Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is launching on Steam Early Access on March 30, a day earlier than expected. The sequel, developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment, has been eight years in the making.
On top of releasing a day early, Mount & Blade II will also be available for 10% off during the first two weeks of sale. Anyone who owns a previous title in the series will be eligible for an additional 10% off in select digital stores, too. The reason for this? The coronavirus, of course. “It might seem like a pretty ideal time to release a game (after all, everyone is at home right!?),” the studio said in a blog post. “But we know that the current situation has placed a lot of people in a difficult position when it comes to balancing their finances and risking their health,” so it decided to introduce some discounts.
TaleWorlds has recently been working on the game remotely, but that hasn’t slowed down development. “We have tried to make the best of a bad situation and thankfully, with the help of our IT team, have been able to continue work on the project from home. This has come with its own challenges of course, but we are still very grateful and lucky to work in an industry where it is possible to work remotely, which we know isn’t the case for many of you.”
As for what’s included in the Early Access release, there are Custom Battle and Campaign modes available in single player. The Campaign is a new addition for the series, introducing a more structured approach to the traditional Mount & Blade experience. It blends a storyline and key events with the more familiar sandbox gameplay, giving you clear goals and objectives to complete on the path to victory. You can always opt to ignore the campaign missions, though, and plot your own rise to power instead.
Character creation is still a key aspect as you build a backstory and venture out onto the continent of Calradia, hiring companions, raising warbands and armies, conquering towns and castles, progressing your character’s skills and equipment, and plenty more. In terms of multiplayer, there are four different game modes to play: Skirmish, Captain, Team Deathmatch, and Siege. TeamWorlds says it will continue to introduce new features, game modes, and other additional content to multiplayer throughout Mount & Blade II’s time in Early Access.
While there’s a lot of content to get stuck into right away, there will still be bugs and glitches, balancing issues, missing features, and placeholder content. If you want to see everything the game has to offer, TaleWorld’s suggests holding off on buying it until the full release. If you want an early taste and the opportunity to provide feedback, however, you can hop straight into Mount & Blade II’s battlefields next week.
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