Parents' Guide to

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

By Dwayne Jenkins, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature role-playing & strategy mix to create massive fun.

Mount & Blade II Cover

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Kids say (6 ):

Few things are as satisfying as watching your armies use their siege weapons to take down a castle that's been the bane of your existence for the past hour. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord may contain elements that have been done better in other games or franchises, but nothing has combined many tried-and-true action RPG (role-playing game) and strategy elements in as strong a package as this. You get to play the role of commander as you survey the battlefield, find the best places for your units, and watch as they clash with the opposition in a song comprised of battle cries and clanging steel. You also get to charge right alongside your men, throwing yourself directly into the chaos. There's something immensely gratifying about going into a battle knowing that your enemy has twice as many soldiers as you do – but using your wits to come out on top by way of hiding certain units within a nearby forest to overwhelm your foes when they least expect it. You have so many tactical options at your disposal that it can be overwhelming. This makes siege battles – where you're either taking a castle or town or defending it – breathtakingly thrilling. If you can imagine the most epic siege scenes depicted in a movie or TV show, this game will allow you the chance to be the conquering hero that uses battering rams and towers to overcome your adversaries.

Of course, you don't have to play the game that way. While the game's biggest strengths lie in its battles, that doesn't mean its other elements are anything to dismiss. You can earn influence and power in a much more subtle fashion – by doing favors for other kingdoms or persuading them that you're worthy of one of their "lesser" lands. You can walk around a town, talk to its inhabitants, and simply make yourself useful to whoever may need your help. There's a campaign mode present, but all the "stories" within it are largely superficial. This is a game that takes its hands off the wheel and tells players to forge their own way forward. If there's anything resembling a "flaw," it's that the game's battles are so grand, it makes everything else seem lesser by comparison. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord may not exactly be "reinventing the wheel" when it comes to what's being offered, but it's so tactful in how it makes all its systems work seamlessly as a whole, it's hard not to recommend this to gamers looking for something that turns the familiar into something utterly unique and refreshing.

Game Details

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