- it introduced new features such as real history and people, storyline, firearms and grenades,
- XVII century Renesaince rarely depicted in games but well known to us from Three Musketeers and Alatriste,
- game adaptation of my favourite novels by Henryk Sienkiewicz.
But in spite of my initial enthusiasm, playng With Fire&Sword was by far more difficult than expected for several reasons. After 5 years of playing original Mount&Blade, I have got accustomed to its features:
- strong armors,
- ubiquitous shields,
- weak or slow ranged weapons,
- unstopable cavalry,
- upgradable units,
- balanced Factions .
To my consternation (as a "veteran" player!) With Fire&Sword turned all of this learned and accustomed conventions upside down:
- most units wore no armor to speak of,
- almost no one used shields (or even parry daggers, which would be historicaly accurate),
- powerful and ubiquitous firearms (even with Looters!) with one-shot kill,
- weak and unarmored horses that die rather easily,
- non-upgradable (in traditional Mount&Blade sense!) units,
- strangely balanced units with no understandable troop-tree: unstopable musketeers, weak cavalry and nearly useless melee infantry,
- less than balanced Nations (Cossack Hetmanate : no heavy cavalry, no heavy infantry and no armors to speak of-all in one!).
All that said, this game has an unlimited potential, and more I played, more I was surprised with its diversity, historical setting, storyline and replayability. Every recomendation for new players with one notion: expect a complete new game more than simple expansion of Mount&Blade .