A Bit Horse: Mount & Blade Trailer

If there’s one thing that RPS endorses heartily, it’s running down your enemies on horseback and slaying them with great prejudice. Such activities are routine in the excellent horse and sword game, Mount & Blade, which is why RPS also endorses this excellent product of medieval violence.


  1. Al3xand3r says:

    I wish they could invest in some good trailer making, they never do the game justice in these. Some fan videos are far better but they’re hard to find and they often neglect some parts of the game. I <3 M&B.

  2. qrter says:

    On a sidenote, I had a heartly laugh at M&B’s box art, showing what seems to be a wall-eyed discount-Aragorn..

    link to gamespot.com

  3. Zeus says:

    Everyone says the guy on the box art looks like Aragorn, Frodo, or a combination of the two known as Frodogorn.

    Me, I think he looks like Wormtongue.

    Sure, he’s got the heroic Aragorn pose, but take a look at his face. It’s more Dourif than Viggo!

  4. Walsh says:

    Too bad its a shell of a game that you requires you to cheat to have any fun. It’s dumb starting out with minimal money and weak quests in order to get any scratch to hire friends.

    It is fun once you are going though… just wish they’d fix the dumb seige maps.

  5. Al3xand3r says:

    Eh, not liking something doesn’t make it dumb, some people enjoy the progression from weak to powerful. It also doesn’t make it a “shell of a game” or anything close to that.

    If you know the game you can get a decent party pretty quickly and start bashing heads in the more rewarding activities. Besides, once you get going you don’t have to restart ever again, the game’s pretty much the same anyway, you can just conquer the map yourself back and forth between different factions instead of start from scratch. If you want to restart anyway at least you can export/import stats of existing characters making it easier to raise money in the beginning.

    If you don’t know the game then starting weak with the low end quests is a good introduction, doing some bandit hunting, the tournaments and other such similar activities and working your way up to more complex situations and goals while discovering the game’s many intricacies and sweet gameplay touches and details.

    What needs to be fixed in the Siege maps? I thought they work pretty well in this release, troops don’t get stuck on ladders or siege towers anymore and it’s far easier to win if you have the required odds.

  6. RLacey says:

    SoftUK had this on offer for £12 yesterday. Me ordered.

  7. Andrew says:

    Doesn’t really do the game justice but it does have at least one nice shot of crumple-horsey action.

  8. Reid says:

    >> Walsh – I guess Half Life is dumb for making you start with a crowbar, or CS for starting with only pistols and not giving you the AWP straight away. And lets not forget every RPG ever.

    Besides, it’s not too hard to get some scratch together, just get a tax collector mission and keep the cash until your rich enough that finishing the mission isn’t a big deal

  9. Dreamhacker says:

    Ah, the anonymous Mountainblade appears!

  10. Greg Wild says:

    Crap trailer, but the game is class ultimately.

    [i]Especially[/i] given the incredibly active mod teams that surround the game.

  11. MindBrain says:

    How do i find out about version 1.0? Is there a demo anywhere of it? Their website doesn’t even mention it. What’s up tell me now! Thanks

  12. Calabi says:

    That looked like the best mounted combat I’ve seen.

  13. RLacey says:

    You can find a link to the v1.003 download on their Forums, MindBrain. Mind you, I don’t know why this isn’t a tad more prominent on the actual site.

    link to forums.taleworlds.net

  14. Al3xand3r says:

    Sweet, a guild master just told me the war between their kingdom and another one is bringing the population to its knees. Two particular war mongering lords (one for each opposing kingdom) are the cause of the war and you have to either convince both of them to stop the war or defeat their armies and take them prisoners so that they lose their influence. I don’t know if it’s a new quest type but I love discovering stuff like this :)

  15. sinister agent says:

    That looked like the best mounted combat I’ve seen.

    It is the best combat anyone has seen. It’s not perfect, but let’s face it, there’s basically no competition. Even so, M&B’s horsey combat is tonnes of fun, and stands up well on its own merits regardless. The first time you lose your horse, then discover that you can steal someone else’s after rolling down a hillside and planting an arrow in a charging bandit’s neck is one of those defining gaming moments.

    Too bad its a shell of a game that you requires you to cheat to have any fun.

    It is a little too hard to newcomers, yes. However, there’s at least one other game that many people found was far more fun to play if you cheated immediately. It’s an obscure little thing you probably haven’t heard of called The Sims 2. Both games basically give you the cheats and let you decide for yourself. It’s not perfect, but if they included the tools to tailor it to a start more like the one you want, what do you really have to complain about?

    The thing they really need to solve the difficulty curve issue is a decent newcomer’s guide.

  16. gulag says:

    In that case it’s a pity you couldn’t have couched it it terms that would avoid purging.

  17. futage says:

    Just out of interest, does anyone actually play this in 3rd person?

  18. The Hammer says:

    Putting the Aragorn similarities aside, that IS nice box art…

  19. Weylund says:

    @futage: Yes? How else can you properly time your blows, fight to your sides, etc.? You can kill somebody with your backswing if you get the right angle on it.

    Give it a shot, you might be surprised.

  20. sinister agent says:

    Just out of interest, does anyone actually play this in 3rd person?

    Loads of people do. I have for years, and only really stick with first person in the arena, and only with this version. I recently started flitting between the two quite regularly.

  21. Andrew says:

    I only occasionally use the first-person mode in the game. Third-person is a must for horseback combat in particular.

  22. ur-eka-poster says:

    [your comment was too precious for this world]

  23. futage says:

    Hmm, interesting. I generally find it quite hard to get immersed in games in 3rd person. And I absolutely prefer playing m&b in 1st. 3rd seems somehow disconnected from the action. It’s such a visceral game that I must be in amongst it to enjoy it fully. Watching someone lance someone in the face is not nearly as intense for me as looking through the eyes of the same. Being them.

    Not being critical, I realise it’s a failing of my brain not being able to get immersed via 3rd person. Just curiosity/interest sparked by all the trailers being in 3rd person really.

    @Weylund, I have no trouble timing my blows in first person and I always fight mounted (except during sieges, obviously). I have immense difficulty timing anything right (or even ‘thinking’ the game) in third person though.

    (I should probably clarify that it’s only action games where I have trouble being immersed in non-first person)

  24. Weylund says:

    Wow. So you fight without peripheral vision, then? That’s impressive. Crazy, but impressive.

    The game would be pretty tough entirely in first person. You get a better view of the carnage from the third person view as well — and do you ever use a bow from horseback? Without the external visual cues the aiming limitations (you can’t turn TOO far!) would make no sense to me.

  25. Walsh says:

    Ah the fanboys come to defend their precious game. Every other RPG and including FPS there’s a natural and “easy” progression to advance in ability, this game you are wandering around with your thumb up your ass.

    The novel combat doesn’t make up enough for everything else.

    I 100% agree with the Gamespot review:

    link to gamespot.com

  26. futage says:

    Weylund, yeah, without peripheral vision I suppose… same as in any old FPS. I glance around a lot in m&b – that’s one of the things I love about it actually – that constant swivelling of my head, watching for shadows on the floor and wheeling my horse around really helps me feel that I’m ‘there’.

    I do use a bow from horseback, aye. I fight pretty much the same as a Kerghit Lancer – lance, sword, bow&arrows. Not sure what you mean about the visual cues – the aiming reticle is still there in FP and still fades out when you turn to far. In fact I’d argue that it’s easier to keep track of how far you are turned in relation to your horse in first person – you’re forced to keep a mental note of it and … again, I’d say that’s an immersive point for me.

  27. futage says:

    Walsh, I don’t think I’m a fanboy (how does one tell?) but I’ll happily defend this game:

    It’s one of those games where you have to find your own way to play it. There’s no ‘best’ way to do anything. It’s all about finding a balance between the way you like to do things and what works (as in, gets results). Without wanting to sound like a twat: If you find the game hard then you’re doing it wrong. If you just simply don’t like it then fair enough, there is a lot to not like if it doesn’t grab you.

    It’s one of those where you get out what you put in. You set your own tasks and its up to you how you go about completing them. If you can’t make that fun then yeah, the game’s probably not for you.

  28. Wake says:

    Walsh, if the “easy” progression you want means killing rats for the first two hours of gameplay then by all means go stick your thumbs up your ass in some shitty MMO.

    Mount & Blade is one of the few games that’s broken the vice-like grip that ‘questing’ has on the genre and is all the better for it– quests are in no way necessary to the experience. The Gamespot review was right at the first line when it said, “If all you had to do was fight, Mount & Blade might have been a winner.” Fighting IS all you have to do and this games excels at it.

    From a design perspective the game is brilliant– both the combat itself and the style of the game are novel; for once in a game you can genuinely feel like a badass after killing two dozen men, because you actually had to work for it rather than because you were 17 levels higher than they were– if you get surrounded by 4 bandits then it doesn’t matter what level you are, 9 times out of 10 you’re fucked, and that’s awesome. Anyone who’s played the game more than an hour knows what I’m talking about.

    Mount & Blade doesn’t make you feel like a hero because you’re on some poorly written epic quest that began 5 minutes into the game. You feel like a hero because you’ve built yourself from nothing, and not because someone else told you to.

