Mount & Blade, at first glance, seems to take a lot of its inspiration from Oblivion or Two Worlds. It's a third person game with a decidedly medieval bent. It features town navigation, melee and ranged combat, third person action and overworld exploration. This only really scratches the surface, of course.
Upon digging further into the game with a bit of hands-on play time, it seems a bit more of an homage to the sort of gaming experience that is presented in games like Pirates and Defender of the Crown; taking yourself from being a virtual unknown in the world to being top dog, whether lawfully or otherwise, seems to more readily be the name of the game here.