News reaches us from (er) our comments thread that TaleWorld's long in development Mount & Blade is going to get a proper release from Paradox Interactive. Which reminds me I've never mentioned it, or its perpetually available Beta on RPS before. Better sort THAT out then.
I normally describe Mount & Blade as Pirates, but in the Middle Ages. You play a knight, and you gather together a band of soldiers, setting forth to hunt down bandits, take missions from lieges and generally act like the traditional freelance. The Beta is the full game, but with your character progress locked at level six. Despite its planned real world release, Mount & Blade's pre-order system is still in effect. By paying $25 you remove the level-lock, allowing you to play the Beta as much as you like, as well as providing a serial code for the final game when it comes out. With V1.0 apparently happening in Summer, I may wait for then before returning, but if you've never played before, it's well worth doing so. As well as the intoxicating freedom, Mount & Blade features probably the greatest horse-back combat the world has ever seen.