Mount & Blade: Warband
If My Childhood experiences of medieval re-enactment are anything to go by, then medieval warfare smelled rather strongly of blood, sweat and WD-40, Strongbow was the favoured drink in those ancient times, and banquets usually involved curry and chips. For all its fancy new additions to Mount & Blade, this standalone expansion spectacularly fails to grasp the historical significance of the Indian takeaway. Given its accuracy in other areas however, we'll forgive this error.
For those of you new to the scene, Mount & Blade loiters between Sacrifice and Medieval: Total War in terms of gameplay. Set in the fictional 13th century war-torn land of Calradia, the franchise offers a blend of open-ended RPG, RTS and mounted combat, with real-time battles and realistic physics.
Veterans of the original release who saw TaleWorld's claims that this is a sequel will be dismayed to hear that Warband has the same setting, the same kingdoms and much of the same content as Mount & Blade. Considering this is a standalone release with a standalone price this may put you off, but Warband does introduce some improvements and additional features to Mount & Blade.
Top of this list is the new multiplayer side to the game. Offering seven game modes, randomly generated map options and bots to fill ranks in smaller matches, there's little to find fault here. The RPG elements of the single-player version are cast aside in favour of a class system, neatly avoiding issues of character balance, and equipment is purchased with money rewarded for kills. Sadly, there's no campaign or co-op mode, but with so many conventional multiplayer options and an active modding community, it's hard to bear a grudge.
On the single-player front, players can now find a spouse and engage in a lengthy courting process in the name of love or power. This can lead to control of a faction, becoming a king, and special party members being promoted by you to become vassals lords and given land. Meanwhile a new faction and a desert region based on medieval Islamic society has appeared, offering new armour and clothing designs, and a more topical locale for waging war. And of course, there's the kick button to play with. You'll be having Duke Nukem flashbacks and shouting "I've got balls of steel" in no time.
Download Mount & Blade: Warband
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode