaulting bandits and raiding villages.

It’s a fun game, and gets even more so with the multiplayer and the various mods associated with it. I had originally intended to write about one of the mods that I have been playing rather regularly for a few months now, but maybe some other time. It’s a game I can pick up and play for as little as 15 min or a few hours and enjoy myself. Even better it’s often on sale on Steam or Amazon for only a few dollars, maybe it even is now. Go check yourself! I’m not you, I already own the game. If you’re looking for a fun action game that lets you raid villages, siege castles, and go on wild killings sprees with your chosen band of mercenaries then this is the game for you.

The best part? There is a demo on Steam. Give it a go.

Maybe I’ll take suggestions as time goes on, but for now you get what I pick. Woooooo.

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6 Responses to Look, a Distraction! – A blithesome prologue

  1. Starseeker says:

    Is this a recent game? Will it work on Win 7 -64 bit? Sounds like fun!

  2. Vatec says:

    Yep, awesome game, IMO. It’s “semi-indie” in the sense that the original M&B was essentially a two-person effort (husband and wife team), while the sequel (Warband) benefited from a few more devs hired using the profits of the original. So now TaleWorlds is just “small” rather than “tiny” ;^)

    It runs on -my- Windows 7. As always, YMMV.

    Mounted combat is the game’s forte, with archery coming in second. Dismounted combat, especially during castle sieges, has its issues, though it is still fun as long as you approach it with the right mindset. Neither AI nor graphics are spectacular, but that’s the price you pay for being able to participate in battles with up to 300 combatants on the field.

    It’s very much a sandbox rather than a theme park and you can end up being anything from a solo adventurer (very tough) to a great lord, or anything in between. Be warned, though: it can be very addictive and very time-consuming ;^)

    • Dr. Klassi says:

      Yeah I’ve put more time into this game that I purchased for $5 on sale than into many games I’ve payed $60 for. Castle sieges do have their problems, but I’ve done a lot better since I found out how to control my army rather than assuming charging blob formation. I am a fan of the unmounted combat simply because it requires effort and skill compared to Oblivion/Skyrim style melee; you can’t just spam heavy attack to win. Well sometimes when the AI is being bad you can, but not in the multiplayer.