Bannerlord is officially the most expensive early access game I’ve ever bought. So how is it? Is it worth the $40 I paid for it?
Bannerlord is the first Mount and Blade game I’ve ever played. I was hesitant to buy this because of the price. It’s an early access game that’s priced like a fully released triple-A title and even though I don’t think early access games should be priced any higher than $25 (maybe $30) I’ll be honest here… Bannerlord is totally worth it.
I’ve already got 31 hours of playtime in this game. 31 hours in three days of gaming. I’m addicted to this game. I’m so in love with it that I went ahead and purchased the first game with all the DLC for a little over $11 on Steam. Watching gameplay videos didn’t do this game justice for me. All I knew is that it was some sort of realistic RPG. There are no monsters to slay and you’re not the chosen one. You’re a regular dude trying to avenge the death of his parents and that’s only the beginning. From there the world opens up for you to explore to your heart’s content.
When I started, I was focused on building a small army and trading small goods from town to town while completing any missions that popped up along the way. I helped some villagers protect their town from bandits, delivered cattle across the map to a big city for a small village, became all that bandits, raiders, looters fear by kicking their asses whenever they got to close to a village and built up my reputation by winning arena tournaments. Once I leveled up my trading skill and figured out that I could buy low and sell high in other cities I started making a lot of money. I even joined up with the army and went against the Empire in small skirmishes that eventually led to me commanding my own army and taking multiple cities from them. I was given control of three provinces and I built them up with strong garrisons to help defend my lord’s lands.
That wasn’t enough for me though. I wanted my own land. I got tired of being overlooked when it came to gifting cities. So I finally got around to completing some main quest missions and eventually I unlocked the option to either serve my lord or create my own kingdom. I chose the latter. That did mean that my former lord would go to war with me to get his lands back and I’m honestly up for that challenge.
I didn’t like the gameplay of this game at first. I thought it was really awkward and stupid, but after 30 hours of gameplay, it’s really grown on me. It doesn’t take 50 hits to down a single enemy in this game. If I aim correctly I can kill almost anyone with a single hit. Lightly armored opponents always die in one hit from me. This made the game so refreshing because I’ve honestly never played anything like it. I’m used to RPGs like Skyrim and Witcher where you’re fighting overgrown monsters. Not something set in medieval times where there are no dragons, elves, or magic. There’s you, your horse, your army, your wife (or husband), child, and whatever you decide to do for a living.
Bannerlord is already a great game in early access and it has the potential to be a masterpiece if the developers fix some of the big issues that I have with the game. For starters, the AI is fucking terrible. I’m never concerned about losing a battle in this game because the AI doesn’t know how to win one. I’ve fought multiple armies by myself and was outnumbered by at least 2,000 troops and I’ve won because the AI basically just lets me kill them. I’ve heard that diplomacy is bad too, but since I literally just started running my own kingdom I can’t really comment on that. This game is early access and it feels like one in many ways. But the blueprint is here for something really amazing to happen and I’m honestly glad I took the leap and bought this game.
And that’s it. That’s what I think of Bannerlord so far. My first Mount and Blade game is something special and I honestly can’t wait to get back into my file and play some more.