[Editor’s note: Every two weeks, we’ll pick a classic game to play and discuss. Then the choice of the next game will be made by a randomly selected participant from the current discussion. It’s like a book club, but with videogames. We’d love to have you join us. Register for the forums and hop into the discussion! This week’s choice, by Otagan, is Command & Conquer Red Alert.]
They call me ‘Killer,’ but I live only to serve the People, and the People’s history will judge me.
The venerable Command & Conquer Red Alert is the 1996 sequel to Westwood’s legendary Command & Conquer. Eschewing the pseudo-modern setting of its predecessor, Red Alert is based around an alternate history wherein Albert Einstein invents the “Chronosphere” after the end of World War 2 and uses it to travel back in time, assassinating Adolf Hitler before he rises to power.
After the jump, let’s do the time warp again. Continue reading →
It has all come down to this. In game time, it has been a mere five months since I arrived in Calradia. Since then, I have made a name for myself in this world. Now a faction is welcoming me in, not through its own choice but rather through the actions of a rogue lord who got a little too bloodthirsty one day. This marriage takes place under the dark cloud of impending war, this time one that promises to take a great many lives more than the last and which will be unmatched in its savagery.
After the jump: today, though, is my wedding day Continue reading →
I once said that blood and money are the two things that lead to power in Calradia. I’ve earned enough money to support an army as large as those of other lords of the realm. I’ve spilled, directly and indirectly, enough blood to fill all of the ale kegs in Jelkala.
None of that blood is anywhere near as significant as the blood to be spilled today.
After the jump, a little treason before breakfast, then a little war after lunch Continue reading →
Glorious battle seems to have eluded me all throughout this playthrough. All I ask for is a single gigantic siege that results in my kingdom taking an important city from the enemy. Sadly, it seems I was late to that party this time around, as Count Gharmall, the new marshal, is interested only in sitting on the border with the Sarranids until everyone gets tired and decides to sign a peace treaty.
After the jump, disappointment doesn’t last forever Continue reading →
I’d originally wanted to call this “death in the desert,” but was stymied by the foul Sarranids who launched an assault on one of our positions in the middle of Khergit territory (who, being modeled after the Mongolians, have territory that strongly resembles the steppes of Eurasia). Marshal Raichs ordered us to move up and drive the Sarranids off, so my army of 50 joined the 300 troops of Lords Raichs and Tribidan to launch our assault on the besieged position.
Enemy engaged after the jump Continue reading →
After last week’s Debacle at Senuzgda, it was necessary to take a trip around the world on a quest for personal growth. Without gaining valuable combat and weapon experience, I was not going to be able to fulfill my goals, as my capture and subsequent imprisonment had made painfully clear. My ultimate goal is to become either a lord with some land directly to my name or the wife of a lord who already possesses land, which would allow me to use his domain as my own.
First, though, I need to get in the good graces of the kingdom. That means doing work for Rhodok lords.
After the jump: oh joy. Continue reading →
Sometimes, a plan comes together. I love it when that happens.
That did not happen this time.
After the jump, Alice goes to jail Continue reading →
If you give a peasant a loaf of bread, he’ll eat for a day. If you teach a peasant to fight, he’ll beat the hell out of the brigands that harass his village every week and take their bread instead. We’ve been asked by the village elder of Sarimish to instruct his villagers in the noble, timeless art of bandit slaughter. Judging from the trail of bodies we left in our wake traveling here from Jelkala, we are more than qualified to serve as instructors, but we need to make a supply run first.
After the jump, the juggernaut steams ahead. Continue reading →
Typically, the early part of a character’s career in Mount and Blade is spent building up. Since you start with little more than the clothes on your back, a weapon, a horse and a small amount of gold, it’s important to start earning money, gaining renown and honor, getting better equipment, building a small army and currying the favor of the lords of the realm. Exploration is encouraged so that one can see the various realms they can potentially join later in the game, and to gradually learn the locations of important cities and potential battlegrounds.
However, I already know exactly who I want to work for, and he just showed up right outside the capital.
After the jump: just another one of the guys Continue reading →
The best and most obvious way to get a head start on ingratiating yourself with a particular faction is to start there. Warband lets you begin the game in one of the six faction capitals, where you get to experience a short set of tutorial quests. These are optional beyond killing the first bandit that attacks you, but they offer an opportunity for a little bit of coin and reputation with minimal risk. After being set upon by a bandit in the streets of Jelkala, the fief of King Graveth of the Rhodoks, we are taken in by a merchant who explains that these same bandits have been plaguing the town. Furthermore, they have kidnapped this man’s brother and are holding him in an unknown location. The merchant offers some gold for me to recruit a small militia, hunt down the bandits and free his brother.
After the jump: what’s a warband without cannon fodder? Continue reading →
After the disappointing With Fire and Sword, I went back to Warband, the previous expansion for Mount and Blade. With the benefit of a fair amount of patching, it is devoid of any crippling issues and one of my favorite games in the recent past. It was only last week that I realized I had a way to write about Warband in a relatively fresh manner.
I could create a female character.
After the jump, the fairer sex Continue reading →
After laying into With Fire & Sword yesterday, I found myself contemplating why I did not want to continue with the game. It’s Mount & Blade with guns. The gimmick works for Bethesda, so why doesn’t it work for Taleworlds? Unfortunately, it takes a lot more than simply having a bunch of good ideas to make a good game. You need to actually execute on those ideas and make them work within the framework you have set for yourself.
After the jump, one pace forward, ten paces back. Continue reading →
Mount and Blade is the latest open-world, medieval action RPG by Turkish developer Taleworlds Interactive. What started out as a small independent project eventually swelled into a retail release; and then a pseudo-sequel subtitled Warband; and now With Fire and Sword. a reimagining of the Mount and Blade formula in a largely historical version of Eastern Europe in the mid-1600s. Upon hearing about With Fire and Sword, I prepared to dive into this new world by reinstalling Warband and logging a dozen hours over the last few weeks.
With Fire and Sword adds gunpowder weaponry as a departure from the franchise’s stereotypical medieval warfare. So I created a combat-oriented character, Johann Bodewig, and decked him out in some rather fashionable musketeer attire as seen above. I then launched myself into a changed world.
The question, however, is if this change is good.
After the jump, fire can’t solve every problem Continue reading →