Blood splattered helmets were spread as far as an eye could see, mutilated bodies of battle scarred warriors were stacked like a midsummer Nordic Bonfire, horses which led the final charge were lying on their sides waiting to give their final breath, and in the middle of them all was Borislav, the greatest warrior known to mankind. Undeterred by the fact that he’s just lost over 50 men in a gruesome battle, the man, the myth, the legend has proceeded to assert his dominance through generous teabagging of all his dead foes. One by one he has marked over 70 men and women, proving that he’s the greatest man alive. And as Borislav has come to the realisation that he is the final victor, he wept, as he knew that there were no more worlds to conquer.
Bards will sing about Borislav’s achievements for centuries. Ballads about his exploits such as robbing peasants or forgetting about the letter he was meant to deliver months ago, will be cherished by all children. And the story of his greatest battle, in the middle of a generic green field, will serve as the guidance for military leaders for years to come. As Borislav has mistakenly attacked an army of over 100 men, instead of a small group of bandits which stood right beside it, and fled in a heat of the battle leaving all eight of his men to be slaughtered by the Nords.
While such will be presented to soldiers and mercenaries alike as an example of what not to do, it has to be said, that in majority, mistakes made by Borislav were not of his own device. But the only way to truly understand it is to gain an insight into his mind, and such can only be done through thorough analysis of his memoirs.
The Life of Borislav: The Beginning
In life, many a man, have little to no choice in the path they undertake. Some are destined to be peasants, and die by the age of 12 from starvation and exhaustion, whereas others become servants, and die at the age of 13 due to public execution, after dropping a plate in presence of the royals. But I, Borislav, the one and only hope for mankind, have been graced by the gods, and given the opportunity, to shape my life in its entirety thanks to a sinful device, which heretics call a ‘character creation suite‘.
At the beginning of my adventure, I was able to customise every aspect of my life. My origin, my looks, and abilities were right in the middle of my palm. However, altering my so called specifications, was not as easy as one would expect, as this hellspawn of a device was more unruly than a drunken cow, me and my cousin Vladislav once tried tip in our early years. Visually it was confusing, and it was never really explained to me how to control it, so I spent the initial minute or so, flinging the marker around, unaware of the fact that each and every setting has to be selected at first with the X button, which couldn’t really be used as a button, as it had no holes for the thread.
Once I was done fighting with the suite, I was then able to take on the world head first, as a ginger Nord, with moderate experience in smithing, and vast knowledge of one handed sword fighting. And the second I’ve placed my foot in the world, I thought I haven’t invested any points into my eyesight, as the world before me looked rather unpleasant. Everything was flat and uninspiring, from the boards that held the houses together, all the way to the people themselves, who all had a facial expression of a training dummy, who’s about to be hit with a battering ram. From distance, it didn’t look that bad, but once I’ve approached the king, who was right in the middle of the royal hall, it all went downhill from there.
After consulting the man in charge, I’ve been told that the image before me, looks the way it does, because textures which encase all objects, are of extremely low quality, and that the world itself suffers further visually due to the fact it is composed in its entirety from simple blocks. Even when in motion, low quality of the visuals can be noticed, as every single in-game animation, looks and feels like it has been ripped straight out of a PS2 game, and this has become more and more prevalent, as I’ve entered my adulthood, and started fighting for the crown.
The Life of Borislav: The Rise and Fall of the Warrior
Each and every Battle which I, Borislav, took part in has been for the crown, and the men and women of power who are in control of the Nordic lands. Whether I was slaying innocent farmers, because my men were starving, or courageously fighting heavily armed bandits on the foreign land, who for some reason carried military banners, I have always done so with the crown on my heart. However, despite all my best efforts, I have been rejected by the King of the Nords. Battle after battle, I’ve offered my services to Kings, Jarls, and Ladies of the Court, in hope that maybe; just maybe, I’ll be given an opportunity to fight for the crown, and the black crow it represents. But each and every time, I’ve been told that I am not ready.
After months of recruiting, and training, I’ve build up my army and decided to step up my game, and after defeating an enemy patrol, and a Jarl who led it, while also taking some heavy losses, I’ve decided to try one more time, and offer my services to the king of the North. But once again, I was rejected. Disappointed, and disheartened, I took what remained of my men and I’ve abandoned the pursuit of the eternal glory. Convinced that something must be broken, or perhaps that a curse of the infamous glitch is preventing me from becoming a knight of the court, I’ve decided to pursue a life of a mercenary.
Now, an old and weathered warrior, I Borislav the Cursed, have sworn my allegiance not to the crown, but to the people of the land. I have turned down hunting soldiers, and committed myself to dismantling the local bandits. But due to the archaic map screen, which I’ve used to select my targets, it was easier said than done. Every time I caught a glimpse of a raiding party, I instantly started the pursuit, but unless I was within a touching distance of the criminals, I sworn to defeat, I was unable catch up, and dispense justice. And this is not because I was too slow, or because they were simply better, but because every raiding party which was smaller than my group of mercenaries, flees whenever they are in my presence. And the second they do so, they hightail in an opposite direction, and disappear of the map, as for some strange reason, anything that leaves your close proximity, disappears forever.
My impatience, and growing anger, has led to my recklessness, and the second I’ve managed to catch up with what I believed was a raiding party, I’ve instantly started a battle. But little did I know, the cursor, which is the size of a can of Red Bull, targeted a local Nord patrol instead of the raiding party which was right beside it, and before I knew all my men were dead and I had to flee. And just like my men, my military career has perished on that day, and I was forced to hang my blade, and retire.
The Life of Borislav: Life After the War
Once my heroic adventures have come to an end, I’ve decided to have a go at other worldly pleasures that the life of Mount & Blade: Warband had to offer. I had a go at custom battles, but no matter how much time I’ve invested into them, I felt bored, and disinterested, as due to the painfully stiff, and unresponsive battle mechanic, which is present through the Mount & Blade: Warband experience, they were simply a hindrance. Custom Battles in combination with the multiplayer, which at the time was completely empty, and served me, Borislav the Cursed, as just another custom battle mode, exposed how archaic Warband truly is. And if not for the fact that I am a man of the past, I would gain no pleasure out of any extended period of time spent within the world.
Ultimately, Mount & Blade: Warband is a thing of the past available to the modern populous. And due to its clunky mechanics, which are spread across every aspect of the title, in combination with poor and uninspiring aesthetic, Warband will only pleasure a very small sample of individuals who decide to undertake the challenge of becoming the king of the land. But the ones who do so, and prevail in the quest for glory, will experience a very personal story, and create just another legend, but not as big as Borislav the Cursed, killer of peasants, employer of poor, and the worst tactician the land has ever seen.
+ Dungeons and Dragons Like Sense of Adventure
+ Open World With no Constraints
+ Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master
- Archaic Gameplay Mechanics
- PlayStation 2 Era Aesthetic
- Clunky and Overly Simplistic Combat
- Wide Array of Glitches
- Brainless AI