Mount & Blade 2

Viking Conquest is Really Underrated

Hi all,

I'll be the first to say, when I first tried Viking Conquest, I was not a fan. With horses so rare and everyone having shields, fights felt like a slog. Following the storyline rigidly is a very, very difficult thing to do and the game doesn't really hold your hand. The difficulty curb isn't great, and you can easily find yourself in a situation where you needed a 3x bigger and better trained army with little to no warning.

But once you overcome that initial curve, play the story mode as if it was Sandbox for a hundred or so days, get yourself and your crew some gear and horses, train up your skills, the game becomes insanely rewarding. Little things you just come to appreciate:

1.) The fidelity to the lore of the time. If you've watched Vikings and – particularly – Last Kingdom, you are in for a treat. While its truly impossible to know the full history from that time, these shows and this game really make the best use of what materials are available. Also when you do tackle the story quests: your choices do matter. Every dialogue option can pivot the story, or suddenly make you friends or enemies with who you're talking to… so you have to be mindful. Or not! Play your character as you like and let everyone else decide if they're your friend or enemy.

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2.) Little things, like the size of roving bands adjusting to your party size is a welcome feature. I always found it quite silly when all the bandits and such simply scale in size based on your level. When they go by size, you're able to more freely wander with a smaller, agile band and using space-forward without accidently blinking and running into a unit 10x bigger than you. Combine that with the ability to quarter your troops on the fly, if you suddenly need to catch up to a fast-moving lord to deliver a message or something, and you have a lot realistic freedom.

3.) They actually make a "low-honor" playthrough profitable through your hideout. With the ability to sell limited amounts of loot for 90% in your hideout as well as other bandit hideouts, you're able to keep a sizable army well-funded without having to rely on fiefs or businesses.

4.) Leadership being like Training is brilliant. I finally don't have to worry about being max Cha (unless I want to hate life in the mid to late game) and carrying my whole army on my back solo – my followers are like captains, their leadership scores counting toward mine. Fantastic change.

5.) Naval Warfare, while a bit janky at times, is surprisingly well done once you get the hang of it and seizing ships is a delight.

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Anyway, I can go on and on, but if you wrote off Viking Conquest like I did initially and are waiting for Bannerlord to come out of Early Access, I encourage you to give it another shot.

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