While I enjoy it, it definitely doesn't feel like 8 years of work, it feels like the Fallout 4 of Mount and Blade: Streamlined for accessibility at the cost of mechanics. Biggest factor for this is the loading screens, sure the fully rendered cutscenes are nice but holy shit the loading. So. Much. Loading. Functionality has suffered for being aesthetically pleasing which is the exact opposite of what old M&B was like.
Oh and the game seems intentionally grindier so that it takes you longer to get to the late game and realize that there now isn't a late game anymore, politics has been simplified, you can no longer invest in enterprises, saving up for better equipment is pointless since there is no better equipment, that scale armour IS the best in the game. The new smithing while cool is now an RNG lootbox system about grinding for the chance to unlock new parts and you lose profits on it always. Trading is now profitable though, so that's a plus.
It just feels like such a watered-down experience, like it's what Warband would look like if it was made by EA in 2020.