I've been gaming for 30+ years and over that time I've played a lot of games. From my experience, Mount & Blade offers a unique gaming experience. Not quite like anything else I've ever played. There are some similarities to familiar games, such as shades of the Total War series, but stark enough differences that they really cannot be compared. Mount & Blade in my opinion is fairly easy to learn, but does take some skill with action type fighting to be mastered. If you enjoy strategy games with a turn based feel, mixed with real time combat, in a non-linear world; then Mount & Blade may just well be your cup of tea.
I was looking for a somewhat decent strategy game that would run on my gutless business laptop and I have to say I was not expecting as good of a game as it turned out to truly be. It's got enough meat in the vanilla campaign to keep most people busy for at least 100 hours I would speculate, though I personally have already invested 200 hours into my first vanilla campaign and can see it dragging out another 100-200 easily.
Beyond the vanilla game, there are apparently many mods made for this game as well. Some appear to be quite promising and I will surely be giving at least a few a spin. All in all I would highly recommend this game. I bought it on sale and was skepticle, but having now played it, I would have paid the full price and not felt shorted in any way. Well worth the money imho.
+ Very low system requirements - should run well on most machines.
+ Time consuming single player campaign (I'm not interested in a game if it can be beaten in less then 48 hours of actual gameplay).
+ Easy to learn, yet unique combat system that is both fun and requires skill to master.
+ High replayability due to massive amount of community mods available.
- AI is not the greatest and can be stomped fight after fight once you learn it's flaws. I'm talking I have decimated a larger opposing army almost by myself. Siege AI is almost worse, you can take any city with 10 men once you have learned their flaws. They don't fare any better trying to take a city from you either. 10 men could hold off thousands if you know what you're doing.
OVERALL 9/10 AND I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND TO ANY TRUE STRATEGY FAN.