The original Mount & Blade wasn’t a huge success as a debut RPG title out the gates of newly formed Turkish game developer, TaleWorlds Entertainment; it was the standalone expansion, Warband, that really got people playing and critics taking the game seriously. Fast forward to 2018 and we’re still waiting for the sequel, a full seven years after it was announced.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord was announced for PC in 2012, which many claim to be an overstep by the developer, not realizing just how much of a task this sequel would be. The engine was being rewritten during development to better support multiplayer and a steady stream of interviews and updates over recent months has done little to maintain hype as we move into 2019.
For such a large game like Bannerlord, five — not so long ago. We have made fundamental changes in the technology and architecture of the project. It is much more difficult than just adding textures and animations in the finished Warband. We have completely rewritten from scratch game engine, and added a special system, which task will be balancing the gameplay.
What made so many gamers eager for more is how the original title allows one to start from very little and progress up the ladder to become the head of state or a captain of an entire regiment. How you wish to approach the massive open world is entirely down to your personal goals and preferences and how your in-game character is formed. Trade your way up to greatness or struggle in endless warfare? The choice is there for the making.
I too was hyped for the announcement, but I’m also a realist. Do I reckon the game will be out before Star Citizen? Probably. There’s also the chance the developer hits the same hurdle as Chris Roberts and his team: feature creep. Even to this very day, members of the Mount & Blade community continue to pour in requests, suggestions and calls for improvements. After seeing some of the latest footage, it’s clear to see solid foundations are already laid down, the developers just need to finalize everything.
It’s great to see how satirical the Mount & Blade community is when it comes to the sequel too. Just checking some of the game play videos of the second installment leaves you giggling at the monitor. Some of my personal favorites include “Mount & Wait 2,” “Mount & Blade 3 might be released before banner lord,” “I pre-ordered it for my unborn baby boy to play this with his kids,” and “I thought I saw 2018 but it turns out to be 2081.“ Brilliant.
Footage looks to be an improved version of the original game, which is primarily what the community hoped for after the sequel was announced. The game play is already there, all TaleWorlds Entertainment needs to do is make it all look pretty enough for 2019 — or whenever the game is eventually released — and allow me to sink yet another couple hundred hours into one of the better role-playing experiences around.
Thankfully, we can all expect to see mods be rolled out as soon as the incredibly talented community get their hands on the game code. Interested in following the developments of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord? Check out the game on Steam.