Mount & Blade 2

Bannerlord is in desperate need of more writing

And I mean everywhere. I understand that the game is still in Early Access, but it almost feels like as we creep onward the opportunities to expand the actual meat and potatoes of the game's characters and quests becomes slimmer and slimmer (Beyond just abdicating responsibility to the modding community to salvage everything).

For example, there are basically no distinguishing characteristics between NPCs other than the ones who progress the Banner quest. Nobles may look different, carry different traits in their Encyclopedia pages and belong to different clans and factions but there's fundamentally no reason to talk or interact with them because they're all the same. Your Battanian noble is going to say the same stuff as your Khuzait noble and react the same way (Or lack of reaction) to anything you do. Your Aserai spouse will be the same 0 interaction relationship as your Empire spouse. You build relationships with these clans through your actions (Some of the time anyway) but it rarely ever feels like they mean anything beyond some #s that count towards your eventual chances to get a fief. This contributes to the feeling of lifelessness in the world since there are no stakes or attachment to anything beyond something that could basically be depicted as a spreadsheet. If Lucon is getting his ass ridden down by 500 soldiers, I could save him at the cost of maybe 80 of my own troops but why bother? It's not like he'll remember this or even care beyond the generic thank you dialogue.

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If I'm a kickass mercenary group I should have every lord in the realm breaking down my doors to get me on their side instead of having to go beg them for a contract. If I'm destroying Vlandia single-handedly for Battania then Caladog should be doing his best to set me up with Corein. If I'm best friends with Ingalther maybe he asks if I want to join his rebellion to make him the next King of Vlandia. Stuff like this is just completely missing from the game and would flesh out your choices, diplomacy, characterization and the replayabilty of the game.

The same goes for your basic quest givers, who while I don't expect as much from some random peasant leaders still don't have much going on with them. I still think some things could be done with them to make them more interesting, like maybe towns being run by cruel leaders have a quest that allows you to drive them out of town. Or driving out/assassinating a benevolent village patriarch to replace them with someone who would be of more use to your personal ambition. The same goes for the split between artisans/gangs/merchants in cities – favoring one should have benefits and disadvantages compared to allying with the other groups.

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Which brings me to Quests, which while they have expanded them quite a bit since launch they're still mostly just radiant filler. You've cleared out a hideout once, you've cleared em all out etc. I'd love for some more "concrete" quests, maybe locked to once per play-through or by faction for additional roleplay incentives or more difficulty than the standard clearing out of bandits and delivering of grain. Stuff that you'd actually remember and perhaps makes a bigger impact on the world.

The past 10+ months have basically been spent resolving bugs, fixing perks, and even then we still have some basic problems like siege AI so I hope that this aspect of the game is not being forgotten long term. It's the entire reason why the game becomes a slog as the play-through goes longer, which in a game where it takes a very long time for stuff to progress is a killer.


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