It’s Finally Real! – Mount & Blade II

By Nathan Grayson on September 28th, 2012 at 9:00 am.


Good news! Better news! BEST NEWS. TaleWorlds is finally pregnant with another Mount-&-Blade-shaped baby, and your hopes and dreams are the father. This is no With Fire and Sword-style spin-off, either. Or at least, that’s what the number two (and in Roman numerals, no less – making it the two-est two of them all) suggests. Unfortunately, I say “suggests” because there’s really not much else to say. All we have right now is a full title – Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – a brief description, and a trailer that seems determined to abandon its family lineage and become a Powerpoint Presentation.

I do not enjoy having words thrown at my face. Why do people keep throwing words at my face? Oh well. TaleWorlds’ brief introduction, at least, fills in a few blanks.

“TaleWorlds Entertainment is proud to announce the next installment in the acclaimed Mount & Blade game series, entitled: Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This sandbox action-RPG strategy hybrid will take players on a journey into a fictional world of up-close and personal medieval combat on a huge scale, bigger, bloodier and more intense than ever before. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will build upon the popular Mount & Blade franchise bringing in many exciting and highly requested new features.”

So, on paper, it sounds like a pretty standard sequel. But then again, tiny grains of change count for quite a lot in a sandbox as large and volatile as Mount & Blade’s, so we’ll see. At this point, though, we don’t even know the basics. I mean, is TaleWorld’s upgrading from its musty old game engine? That seems like a no-brainer, but there’s no telling at this point. I have, of course, laid siege to TaleWorlds’ inbox as part of my bloody conquest for details, so now we can only wait. More soon, hopefully.

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106 Comments »

  1. FloorBelow says:

    BANNERFACE?

  2. Quasar says:

    Totally read that as “Banterlord”

  3. Yachmenev says:

    Please, please, please change the horrible artstyle for the sequel. I´m a big fan of the older games, and have spent hours and hours playing the three released titles so far, but the graphics needs a lot of work now.

    And the quests. Make the quests much better please.

    • President Weasel says:

      New faces for the hero characters please, so ones avatar looks less like an avatard.

      Whatever they’ve done to it though, I’ll buy it. I’m a sucker for Mount and Blade.

    • UmmonTL says:

      I had no problems with the artstyle itself, just that the whole game looked like arse. What they need to do, and I’d be very surprised if they didn’t, is seriously upgrade their engine and do it in a way that makes large scale combat still playable.

      • Efrizial says:

        fancy graphic don’t go well with massive fight :/ … and mount and blade warband with mod and update look fine , nothing fancy but still much better than the old mount and blade

        • Carra says:

          Mount & Blade: Warband looks OK. The armor even looks nice. Sure, it won’t win any prices but it doesn’t bother me at all.

        • Yachmenev says:

          I´m not talking about technically advanced graphics. What I want is graphic with some sense of style. They need to replace the UI graphics, the icons for weapons and items, and the textures.

    • 3Eyes says:

      Why are graphics important? If you enjoyed M&B Warband or any other expansion, and addictively put a shitload of hours at it, why does it matter? I just don’t understand people who think graphics > gameplay.

  4. Memphis-Ahn says:

    What a terrible trailer. Reminds me of the Playstation 2 announcement.

  5. Stardog says:

    Finally. War of the Roses isn’t doing it for me.

    I hope they have a new engine.

    • Miltrivd says:

      Same thought. As much as I enjoyed WotR beta, “only” the combat is not enough. I love the whole sandboxy, army making, merchant-travelling, strategy combat of M&B as one, united thing.

  6. razgon says:

    Awesome! Make the game better and don’t focus on the graphics. The best part of M&B is that you can have huge battles with tons of enemies. That usually downscales with increased graphical eyecandy.

    More customization, bigger battles, bigger castles, bigger sieges, bigger towns, more formations, more variations amongst troops, more weapons, more horses – MORE EVERYTHING!

