So at some point, I said I wasn't going to write about video games in this space, but I'm going to make an exception for Mount & Blade, a game that was pointed out to me by someone on the Black Industries forums. Mount and Blade is the best combination of RPG and combat action that I've played in a long, long time. It's being developed independently, and it gives you an idea of the sorts of games that we might be playing right now if developers were allowed to focus on gameplay and depth, rather than just pushing the envelope on the capacities of hardware graphics acceleration.
The combat sequences are particularly notable. Combat is... is fast paced, at times confusing, and quite deadly. There's something quite satisfying about charging full speed into a pack of footman and striking one down with a single swipe from your sword. Or smacking a galloping knight with an arrow, and watching as he briefly hangs from the stirrups as his horse charges off without him.
Possibly best of all, Mount & Blade is free for the first six levels of character development. After that, you just pay ~18 bucks to the developer if you want to play the full version. The fees fund the ongoing development of the game, so it's well worth it in my opinion.
So much for my free time.