  29. Stromko says:

    I agree the trailer doesn’t really do it justice. Looking to your right and seeing several long lines of knights on horseback charging heedlessly into enemy lines and slaughtering them by the wagonload is pretty epic, especially when they’re the soldiers you’ve trained from a gaggle of peasants to a hardened core of professional soldiers. Getting that perfect shot with your long bow and seeing some proud knight keel over dead with blood pouring from his face is also a high point.

    I think it’s the perfect blend of action-RPG, with both aspects being very challenging but ultimately rewarding to learn.

    You’re clearly meant to play the action sequences from horseback, being infantry is frankly a terrible existence, but even when you’re on horseback victory isn’t handed to you on a silver platter. Though you can do spectacular damage with a ‘couched’ lance (for anyone who can’t figure it out, just speed up until the lance-tip lowers and try to impact the lance-point with the enemy), you’re still vulnerable to a wall of prepared spearmen, or archers, or some Viking flinging an axe at your as you approach and cleaving your head in two. Those aren’t random hits, if you’d only weaved or blocked at the right time you could’ve avoided them, but it’s not easy. It’s not a Diablo action-RPG where you only have to manage a bunch of contrived class powers and stock up on potions, it relies on a lot of key skills and techniques the player learns that are more complicated than clicking on things.

    Though I never liked ‘hardcore’ RPGs like Gothic that ganked you the second you walked around the wrong corner and encountered a higher-level enemy, the way Mount & Blade starts you out weak at least makes sense. One man is going to have a helluva time killing ten armed men with nobody to back him up, but if he’s on a fast horse with a bow, and has fifteen peasants keeping him busy, his chances improve drastically. Every enemy is realistically mortal, some of them just have full plate armor, barded horses, and a devastating mix of lances and swung weapons split amongst a force of dozens. They will stomp you to the ground, yes, but you can pick yourself right back up and get busy building a force to get your revenge.

  30. Wedge says:

    It’s a shame this game’s greatest point would be as a multiplayer affair. Sadly latency and netcode complications would never allow it, even if the couple developers did have the resources to manage it.

  31. onkellou says:

    “Ah the fanboys come to defend their precious game. Every other RPG and including FPS there’s a natural and “easy” progression to advance in ability, this game you are wandering around with your thumb up your ass. ”

    Because you don’t like the game, and based on a dubious reason no less, people who do like it are fanboys? Please.

    Besides, I’ve been playing this on and off since 2005, and I never had a problem to make progress quickly. Maybe you’re just not very good at games that lack hand-holding.

  32. Quine says:

    +1 to the love for this game. I’ve had some of the finest gaming moments purely down to how it all comes together in combat, despite various flaws and rough edges.

    I particularly like the almost total lack of any HUD (health bar and a nice pic of your shield heraldry seems to be it), and the way they’ve handled ranged targetting- learning to compensate for the wild speed of a bow verses the locked exactness of a crossbow is an actual *skill* you learn yourself, rather than some auto lock-on affair.

    Once I got the hang of aiming high enough to get distance headshots in sieges I felt immensely proud, and getting jarid and javelin techniques down in frantic horseback fights is just great.

  33. M.P. says:

    Someone REALLY should turn this into an MMO. The only thing better than riding around in a massive world, attacking the various NPC factions and taking over their cities for yourself would be doing it while having to worry about other rogue warbands led by people like you trying to do the same thing for themselves! Imagine the potential for betrayal and bloodshed when you band together with 3 other dudes and their little armies to take over a castle that’s too tough for you individually and then you try to off them when their backs are turned so that you’re left in sole ownership of it! Or you forge a non-aggression pact with the player who’s taken over the castle next to yours, and then as soon as you move out to hunt down someone you’ve got an old grudge against he attacks it and steals it from you!

    The low-detail overworld map means you can have a truly vast world – the cities are all built from the same selection of buildings and the battlefields could be randomly generated according to the surrounding terrain, so you can have an effectively infinite number of them.

    Best part is, in M&B the size and power of your army is much more important than your own personal stats, so if you lose a major battle badly you’ll effectively be knocked back down to zero again, having to fight your way back up to the top. Just let people loot your gold if they trounce your army thoroughly enough just to make sure the balance of power will be in constant flux – you’ll need to build up your fortune again so you can afford a major army by killing low-level bandits all over again, nursing your grudge against whoever knocked you off your high perch…
    It’d be like a medieval-themed, more actiony Eve!

  34. diebroken says:

    This is the type of action I was expecting in TESIV: Oblivion, maybe this is worth checking out after all…

  35. El_MUERkO says:

    i’ve heard mumblings of this for a while now, will give it a trial download at some point

  36. Tei says:

    If you just want a big party, invenst in leadership and charism, and have big fights. Thats all. But is morea “elite” type of game, a sanbox to do whatever you want.

