PC Gamer
PC Gamer

The Mount & Blade: Warband Viking Conquest Reforged Edition is a "monumental update" to last year's DLC release that incorporates a number of new features including "The Last Tuatha De Danann", an all-new story set in the dark, mysterious fantasy realm known as Ireland.

A full breakdown of what's included in the Reforged Edition is up on the TaleWorlds website, with high points including the Hofs of the Nordic Gods, where players can recruit powerful but unpredictable Berserker troops; a faithful canine companion; "Labour mini-games," in which you give up all that raping and the pillaging in favor of an honest day's work in a quarry or on the farm; new quests, events, and items; an Ambush System; and significant changes to multiplayer. 

"We are very excited to be releasing Viking Conquest Reforged Edition today as a service to our players and fans!" TaleWorlds said. "Our friends and developers of the DLC, Brytenwalda, have been hard at work over the past few months creating this monumental update."

The Viking Conquest expansion, originally announced in October 2014, adds a single-player campaign to the game featuring, as you might have guessed, Vikings and conquest. I haven't played Mount & Blade: Warband myself, but Phil makes me think that I should: He said in November that while it's not the best-looking game ever, "it's an absolutely brilliant RPG-cum-strategy—filled with a multitude of freeform, sandbox options." The Mount & Blade: Warband Viking Conquest Reforged Edition is out now.

PC Gamer
PC Gamer

Mount & Blade Warband is not a beautiful game. Its graphicsability is low. It is, to borrow from the teachings of Daphne & Celeste, without an alibi. On the plus side, it can run on pretty much any recent system without dropping to a single-digit FPS, or refusing to load faces. So, you know, there's that.

Despite its looks, it's an absolutely brilliant RPG-cum-strategy—filled with a multitude of freeform, sandbox options. And now it's getting a Viking expansion, courtesy of the creators of the popular Brytenwalda mod.

Here, then, is a new trailer for that expansion, which is due out "soon". Check that sweet boat tech!

PC Gamer

Nope, don't worry, you haven't slipped back through a time portal to four years ago. Or, at least, if you have, it isn't because of this news. The 2010 strategy RPG Mount & Blade: Warband is getting another DLC expansion. Viking Conquest is set around Britain, Norway and Denmark, and features a single-player storyline, the traditional sandbox mode and new multiplayer game types.

If you're worried that this will further extend the agonising wait until the release of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlords, rest easy. The DLC is being tackled by the makers of M&B: Warband's superb Brytenwalda mod—leaving TaleWorlds to continue working away at the sequel.

The expansion will be releasing into early access "soon". There's little in the way of additional details, but you can see some seafaring screenshots below.

PC Gamer
Mount and Blade Bannerlords

Mount and Blade 2 was announced way back in 2012, and since then developers TaleWorlds have been quieter than a medieval village hoping to escape the attention of a meddling local lord. We've had a few screenshots and devblogs since then, but here's some lovely video of the RPG/strategy/medieval battling game, showing the environments and powerful editing tools, and abusing the instrument known as the pan pipe.

Now that is one impressive editor, letting players adjust the terrain, weather, textures and scripting when creating their own environments for mods. I can see why Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlords is taking TaleWorlds so long: technically, they seem to have come on leaps and bounds since With Fire and Sword, their last Mount and Blade game.

A previous devblog explored Bannerlords' factions, revealing that they're "now divided into clans, who have their own priorities and rivalries. Lords' personalities have more variety. One new feature that we hope will add a lot of color is minor factions: outlaws and mercenaries based on historical or legendary bands like the Jomsvikings or the Fianna of Ireland. But the outer kingdoms the ones whom imperial citizens would call 'barbarians' should still retain that sandbox feel".

Back in May, TaleWorlds detailed their new facial animation system, which you can read about here.

Thanks, NeoGAF.
PC Gamer
The best RPGs of all time
PC Gamer
Mount and Blade

Hold position troops! Before you go charging towards Mount and Blade: Warband's Steam page, at least finish this paragraph. The mostly excellent, somewhat rough-around-the-edges RPG is now free to try until Sunday, 1pm PDT. And for those intent on conquering its brand of questing, troop-management and tactical battling, the game is 75% off until Monday.

In addition, the game now offers Steam Workshop support hopefully meaning its wealth of great mods will soon be available for easier install. It's still early days, though, so for now we'll have to settle for ponies.

