More than seven years after it was announced, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is finally launching on Steam this month, at least in Early Access. Given all the delays lately, I was a little worried we wouldn't see it arrive in March, but turns out that it's actually ahead of schedule, so we'll be getting our hands on it on March 30 instead of March 31.
TaleWorlds actually switched to remote working a fortnight ago, but that doesn't seem to have broken its stride at all. "Thanks to the great effort of the whole team, and hearing the requests of our community to release the game as soon as possible, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will release in Early Access a day before," the announcement reads.
Bannerlord will also be discounted by 10 percent through the first two weeks, with owners of the previous games getting another 10 percent knocked off. On the subject of game's cost, TaleWorlds has acknowledged that the coronavirus outbreak has left a lot of people struggling financially, so as well as discounts it's also making it clear what you get with the Early Access version so you know if it's worth dipping into right now.
You'll be able to play custom battles and the campaign, within which TaleWorlds says you'll find everything you'd expect from Mount & Blade, along with a new kingdom management system and other new additions. If you dive in on Monday, however, you should be prepared for bugs, balance issues, some disabled or missing features, and everything else that comes with an in-development game.
A multiplayer beta has been underway for a while, and that will continue, letting you test four modes, including sieges and the Captain mode. It will be developed alongside the singleplayer stuff, so you'll be able to try out new features and modes through the Early Access phase.
"If you would like to experience everything that Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has to offer, then we strongly encourage you to hold off on buying the game until the full-release," TaleWorlds warns.
It's rare to have something to look forward to on a Monday, so this should be a nice treat. Keep an eye out for our impressions, and if you're new to Mount & Blade we'll have something to help you get up to speed.
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord will now be opening its doors at 10 am GMT/3 am PT.