I have a subscription to PC Gamer magazine, which you might consider a bit odd given the amount of PC gaming news I read online. In part, its a nostalgia thing, but its also a decent way to read about things I’d normally skip over on a website, and the writing quality is also generally a bit higher. That said, the PR/paid influence on the content of the mag is pretty high, with pre-release hype pieces being very common, and reviews about major titles often trying to paint a rosier picture than what may actually exists.
I bring this up because the most recent issue had a big feature on Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord, and even in PC Gamer they mentioned the somewhat rough/buggy state of the game, and how one should expect such an experience come release. Is that a surprise? No, not really, especially considering how long it took to patch up M&B:Warband (still has bugs…), and also considering how much bigger Bannerlord is going to be in terms of systems and complexity. But the red flag was that PC Gamer said it, which leads me to believe its REALLY f’n buggy, and not just “oh something silly occasionally happens, its fine”.
Which brings up a larger point about Bannerlord; it’s likely going to disappoint me at least a bit, mostly because my expectations for it are unreasonably high. Warband is at the very top of my favorite games list, and I’ve put in more hours with that game than any other non-MMO title. I love basically everything about it, and it really does line up with what my ideal/perfect game would be.
But my view of Warband is from a game that was patched up, and more importantly, very heavily modded, running on hardware released half a decade after the game’s release. Bannerlord won’t have that. It will likely be a huge resource hog, it certainly won’t have Prophecy of Pendor-sized mods around release, and yes, it will have bugs. Hopefully not ‘crash every 5 minutes’ bugs, or ‘whoops, your entire game broke and you have to restart’ bugs, but I wouldn’t completely rule out that possibility.
Which isn’t to say I won’t be playing day one, or before that if given the chance. They have my $60+ as soon as I can hand it over. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it for what it is at release, and I know, much like Warband, that over the years the game will be patched and expanded into even more of what I want. I’ve waited for years already, what’s a few more…