Warband is arguably the best of the Mount & Blade series so far. It's much improved over the original game, and also purer and less problematic than the With Fire and Sword semi-sequel. If you've not tried the series before, this really is the best place to jump on board.

Okay, all done. Now go pillage, brave warriors.
PC Gamer

After a good start yesterday, day two of Steam s dozen-day Summer Sale isn t necessarily obliterating our minds with savings, but there s still some great values available today or through shorter-term flash sales. Within, find our picks for the best current deals on Steam. Don t forget that GOG is having a summer sale of its own, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - Ikaruga
50% off: $4.99 / 3.49 Steam store page | Note: May be reduced further in a Flash sale
50% may not be a huge discount, but one of the best SHMUPS of all time is worth every penny. Unlike most bullet hell shooters, Ikaruga's polarity-switching gameplay gives you the power to absorb some bullets while dodging others. At first, switching from white to black and back to stay alive just seems cool. Once you discover how the polarity system plays into scoring, you realize how deep and intimidating and brilliant it really is. Ikaruga's developer Treasure has been mostly dormant for the past few years, and this is their first-ever port to the PC. Back in January, the developer said it was mulling a new game for Steam. The more successful Ikaruga is on PC, the more likely that is to happen.

4 - Amnesia Collection
80% off: $6.99 / 4.79 - Steam store page
The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs, conveniently bundled into one cheap night terror. We loved both of them. Unlike horror games which arm you with evil-defeating ghost bullets, Amnesia is about being hunted: running, hiding, being disgustingly terrified by a sound effect. What Amnesia gets more than other survival horror games is that the things you can imagine are far more horrifying than anything it can show you on the screen. Even so, it ll show you some damn nasty stuff.

2 - The Walking Dead: Season 2
50% off: $12.49 / 9.49 - Steam store page
Putting players into Clementine's tiny shoes in season two of The Walking Dead was a gamble. In the first season, Lee was a grown-up, with the strength to fight walkers and the authority to make big decisions. How would that translate to playing a young girl? While episode one was a step down in quality, episode two was one of the best episodes Telltale has ever created. It proved that players can still make tough decisions as Clementine, and the season has mostly made her a believable protagonist. She can seem a little too grown up now and then, but the season is both gripping and heartbreaking so far. $2.50 per episode is a fantastic price.

2 - Prison Architect
66% off: $10.19 / 6.79 - Steam store page
Introversion s security sim is an interesting confluence of capitalism, architecture, management, and morality. The theme puts multiple, often contradicting goals before you: prisoner safety, spatial efficiency, prisoner well-being, making a profit, and making sure your prison is totally secure. Building a space that supports these goals is a fascinating exercise.

1 - Mount & Blade Collection
80% off: $6.99 / 4.99 - Steam store page | Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST
It won t make your GPU sweat, but Taleworlds medieval sandbox action-RPG is one of our favorite open-ended experiences on PC. M&B s go anywhere, pillage anything approach to the genre is unlike anything else: a dynamic world populated by dozens of lords and dukes serving multiple factions, each roaming the same massive medieval landscape as you. Steal from farmers. Get married. Siege a castle. The combat is clumsy at times, but we love loosing arrows packs of bandits. Warband is what you should play, but this collection is a ticket to the ridiculous Star Wars Conquest mod for the original Mount & Blade.

Other great deals today
Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further.

Retro/Grade (90% off) $0.99 / 0.69
Deponia (90% off) $1.99 / 1.59
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition (75% off) $7.49 / 6.24
Cloudbuilt (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74
Euro Truck Simulator 2 Collector's Bundle (75% off) $9.99 / 7.49
Defense Grid: The Awakening (75% off) $2.49 / 1.74
Devil May Cry 4 (75% off) $4.99 / 3.49
Unity of Command Trilogy Bundle (70% off) $8.99 / 6.89
Bit.Trip.Runner Franchise Pack (65% off) $5.94 / 4.54
Don't Starve + Reign of Giants DLC (60% off) $7.59 / 5.59
PC Gamer

Years in the making, Warsword Conquest is finally playable in beta: a full conversion mod for Mount and Blade: Warband that transforms the game into a world based on Warhammer fantasy. There are thirteen different factions to join, including the rat-like Skaven, the scaly Lizardmen, Chaos, pirates, and of course, dwarves, elves, and orcs. But screw all of those, because you can play as a skeleton. Don't you want to play as a skeleton? I'm gonna play as a skeleton.

