Product received for free
Let me begin by saying that I hardly take the time to write reviews. Not even on games that I adore heart and soul. This game, however, has forced me to give fair warning to anyone who may be interested, because it can be hard to find clear answers around both the love and hate this game has. I'm no authority, and this is no expert critique, but it is my opinion.
In truth...I liked this game quite a bit. As both a roleplayer, history buff, and all around nerd, the concept of this game instantly had allure. It also didn't help that me and my gaming group are all seasoned veterans of Warband's PW modification, so it was destiny that we would end up playing this game. My friend bought me a copy (#poor) so that I could join them on this game. At the time, I had been on the fence about getting it, as the reviews were mixed and I had heard many bad things. I was convinced because the friends who had been playing had already enjoyed it immensely.
So why can I not recommend this game if I liked it? Well, I have seen many complain about the time it takes to do something worthwhile, or about the combat system. My issue is with none of these, but insteads sits with the developers and overall state of the game itself. When I started playing, the game was a buggy mess, albeit a fun buggy mess. Over half a year later... it's STILL a buggy mess. Furthermore, the game lacked many requested features and felt a bit bare. It is still lacking a vast majority of these features and feels bare. Back when the first of my friends started playing, it might surprise you to learn that the game was actually a bare, buggy mess!
You get the point. The game has issues, but the problem is that so little of those issues are being actively resolved by the developers. To add insult to injury, they have decided to go ahead and release a new game. Clearly, we can see where their time and effort has gone the last year or so...and it wasn't towards this highly unfinished product. They have for a long time planned and talked and announced news towards an MMO, apparently the intended version of this game. Many are excited for this. However, I'm not sure how they can pull of a successful MMO when they have yet to get anywhere near finishing a game that still costs 40$. Now, there is talk (albeit rumors) that they have partnered up with a company that specializes in micro-transactions.
I could go into more detail, but the bottom line is that the progress and work put forth towards this relatively expensive beta (mind you the game is labeled 'fully released') has been nothing but disappointing, and I do not see it getting any better. As we get further and further on, it seems more or less like a cash-grab by the devs, or at the very least a passion that has died down. Really, this is just another case of a larger disease plagueing our recent gaming world, but it unfortunately claimed such a fantastic idea as it's victim.
Save your money: wait for Bannerlord or splurge on CKII DLC. You'll avoid the sadness of a great idea unfinished.