    YAY! I’m excited :-)

    • DuddBudda says:

      I completely agree with your enthusiasm for more

      well, not entirely

      – less grinding of sea raiders
      – less dominant nation builds (I’ve never been able to safely establish my own kingdom before the Nords or Rhodoks have locked down half the map with their boss siege owning infantry)
      – less imbecilic lords (ie: individual lords in an 800 strong army flee an enemy 500 man army because one of the enemy lords leads a force of 200 men, etc)

      MORE LANCES & MORE PEASANTS TO LANCE!

      • DaWalrus says:

        Actually, I don’t think they do that if you set the campaign AI to good.

        I was playing recently and I happened to walk past a castle with a heap of enemy lords inside, they all had only about 30 men in their armies, but they combined their power and all of them strolled out of the castle simultaneously to attack my 200 man army.

        I took a good beating.

        • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

          “A glorious cudgel-to-face combat system and a big open world of faces to cudgel with very little to get in the way” was my summation of M&B:W. Whilst I liked F&S’ combat (just me?) there was too much other crud – awkward quests that didn’t explain themselves, insufficiently frequent campaigns, making it harder to recruit troops.

          M&B’s combat is spectacular and the whole point – WB was a superb frame for it, F&S much less so. I hope this one’s a return to form.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Agreed, if given the option between better graphics (substantially) or bigger battles, battles would always win out.

    • gladius2metal says:

      same here, the graphics are alright, there are plenty of other stuff to improve.

    • UmmonTL says:

      With modern technology it should be possible to have slightly better graphics than Mount&Blade. If they do some clever stuff with modern level of detail techniques and some netcode wizardry they might be able to not only improve graphics but have bigger battles than ever before.

      Apart from that I can agree with you, I hope that they focus on including more medieval siegeweapons because that is the meat of their game. Then some more weapon/combat options, flails would be great and the possibility to dismount a rider. Finally I’d like a slightly beefier singleplayer experience with more stuff to do and more interesting things going on in the world. But that is also the biggest development timesink which is why I hope they focus on stuff that will be part of multiplayer first. Finally, a multiplayer-campaign should be really easy to do with each player moving around their little army.

    • John Connor says:

      There’s no reason they can’t have better graphics and lots of units. Total War has both.

      Just don’t expect to play it on a netbook. If you want to be cheap about games get an Xbox.

      • Efrizial says:

        there is a big difference between mount and blade and total war :/ …

        • John Connor says:

          If you look at the detail of the models in Total War there really isn’t. Shogun 2 can field thousands of soldiers that are more detailed than the ones in M&B, even though you only see them from a distance. There’s no reason M&B2 can’t have a similar graphical fidelity and still have huge battles on modern hardware.

          • Merlkir says:

            There is. All the soldier in MnB are individual agents. Total War still operates with very very limited and primitive individual AI, instead they still use a unit system.

            That eats a LOT of processing power. If you wanted Mount and Blade on Total War scale, you’d get Massive. Which is a crowd simulation software certainly NOT running realtime. Good luck with that.

            Also, MnB units wear much more varied gear than Total War units, you can’t do as much instancing in MnB, which puts further pressure on the GPU.

            So, yes, there should be larger battles possible now, as hardware has improved. But no, it’s not because Total War games have fancy soldier models and thousands of them.

          • Ateius says:

            Addtionally, TW games get away with it by having most of the enemies actually be sprites and/or super low-poly models. Only when you zoom in does it actually load the detailed stuff, and then only for what you’re looking at. In MnB, you’re always right in the thick of it, so they can’t use that trick.

      • Fincher says:

        Here’s your reason: the source engine.

        And unless they remake the game in a new engine (which would probably lead to some features being axed due to time restraints), it would run like arse if every unit looked as good as they did in Total War games.

        Total War games run like arse anyway.

    • Hanban says:

      Mount & Blade with better animations would be enough for me to buy the sequel. Warband is probably one of the games I have played the most.

  7. BigJonno says:

    This is the best news.

  8. Njordsk says:

    best teaser ever.

  9. maicus says:

    Delicious. The first game got so much right… all they really need are systems that make it feel like you are really engaging with the politics and people of the world. That was the key immersion killer in that game.