Yep, you can even customize your skullface (a bit).

With so many factions and races from Warhammer Fantasy in the mod, I'd rather not pledge my allegiance to a single one and miss out on seeing most of the others. I decide to play as a freelance skeleton, lending my services here and there but not getting too attached to anyone in particular. I begin by joining up with the goblins of The Badlands. They're so short that when I speak to them their heads are barely visible in the conversation window. However, they're happy to hire an inexperienced skeleton (named Murray, of course) into their ranks. It's awesome to run into battle alongside trolls and spider-riding goblins, and we make a mess out of several groups of dwarves we run into.

Spiders, trolls, and dwarves oh my (lord it's a huge bloody mess)

I eventually decide to retire from the goblin army (my commander is very understanding) and visit my homeland, the Tomb Kings Empire. High King Settra is happy to employ me, and while I'm not at all xenophobic, it is rather nice to be surrounded by my fellow undead, and particularly nice to be given armor and weapons suitable for my flesh-free body (the goblin gear didn't work for my bony bod). Also cool: when we go to battle, our cavalry rides skeletal horses and giant undead snakes.

The creaking of bones is like music to my ears. Well, ear-holes.

As much as I love going to war alongside my skeletal brethren, I eventually decide to move on (once I can afford my own necroserpent to ride), so I recruit a small force of skeletons from the local taverns (why do skeletons hang out in taverns?) and we move through the Pirate Kingdom and head into elf country. Along the way I stop in various towns and taverns, and soon I've got a motley crew of followers, including a couple of swabbies, a half-dozen men from the Alcatani Fellowship, and even a few Skaven slaves.

My posse is gettin' weird, and that's just how I like it.

Of course, no matter how much progress you make in a Mount & Blade game, it can all be suddenly and horribly lost, such as when my weirdly fearsome crew runs into something just plain fearsome: some Norse raiders. It's not that a bunch of bearded jerks are so imposing, it's just that this crew has some hired ogres on their side, and the massive, hammer-wielding merc-monsters wade through my ranks, clubbing us all into bonemeal. I didn't even know you could hire ogres. I'm definitely going to need to hire some ogres.

Oh, elves. You're just all so... grand.

I need cash to hire a new crew, so I throw in with an Elven army for a bit. Normally, I find elves a bit snooty, but I have to admit, charging into battle alongside them, with their gleaming armor and white horses and colorful banners... okay, I get why elves are so revered. Also, props to them for letting a skeleton join them, no questions asked. Not a lot of elves would do that.

Eventually, I make enough cash to head out on my own again. I meet a skeleton lord (in a pub, of course), I hire a small collection of Lizardmen, and while I can't find any ogres to fight for me, I do find some Gorols, who are so tall that when I speak to one, only his crotch appears in the dialogue pane. They're not ogres, but hopefully they'll pack a wallop, and I'm happy to once again be in charge of a crew of violent misfit monsters.

Gorillas and lizards! Hopefully the opposing army will be too confused to fight back.

By now I've worked my way through the Skaven Kingdom and I'm as far north as I can go, in Dark Elf country. I've added a Waywatcher to my crew, along with some merc leadbelchers (ogres at last!) and a few Dark Elf recruits. We win battles, capture prisoners, and sell enough of them to buy a boat. We even chase down some undead pirates, but considering Murray was an undead pirate in another life, I feel like I should let them go.


Eventually, we make our way to the Realm of Chaos, which is actually pretty organized, what with the castles and towns and hierarchies and people unwilling let some skeleton marry their daughter without knowing him better. At least they dress interestingly!

I'm a skeleton so I show a lot of crack, too. But that's a lot of crack.

It's been a long journey and Murray is ready for some steady work, and the Chaos Realm is as good a place as any. I join the Chaos army, though they force me to wear their armor, which sort of takes away my skeleton-ness. Still, a job is a job.

I appreciate the flesh and muscle, but I've been doing okay with just the bones.

When I last left Murray, he was gaining influence in the Realm of Chaos, he'd bought and opened a mill, and was hoping to woo and marry Chaos Lady Timethi. Hey, every swinging bachelor skeleton has got to settle down someday.

Installation: Warsword Conquest is still in beta, so look for future updates. It can be downloaded here along with a hotfix, and all you need to do is locate your Warband folder, and extract the files into the Modules folder. Extract the hotfix on top of those files, and then activate the module when you begin playing Warband. It's also on moddb.

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