Just want to give my early impressions. Not a full, formal review.
The Banner Saga is a Kickstarter game and it's exactly what Kickstarter should be about: visionaries with bold ideas that probably wouldn't get funded through traditional means. And that's exactly how TBS feels; it's a game designed by visionaries who love every bit of their craft but that leads to some issues of its own I'll address later.
First off, this is a gorgeous game. The art style combines the clear-line character art of Ivan Bilibin with the iconic backdrops of Eyvind Earle. Every piece of art from the intricately detailed world map to the rotoscoped animations is beautifully rendered. The world of TBS draws heavy inspiration from Norse mythology but there's quite a bit of detail and world building when I was expecting it to be very straightforward. While it is still a strategy game through and through, fans of RPGs will find plenty to like with the well defined characters and detailed world.
Being a strategy game, combat is at the forefront but has some ♥♥♥♥ling issues. It's a very clean move-action system where character order is more important than arbitrary stats like speed. Being wholly turn based, action economy is the name of the game as you're forced to dominate the battlefield through superior placement of your units. Combat could be a bit more robust but normal difficulty is a decent challenge so far and there's "hard" for people wanting more of a challenge. Thankfully, battles are evenly spaced between story scenes so every individual battle feels special.
Unfortunately, my biggest complaint of an otherwise fine system is the speed. Combat moves at a lethargic pace. There's no option to skip animations or speed combat and in a game where battles with as few as 4 enemies can take 10-15 minutes average, having a speed-up option is sorely missed.
TBS is immensely pleasurable so far and I can only hope it remains consistent to the end. I'll update my thoughts as I go along.
Pubblicata: 14 Gennaio 2014