Mount & Blade 2 is as yet without a release date. What it will have, however, is castles.
I'll get to what Taleworlds has to say about its impregnable fortresses in a second, but first let me recount my pitiful experience with Mount & Blade 2's castles to this point.
At Gamescom last year, I sampled the game's multiplayer Captain Mode which contained a mini castle of sorts, with a drawbridge and turret. I lost several bouts against a room full of other journalists, before realising I'd a better chance of winning on horseback. From there I ruled the battlefield, got the foe down to its last couple of foot soldiers, stormed a narrow castle bridge, misjudged my footing, decked it off my horse, and was murdered from above.
If this is the best I can do with the smallest of keeps, I shudder to think how I'll handle Banderlords' promised upgradable castles—some of which cannot be breached by battering ram. First, here's a gif of how castle construction might unfold:
Second, here's the developer on how that works:
The system is quite simple: castles start at level 1 and can be upgraded twice to reach their maximum level. In the example castle below, with each upgrade the castle gets taller, more dominant towers; better positions to deploy defensive machines; deeper walls at critical points for larger troop formations; greater coverage over its gatehouse; and the opportunity to deploy a layered defence.
While it may be acceptable (or even preferable in some instances) to assault the gatehouse of a level 1 castle with just a battering ram, as the castle is upgraded this kind of simplistic approach becomes less viable, and by level 3 you will need a well-coordinated attack to be able to breach the defences.
No matter how large or complex our castles are, we always try to give commanding positions for both the attackers and defenders. A small hill near your siege camp, or the tallest tower in your castle might not be the best position to utilise your character’s combat potential, but it would give you a great vantage point to oversee the battle from and make it easier to command your troops. Meanwhile, shortcuts between battlements and multiple chokepoints built into the map give you the opportunity to move to where you are needed to hold back an attack or break through a defence.
Again, no launch date just yet—but you can read more about Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's factions in this direction.