  10. Sephis says:

    OMG I can’t wait :)

  11. Shralla says:

    They made boatloads of money, this better be awesome.

  12. SkittleDiddler says:

    I really, really, really wanted to like the original, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe the 2nd will change that.

  13. Mavvvy says:

    Hack hack slay! Is all I have to say. Please please please allow a multiplayer campaign map, id love to be able to co-op with my mates. Even if your server is purely hosting the map and each time someone goes into combat it is client side hosted, so when a mate finds your battle in in join in progress.

  14. Simas says:

    YES. Tho we already knew it was coming based on rumors :)

    My wishlist:
    - Better avatar customization (with long HAIR physics simulation)
    - Improved gore and damage modelling (cutting off limbs). Overgrowth-like blood system.
    - Bigger AXES.
    - And of course, improved horse physics and handling

    • Efrizial says:

      better handling ? , the handling already seem pretty good to me :l

      • Simas says:

        I was referring to some of the glitches like riding the horse at full-speed and hitting the fence. I suppose it has more to do with the physics.. Still, compared to say Red Dead Redemption, horse handling can still be improved IMHO.

        • Efrizial says:

          never played at red dead redemption so i have no idea about the handling in it , but i have seen game with horse handling that is much worse (two worlds >.>…) but from videos i have seen it don’t seem like red dead redemption handling would work well with mounted melee combat :P, i don’t know what glitch you are talking about with the fence thought :/ …

  15. Sheps says:

    First Rome and now Mount and Blade! THANK YOU ALMIGHTY JEBUS!

    Now I don’t have to buy that cheap mans mount and blade War Of The Roses. This is the greatest thing to happen to PC gaming since Half Life. Yeah I said it.

  16. paddymaxson says:

    YES!

  17. gladius2metal says:

    CHARGE!!!

  18. Tengil says:

    Hopefully there will be peasant rebellions this time. Maybe even ones you can participate in…….. Florian Geyer…………

  19. JiminyJickers says:

    YAY!!

  20. Hanban says:

    So happy.

  21. kromeboy says:

    Make it more Game of Thronesish!!!

    • Fincher says:

      I’d rather that stayed in mod territory. Although I wouldn’t mind more diplomacy options to give an equalled level of depth as CK2.

  22. Harlander says:

    They could do worse than take a look at what the modding community’s done and steal adopt their ideas.

    The Diplomacy mod added a lot of interesting twiddlies, for example.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Yes, that would certainly help. Warband with the Floris mod pack is amazing (contains Diplomacy I think, and Freelancer).

      Generally though, I hope they keep the modding community happy. Mods are the best part about the series, and if it lost that I’d be sad (but would still probably buy it).

  23. MajorManiac says:

    This makes me soo happy. I’ve clocked up around 500+ hours playing Mount ‘n’ Blade games.

    I too hope they take ideas from the best mods.

  24. BloatedGuppy says:

    It doesn’t need better graphics so much as it desperately, desperately needs a a new UI. The previous games may be a frontrunner for one of the worst, most cumbersome UI’s of all time.

  25. Davee says:

    YES YES YES YES.

    Worst announcement “trailer” ever though. And it’s not like many of us didn’t already know it was coming. :P

  26. Kasab says:

    How did my hopes and dreams impregnate an entire Turkish game development studio?

  27. tybality says:

    a multiplayer campaign would be great

  28. smeaa mario says:

    Just when I decided to dive into the sp of Warband once again after such a long time and it still feels so good. Even that powerpointesque trailerish teaser is enough to get me excited now. Nevertheless, here is hoping that Taleworlds fixed and enhanced stuff from the previous games. MB was a damn fine harbinger, yet it cannot go any further without coming up some much-anticipated improvements in gameplay mechanics. Oh, and some nicer graphics will absolutely be the icing on the cake.

  29. glum says:

    What about the boat game? Weren’t they making a boat game?

