A great PC game from the past gets a weak console port.
Graphics aren’t everything - but they’re something. The sandbox-style RPG Mount & Blade: Warband is perhaps best compared to a work like the Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot long strip of cloth in northern France detailing one of the landmark events of the European Middle Ages. Background details barely show up at all, the people look two generations removed from Gumby, and the weavers couldn't even keep the lines on the border straight. Yet it's stunning to behold. Some parts look like kindergartners made it, but it has soul and heart, and its images remain better embedded in my memory than some of the busy masterworks of the renaissance.
Mount & Blade: Warband, which is likewise focused on a medieval setting, feels a little like that. It already looked a decade old when it first came out on PC in 2010 (and recieved a review score of 8.1), and some minor updates to its Xbox One and PlayStation 4 release do little to make it look remotely modern. Slight variations on the same eight or so ugly faces populate its six kingdoms. Knights and peasants alike jank about like robots. Details like grass often vanish when you’re just a few yards away, and tricky gamepad controls sometimes become annoying. And yet for all that, this remains a roleplaying game that does a better job of conveying the rags-to-riches journey than a game like Skyrim.
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