  37. Turin Turambar says:

    People who critizes the lacking RPG part of the game, and i am including the Gamespot review, should note that the acronym RPG is not used not even one time to define the game in the official page. It’s not a role playing game.

    It’s more a Pirates! style of game. Totally open gameworld, without plot and without game over screen (but there is a Retire option), you are just an adventurer having fights, trading, doing some quests, taking prisioners, assaulting forts, buying equipment, recruiting more crew to your party, etc.

  38. Kestrel says:

    FWIW I picked this up this morning after watching the trailer. Pretty sure that disqualifies me from being called a “fanboy”

    Mount and Blade rocks. It’s exactly the game I’ve been searching for ever since the original Pirates!. It’s really not that hard, so far, either…I did die when facing my first big band of sea raiders, but I was able to take them down solo the next time I met them (never mind that it took me twenty minutes)

    Looking forward to the party component :D

  39. Weylund says:

    I wonder how many M&B fans are also Pirates! fans?

    I bought a couple copies and keep them on my travel machines. For… you know, those times… oh, shoot, all right. I play it every waking second when I’m in the right mood.

    God, I love that game. If M&B’s system / attention requirements were as low, M&B would probably replace it. Instead it just supersedes it.

  40. Oarfish says:

    >Someone REALLY should turn this into an MMO.

    Darkfall might be close.

  41. sinister agent says:

    An MMO would be … well, an MMO (read: terrible). But a simple deathmatch (with optional bots) mode could be brilliant.

  42. M.P. says:

    >I wonder how many M&B fans are also Pirates! fans?



    >An MMO would be … well, an MMO (read: terrible).
    Don’t think MMO, think “M&B with other people”
    >But a simple deathmatch (with optional bots) mode could
    > be brilliant.
    Yes and no… fun as the battles are, for me what kept me going was how you started off as a small cog in the machine of the warring NPC factions and eventually could grow powerful enough to compete with them in power. The only thing that could improve the formula would be having other players to compete against. That would be the ultimate sandbox MMO.

  43. sinister agent says:

    Don’t think MMO, think “M&B with other people”

    That’s exactly my point. Well, half of it. One half is that the MMOs are invariably hamfisted grindfests. The other is that playing online means playing with all the stupidest, dullest and most mean-spirited people in the world. I’d rather play with bots, frankly. At least when they act like morons you know they’re not moroning around in the real world, making life slightly less pleasant for everyone they meet.

    The combat is the game as far as I’m concerned. The whole point of playing it is just to set up as many interesting and challenging or simply fun battles as possible. The strategy gubbins is just a means to that end, I can take it or leave it.

  44. Quine says:

    There seems to be too much going on behind the scenes in combat for this to work well over the internet in some MMO style, but I’d be interested to see if a LAN version would work. 4v4 sieges would be immense, with a raft of minion bots to lead.

    I hope they add some form of morale at some stage- mowing down routing foemen was what the cavalry was all about, surely?

    And am I the only one who invariably ends up unleashing his initial charge-with-massive-couched-damage from his finest Balanced Pike onto the poorest, most badly-equipped peasant recruit the other side has to offer? Whenever I’m in a good position to do some skewering it’s always the fodder getting in the way- I almost feel sorry for them…

  45. Al3xand3r says:

    There was a moral modification for 960, I’m sure it will get ported to the last release once the module system is available. it was pretty cool and took many varying factors in account to decide if a given unit would start retreating or continue fighting, it wasn’t just a matter of personal health but also of other casualties, the amount of allies in close distance, if the leader is still alive or not, and other such things. The small map borders sort of broke it (all the retreating units ended up at the edge of the map waiting to get owned) but it was still good.

  46. Al3xand3r says:

    I love Pirates! but I think M&B is better. Though I would love a mode of play that has the age limits and scoring of Pirates to keep you a little more motivated by at leasting giving you the broad goal of achieving as much as possible before your character gets too old.

    A nice touch would be the age slider is hidden when creating a character for that mode and it gets progressively further to the right, so you can judge how much time you have left just by looking @ your face.

    I would love it if he also went all “dwarf fortress” on us and subsequent plays included some hints of your past adventures, like if you had conquered a lot of land but you were a ruthless, bad, dishonest King, your next play would play out in a nation divided by civil wars with selfish lords wishing to take power for themselves. Regardless of how good or bad you were, the townfolk and guild masters could have stories to tell about past kings, rebels or heroes with your past character names and such.

    I really hope the couple developing the game decide to do an expansion at some point, rather than go for a direct sequel right away (which would take too long if they tried to make it up to par with big budget titles, I want more Mount&Blade stuff ASAP!!!!!!!) or even a different project altogether once they patch this version up a little.