Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (161 reviews) - 86% of the 161 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (7,688 reviews) - 90% of the 7,688 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

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Recent updates View all (18)

April 18

Banner Saga 2 April 19th

Hello All!

Proud to have Banner Saga 2 launching at 10am PST on April 19th! That means you have less than 24 hours to grab the game for a 10% discount.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/281640/

It's been over 2 years of work, but we're excited to get all of you back in our world and hear what you think of where the story goes! Thank you all for the wonderful support, comments, and mentions. You all rock!

-Stoic

2 comments Read more

April 12

Minor TBS Update

Hello All

Apologies on the delay with this info but we recently had a small update for Banner Saga.

  • Fixed recurring issue that sometimes caused the 'Continue' button to be unresponsive after a battle
  • Added new heraldry crests
  • Fixed some minor memory leaks

Nothing too crazy, but we found some memory things in TBS2 that we could easily bring back to TBS1 so we thought we should.

8 comments Read more

Reviews

“Game of Thrones Meets Vikings Meets Disney. The Banner Saga is blindingly lovely and arguably just as intriguing to play. Built atop a world that all but demands the attention of travel documentaries, it's epic in the literal sense of the word.”
100% – US Gamer

“With a refreshingly unique aesthetic, well-written story, and challenging gameplay, The Banner Saga is an excellent adventure well worth your time.”
90% – Games Radar

“The Banner Saga deserves commendation for the strength of its art and music experience alone, which shatters conventions.”
86% – IGN

Coming to SteamOS/Linux

The Banner Saga will be available on SteamOS and Linux in March 2015.

Digital Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition – Combines The Banner Saga with the official soundtrack which includes 29 tracks by Grammy nominated, and two time BAFTA Award winning, composer Austin Wintory, performed by the Dallas Winds orchestra plus a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: vocalists Peter Hollens and Malukah and violinist Taylor Davis.

About This Game

Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization. Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds. Not everyone will survive, but they will be remembered.

Key Features

  • Player choice that drives your own narrative – every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds.
  • Over 25 playable characters from 2 different races, human and varl, the horned giants – embark on your epic journey with a variety of characters from 7 different classes, each with unique abilities and upgrade options to fit your play style.
  • Strategic combat with consequences - victory or defeat and even the permanent loss of a character depends on which characters you choose to take into battle and what decisions you make afterwards.
  • The journey is as important as battle – your role in building and managing your caravan as you travel the vast frozen landscape is critical to not only your own survival but the survival of an entire civilization.
  • An epic Viking saga brought to life in 2D glory – beautifully hand drawn combat sequences and animations, accompanied by an evocative score from Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, will immerse you into a fantasy realm inspired by Norse mythology.
  • Multiplayer Combat Enhanced – sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game “Factions”. Compete against other players with many of the character classes you see in The Banner Saga.

The Banner Saga is the first part of a planned trilogy. If you complete this game, your unique progress and storyline will carry over to the next part of the story.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 4 MB RAM
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (161 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (7,688 reviews)
Recently Posted
officialasseater
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 2
i've had this game for a day and i've already reloaded to a previous save three times to save gunnulfs life

10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
presidentbillclinton
( 29.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 2
Wow! This game is incredible! I didn't know much about it going in other than the turn-based elements. I found out that I loved everything about this game. The story, the choices it forces you to make (which will change the outcome), and the gorgeous art!!! All I can say is, I loved this game, I will be buying Banner Saga 2 soon. I would recommend this game to anyone. Oh, and it will get you in the feels, so watch out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Salvatos
( 19.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
COMBAT:
Mechanically, combat is pretty straightforward in TBS. Each unit has armor and strength; armor reduces incoming damage, while strength is both health and damage. Most of the time you'll be sundering armor first to let other characters do more damage, but combat still feels interesting since you have to carefully decide where to place everyone, when to spend willpower to boost your attacks or use abilities, and who to include in your party to combine the most useful character abilities and stats. I did not buy this game for the fighting, but if you like tactical turn-based combat, this gets the job done in a fairly simple manner. My biggest grudge would be the lack of clarity in some ability descriptions, and a lack of detail in the tutorial regarding some of the interface. There were several instances of "Oh, if I had known that earlier..."

