Pitched Battle: Mount & Blade Glasgow

By Alec Meer on July 15th, 2011 at 5:49 pm.

Towerblock defence

I’m not sure how we managed to miss this. I’m also not entirely sure that we mightn’t have been better off continuing to miss this. Gangs of Glasgow is what happens if medieval warfare sim Mount & Blade was transposed to modern Glasgow, Scotland – or at least an exaggerated version of it where the extreme football hooliganism, rioting and assorted other urban violence is worse than it already is/was. On the one hand, bringing so much – from police cars to football stadiums – into a game about dudes with swords on horses is an amazing technical achievement. On the other… well, I don’t know about you, but I’m making a face that tries to convey something I couldn’t begin to describe accurately.

But I’ll try! It’s a sort of raised-eyebrowed grimace with pursed lips and wide, shocked eyes that can’t look away, and the best meaning for it I can come up with is ‘this is incredibly wrong but quite funny in an incredibly dark and twisted way but mostly disturbing and I don’t know if I should be posting about it but it’s amazing in its way but also horrible and I don’t really know what to think or say about it.’

Here’s a few general in-game clips:

And here’s a trailer focused on recreating the notorious 1980 Old Firm pitch invasion/fight:

It could be taken as a sort of multiplayer, team-based Postal. It could also be taken as making light of a city with a dark history of football-related violence. It could also be taken as knowingly ridiculous. Or all of the three. Here’s the official disclaimer:

“The mods are mostly comedic in nature, but deal with serious real-life social issues such as knife-crime, drug abuse, and sectarianism, usually in a ridiculous and/or offensive way.” So, hopefully you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

While the project’s been around since 2009, a new, fuller build landed on ModDB earlier this week.

Thanks – sort of – for the tip, Bodminzer.

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76 Comments »

  1. The Sentinel says:

    Bloody weegies. They get everywhere.

  2. sonicblastoise says:

    Knife-crime is the #1 cause of stabbings in the world.

    this is a mod with a MESSAGE

  3. Teddy Leach says:

    I’ve been enjoying this mod for years. It’s fantastic.

    EDIT: You’ve got the videos the wrong way around.

  4. Gotem says:

    wish they added soemthing like this to those FIFA games. It would make me buy one

  5. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    As with the Street Cleaning Simulator, just knowing things like this exist makes me smile.

  6. Zogtee says:

    Fascinating. Adding modern political and social context to a videogame like this gives it some serious punch and makes at least me wonder what games are really about. Is it just entertainment or can you find something in them that touches us at a deeper level?

  7. Web Cole says:

    *Obligatory how is this any different from a regular Saturday night joke*

  8. Fergus says:

    Needs more rain.

  9. Stupoider says:

    http://tubedubber.com/#Z6FfFfL7zGo:Usd9V21H7u4:0:100:0:0:true
    This is almost too good.
    All the proportions of the doors and urinals in the bathroom just remind me of Trainspotting, while the proportions of the shirtless lackeys make them look like Sontarans. THIS IS AMAZING

  10. Nighthood says:

    Oh god, that’s absolutely hilarious. The exchange outside the bar is fairly witty, and the game itself just doesn’t seem to take itself seriously at all.

    More of this sort of thing, modders. This is how REAL mods should look.

    • Kulantan says:

      REAL mods? Isn’t this a bit no true Scotsman. I mean there are some brilliant mods that are essential rebalancers for a game. I mean if you want to insist that only this mod is truly a Scotsman then…

      Wait a second. I see what you did there. Well played.

  11. inertia says:

    As a glaswegian, I find myself appalled by this slanderous filth. As an internet commenter, I could also be taking the piss. You decide!

  12. Bodylotion says:

    Should try this mod. Been to Glasgow this year (Glasgow Rangers – PSV) and it’s a pretty cool city. Mod looks buggy but who cares… ?

  13. Unaco says:

    Yay! Sectarian Violence. Could there ever be a better subject for a video game?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      A game based on The Troubles? Actually, there could well be one.

    • lurkalisk says:

      Holocaust simulator?

