Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord Video Review

Folks get moving Shields forward [Music] Claustrophobic press of frenzied melee Whistling of missiles and thunderous Charge of cavalryer often represented in Games but rarely so personally as in the Mountain Blade series it's not often I Get the feeling I'm experiencing or must Have been the needs of a commander at Eye level on the field trying to Maneuver his forces or being forced to Desperately scramble among bodies for a Quiver of arrows or fresh Shield this is The appeal of mountain Blade 2 Bannerlord it outweighs all the holes Bugs and underwhelming strategy and Role-playing mechanics you have to Wade Through to get here when you reach the Battlefield this low fantasy medieval Simulation is unmatched [Music] Vanderlord drops you into the shoes of a Capable temporarily impoverished wannabe In a sandbox world based on late Antiquity complete with a fragmenting Roman Empire stand-in it's an engaging Scenario for its variety of combat Patents mercenary bands and warring Societies each with a unique Historically based way of fighting In contrast vanderlord's main story is Very thin but it revolves around finding The remnants of an ancient and symbolic

Banner than deciding whether to use it To finish off the Empire or take the Banner to reunite its fragmented Territories you may have one piece at The Bennett but it's of little use in Itself you'll have to find the other Parts it qualifies as a Sandbox because How you rise to power is largely up to You whether on a trade Fortune becoming A famous mercenary or working from Inside one of the eight kingdoms from There it's all about Conquest in the Name of your chosen Nation or throw that Out the window and start a faction of Your own that said the kingdom Management is weak due to shallow Mechanics and lackluster AI it's really Just an excuse to raise big armies and Smash them together you do that via Maneuvering in an Overworld strategic Layer before dropping into hybrid action Real-time strategy battles where you Directly control only yourself but can Issue commands to your AI driven troops It'd be forgivable if bannerlord's Overworld wasn't so Rife with simple Bugs quests will trigger for the wrong Faction and level up perks will have Incorrect effects multiplayer has Network and server errors perhaps most Pervasive are graphical glitches which Are legion but mostly involve an array Of clipping that speaks to a broader Lack of attention to detail

Seriously this is the would-be empress Regia one of the eight most important NPCs in the world and they couldn't keep Her chin from clipping through all the Time what the heck is that without Rich Sandbox features a Sandbox quickly looks Like a desert and baron is what Vanderlord's Overworld becomes after 10 Or 15 hours of play and 10 or 15 hours Isn't even half of what you'll need to Finish a campaign try 40 to 70 hours [Music] Fighting is the meat eater the massive Clash of as many as a thousand soldiers On the field is unrivaled at least at The scale and level of simulation Vanderlord achieves swinging a sword Often feels desperate and real no matter How potent you are as a single combatant A handful of opponents can quickly Overwhelm you you are not a god of the Battlefield who cuts down a dozen Enemies at a stroke you're just another Person albeit a smarter one than the AI Grunts on that person-to-person level Vanderlord's combat is delightful Chaotic and confusing at first I soon Started to understand the interplay of The four attack angles pairing blocking And types of weapons every attack Factors in velocity hit location weapon And shield position weapon weight Elevation and even what part of your Weapon hits the enemy

Hitting someone with the half of your ax Does far less damage than the blade Learning these little details then Tweaking the difficulty to Suit Yourself Is what makes bannerlord's combat superb Desperately aiming your attacks picking Targets and out fighting opponents is Pulse-pounding absorption entirely Different from the more Furious combat Of over-the-top action games that's most On display in multiplayer where you can Test your skill against others in One-on-one duels For some that's really the whole appeal Of banner Lord as the fighting game-like Interaction of weapon options builds Tactical depth then you just throw your Character's personal skill out the Window when you get into large-scale Fights against the AI or another player Your quick blade might matter a lot in The arena but when you're crushed into a Melee among dozens of others there's no Easy escape from enemy attacks and wide Sweeps of your sword are just as likely To catch on an Ally's spear half does Strike your opponent directly instead It's about managing your troops to win The day playing online captains mode has Two teams of six go up against each Other with each player in command of Their own Squad of AI Soldiers the Metagame of play here is wild due to Bannerlord's robust commands and Troop

Variety and when you get into it with Worthy opponents the chaotic Clash of Shield walls or the mixed scrum of a Running Cavalry battle is the absolute Peak of bannerlord figuring out how to Use terrain elevation formations and More on any of the many quite varied Battlefields is a deep and multi-faceted Puzzle 100 strong blocks of infantry are Fine in an open field but terrible for Siege assault for example it takes a bit Of learning but when you're practicing In single player bringing up the orders Menu slows time way down giving you Precious Moments to consider orders and Placement before executing a plan Combine those considerations with the Broad variety of troops to collect and Maintain and you're all but guaranteed To find a place style that suits you Well a horde of horse archers a wall of Heavy infantry a thundering charge of Knights hit and run with light Cavalry All of those and more are viable choices In vanderlord precisely because it tries So hard to mimic the ideas of medieval Combat Foreign at the end of those thrilling Battles though you're thrown back into The Overworld for more dull management Much like the creepy lifeless eyes of Its mini NPCs and their stiff animations Banner Lord's World never feels alive You can go around talking to people

Fulfilling their fetch quests doing Social media games even playing to blute Against them but it's all about finding Your way into the next fight playing as A traitor simulation or political Strategy game will be repetitive or Shallow with little reward NPCs have no Deep motivation and an extremely limited Pool of awful dialogue for a game that's Text based Banner Lord just doesn't have Any interesting text even with so many Ideas crammed in it always seems like There are still a hundred obvious things Missing I can't send Messengers to the AI characters asking for things did Nobody in this entire world manage to Invent Boats Plus some of what's there Is tedious it's telling that a popular PC mod automates for-profit trading While another other adds copious Defensive options so you don't have to Spend hours picking off Bandits or Reclaiming the same castle twice in a Single War all that quickly turns into a Somewhat Bland Nothing by way of a lot Of repetition progressing your skills or Kingdom and banner lord requires Grinding brutally forcing me to repeat The same tasks until I begged for mercy At raiding the same Bandit layers or Retaking a castle the NPCs of my clan Had lost for the umpteenth time that's What really hobbles the simple strategy Layer most of the challenge comes from

Hurting NPCs and running around to give Them in-person orders it's so difficult To coordinate the actions of the brain Dead AI without Gathering them into a Single Army that you'll likely resent Anytime the other Lords in your faction Gather one for themselves because They'll inevitably waste it on whatever Objective is closest rather than which One is more vital to your cause for all That it gets wrong however Banner Lord Does have one huge thing going for it Play sessions can be really short all Those bite-sized fights epic battles Mini games and quests can fit in a very Satisfying hour-long sitting something That other games of this long-term scope Struggle to do it's a paradox to say That's a very long short game but Banner Alert clears that game design portal Pretty heroically [Music] It's good that mountain blade Bannerlord's combat is fun because Everything that's not a fight is just a Bit of color before you get caught up in A brawl somewhere or decide to kick off A new war it's a shame that you're able To Auto resolve its glorious action Real-time strategy combat but are forced To endure dozens of hours of laborious Repetitive activities on its dry Flavorless Overworld map if I could skip Over the bugs shallow grinds and

Frustrating non-combat activities around Building up your faction quickly return To battle it'd be easier to recommend When it comes to simulating Medieval Warfare at the ground level between Hundreds of soldiers down to every swing Of a sword and clash of Shields this is The only game in town For more check out our reviews of Victoria 3 and a plague tale Requiem and For everything else stick with IGN [Music]

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