Mount & Blade II since it released into Preorder this past Monday: Bannerlord so far certainly gives a mixed impact. On the one hand, it’s a lot better looking than its predecessor of 10 years, Mount & Blade: Warband.
The map looks amazing, allowing you to scroll absolutely effortlessly from virtually right over the shoulder of your character all the way up to a macro view of the highest point. All of the lighting, texture, and scenery are amazing. The level of detail does make me really feel like I’m in a living world.
And they got rid of the strange, blocky, edge-of-the-ground geometry blobs that made Warband’s ground look like the gods were reaching a certain point and just giving up. The GUI has been changed significantly, too. It’s easy to work with, it’s visually appealing, well structured.
Nonetheless, there are some things that don’t have tooltips that I wish were explained better, and there’s a significant amount of latency when flipping between menus that sort of gets on my nerves.
There are also a couple of screens that are hard to get to and don’t even have a keyboard shortcut that you can look up in the keybind tab. But it is still such a big step up from the janky GUI of Warband that it feels like a great breath of fresh air.
However, not much else about Bannerlord does. There is still a decent amount of jank on a show for something that has been in production for around eight years, which is presumably why it’s got the Early Access warning. It’s particularly easy to get the impression that you’re just playing Warband with better graphics, especially early on.
It is also imprecise and often irresponsive to aim and communicate with objects and characters in towns and on combat maps. The controls, especially at horseback, can be unwieldy. There are a lot of little things that don’t really feel new, which are especially noticeable compared to all of those that do.