    • shitflap says:

      Teddy, I, for one, like this timing of this being brought to my attention, 3 days late sadly, but close enough to tickle me.
      I am eagerly awaiting the Marching Season version of this mod, especially the Ardoyne and Drumcree maps.
      They can call it Fenian Rampage or something similar. The protestants will have to think up their own name, I cba. Mount and Blade: Marching Band sounds a bit shit

  14. Bodminzer says:

    Speaking as the guy who submitted this, I was going to send it to Rab but I thought it might upset him. It certainly upset me.

  15. OJSlaughter says:

    I’ve always wanted an accurate simulator of Glasgow life and now I have it… they got everybit of it down to a t

  16. Trelow says:

    Kids and I were just playing with this the other day. It’s one of the mods that doesn’t leave our rotation.

  17. DarkFenix says:

    This mod looks like a comparatively peaceful day in Glasgow. I’m sure we’ll have some weegies along shortly feeling offended at being portrayed as pussies.

  18. tomeoftom says:

    From a non-Glaswegian perspective, this is hands-down the funniest mod I’ve ever seen. I know it’s probably a bit foul given the violence that actually occured, but I can’t stop laughing for long enough to care.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I know it’s probably a bit foul given the violence that actually occured

      Incorrectly using past tense. Football season starts on Saturday (23rd) & the first old firm game is on the 18th of September. Come for a visit to our fair city of Glasgow & take a stroll round the Ibrox/Govan area that day if you want to see this mod come to life.

  19. Ice-Fyre says:

    I love the po-lice cars, made me chuckle

  20. Tei says:

    Perrrrfect :D

  21. Octaeder says:

    Damn you anyone who said the original wasn’t worth getting over Warband during the Steam sale! Now I miss this hilarity.

    • Witrim says:

      All the really good/cool mods are on M&B but they are starting to get ported to WB too. So yeah you are missing out on stuff like this that isnt really worked on anymore but most of the new content is made for WB. Not sure if Fire and Sword got any mods at all or what works on it.

    • Davee says:

      As far as I know; there won’t be any modding support for WFaS. It wasn’t TaleWorlds (creators of M&B) themselves who made it, but a third-party Ukranian developer studio, so they can’t really support it.

  22. Dozer says:

    This is the best thing I’ve seen all day. And I’ve spent most of the day learning to use our hospital’s new computer system, with a codified system for recording a patient’s allergies, which includes fifteen codes for various kinds of cake.

    Yep, it is possible to explicitly declare that your patient has an allergy to Substance SNOMED Code 125521911 Battenburg Cake. Most of the class was spent recording that the patient named “YOUR, MOTHER” has an Adverse Reaction to ‘Gravity’ with Reaction ‘Fall down elevator shaft’ [severe].

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I want to work there so much.

    • President Weasel says:

      Battenburg is the third most dangerous of all cakes.

    • Tams80 says:

      But Weasel, that just leaves us to ponder what the 2nd and more importantly most dangerous cakes are!

    • steviesteveo says:

      Gun cake. It’s common knowledge.

    • Dozer says:

      Here’s a list of all the cakes:
      Battenburg cake
      Cake
      Chinese cake
      Chocolate cake
      Chocolate cake with butter icing
      Coconut cake
      Crispie cake
      Eccles cake
      Fancy iced cake
      Fatless sponge cake
      Fresh cream-filled sponge cake
      Frozen sponge cake
      Fruit cake
      Gluten-free cake mix
      Iced fruit cake
      Jaffa cake
      Jam-filled sponge cake
      Lardy cake
      Madeira cake
      Plain fruit cake
      Potato cakes
      Rich fruit cake
      Rock cake
      Sponge cake
      Sponge cake make with cake mix
      Sponge cake with butter icing
      Welsh cake
      Wholemeal fruit cake

      I have no idea why the NHS wants to codify all these different types of cake.

    • Davee says:

      While totally unrelated to the article; this made my day :D

  23. Dana says:

    Amount of stupid in this game is so high, it created singularity of awesomeness.

