Have you ever found yourself enjoying a game like Napoleon Total War and wondered to yourself what it would be like to be one of the little dudes down on the ground firing volley after volley of inaccurate lead at your enemies while being ordered around by a guy on a horse with a funny hat? Well if so you will be in for a treat with Mount & Blade Warband’s new mini expansion pack for PC, Mount & Blade Warband: Napoleonic Wars, by Paradox Software.
I enjoyed Mount & Blade: Fire and Sword, a game that came out in the series about a year ago, which was the first title in the M&B line to include guns. M&B: NW takes this to the next level including not only guns but also mortars, small canons, and full sized Napoleonic cannons to command. Rather than purchasing your gear like in previous entries of the series, you simply choose a regiment with a specific uniform (for organizational purposes) and then a role such as plain old soldier, color bearers, officers, or even musicians. (some of which provide passive bonuses to different actions such as reloading)
This game does lack any significant single player mode other than the basic mini battles vs. AI. I was looking forward to a campaign mode similar to the game’s other entries however for ten dollars what more can you ask from Paradox other than online fun?
Controls are as good as the other games in the series. Directional attacks and blocks are the mainstay for melee fighting. Most characters either have a bayoneted rifle or a small knife/sword. Guns are inaccurate but still usable. However, they take a good amount of time standing still to reload. As always, mounted combat is a feature and is still as rewarding as the other entries in the series. Finally, as I said earlier, canons and engineers are a new feature of this game. Engineers can build different world elements and destructible barricades which are very useful in drawn out battles and skirmishes. Cannons are manned by cannoneers who reload and fire cannons that are very devastating to enemy forces despite their near immobility.
Once you get online, most of the normal game modes are present. By far the most popular one is the battle in which each side starts out at full strength and continues until all of one side is dead. Also included are team death match, death match, capture the flag, and conquest modes. The multiplayer battles can get chaotic, but if you find a good enough server community you are able to experience full line battles with actual commands and leaders spouting orders which is quite fun. However, I feel like Paradox dropped the ball in giving any kind of actual order to the madness beyond designating bonuses to sticking with your regiments. The game does not penalize you much for not being a team player. If this were the time of Napoleon, you would probably be executed or imprisoned for deserting your regiment.
I enjoyed the art direction and the music/sounds in this game. The rifles sound and feel real. The game features tons of tracks of classical music which really fits the mood of the combat the game has to offer as well as several tunes your musicians can play to keep your squad fighting. The uniform design is top notch as expected from Paradox and the voices are at times comical but still serve the purpose of getting you into the mood. Expect to hear tons of shouts of ‘VIVA LA FRANCE’ or ‘HAIL KAISER’!
If you enjoy historical based action similar to the battlefield series in the form of massive 200+ troop battles then you will enjoy M&B: Napoleonic Wars. If you are impatient, uncooperative, and just want to have a quick twitch based funfest then look elsewhere. Reloading times alone in this game may try the patience of someone who does not like historical games.
- Fun historical combat
- Great classical music
- Massive battles
- Semi-chaotic depending on server you are on
- No real single player
- May not be good for impatient gamers.