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TaleWorlds Entertainment's sandbox RPG Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord quietly left early access last week. And if you'd like to know what the release version of the game has to offer, and what you can expect from its console version, you should check out these reviews below:
PC Gamer 80/100:
Even though I've enjoyed the occasional bit of politicking, I'm disappointed that so many of the systems I liked in their first draft haven't really gone anywhere. They are functional and helpful, and because of their number they provide plenty of diversions, but on their own they often end up feeling surprisingly shallow. That said, more depth doesn't always equate to a better game. The basic characters, hands-off business management and simple political system stop you from getting bogged down with just one facet of Bannerlord. You can still play it your way, but there's an expectation that you'll conquer your way into a position of power, at which point you'll have so much on your hands that you won't want to spend hours worrying about minutiae.
PlayStation Universe 9/10:
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.
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.
PC Invasion 8/10:
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.