Mount & Blade games have always primarily focused on the core gameplay mechanics over the visual appeal of the game world. And while this is something which remains true for Bannerlord, we have worked extensively on improving the overall visual quality of the game with the aim of making the experience more immersive and enjoyable for players. In this week’s blog, we would like to talk about one of the improvements we are currently working on, which will help to bring battles to life and will give players a real sense of the gritty and brutal nature of warfare.
In a real-life battle, clever commanders will look for as many advantages as possible: they will try to get the high ground, outnumber their enemies, flank and surround them, strike by surprise… If they could do so, they would only engage battle when odds are overwhelmingly in their favour, so the battle ends even before it begins. Video games, on the other hand, are supposed to be fun – and for that, they need to be fair, especially in multiplayer. If you see yourself in a disadvantaged position, you should be there because of taking the wrong decisions, not because the game failed to find a balance where it’s the one with the best skills who win. In a game with deep gameplay, such as Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, with so many different factions, troop types, weaponry, terrain, etc., finding that delicate balance is particularly tricky.
In Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord’s sandbox campaign, players are free to play the game however they like. And for some people, this might mean turning to a life of crime to facilitate their rise to power. But, just like in real life, there are consequences to your actions and crimes do not go unpunished... unless you position yourself to be above the law, of course.
Everything counts to make a video game an immersive experience, from the smallest details of the UI to the art design, the graphics, and of course the gameplay – but there is an aspect that tends to be unjustly overlooked in spite of it having capital importance. We’re talking about sound. Imagine you are in the middle of a fight. The rasp of swords being unsheathed, the crunch of sand under the hooves of the horses, the screams and grunts of pain of soldiers – all that can make you feel in the thick of a battle, and that makes sound a very powerful tool for video games. Today we talk with Ugurcan Orcun, our Audio Director, who will offer some insights on how Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord approaches this area and what he is doing for the game.
In Mount & Blade games, no matter how cunning you are, eventually you will be forced to take to the field of battle in unfavourable conditions. However, in Bannerlord, battles aren’t a simple numbers game. With the right units and tactics, encounters that seem hopeless can be turned to your advantage. But, a wise commander wouldn’t throw away the lives of their troops as part of a learning experience; they would do everything in their power to increase their chances of success by improving their tactical knowhow.