Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord trailer reveals five-on-five 'Captain Mode' combat

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord studio TaleWorlds Entertainment has released a new video showcasing the chaotic combat of the game's multiplayer "Captain Mode." The new mode will enable "large-scale, epic battles" for up to five players per side, each one controlling a unit of infantry, cavalry, or archers. 

The video isn't narrated, but the basics seem clear enough, especially in the second battle. Units can be customized in a variety of different ways—better armor, more speed, modified weapons, and so forth—and then ordered to move, attack, and assume various offensive or defensive formations. As in RTS gameplay, soldiers aren't controlled individually, but instead operate as best they can under the conditions set by the commander.   

It might be pushing the definition of "large scale" a little—this obviously isn't going to operate at the scope of, say, Total War: Warhammer 2—but the action seems pleasingly brutal, and keeping the battles on the smaller side of big will hopefully translate into a more hands-on feeling of command. Relying on the competence of your fellow commanders in a 5v5 showdown should lead to some interesting conversations, too. 

Despite being in development for the past five years, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord still doesn't have a release date.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.