  24. sinister agent says:

    I am not sure about most of this, but I can’t deny that I laughed out loud when that guy got knocked out by a deftly-flung football.

  25. MrTambourineMan says:

    Damn brilliant!

  26. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    It’s a shame MDickie stopped making games.

  27. ColOfNature says:

    I’m appalled: the prevalence of red or reddish hair on the character models in the first video only serves to further negative stereotypes of Scottish people as a race of violent ginger bams. I’m Scottish and I’m not ginger.

  28. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Um. Er. Okay, I admit to be wholly ignorant of any Glaswegian stereotypes so I assume this is all in good fun?

  29. Lambchops says:

    I was ready to be amused by this (I spent my undergrad years in Glasgow) but alas this wasn’t one of the best comedic efforts from the weegies. I now just feel the urge to watch the better bits of Only an Excuse.

  30. gandrewsan says:

    But where are sixteen-year-old mothers of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes? You’ll never get an accurate picture of us without them.

    • Auspex says:

      What in the name of fuck are “potato cakes”? We have tatty scones up here good sir!

    • The Tupper says:

      Yeah, I was wondering that too. I’m mystified by these so-called ‘paw-tay-teow cakes’. A real Glaswegian eh? I think he’s secretly from Edinburgh – GET HIM!

  31. sonson says:

    This might sound like a naive thing to say but-

    Surely this is just another simulation of violence, and thus no better/worse than any other similar simulations of violence?

    As a resident of Edinburgh, with a degree in Scottish History, and a religious background, I’m well aware of the various evils of sectarianism. But the above seems to have little in relation to that beyond a football shirt re-skin. At heart, it’s a representation of men biffing men from another game which is based in no small part on men biffing men. The difference is literally superficial.

    If anything, for all this observation is a bit contrived, it just goes to show how far society has come. Whereas once biffing men was a viable means of various things including social mobility-ala Mount and Blade- now it is seen as the preserve of a fringe element who are un-representative of the population as a whole., and, from a distance, even comical in some ways. I laughed anyway.

    I don’t think it’s a particularly clever, humane or life affirming mod or anything, but I don’t see the harm in it either.

    • lurkalisk says:

      Completely agree.

    • ribidons says:

      The matter is subjective. There are going to be people who are “too close” to the problem in one way or another. They’ll see this kind of thing as either the glorification or trivialization of a nasty, brutish bit of history, and they’ll see it as insensitive. Even less healthily, it’s possible that someone out there is using this to psychologically whitewash the historical events on their own behalf, or as a way to play out or reinforce more genuine violent fantasies. Additionally, it’s possible that the game somehow frames specific people in unfair ways, which bears all the normal problems of any revisionist historical work. None of this suggests that the work ought to be quashed, removed from the Internet, or some other nonsense, but merely that, depending on the plaintiff in question, setting-related complaints might be neither baseless nor irrational.

      There IS something a little different between this and, say, a Grand Theft Auto game. In GTA, the social dysfunction (mostly) circles tightly around the protagonist and fellow “criminals.” If guns are blazing, it’s because “bad people” (whether the avatar, gangsters or crooked cops) are stirring up trouble. GTA’s society, mostly, puts on a show of functionality. Joggers, white collar workers, and other commuters abound and more-or-less appear to be going about their own business. Civilization plods forward. In a setting like M&B Glasgow, anarchic violence seems to be a societal norm. Even if the player character avoids conflict, the “ordinary folk” will continue beating each other to pieces with shovels and street signs. There doesn’t appear to be a pacifist/avoidant “bystander” faction on the field, and the police simply appear to be another power-hungry, violent force. Again, mothballing the possible critique of state authority, the setting is simply less compatible with more moderate statist views of society, which depend tremendously on a mostly-compliant populace. And, there is a seed of truth in there: no imaginable current police force can peaceably quell a general uprising. The implicit question, I suppose, is the same old chestnut: are people, at heart and without coercion, benign or malevolent to their fellow folk?

