Gamecyte Preview: Mount & Blade

Gamecyte reports:

''Going into a game like Mount & Blade, you can be fairly sure of at least two things: The game will feature a blade, and someone will likely have a mount. For more information on this unique title, however, we were given a helpful tour by TaleWorlds and Paradox Interactive, the game's developer and publisher, respectively. Mount & Blade, we have now learned, will present players with an open-world experience, allowing them to forge an unrestricted path through the medieval realms of Calradia, hiring armies, befriending and manipulating lords and nobles, building their character's skills and reputation, and laying siege to entire cities. And, as expected, they'll get to do most of it while riding a horse and wielding a blade.

The phrase that comes to mind when looking at Mount & Blade is "rough around the edges." The game has been in development for several years now, and while TaleWorlds has spent that time building a number of exciting gameplay features and combat systems into their title, a few of the game's visual elements are starting to show their age. The countryside environments of Calradia never seem to change much from one battle to the next, taking place on fairly nondescript plains or mildly-textured hills, and the game's pitched battles frequently seem to feature enemies who gather together in a tangled mess of clipping limbs and weaponry. However, players may be inclined to overlook the aging graphics thanks to the game's emphasis on engaging battles and groundbreaking horseback combat - there's little reason to worry about the quality of the landscaping while you're busy slicing someone's face off at a full gallop.''

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