STORY:
I was mostly interested in the game for its theme and its focus on choice and consequences, and I was not disappointed. The story was interesting, and the characters varied, although I wish a few things about the lore had been explained more. Where the game truly shined for me was in the choice department. You won't just be deciding who to be friends with, or be given false choices that send you to the same game state. It doesn't take long until the game gives you the burden of decisions with no clear outcomes, with several lives hanging in the balance. Who to save, who to side with, who to trust, whether to let people starve or risk them dying in battle, when to uphold your principles and when to do anything to survive... It soon felt like every other choice had me think "I don't know enough to make the right decision!" or "No! I'll lose someone either way!"... which is exactly the position the characters were in. I may not have seen a game before where my choices had so much impact, nor have I spent so long looking at a screen wondering what to pick. The game really makes you feel like you are sharing the characters' struggle and responsible for getting people out of it alive.

Because of this, I also expect to have a decent level of replayability as you can drastically influence the smaller events of the story and determine who lives and who dies. Combined to the large amount of recruitable NPCs and their varied classes that let you experience combat in different ways, I can easily imagine doing 2 or 3 playthroughs even without achievement hunting.

ART & SOUND:
While I appreciate the overall aesthetic of the game, I can't say either the visuals or music stood out for me in the end. The travelling caravan looks nice enough at first, but gets stale after a few hours of scenery changing very slightly as it scrolls past slowly. The animation is minimal, which I think is fine as I see it more as a step above a visual novel rather than a step down from fully animated cinematics. The rest is up to one's taste. The music fits the game well, moody during travel and adequately bombastic or tense during battle, but isn't the kind of soundtrack I would buy on its own.

Overall, a great purchase and a memorable game and story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
global_skillz-muscle_memory.exe
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
I have completed the game and I have to say that it was outstanding. The music suits the game and the story is interesting and easy to follow. A game to recommend.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
warko
( 23.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Fantastic game. Choices are really important and you will have that burden till the end of the game.
I was skeptical about it, but then saw some streamings and saw this was the type of game i love.
Finished in 24 hours more a less. So really nice, not too long, not too short.
And after finishing the game, i'm thinking about playing it again, and take other choices.
Totally recomend it, but if you have doubts, watch a stream or a video review and see if its your type.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
senpaisadraoui
( 13.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
Best Chara design with very attaching people.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
hoppystar
( 8.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
I am absolutely terrible at tactical combat, normally I avoid this kind of combat gameplay like the plague. That said, the absolutely beautiful art style and music along with the deep story was enough to compell me to try it. I do not regret it!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tomsev
( 22.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
At first I didn't really understand the story asit jumped from scene to scene with various characters. Hard to follow. But after several hours or so, it all start to make sense and the plot turned out to be very interesting. The story build up is done very well, yet just about when I'm starting to enjoy the game...it ends with a twist that made me want to replay the whole thing again.

Good battle system with some minor innovation here and there to keep it interesting.
Good comic style animation and character art.

Unfortunately the whole playthrough is very short for such game. I expected to experience 20-30 hours of it while turned out I could finished it in just less than 15 hours.

I'd recommend this game for its story and enjoyable battle system.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Timmy Two-Trains
( 8.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
I finished the game in 8 hours then immediately bought the next game. I felt like I was playing LOTR: The Two Towers with the games story telling and multiple perspectives. Although if you flew through it like me, I would suggest buying it on sale because the credits came a little too soon for me.


TL;DR- Massive norse inspired boner the whole time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nelfein
( 45.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 1
This game was so much fun when I played it. I actually played it twice to see some alternative choice consequences and both time I got engaged in the game so much.

