Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

released on Mar 30, 2020

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is the eagerly awaited sequel to the acclaimed medieval combat simulator and role-playing game Mount & Blade: Warband. Set 200 years before, it expands both the detailed fighting system and the world of Calradia. Bombard mountain fastnesses with siege engines, establish secret criminal empires in the back alleys of cities, or charge into the thick of chaotic battles in your quest for power.

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Very good, but still janky in a lot of places. I dream of a day that I feel that I can trust the AI of my fellow lord's whose army I am in and they can't seem to fuckind decide if they want to besiege an enemy castle or defend my city so they just go back and forth until the army cohesion erodes.

I can see the potential but it was not fun to play with a controller.

TL;DR: IMO, the game adds so little meaningful change to Warband and those changes also made the game more grindy and greatly limited options for different playstyles. (Basically you almost always need to be a general who commands massive armies to survive).
Warband is still one of my favorite games ever, and Bannerlord should be even better than that in theory, right? However, other than a few improvements in certain areas, the game felt very shallow and restricted to me, even when compared to Native Warband. Or maybe my issue is not its lack of content, but rather the minimal amount of NEW content, after 8 years of development and 2 years of early access. Or maybe because of Warband mods I had much higher expectations. Anyways, I'll try to compare Native Warband with Native Bannerlord.
First things first. new combat feels weighty, and realistic, which at first I really liked, but later on kind of felt a bit slow (say, to survive a group of attackers for example). Nevertheless, it's still very much enjoyable, and new, bigger battles or sieges are the greatest improvements in my opinion. Graphics are much better, though I usually don't care about it (Warband still looks charming to me, but I accept it might be because of nostalgia). Cities are now more detailed, which is fine for the spectacle, but there's nothing to do (which was also the case for Warband, so nothing changed). Siege weapons add more opportunities in sieges rather than just climbing a single stair and trying to enter the castle, which is another good addition. New clan system, and the ability to continue playing with your child is cool, but honestly I never played that much in a single save.
However, other than these mentioned additions, everyhing else is either the same with Warband or limited or simply lacking. For example, tournaments are much less profitable, and it doesn't allow you to "join the feast in the castle" after winning. The problem isn't the lack of feasts, mind you, it is how limited accessing to quests are in early game, because you cannot take any quest from the lords at all unless you join their faction (for which you need to grind). And quests are absolutely necessary in the early game to make money, since tournament betting isn't as profitable as in Warband. So, you go to the village elders or city merchants, who just give you the same 2 or 3 missions over and over. I know I compared Bannerlord with Warband a lot, but I'm 99% sure it had more quests.
I'm also not a huge fan of the new skill system. Let me describe my problem with examples. It may be more realistic, but because the new combat system makes it very hard to survive all by yourself with your combat skills, you need men, but it has a limit. That's normal, but what makes the game more grindier is that to increase your capacity to lead more men, you need to constantly make them happy, upgrade them, and have as many of them as possible. So you need to constantly fight, which becomes almost impossible after some point if you didn't join a faction because you'll move slowly while the bandits and/or caravans run away from you at light speed. If you choose to raid a few villages instead, first you'll fight militia, then you begin raiding. This is good at first, you see, it gives you a chance to improve you and your soldiers' abilities. However, after the raiding phase begins, a massive army may or may not begin marching towards you which is also normal of course, you're attacking their village. But the problem arises from the result of this: If an army is approaching you and you don't have either the equal amount of soldiers or a medium amount of fully upgraded-high quality men, you need to run away, which means the reward for raiding is 2-3 grain sacks. If there's no army comin towards you, then you finish raiding, what's the reward then? 30 grain sacks. You see, unlike Warband, raiding (at least in my experience) isn't profitable at all, and if you do decide to fight, unless you're in mid-lategame you're fucked, so why bother? Just join a faction, conquer some lands and with their taxes to build a new army to conquer even more lands. I think Taleworlds focused so much on the conquest aspect of their game, they just didn't bother with anything else. Yes, of course it is fun trying to conquer the world, I have no problem with that, but why does every playthrough need to be like that if I want to survive?
All in all, for me, the game (while still enjoyable) got much more grindy, and the new realistic approach to some of its core mechanics (suh as combat or quest system) actually limited the freedom of gameplay. There are many issues I haven't mentioned like barebones diplomacy or uninteresting, soulless companions (also I could say unkept promises, but that is common in the industry nowadays tbh) however, perhaps the biggest one is: Why didn't they incorporate some of the mechanics in their previous game and its DLCs? How hard would it be to add sea travel, or basically other new mechanics added to Warband in Viking Conquest? Or why does the map have huge empty TRAVERSABLE areas? Granted, it may be because of economic crisis in Turkey so they may not have the budget necessary etc. However, now Bannerlord sold like crazy, I geniunely hope they make the game much more fleshed out, because otherwise there are just very few reasons to play it rather than Warband. Also there are not many mods currently, though hopefully that will change soon.

Every time I load the game up I think it’ll be for just an hour or two… and it ends up being nearly ten. I can’t stop. Help.

Super fun sauf quand tu te retrouve en guerre contre un royaume entier alors que t'as que 30 sdf dans ton équipe (j'ai du y aller un peu fort)