With last year's Gamescom giving us a mouth-watering tease of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's multiplayer component, more specifically the Captain Mode, Gamescom 2018 was all about singleplayer experience, with a campaign teaser to match.
Importance of multiplayer in just about any new PC game cannot be overstated, perhaps even more so when it's a PC exclusive, as strange as it is to even pronounce. I mean just look at No Man's Sky.
In my specific case however - Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's bread and butter was always the singleplayer, so let's dig into the good stuff. Starting off with the map and disregarding the obvious eye candy improvements, we're looking at a three times larger playing area.
With Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is taking place 200 years before Mount & Blade: Warband, the game's map has been adjusted accordingly. TaleWorlds expanded the playable area to the south and east of the earlier versions and you'll easily recognise many familiar locations, albeit in a slightly more mountainous version that makes certain encounters nigh impossible to evade.
TaleWorlds also streamlined the user interface as well as the general information provided by the map during your travels. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord villages now clearly show what each village produces at a glance and it will show even more as the settlements grow and become more advanced.
In an attempt to accurately model Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord's world after the feudal systems of old, TaleWorlds lumped locations and characters on the map into a single category called "parties". However, each of them has a specific function in maintaining the balance.
In their developer blog, TaleWorlds shed some light on how the in-game economy works. Basically, villages produce whatever goods they can from the resources available while peasants travel between villages and towns, selling them.
Raw materials also end up in towns, where they're put to use for consumption or manufacturing of other goods. Seeing as how caravans buy these goods and sell them elsewhere, expect Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord to deliver a proper haggling experience, if not by them - then by you.
With the map, towns and settlements evolving and growing in prosperity over time, it'll be up to you to carefully manage their prosperity and, in turn, power, sometimes by simply helping nearby bandits.
We'll be keeping our eyes and ears open for more details and/or launch date, which still hasn't been revealed. We've even heard rumours that there may be a slight possibility of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox, although I wouldn't be betting on it just yet.