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No. of Recommendations: 1
Whew, wow, oooohhhh.

Let's just say that it released Monday and I haven't had to work much this week. What, oh what, would I fill my time with?

A few friends got it at the same time and we tried the multiplayer. We did one siege which was great fun but very hard for the attackers. Then we found CAPTAIN mode. In this mode you command a group of fighters you get to choose from at the beginning. There are 5-6 players per side and you try to control three flags. Each round you can choose from light infantry, heavy infantry, archers and horsemen. The more powerful the unit the less of them you actually get. Strategy and coordination are critical. One time we were down 2-0 then switched our strategy and won the next three rounds. Great fun. It's our go-to for multiplayer now.

Then I got serious about single player. The basic game looks so similar except obviously the graphics are majorly updated. Then you notice the details. Oh man, the details. They are delicious! When you join a faction you work on gaining INFLUENCE. It's a great system and you use it judiciously. I took a castle yesterday and wanted it because it was near my other castle. Used most of my influence with the leader and got the castle. Perfect! Inventory has been changed. I think I have more pack horses than people in my retinue.

There are a few AI issues in siege battles but it's generally okay elsewhere. This IS an early access release...

Oh, right... a very interesting new system is how you influence NPC lords. I think it's almost too easy at times or maybe my character is really good at it. But I've convinced a lord in a superior army to abandon a siege and then turn on his compatriots in the sieging army. I joined him! Great fun. You should gain influence with your liege lord doing this but I don't see that happening (yet).

Finally, before I boot up the game today, there is NOTHING more satisfying that dropping a rock on an enemy pounding on your gates. Well, except maybe dropping a pot of flaming oil on the same folks!!!

Great fun. Enjoy!

Simon
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