It’s been quite some time since TaleWorlds Entertainment first introduced the world to Mount & Blade. They’ve finally delivered in a sequel with Bannerlord, that not only promises better graphics, refined gameplay, and more of what I personally loved from the original. Did they deliver? Bannerlord still has some bugs, but it a glorious game of being a conquering knight during the medieval age that has me constantly going back for more. This is our Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord review for PC.
Back in 2008, TaleWorlds came out with Mount & Blade. It was a game that gave me the chance to live out my fantasies of being a knight of old as I lead a party of armsmen around the map fighting for my faction. It was great in that you could make it as hard as I wanted to with the melee combat that included parrying and aiming to get the juicy bits of your enemy. But I could also tone it down and concentrate more on leading my army in massive battles that gave a tactical bent on the battle as I could let my archers fly at range while my spear soldiers covered my flanks as my cavalry awaited my orders to charge into the enemy forces. This was one of the things that made Mount & Blade so fun for me, coupled with the in-depth skill system, sieging of enemy castles and trying to slowly climb your way up your factions noble system to become a noble of renown, or just be a mercenary and lay waste to whoever got in your way.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord does a great job of not breaking what was already such a great part of the original game. The skill system has had a few tweaks to it but is still a core thing of if I wanted to get better using bows, then I needed to shoot more people and gain that xp. The combat system is the same as before but feels a bit more refined to me. I remember having some issues before with horseback archery, but it feels smoother now. I am very happy to see that the core things that made Mount & Blade what it was, came through beautifully in Bannerlord.
The biggest update Bannerlord has had is in its graphics. While the original had pretty scenery, it was still blocky at times. But the sequel has blown me away with not only how great the character models are and how well the landscape in general looks; but with how well it performs during some of the more grueling battles. Having 100 NPCs fighting another hundred NPCs can be taxing for a system, but things, for the most part, handled very well and delivered a great experience for me. It was great to sit down and experience all the fun I had had playing the original, but now it had the added bonus of looking great as well.
There have been some little changes here and there to Bannerlord that overall make it better than the original even if I ignored the updated graphics. But there were a few bugs here and there. Castle sieges, in particular, could cause some heavy framerate drop for me and a few other things happened as I was playing. But I’m extremely happy to note how quickly TaleWorlds is putting out updates to Bannerlord and making sure that it gets polished into the gem of a game it is.
It should be noted that there are a fair bit of community mods out for Bannerlord as well. Which is a great thing, because mods are what helped to get Mount & Blade alive for so long with all the various new campaigns or “improvements” people made over time. It’s worth your time to check out what’s available, as there are some that can bring some nice little quality of life changes to the base game.
A game key was given for review purposes.