Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, although it still doesn’t have a disclosed launch date, has been seeing a lot of content showcases in which we can gawk at the marvelous improvements when comparing it to the previous title.
Throughout this article, I will go over some features that are notably better and base some of my choices on the video below.
World Map Improvements:
Let’s focus on the world map. We did get a look at the way in which the world map may look like when the title hits its launch date, while it only appeared in glimpses through the video. The old familiar font above camps and towns stays, but apart from this, everything seems much more comprehensive. Now the map’s brimming with life and trees look more realistic. The rivers resemble water too; in Bannerlord, it seems like it might function as the liquid it asserts to be in opposition to the solid substance in the first game where water was surprisingly angular and looked like paint.
Although the cartoons for moving across the map still look a bit wonky, the character models will also be refurbished.
This is still in development, so some assets are still prone to be changed.
Character Faces and Creation:
The character creation element looks significantly improved upon by all reports. In the previous Mount & Blade games, players picked from a collection of really horrendous faces and hairdos and there was some (but not much) flexibility in making your character look unique.
Now, there are numerous customization sliders, offering much independence in creating a character.
Among the features that are new is the fact that these news characters will perform facial expressions, meaning characters will be able to react and reveal emotion.
The previous title had stocky ugly faces, so this is definitely a huge improvement. Although we still have lots of questions, we can tell the game is going on the right track.
Bannerlord’s Towns and People:
The in-town game menu is apparently very similar when it comes to choices, so there aren’t new spaces per se, at least in a first look.
Walking around the towns appears to be a lot livelier now, with NPCs actually doing stuff instead of just aimlessly wandering around the streets doing nothing. The devs in the video reference ‘private enterprise’, which sounds like the alternative in Warband to build your own businesses in cities for example blacksmiths and dye-works.
Another new feature demonstrated was crime. Towns have criminals who run parts of the region as their own. Take their place if you see yourself a crime lord and it’s possible for you to select to kill them, or you can plainly clear them out and leave behind some men that are trusted to gain the esteem of the town and its lord.
Combat Mechanics and AI:
Berserking through battle has always been one of Mount & Blade’s greatest strengths, and this does not look like it is shifting.
I noticed a lot of physics improvements on the way dead troops react and even in the way you swing your weapons, as it all looks less clunky.
The AI has also seen a considerable improvement. At one instance in the video, an enemy lord decides to move his troops to higher ground and continue there in response to the larger army – and that’s impressive for an AI.
images © TaleWorlds, footage from PC Gamer Weekender London