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Oh Jeez Oh Man: Mount And Blade II Looks Fantastic

Now with authentic horse dancing physics!

In this crazy-busy, senses-overwhelming world of ours, it’s sometimes all-too-easy to lose track of the important things in life. For instance, my mother’s birthday is coming up and I have obscured my monitor with a forest of “DON’T FORGET TO CALL” post-it notes. (I will still somehow find a way to forget. Just watch me.) Also, it totally slipped my mind that Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a thing. I am, of course, entirely ashamed of myself and plan to amass a heroic army and die horribly at the hands of a noble in penance. But before my bitter, inevitable end, let me just say one thing: OooooooOOOoooOOoo. Because these Mount & Blade II screenshots? They’re making me wail (in happiness!) like the ghost I’ll soon be.

The Mount and Blade II website is now sporting a snazzy new gallery, and it’s quite a sight. Well, at least by Mount & Blade standards, anyway. It’s not the next Crysis or Witcher III or super cool airbrushed picture of a flower, but it’s actually kind of a looker from certain angles. Baby steps! The new setting also seems quite rich in variety and lovingly handcrafted detail, so I’m looking quite forward to ruthlessly running it into the ground.

Speaking of, we finally know what the game is actually, well, about:

“The once-mighty Calradic Empire is in a state of decline. Warlike tribes have seized swaths of its territory. Client kingdoms have declared their independence. The Emperor has died without leaving an heir, leaving three jealous factions to scramble for power. Mercenary companies, bandit lords, and nomads hover on the sidelines like vultures waiting for a meal.”

“A hero who can master the art of single combat, of leading armies in battle, of plotting ambushes and raids, and of exploiting the rivalries of noble houses and tribal clans may be able to unite this Empire – or, alternately, to deal it the final blow that sends it crashing down. Will Calradia experience one final sunset e of imperial glory, or slip into a night of chaos before a new age dawns?”

Or you can be entirely incompetent and stir up a stew of really dumb shenanigans, like I fully intend to.

Mount & Blade II still doesn’t have a release date, but I will absolutely tell you – between breathless shrieks of glee – when it does. For now, though, what do you think?

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Nathan Grayson

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