Bannerlord (Early acess)
A tale of Three Empires
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, is a game developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment. It is a game I have been actively following for at least 4 years as I thoroughly enjoyed the first game Mount and Blade and its expansion packs Warband, with fire and sword, Napoleonic wars and Viking conquest. At E3, I did my best to cover the game for the Radio station as I was given behind the scenes access and preview to Bannerlord.
Developers stated that Bannerlord was the game that they “wanted the initial Mount & Blade to be but lacked the knowledge the at the time”. This clearly shows with Bannerlord, even being in its roughly early state, already having several upgrades such as the menu system allowing you to quickly and easy compare weapons, upgrades to your party and allowing you to clearly see how many companions and units you field. The series has also undergone a visual overhaul that, while in large scale 500 v 500 battles can become slowed down, is amazing to see, as it shows how far the game has come from its roots. Even the story has been changed, with the game setting being in a late Roman era (think crisis of the Third Century) with this being reflected in the weapons and armors deviating from that of the first Mount & Blade.
Fear the butterlord
For those unaware of the game’s premise, you start out as a nobody in a low fantasy (as in magic, or elfs or wizard etc.) With the end goal being to have your own kingdom aka a Bannerlord. At least that was my end goal, as often with these games it’s very up to you, there are some people I know who simply aim to have the most gold and become merchant kings, selling butter or goods. Others such as myself aim for a good fight and focus on making the most powerful mercenaries Warband. The game is very open ended and very much a sandbox approach, however, something of note is that Bannerlord seems to be willing to have a story present allowing you to follow the main quest. Additionally, at the time of writing, the only way you can become a legitimate kingdom is to reach a certain point in the story and create a mythical banner allowing you to become the “Bannerlord.”
New kid on the block
I must say at the time of writing the game is still very early access. There are some odd audio and visual glitches, with several crashes occurring at random times and the game having severe load time with regards sieges. Despite this, I still think the game state is amazing and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Given the several upgrades to battles, sieges and even the combat mechanics are much more streamlined than in the original games.
It’s almost harvesting season
In summary, the game was a great deal of fun to play. I aim to continue playing after this review is done and submitted. TaleWorlds Entertainment, seem to have made a good solid foundation but that requires a lot of tweaking and polish. The game is still in a much better state than I expected, given it was released on Steam as early access. I am super excited to see how it develops and grows, with hope, it matches my expectations when it leaves the early access state.
Score: N/A as the game is still in early access and so would be unfair to give a score at this time.
Thumbs up, would still highly recommend.