While Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's combat will never be mega-realistic, a new mod brings a few animation tweaks to make it look less cartoony. Where blades currently pass clean through a target's body, looking like they should be cleft in twain, the Realistic Weapon Collision mod will make strikes get stuck a bit into their bodymeat or glance off their armour. The end result is weapons have more of a physical presence and less like they're slashing about in Devil May Cry. A small but neat mod.
Weapons will still have that clean slice-through look with killing blows cutting certain bodyparts, but otherwise it removes that weird cartoony feeling off "My blade passed through their ribcage then arm yet they're still swinging at me?" It also stops blood from spraying everywhere if you hit a bodypart armoured with chainmail or plate with cutting or blunt weapons, instead simply bloodying the armour.
Creator creator "WelcomeToHell" shares some demonstration GIFs on the Nexus Mods page. Observe, a sword passing through a body in regular Bannerlord:
And with the mod:
Huge? No. Nice? Sure! Bit bouncy, but it looks a lot better to me.
"This mod is purely visual and does not change any values for weapons / armor or change how the game calculates damage," WelcomeToHell says. However, it does apparently futz with combos if your first blow doesn't kill.
Some murder-hungry Nexus commenters have asked if it works with the popular cleaveorama that is Xorberax's Cut Through Everyone mod but it sounds like nah, not really because most weapons will y'know bounce off the first target.
Bannerlord launched into early access at the end of March, with the full and finished game tentatively due around a year later. Sin was hesitant to recommend it at first in her Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord early access review because there's still a fair bit of polish, fixing, and straight-up content to come. Developers TaleWorlds have certainly been busy with patches since then, but mods are growing popular with people hungry for more newness.