It's rare we get a chance to stop and just appreciate some games for what they are, but today we're taking a little time out to highlight a game and a mod that should really excite gamers who enjoyed movies like Immortals and 300 and wanted a similar experience out of the games they play.
Now I'm not a big Mount & Blade player; I don't really know the ins and outs of the game or doing any of the big online multiplayer stuff. However, after seeing the Mount & Gladius mod in action thanks to YouTube user DiplexheatedHD, I instantly fell in love with the game. It's not that it has the flashiest of graphics, or some of the most well-rounded animations and mechanics. However, what Mount & Blade lacks, it makes up for it with a very polished, original concept...something usually only inherit to the niche PC gaming audience.
A basic description of Mount & Blade is as follows: you create a character, you hop down into the game world, you do quests, loot from people you kill (or capture), take over towns and grow in power. It's like combining Elder Scrolls with Total War, except you're actually in the thick of it, playing and fighting while gritting your teeth and girding your loins.
One of the extra highlights of Mount & Blade is the combat. The game doesn't just rely on typical "block" and "attack" buttons, you have directional attacking and directional blocking which you can moderately customize in the option settings. So it's very similar to the fighting mechanics of the original Bushido Blade where high attacks must be avoided with high blocks and low attacks must be avoided with low blocks, etc., etc. The biggest difference is that Mount & Blade is much faster, far more fluent and a lot more intuitive for today's generation of gaming. If you have the proper skill it means you can portray some very fancy fight sequences...not quite on par to something out of John Woo's Red Cliff or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but you get the drift.
Mount & Gladius is a mod designed by a large group of modders renown in the Mount & Blade modding scene, and after the original coder left, the rest of the community stepped in to finish off and polish up the mod, which really is about as close to a gaming masterpiece as you can get when it comes to modding.
The following video below is part of a "Shield Event", as described in the trailer, and showcases the Mount & Gladius mod in some intense multiplayer action. The video is from earlier this year but it's not like people are actively promoting Mount & Blade outside of the niche circles of gaming so, for all of you who didn't know about this kind of mod (or this kind of game), you know now.
That was pretty wicked, no? Especially the formation and attack strategies used. It kind of makes you question just how long it took them all to organize the event, setup the strategies and put it all into effect. Quite amazing.
But as you seen in the video above, the mod lets you reenact historic battles on a grand scale. The game supports hundreds of soldiers on either side engaging in furious and spectacular battles. The fact that the core gamers in that video above are so organized and well-trained to carry out orders like that in such a precise manner just makes it all the more entertaining. It's a shame we don't have more games out there quite like this, requiring both battle tactics and team strategy, but suffice to say that we'll take what we can get.
Now if you're still hanging out with us, and you actually enjoyed the video above, you can grab the mod right now for free. What's more is that if you hurry Mount & Blade is actually on sale on Steam for 75% off, at the time of this article's publication.
You can check out the Mount & Gladius mod by paying a visit to the Unofficial TaleWorld Modding Forum or you can learn more about Mount & Blade from TaleWorld and Paradox Interactive by visiting the Official Website.