  30. Adekan says:

    I hope they ignore the godawful “multiplayer” they added with Warband and stick completely to making a great single player game. I sunk probably upwards of 600 hours into the original M&B, and was completely disgusted with Warband’s broken terribly unbalanced multiplayer and incredibly buggy/unstable single player, which decided it didn’t like my brand new ATI card and had constant graphic glitches and crashes that were never fixed.

    • wodin says:

      If they make it MP centric I will scream..MP this MP that..Jesus can’t us SP gamers have something for ourselves please…

  31. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    I finally know the answer for which game is better, Age of Chivalry or War of the Roses! Mount and Blade 2!

  32. deadly.by.design says:

    Now with 100% less Papyrus!

    Okay, it’s been years since I played the original and it probably wasn’t Papryrus anyway, but the UI & fonts were pretty terrible.

  33. Rugeon says:

    Dreams do come true.

  34. Ateius says:

    Squee!

    Are we making wishlists? I saw wishlists.

    1) Improved AI, both campaign and battle. Infantry smart enough to stay in formation? Armies that actually respond to and defend against sieges?

    2) Expanded sieges. 600 men trying to climb up one ladder is slightly silly.

    3) More politics/governing/RPG type stuff. The Diplomacy mod is a great place to look at for inspiration.

    Blinging out the pixels would be nice too, but that’s secondary, really. Ooh I can’t wait for more information.

  35. Reapy says:

    Knew it was in action but great to see it official. My only question was why was this in video format?

  36. deathrune says:

    I just want them to make Magic and Blade already

  37. abHowitzer says:

    I squealed from joy! I’ve over 2000 hours logged into Warband+mods and I’ve enjoyed at least three-quarters of those hours.

  38. wodin says:

    Good news.

  39. MythArcana says:

    It’s good to see they have After Effects up and running in the video.

  40. moreyummystuff says:

    I hope that they go for the full 468×60 pixel banner. Wouldn’t be much of a lord otherwise.

  41. Jimbo says:

    What did she do wrong?Ah ha ha.

  42. Strangerator says:

    I loved that M&B just lets you tell your own story.. no pointless plot forced down your throat, you make the call! Great battles that actually felt epic.

    Wishlisting?

    I want a way to set up my forces in-between battles, and designate my own “units” that will then be pre-determined groups I could command on the field. New troops should be easy to drag and drop into whichever group you’d like to reinforce from the newly minted “Force Organization” screen.

    You could do interesting things with units, like showing average stats. Maybe things like average unit experience level… and units with a higher average level would have certain special bonuses/formations/etc. This would lead to creation of “core” units and “elite” units. Adding too many fresh troops to an elite group would water them down (lower the average level), so you’d want to promote the best from the core up to elite, to replace their losses. It would also make you more jealously guard the elite units.

    Then you could incorporate a unit leader system, where you could appoint NPCs to lead units, who would then confer benefits based on the NPC. Maybe have a restriction like, the NPC needs a higher level than the average level of the unit in order to command them. The player character would always be able to take charge of any unit. Unit leaders with a trainer skill might show some favortism and increase the exp bonus for troops in his own unit. Same for unit leaders with healing type skills, or maybe even things like power shot and power throw.

    Putting two NPCs in one unit could increase the amount of interaction between them… so if they hate one another they might have conflicts more rapidly, or they might become brothers in arms and reconcile. Separating NPCs would reduce interaction so you’d initially have fewer “conflicts”, but they might wind up slowly building resentment.

  43. tomeoftom says:

    I’m buying it no matter what. Sucks to be War of the Roses right now.

    That said, jesus christ guys hire a single fucking graphic designer. That font they splay over the horrendous UI (and now the sequel trailer!) should have been banned in the Geneva Convention.

  44. The Magic says:

    Okay personally, having played about 400 hours altogether in M&B, the one thing i want more than anything is better control over unit commands. I dont want to have to give the vaguest instructions like “advance” or “fall back” or stand where i am standing. I want to point to a place and say “go there in defensive formation” or “go there as fast as you can” or “go there but stick together.” Something akin to those tom clancy vegas games but deeper. that would be nice.

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