Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Reviews
Despite some shallow ancillary systems, Bannerlord is the master of medieval warfare
A shallow grind of an overworld strategy game threatens to ruin enjoyment of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's unique and sublimely gritty tactical action.
My return to Calradia wasn't entirely jubilant, though Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord is a game I'll likely stick with, simply due to my love of the original. A wealth of new systems and activities help this sandbox strategy sim feel more alive than ever, though the busywork required to get anywhere can feel like a grind. Overall, existing fans will rejoice while newcomers may look on unimpressed, unsure what all the fuss is about.
The exact same old battles sewn onto a perfunctory, shallow RPG and an elaborate but undramatic and robotic feudalism sim
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord roundly excels because it lets players be whatever they want to be and rather than penalise those choices, instead makes players own those decisions and provide a peerless theatre for them to thrive. Though technically not perfect, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord invites players to weave their own tapestry of ambition and be whomever they like in their own Game of Thrones, letting them wage war, engage in diplomacy, fight in the arenas, trade illicit goods, be a town alderman and absolutely everything in between in one of the most ambitious PS5 games to date. If you'll let it, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord II will become your new obsession. And you should.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord comes back with improvements to everything we liked about the previous games and some new systems as well. However, it's not a perfectly polished game, so you'll have to navigate a few edges on your path to restore/destroy the Empire.
Like Total War, when the players massive armies clash in battle it is a sight to behold, luckily the game offers the option to simulate battles and watch the AI troops clash. This, to me was massively more enjoyable than trying to struggle through the games clunky combat. While I loved the depth offered in the RPG elements of the world, I came away disappointed enough by the combat that is just made the whole experience feel like a chore to play; combine that with the lack of a real story and I Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord just didn’t turn out to be the total medieval simulator game I was hoping for.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord combines RPG mechanics with grand strategy and features battles so epic they can be overwhelming at times. It has some rough edges, and the interface can be unwieldy, but at its core lies a roleplaying experience that is virtually unrivalled in scope - especially on console.
Grind and jank aside, there is nothing else like a Mount and Blade game, and Bannerlord is undisputably the best one yet. Its uniqueness alone makes it worth playing. To talk about it that way is to do it a disservice though; the true marvel of Bannerlord is that it actually delivers on what is an astonishingly ambitious concept. The two halves of the game complement each other perfectly. It may be on a slow boil, but once it gets up a head of steam, you won't be able to put it down.
Mount and Blade 2 : Bannerlord is an ambitious game ready to make players lose sleep for months, although not everything is perfect. To give it a chance is to enjoy a deep and intelligent RPG.
Review in French | Read full review
Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is, in spite of some missing features, a must-play experience for anyone who's remotely interested in kingdoms, claymores and combat.
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is a game that can swallow you whole and make you forget about everything else – including its own flaws. That’s the beauty of this series – the gameplay, and particularly the large-scale, real-time combat, makes us shrug off ugly face models, underdeveloped diplomacy, or dumb AI.
Review in Polish | Read full review
Bannerlord is a layered experience, even played on console, despite some flaws with its controls.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is very much a superior sequel in so many ways. It's still a bit of a brick wall to get past in terms of understanding its finer points, but keep hammering away and you will find them.
There is no other game like Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. It's a fantastic experience, one unique in the gaming space. The constant grind to manage and progress with your kingdom is hard work - really hard work - but the payoff is spectacular. This is not a game for everyone but if this is your kind of thing, you're going to love every blood-stained minute of it.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord continues to offer a unique mix of grand strategy and large scale 3D battles. The strategy aspect could have used more depth and variety, as well as a better designed campaign and a lot more tutorials. But it's the battles that steal the spotlight, with thrilling large scale encounters. While the developers couldn't deliver on all their ambitions, the distinctiveness of the gameplay still helps the sequel stand out.
Should you buy Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord? If you’ve got the slightest taste for big battles or an interest in medieval conquest, absolutely. Don’t expect the depth of, say, Crusader Kings III, but for fans of medieval warfare this is a real winner.
For everyone else, there is nothing quite like Mount & Blade. This expansive, massive, deeply immersive blend of open world, open-ended RPG and medieval strategy might be the biggest time sink on the PlayStation 5, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. The stories of heroics and failures that you can write for yourself while playing this game are positively Shakesperean, and this is one of those rare times where failure is as entertaining as success, because there’s an excellent, emergent story in that.
Ten long years have passed since the announcement of the latest installment of Mount & Blade. Then the game was in early access, and now it's finally finished and fully battle-ready. Not all fans are thrilled with the result, as not everything is as it could have been, but it's still a trip worth taking part in.
Review in Slovak | Read full review
Though Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord provides a fun outlet with its battles and the strategies you can employ within them, everything else is lacking in comparison. You might get a solid 5-10 hours of enjoyment out of the campaign before you it dawns on you that there's not much else to discover but a disappointing realisation.