      I agree, there’s almost certainly no real harm in this. And, anyone saying, “This ought not exist!” is off-base. Simultaneously, the statement, “This mod sucks!” could be quite accurate. I do have a classic M&B serial key somewhere around here, but I will admit that I have not loaded this mod, so all I have to comment on are the videos. Spectator violence is a social ill that society ought to discourage, as unlike various forms of politically-driven violence, it almost certainly has no productive motive. Even so, this mod, when viewed from across the Atlantic, mostly seems humorous. If I were going to get upset about perspectives in games, I’d be more inclined to rail against, say, Christian/Muslim supremacist or heavily racist settings, because there actually do exist modern groups practicing violence on those terms. I don’t see football rioting as a long-term dangerous trend, but merely an intermittent social failure. As such, I don’t see much harm in this.

      Finally, I may very well be misinterpreting this; I am not a student of the region’s history. If hooliganism has some serious socio-political aspirations or impact I’m unaware of, then it’s possible that certain standing critiques may apply. To be a bit crass, my naive take on hooliganism indicates that it is less a social movement than a passtime: hooligans aren’t sincerely hoping to “break the state” or the like, but merely to indulge in running wild. So, if I’m off-base, I’m off-base.

    • aldo_14 says:

      I’m just shocked there’s a resident of Edinburgh who (apparently) isn’t English
      :p

    • sonson says:

      @ ribidons

      Good post. There are many different issues on hooliganism in the UK and whether they were a cause or symptom of breakdown in society. In the seventies and up to the mid eighties, periods largely considered to be bleak for the UK by the reckoning of most historians, it was seen as a considerable issue. Things are much improved in that sense, in no small part because considerably many more people now are better off and have more to lose from the breakdown of order than was the case in the aforementioned era when many people were struggling anyway.

      I would say though that the GTA comparison is a bit off because everyone ( as far as I can tell anyway) present in the mod is violent by the looks of things. It’s basically a sort of humorous and sectarian circle of hell where everyone exists in perpetual conflict and exaggerated stereotype. Fighting is no different than going to the shops, or talking even. It’s like one of those old arcade games where literally all you do is punch people on the street in order to progress. But everyone does it, lives by the same rules. It’s pure fantasy for all that is is set in a contemporary context.

      Whereas GTA offers the opportunity to violently disrupt a wider functional world in which the majority of participants are peaceful citizens. In GTA the majority of people are not violent, and so running someone over or running into a hospital and setting fire to everyone has much more moral weight to it than doing so in a game in which everyone is a sectarian or violent thug and are looking to do the same to you.

      This isn’t the place to go into it but I feel there is far more of an ethical issue with games that offer the opportunity to be violent in a comparably civilized society than ones which are nothing but violence. Simply because we actually live in the former.

  32. Skusey says:

    I’d like to echo the point that’s already been made, I’d be really interested to see what Rab makes of this. As the God of Games, and a real, bonafide Scotsman, this certainly comes under his purview.

  33. Hydrogene says:

    I find it very strange that I’m more affected by the violent fight in the mod between two football shirt wearing hooligans in a pub than between medieval soldiers in the original game.

    Why is that?

  34. crainey92 says:

    Admittedly this give me a good chuckle, I found it very humorous though I know the issues outlined by this video are deadly serious. This really makes me want to go to my shed and start making “Mount & Blade: Streets of Belfast!”.

  35. Wozzle says:

    WTF Europe

  36. Myros says:

    Just one thing to say …. “Bawbag!”

  37. Ciber says:

    So, does this work on Warband or do I need to buy the original somewhere cheap?

  38. Dozer says:

    reply fail. baaaaa

  39. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Heh. The guys invading the pitch were just a leeetle more tooled up than the ones in the footage.

  40. Gordonius says:

    “It’s a sort of raised-eyebrowed grimace with pursed lips and wide, shocked eyes that can’t look away, and the best meaning for it I can come up with is ‘this is incredibly wrong but quite funny in an incredibly dark and twisted way but mostly disturbing and I don’t know if I should be posting about it but it’s amazing in its way but also horrible and I don’t really know what to think or say about it.’”

    That’s how I feel watching Limmy’s Show.

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