Seven years after its announcement, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is almost here. TaleWorlds Entertainment have announced an early access release date of March 31st for their feudal sandbox. Mount & Blade is a strange series, a big open-world and open-ended sandbox combining bits of empire-building strategy, political manoeuvring, roleplaying, and getting your hands dirty on the battlefield yourself fighting alongside your army. It's also historically a bit janky and old-looking, so I'm stoked for a shiny new one. The full launch will come after about a year but if you refuse to wait any longer, March 31st is the date.
We've seen and played Bannerlord a fair bit over the years. Back in 2016, Adam declared it "has gaming's greatest castles" with excellent destructive sieges. Come in 2018, Brendy had a go on the singleplayer campaign and came away jabbering excitedly that it "is full of thugs and bog men". He played a bit of multiplayer objective mode the year before too, though that's not the big draw of M&B. Point is, it's seemed promising for years now. I am excited to finally actually play the public product, even if it's not the finished product.
TaleWorlds say they expect Bannerlord will be in early access "for around a year" before properly launching. They do say the initial early access version "contains a wealth of content that will keep players engaged for many hours" and " is very much stable and playable." They'll use the year of early access to expand and add features, create more quests, whack in more voicework, build unique maps for all the towns and castles, fix bugs, and generally cram in more content.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will cost £40/€50/$50 on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and TaleWorlds' own site when it enters early access on March 31st. They say that will be the price of the finished game too - no bump once it's done.