It's 2016, a year of great promise for the gaming community, bringing many exciting new titles: Civilisation 6, Dishonored 2, Overwatch, and of course Mafia III. Slipped in amongst these big names however is the promise of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, a game developed by Taleworlds Studios, which is confirmed to have been in development for the past four years. A prequel to the Critically Acclaimed 2010 game, Mount & Blade: Warband. The Development of Bannerlord has been quite secretive up until now, when this year Taleworlds went to E3 to talk about what features would be included in the upcoming title.
Improved Siege Gameplay
So, what did we see in the siege gameplay of Warband? To be completely honest, not much, Ladders already stacked against the walls, and the occasional siege tower slowly rolling towards the wall as we get hailed with arrows before the real battle can begin when we finally storm the walls.
The Siege mechanics of Bannerlord, are far more in depth from what has been shown in the gameplay footage revealed at E3.
So enough of my rambling, the footage that we have seen promises ballistae mounted upon the walls, of course they are able to be used by the player and by the AI. Battering Rams, swung by the AI (or player) as they attempt to breach the gate. Catapults, That's right, they don't leave you without any way to attack the ballistae before the walls are breached, they take a while to reload, but they are certainly destructive. Ladders, and siege towers remain in the game, though ladders must be raised, and towers are a completely different design, as opposed to; the ramp...
Expanded Bandit Gameplay:
One of my personal favourite upcoming features of Bannerlord is the improved bandit gameplay. In Warband if you wanted to be a bandit, all you really had to do was attack caravans, avoid lords and their armies, attack villages, and harass peasants.
From what has been shown so far in the gameplay footage, it is possible for the player, and AI lords to put groups of soldiers and companions inside an enemy town, to act as bandits, robbing the towns businesses, damaging the coffers of the controlling lord, preventing him from keeping a larger army, making it a particularly useful wartime strategy. The new banditry features allow to expand the role of the bandit, and it also allows lords to better prepare for war. Creating the opportune moment to strike through banditry, appearing from nowhere, and besieging the town.
The new weapon crafting system feature promised in Bannerlord is very exciting,and why? Because it is possible to collect different parts of swords all around the map, for example, it is possible to collect the hilt of the sword up in the north of the map, and the blade could be of southern origin. Along with this, each part of the sword can be scaled individual, not just for looks, but each part has different properties, allowing you to maximise certain properties of the sword to work to your play-style, whether you want a longer reaching weapon, or a short but deadly blade that brings you up close and personal with the enemy.
What makes it so exciting, is that it is a feature that truly belongs in a Mount and Blade game. Along with the ability to create your own unique weapons, lords have their own unique weapons also, and it is now possible to kill enemy lords. As was said by the devs on the PC Gamer weekend:
Brutal I know, but that's what Mount and Blade is: Total Freedom
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord has been in the works for quite a long while, as it was first announced in 2012, with Developer Blogs slowly being uploaded, with screenshots every now and again, though it was kept mostly quiet. The game presents a wide range of new features, and above are only a few of them, many features have not yet been confirmed, and there are many things that fans are hoping to see in the game. So when is the release date? We still don't know, though the devs have said that there should be a playable version of the game sometime in 2016, they will not give a set release date as they wish to make the game to the best of their abilities, to ensure that they make something of excellent quality for their fans.
If you want to keep up to date with their Developer Blogs follow the link to their website here or simply search Mount and Blade Bannerlord and you'll find all you need to know.
Let me know in the comments below, which features you are most excited for in Mount and Blade, Bannerlord