You must keep in mind that this is NOT a fairy tale RPG. The advertisement slogan for the BS2 applies just as much to the first installment. You can lose heroes you got attached to not because a battle went wrong but because you made a wrong choice during the storytelling sequence. Sometimes it can get you down but all in all it’s still a great entertainment.

I think adult players will have more fun with the game just because they can see the second bottom to the story and the message of the game better than younger audience. This being said I think all players that enjoy difficult (!) turn based strategies will enjoy this game.

Game mechanics are fairly easy to learn and flexible enough that you can replace any fallen hero (in battle or outside of it). Thou incorporating a new class to the battlegroup might force some tactics adjustments.

All in all I enjoyed this game very much. The story is sad and a bit emotionally heavy if you engage heavily into such things (as I do) but hey – it’s just like life. Not pretty all the time ;)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
26 of 33 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
TL;DR at Bottom
If you enjoyed this review,consider giving it a thumbs up!

9/10
Necessary Purchase

Apocalypse Now
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=702071498
The Banner Saga is a turn based RPG set in an apocalyptic fantasy world being invaded by a host of armored giants dubbed "The Dredge". Stoic, the developers of The Banner Saga have recently released a sequel and have even released on mobile platforms due to its success on steam. The Banner saga is a singleplayer-only game with a story mode that has the interesting main mechanic of switching between two different points of view for the first half of the game. The Banner Saga contains 7 chapters and each thrilling chapter will keep you on edge for the entire time. Chapters are fairly lengthy, each ranging from an hour to two at most and for me I ended up finishing the game in about 10-11 hours on my first run through.
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=702213252
In the Banner saga there is two different phases in the game: Caravan phase and combat phase. When you're in your caravan phase you oversee your caravan as you try to head to your next destination. This is where you make almost all your choices and also where you will see the various resting points in the game. As the game progresses you find various different resting points where your caravan can take a break in places such as towns and villages or sometimes even near one of the holy godstones. While you're camped out at a resting point you can access your hero screen, your map, and you can even have chats with some of the characters in the caravan. In this phase your caravan slowly consumes supplies which can be bought at markets in some villages or even acquired through some choices. There are also different items for sale in the markets although most of them are very basic passives that don't really add that much to gameplay. The items really could benefit by giving you new skills or maybe skill point boosts but instead they're just rather bland passives. In order to buy anything though you need renown, the games currency. You acquire renown from killing people in combat, although I do believe there are some major decisions that grant renown. Renown can also be used to level up your characters for combat however I feel that most of the time these upgrades are too expensive and you end up being unable to buy items and supplies because of it. The caravan also has a morale system where, depending on the current morale level your characters may suffer a penalty in combat.

"As we pass steep cliffs, the sprawl of Boersgard comes into view. A city of contrasting rich and poor, opportunity and gamble. Our best hope for salvation, or our graves."
-Rook

The combat phase is a pretty refreshing take on turn-based combat due to the willpower system. Willpower is a stat on your characters that, in combat, they can use to increase the damage of their attacks or allow them to use special abilities. In The Banner Saga there's two types of damage you can deal to enemies: Strength and Armor. Strength is the stat that determines how much damage you can do to an enemy, so if you attack an enemies strength then they'll do less damage. If you decide to attack the enemies armor however, then that will open them up and make them take extra strength damage from future attacks. It is absolutely critical to make sure you don't only attack health or armor but instead mix them up. I really dislike how the more damage dealt to your strength the less damage you deal because then the combat can devolve into who gets the first hit. Every character that you have can be upgraded, up to level five, for increasing amounts of renown and this is where, as I said, you end up sinking most of your renown. Every character has a class but they mean very little and the characters all follow the same archetype and some characters literally use the same model with a slight recolor. I wish that instead of having loads of characters that you could equip for combat you could have fewer combatants with more unique models and stories. Even with these flaws The Banner Saga still has a very unique take on a combat system that, in my opinion, has begun to get stale.

