Mount&Blade

Mount&Blade
Mbboxart.jpg
Developer(s) TaleWorlds
Publisher(s) Paradox Interactive
Designer(s) Armağan Yavuz, Steve Negus, Cem Çimenbiçer
Composer(s) Jesse Hopkins
Version 1.011 (November 3, 2008)[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA September 16, 2008
  • EU September 19, 2008
Genre(s) Action RPG, Simulation
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: T
PEGI: 16+
Media/distribution CD, Steam
System requirements

766 MHz processor, 256 MB RAM, 700 MB hard drive space, 64 MB graphics card

Mount&Blade is a medieval, single-player, open-ended, action role-playing video game for Windows, developed by the Turkish company TaleWorlds, and published by Paradox Interactive. Its retail version was released on September 16, 2008, in North America, and three days later in Europe. The game originated as an independent project of Armağan Yavuz, founder of TaleWorlds, and his wife, İpek Yavuz.[2] Prior to its retail release, beta versions of the game were published on the developer's website.[3] The game was made available on Steam on November 3, 2008.[4]

Mount&Blade is an action-oriented role-playing game with emphasis on mounted combat. Unlike most other titles of the genre, the game contains no fantasy elements. It does not restrict the player to a certain storyline, but instead presents a sandbox medieval realm named Calradia, in which the player is given the ability to either join one of the five available battling factions, assume the role of an outlaw, or take a neutral side.

Reception on Mount&Blade has been overall positive. Reviewers praised the game for its innovative combat mechanics, complex character skill system, and large modding community,[5][6][7][8][9] but also criticized it for its repetitive quests, dialogues, and locations, as well as low graphics quality.[5][6][8][9][10] A sequel, Mount&Blade: Warband, was released in March 2010, and a spin-off, Mount&Blade: With Fire & Sword, based on the historical novel With Fire and Sword, was released in May 2011.

Contents

Gameplay

Mount&Blade is a single-player, action-oriented role-playing game without any fantasy elements, which takes place in a medieval land named Calradia. The game features a sandbox gameplay style, in which there is no storyline present. The player is able to join one of the five battling factions, fight as a mercenary, assume the role of an outlaw, or take a neutral side.[5][6][11]

An enemy caravan running away from the player. The numbers by the party indicate the soldiers, plus the prisoners, respectively.

According to Armağan Yavuz, the game's inspirations include Sid Meier's Pirates!, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, Frontier: Elite II, and older Koei strategy titles such as Genghis Khan, as well as historical fiction novels, particularly those by Bernard Cornwell.[12]

At the start of the game, the player is offered a set of options to customize the character. The player selects the desired gender and facial features using a system similar to those in The Sims 2 or The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion,[11][13][14] then answers a series of multiple-choice questions about the character's past, which generate the character's initial attributes.

Traveling to other locations, or interacting with other parties is done by point-and-clicking the desired destination. Upon encountering enemy parties, the player can try to avoid a conflict, or can engage in a battle with them.[5][14] In Mount&Blade each battle is attributed a renown value, according to the number and power of the members of each party. The player then gains the renown if he wins the battle. With increased renown, the player achieves higher standing in the game and may be offered vassalage by the leaders of one of the five factions. By becoming a vassal, the player is given control over a certain fief, which he or she can manage and collect taxes from.[6][11] By solving quests or defeating opponents the player is awarded experience points, which can be used to improve attributes, skills, and weapon proficiencies to further develop the character.[13] Weapon proficiencies can also be improved over time by inflicting damage on other opponents.[15]

Combat

There are four main areas where battles take place: on the open map when two or more hostile parties meet, in tournaments organized in town arenas, in siege combat where the player is either defending or attacking a fortification, or in settlements after a triggering event (village is infested by bandits, guards catch the player sneaking in, or the player is ambushed).[16] The number of soldiers each party can hold is limited by the "leadership" skill and the renown of the leader. Participants in a battle can be either mounted or on foot. The player has to indicate the direction in which he wants to swing by moving the mouse accordingly.[17] Aiming with a ranged weapon is also done by using the mouse.[18]

