Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Review, Is it better than its predecessor’s Warband?

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Review, Is it better than its predecessor’s Warband? With incredibly in-depth tactical action-RPG gameplay.

The previous game in the series, Mount & Blade Warband has some incredibly in-depth tactical action-RPG gameplay where players command units into battle while fighting alongside them.

The Mount & Blade series is also known for how in-depth the game’s simulation aspects get, such as with Bannerlord simulating local economies for various towns. While many long-time fans recommended sticking with Warband back in 2020, the last two years have brought some solid updates for Bannerlord.

Mount and Blade Bannerlord

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlords Overview

To start out, players should know that Bannerlord is still an early access game that’s in active development.

Tale Worlds Entertainment has been putting out frequent updates to patch bugs, rebalance certain game mechanics and add new content.

There’s generally enough content currently in Bannerlord to justify the price they set. That being said, the main issue, as of the latest e1.7.0 version of Bannerlord is that Warband offers a more consistent and polished experience.

Plenty of long-time Mount & Blade fans are suggesting that Warband is the better option for now. The fact that Warband is cheaper is just another reason why people looking to get into the series should consider purchasing it instead of Bannerlord until full release.

It also gives players a chance to understand how the game works and how to play so that when and if you decide to purchase Bannerlord you have a rudimentary idea of what to do and how to advance in the game. That isn’t to say that Bannerlord doesn’t stand out from its predecessor.

When it comes to graphics, Warband really doesn’t compare to just how stunning the world looks on foot and the high-res textures of Bannerlord. Even if there are some graphical glitches or obvious texture pop-in at times, Bannerlord clearly shows how much graphical progress has been made since 2010.

Combat, Diplomacy and Economic Structure

However, Bannerlord and Warband aren’t games people only buy for the graphics but for the combat, diplomacy and the economic structure not to mention Bannerlord has a skill tree for your character which there is full customization for.

You could carry on your lineage by getting married and having children as your character ages and will eventually die.

That is some of the main selling points and there’s certainly something to be said about Bannerlord’s improvements in that department especially with the tactics behind every battle and the fact that you can now build siege weapons such as trebuchets when you attempt to take over castles and main cities.

There is even settlement and kingdom management on top of inventory and party management as well.

One-on-one engagements feel much smoother thanks to the enemy AI and the motion-captured animations. The massive army versus army engagements that the series is known for is just as solid as ever, although fans have expressed issues with Bannerlord’s new city sieges. 

Bannerlord's AI issues and its improvements

Mount and Blade Bannerlord

The AI in these fights have always been a point of criticism and while there have been areas of improvement, problems persist.

Army AI will often clog doorways and ladders, making it incredibly difficult to actually get inside the city during a siege.

Another big criticism from back when Bannerlord was released was performance. Part of Mount & Blade’s appeal is being able to not just watch massive battles between two huge armies but to actually take part in them if you wish to do so.

That’s not something a lot of games let players do so when Bannerlord’s performance during huge battles was worse than its predecessor’s a lot of players had an issue with that.

Two years later it appears as though these performance concerns have mostly been addressed. Most massive battles seem to run without issue on machines that can handle them and although the FPS does occasionally drop, it’s never to the point where a war with hundreds of troops on the battlefield causes your pc to freeze or crash the game.

Bannerlord’s nature as an Early Access game means performance will differ between patches and I fully believe that the game is well on its way to being better than Warband in many ways.

Conclusion

For those looking to get into the Mount & Blade series for the first time, Bannerlord isn’t a terrible place to start. It’s by far the more modern game in the series when it comes to mechanics and tactics.

If commanding massive armies in a medieval sandbox that allows players a huge amount of freedom sounds fun then Mount & Blade II Bannerlord is definitely worth checking out in 2022.

Players who were disappointed with Bannerlord on release should take another look at the game. It’s not perfect yet but it’s in a much better state now than it was on first release.

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3 Comments

  1. Nice in depth article that would make any first time player of mount and blade seriously consider playing the game for the first time.

  2. Hey thanks for that review, been thinking of buying this game for some time now but want too sure. I love the amount & Blade series.
    Great work and keep it up!

  3. Nice in deph review, can see you really put your all in this review.

    Hope to see more reviews soon 🙂

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