When the Banner Falls
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=702071484
The story of the Banner Saga is also one of its strong points as it is both unique and easy to follow without letting the two detract from the plot. The story, without spoiling much, is essentially divided into two parts until about halfway through the game. The first part you play as Hakon, one of the co-commanders of a group of giant-like beings called varl. You're goal is to essentially escort a human prince to the varl capital of Grofheim so that you can seal an alliance between the two races. The other side of the campaign you play as Rook, a human father who is out hunting with his daughter, Alette, when they run into a dredge footsoldier and have to retreat back to their village. The chieftain of their village ends up being killed so Rook has to take command of the caravan and help them reach safety. With the counsel of the chieftains wife and some old friends, Rook sets out with the caravan in tow in the hopes of making it to the nearby city of Frostvellr. The story features a strong mechanic of choice, similar to Telltale's "The Walking Dead" series and this takes an already intriguing story and gives it all the emotional twists and turns that come with choice based storytelling. Most of the time the choices you make result in effects like getting or losing supplies or having morale changes but in some cases you can gain or lose characters. However, you can never really alter the story that much from a set line of main events for it to make a significant difference in the end but it's nice to have choices that actually feel like they effect gameplay. The story has so many mysterious elements that you cannot help but to keep playing just so you can find out the next little bit of character development or lore.

TL;DR
An intriguing story of camaraderie in the face of ahnihilation that revives turn based combat and shows how important choice can be.

If you found this review helpful or entertaining then feel free to join my Steam Curator Group at Mudkips Gaming
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
58.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
I bought this game several months after its release, heard a lot of positive reviews and decided to try it on my own.
Banner Saga is a fantastic game in my opinion. I finished it three times, taking different decisions during the playthroughs just to see all the consequences they could have (and had!).
I liked the setting very much, the epic viking saga of last stand of both humans and giants against a merciless invader horde. Heroes and their personalities are quite memorable, I enjoyed every bit of dialogue. The system of somewhat random events in-between your main battles is not new, we could see the same in Fasterthanlight, but it does surprisingly good here.
Tactical battles mechanic is interesting, exploring various character options while advancing their level and unlocking new abilities gives some hidden depth to the game.
The visual part is awesome, plain awesome. The same could be said of 100% fitting soundtrack, the melodies create just the right mood for the game events flow.
I cannot say this is a game for everyone, but if you enjoy tactical battles and storytelling you'll likely fall in love with this game. To me it's nothing but a masterpiece.
Looking forward to the sequel.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
I don't normally play RPG style games anymore (diminishing free time and ability to remember storyline between play sessions) but I gave this a shot and really enjoyed the story and battle style. By a couple chapters in, I was hooked on the story.

This is not a terribly complex game, which to me is GOOD.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
对于游戏没有其他的要求,请添加中文,中文,中文!!!

***Very Important*** Please be sure to add Chinese in the next version!!! because many of us have bought your game!!
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17 of 27 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
I don't really want to give this Game a negative Review, but there are no grey areas in the reviewsystem and if I ask myself "would you recommend this game to others" I simply can't get myself to say yes.

Let me try to explain my reasoning:

The game has an interesting artstyle and some elements of norse-mythology, and works with a mixture of oregan-trail style traveling(where you make decisions along the way) and turn based combat on a grid.

So far so good, a solid concept.

My problems with the game:
None of the characters, were all that memorable to me, they all felt kind of bland and those that I rememberd were rather annoying(mostly the humans, the Varl, a race of horned giants, were mostly bland warriors).

The oregan-trail elements of the game actually felt kind of fun to me, but I found the combat to be so utterly dull and repetetative... You fight a bunch of really tough(tough in the sense of, they are able to take a ton of damage, not that they are difficult to beat) enemys that repeat over and over again, with little variety. Maybe there will be more interesting enemys later, but that still doesn't change my second problem with the game:
The characters don't all that many abilitys, in fact, they have one per character and their base attacks. And Most of the time you just move a character, hit a thing and thats it, as long as you don't let your groupsize shrink to much during the out-of-combat-events and just gather all your characters in one place, you should be able to defeat most encounters with ease.
Most of the time the combat just felt like it was getting in the way of the storyprogression though...

So yeah, since I am someone who rather likes really complex turn based combat, I sadly can't recommend this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
Easily one of the best RPGs I've played in a very long time. This game is actually somewhat reminiscent of that epic and groundbreaking game Oregon Trail on MS DOS, which alone is worth the experience. It also clearly draws inspiration from heavily story driven tactics games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Vandal Hearts.

The faux-Nordic world and history is actually pretty consistent with the story of Ragnarok, while keeping things fresh and unpredictable. Even if you hope to see something more genuine in Nordic mythology, you will not in the least be disappointed. If anything, this world is totally align with yet another re-imagining of the Poetic Edda.

I would expect nothing less from former BioWare developers. Congratulations, and keep this series going!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
As a pure audiovisual experience the Banner Saga is superb, both the artwork and the soundtrack are amazing.

Unfortunately as a game it has several major issues. The turn-based battles are not that good and get repetitive really quickly. The caravan management side of things doesn't fare much better. There's plenty of choices to be made, but often the consequences feel very unpredictable and unfair. Furthermore, the main path through the game is fairly fixed anyway and in the long run your choices don't really matter much. Even running out of supplies for days on end doesn't seem like a big deal, you just lose a few people from your caravan.

I backed the Banner Saga on Kickstarter and really wanted to like the game. Unfortunately the gameplay is just too weak and the game has too many bad design decisions for me to truly enjoy. I played through the game on normal difficulty.

The good:
- Gorgeous visuals
- Amazing soundtrack
- The Norse mythology inspired world is quite interesting

The bad:
- There's lots of choices, but the consequences often seem very unpredictable and most of the time don't seem to matter much in the long run
- The turn-based combat is pretty weak with some questionable design choices, especially the way turn order is determined and how remaining hit points and attack strength are combined into one stat
- There's very little variety in battles, in pretty much every battle you'll be fighting the same few enemies
- Using renown for both leveling up and for supplies & items was a very annoying design decision
- Ending is very abrupt
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Yet another game that has been sitting in my Steam library for a while, and coming off the tactics/strategy of XCOM, I thought now would be a great time to dive in. It's always said when people talk about this game, but it bears repeating that the artistic design of this game is just superb. The OST by Austin Wintory is just absolutely fantastic, and definitely among some of his best work that I've heard. The visual style is truly gorgeous, particularly the caravan scenes which do such a superb job conveying the sense of scale of the journey. The setting itself is pretty darn great, as many games do a "post-apocalyptic" or "end of the world" setting, but very few manage to convey the sense of finality and hopelessness that The Banner Saga manages to. Even the way the game presents choices for you to make as you lead your caravan was pretty well done. The kudos aside, I did have some gripes about the gameplay. I understood what the game was trying to do with battle spacing, armor/strength gauges and the back-and-forth turn system it used, but I don't know that it ever really succeeded. Overall though, it's an experience worth having, especially if you love Norse themes as much as I do.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Not the easiest game to play. Completed it on easy so far with redoing it all over a couple of times to make things go my way more or less. Really recomended if you like some strategy.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Banner Saga is a beautiful, investing game, but it defiitely has its issues. If you buy items or stumble upon them you can never sell them in favor of better items, food, or to upgrade your characters instead. The game is also incredibly short, allows you to make decisions that you'd think would have severe consequences as far as the story goes but don't, and worst of all, feeding your caravan isn't necessary. You don't need them. You can just let them all starve to death and you'll be perfectly fine, and so basically you're simply spending renown for nothing.
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