Damage is dealt depending on multiple factors. Aside from each weapon's quality, its effectiveness is also influenced by the character's skill with that type of weapon, and the speed of the player relative to the target: for example, a javelin thrown while running or riding a horse will be potentially more damaging than a javelin thrown while standing still.[19] Further, weapons have certain ranges where they are minimally and maximally effective, which gives the different weapon types different playing styles. A spear, for instance, will do minimal damage when used on an enemy very close to the player, where a hammer could cause maximum damage.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 73% (27 reviews)[20]
Metacritic 72/100 (27 reviews)[21]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 5/10[22]
GamePro 5/5 stars[11]
GameSpot 6/10[5]
IGN 8/10[9]
PC Zone 62/100[14]
Pelit 88/100[23]
PC Advisor 4.5/5 stars[6]
Awards
Entity Award
GamePro Editor's Choice[11]
Mod DB Best Indie Game
(Editor's Choice[24] and
Player's Choice[25])
IGN PC Editors' Favorites of 2008[26]

Reception on Mount&Blade has been generally positive; the game was awarded an aggregated score of 72/100 from Metacritic and 73% from Game Rankings.[20][21] Reviewers acknowledged the game's potential, but also said it suffers from poor production values. GameSpot concluded that the game "feels more underdeveloped than it does flat-out bad",[5] and Eurogamer made a similar review, saying that Mount&Blade has "foundations [...] for something really quite special, but in its current state the game is nowhere close to delivering on its promises".[22] The game also received more positive reviews, IGN saying that it may be "the best game about medieval life ever made",[9] while PC Advisor called it "the first, great medieval role-playing game".[6]

Mounted combat has been one of the most widely appreciated aspects of the game.

Combat has been one of the game's most widely appreciated elements. Critics like Eurogamer, GameSpot, IGN and PC Advisor praised it, describing it as one of the best implementations of medieval combat ever created.[5][6][9][22] Not all reviewers agreed on the quality of the combat system; PC Zone criticized it, claiming that melee combat feels random in its effectiveness on both foot and horseback.[14] The complexity and thoroughness of the character skill system was also well received.[5][7]

Mount&Blade has received negative reception from critics for its repetitive quests, dialogs, and locations, as well as poor graphics quality.[5][9][11][22] Eurogamer said the graphics engine "does little to entice you deep enough",[22] and GameSpot said that conversations with NPCs feel more like "consulting a travel guidebook for Calradia than actually speaking to a human being".[5]

The fandom has received positive attention from both developers and critics. During an interview, TaleWorlds declared itself to be "most proud" of its community, considering that "Mount&Blade has arguably some of the best mods developed for a computer game".[27] Reviewers such as GamePro and Game Industry News also admired the number of mods made available for the beta versions even before the game's official retail release.[7][11]

Sequels and spin-offs

Paradox has produced a sequel for the game, called Mount&Blade: Warband, which includes multiplayer support as well as improved diplomacy, graphics and artificial intelligence. Warband also includes an updated map, and a sixth faction. The expansion was originally set to be released Q3 2009, but was delayed until March 2010.[28] Closed beta testing began on August 2009, and became open in February 2010,[29] before the sequel's release on March 30, 2010.

CD Projekt has released a spin-off called Mount&Blade: With Fire & Sword, based on the historical novel With Fire and Sword (Polish: Ogniem i Mieczem) by Henryk Sienkiewicz,[30] developed by Snowberry Connection, Sich Studio, and TaleWorlds Entertainment. The game is set in Eastern Europe, and includes the playable factions Poland–Lithuania , Cossack Hetmanate, Russia, Sweden and the Crimean Khanate. The game was released on May 3, 2011[31]

