Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord release date, time, and Steam early access details

It's currently the most watched game on live-streaming platform Twitch, beating out the likes of Apex Legends and even Fortnite.

But you might not have heard of Mount and Blade, the latest video game to catch popular culture's attention.

Unless you keep up with gaming new on a daily basis, you may never have come across the game. So what do you need to know about it?

Here are all your questions answered:

What is Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord?

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is an action role-playing video game that serves as a prequel to 2010's Mount & Blade: Warband, itself an expansion pack for 2008's Mount & Blade.

Bannerlord takes place 210 years before its predecessor, with a setting inspired by the Migration Period, a period of time between AD 375 to 56, during which there were widespread invasions of people within or into Europe.

The new game has been a long time coming, and was first announced as being in development in 2012, but now players will finally be able to get their hands on it as an Early Access version of the game releases.

What does 'Early Access' mean?

Early Access gives players the chance to purchase a game early, under the caveat that it might not be entirely finished and polished for general release when they do so.

However, they'll have access to any and all updates that come to the game down the line.

Once the full version of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is released, it will be available as a free update to those who participated in the Early Access period.

Games in Early Access are usually entirely playable, but may be missing features while developers work on getting them properly implemented in time for the game's full release.

"We are hoping to run a productive and efficient early access for M&B Bannerlord as well," say Turkish developers TaleWorlds Entertainment.

"However, due to the nature and scale of game that we have envisioned, there may be various problems or missing features and content during the course of early access."

What happens in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord?

Bannerlord is an action role-playing game with elements of strategy games thrown into the mix.

The basic idea is to build up a party of soldiers and performs quests; along the way you'll take part in battles which allow you to fight alongside your troops.

Before these battles - or 'sieges' - you'll be able to construct a variety of different battle tools and strategically position them in order to target the enemy fortifications before the battle even begins.

The game also features a multiplayer component that allows players to engage in combat with each other, and in these scenarios, the design of the defending castles and cities is intended to be biased in favour of the defenders.

When can I play it?

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is available on PC now, and you can download it through Stream by heading to this link.

Developers TaleWorlds Entertainment actually put the release date forward a day and reduced the asking price by 10 per cent in response to the ongoing pandemic around the world.

The game currently costs £35.99.