Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord Early Access Is Now Out – How Is The Game Shaping Up To Fans After 8 Years Of Waiting?

Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord Early Access Is Now Out – How Is The Game Shaping Up To Fans After 8 Years Of Waiting?
Credit: TaleWorlds via YouTube

Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is now available for Early Access release, as well as discounts of 10% and a further 10% for those who already own a Mount and Blade title. As with all Early Access titles, there have been some early reports of minor crashes and errors, but overall it looks like the game is essentially a very polished version of Warband.

Steam reviews are positive, and from personal experience, the game runs smoothly with few errors. Once or twice you see the inside of your eyeballs when entering a battle, and I’m yet to have entered into the more complex parts of the game new to the franchise (economy management and large, large scale battles.)

For those familiar with the Mount and Blade universe, the game presents itself in a way you’ll understand. The map is updated with new areas to explore, and the graphics have been enhanced to bring a bit more atmosphere. However, the mechanics are very much like Warband – if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. You can fast forward now with a press of a button, rather than tapping Ctrl – Space. Nice.

On the battlefield, things are familiar but different. The combat, animations and atmosphere are all much more refined than Warband, with voice lines adding depth to the combat and the music is perfectly scored. It might take you a while getting used to the new combat mechanics, as the targeting has been changed from Warband. It definitely feels more difficult that Warband, but that could be because of the new mechanics.

From my early experience with questing, tournaments and building an army, everything feels much more involved. Completing quests will often boost your relations with one person while decreasing it with another. Managing your relations seems important, much like you might find in one of the Warband mods. Tournaments are harder – the enemies will destroy you in the early game.

In terms of game performance, it has to be remembered that this is an early access game. The devs have been proactive in responding to players online who’ve had an issue with crashes and bugs, stating that there have been some problems with those who had previously downloaded the multiplayer beta.

Others have noted some issues with performance on certain rigs that match the recommended specs. The devs have communicated through Steam reviews that they are looking into the issues. Overall, Bannerlord seems like the perfect expansion of the original Warband world, with much more added to its elaborate world. Worth picking up and trying if you’re a fan of the series or new to the hype.