References

  1. ^ Yavuz, Armağan (2008-11-03). "Mount&Blade Version 1.011 is ready". TaleWorlds. http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/topic,45208.0.html. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  2. ^ Video interview with Armağan Yavuz (Television production). Leipzig, Germany: Gamereactor TV. 2008-09-29. http://www.gamereactor.se/grtv/?id=3130. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  3. ^ Yavuz, Armağan (2008-06-18). "Mount&Blade Version 0.960 is Released!". TaleWorlds. http://forums.taleworlds.net/index.php/topic,39194.0.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  4. ^ http://store.steampowered.com/news/?appids=22100
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Todd, Brett (2008-09-22). "Mount & Blade for PC Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/mountandblade/review.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Dagley, Andrew (2008-09-19). "Mount & Blade review". PC Advisor. http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/index.cfm?reviewid=104607. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  7. ^ a b c Breeden, John (2008-09-09). "Mount And Blade Puts Knights At The Ready!". Game Industry News. http://www.gameindustry.com/review/item.asp?id=998. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  8. ^ a b McGehee, Steven (2008-09-25). "Mount & Blade". Digital Chumps. http://digitalchumps.com/game-reviews/39-pc/1425.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Ocampo, Jason (2008-12-17). "Mount & Blade Review". IGN. http://pc.ign.com/articles/939/939311p1.html. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  10. ^ Stegerwald, Kyle (2008-09-29). "Mount & Blade review". 2404.org. http://www.2404.org/reviews/4755/Mount-&-Blade-Review. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Dagley, Andrew (2008-09-16). "Mount & Blade (PC)". GamePro. http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/207135/mount-blade-pc/. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  12. ^ McCarroll, John (2008-09-12). "RPGFan Exclusive Interview: Armağan Yavuz, Taleworlds Entertainment". RPGFan. http://www.rpgfan.com/features/mountandblade/index.html. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  13. ^ a b "4.1. Character Generation". Game manual. pp. 16–17. 
  14. ^ a b c d Jamie Sefton (November 2008). "Mount&Blade Review". PC Zone: 65. http://www.gamesradar.com/pc/mount-blade/review/mount-blade/a-20080916134024316007/g-20080804164447631022. 
  15. ^ "4.4. Weapon Proficiencies". Game manual. p. 21. 
  16. ^ "12. Battles". Game manual. p. 52. 
  17. ^ "11.3. Fighting in melee". Game manual. p. 47. 
  18. ^ "11.4. Fighting at range". Game manual. p. 48. 
  19. ^ "11.2. Damage". Game manual. pp. 46–47. 
  20. ^ a b "Mount & Blade - PC". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/929393.asp. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  21. ^ a b "Mount & Blade". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/mountandblade. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  22. ^ a b c d e Whitehead, Dan (2008-09-30). "Mount & Blade". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=248912&page=2. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  23. ^ "Mount&Blade" (in Finnish). Pelit. September 2008. 
  24. ^ "2008 Mod of the Year Awards Event Editors' Choice: Best Indie Game feature - Mod DB". Mod DB. 2009-02-24. http://www.moddb.com/events/2008-mod-of-the-year-awards/features/editors-choice-best-indie-game. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  25. ^ "2008 Mod of the Year Awards Event Players' Choice: Best Indie Game feature - Mod DB". Mod DB. 2009-03-01. http://www.moddb.com/events/2008-mod-of-the-year-awards/features/players-choice-best-indie-game. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  26. ^ "IGN PC Editors' Favorites of 2008". IGN. 2009-01-12. http://pc.ign.com/articles/943/943930p1.html. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  27. ^ Yavuz, Armağan (2008-10-01). The Horse’s Mouth. Interview with Kieron Gillen. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/10/01/the-horses-mouth-mount-blade-interview/. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  28. ^ Rick, Christophor (2009-01-31). "Paradox Interactive New Titles Announcement". Gamers Daily News. http://www.gamersdailynews.com/story-8154-Paradox-Interactive-New-Titles-Announcement.html. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  29. ^ http://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php
  30. ^ RPG Watch: Default Mount&Blade - New Spinoff from CD Projekt
  31. ^ Thomsen, Michael (24 January 2011). "Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword Preview". IGN.com. http://pc.ign.com/articles/114/1145516p1.html. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 

External links


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