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: Very Positive (3,410 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A wonderfully realised Viking adventure with in-depth tactical combat. Roto-scope style animation leads to a beautiful world. Ends a bit abruptly though"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (9)

October 15

Reddit AMA

Howdy Folks!

We're hosting a Reddit AMA all day today - and we;d love for you to stop by and ask your questions. We'll do our best to answer all of them that we can.

Thanks all!

0 comments Read more

October 2

The Banner Saga oniOS and Linux Update

Howdy Folks!

Today we're officially avaiable on iOS via the app store if you any of you folks have been waiting on that.

We also have an update for you folks wanting the Linux port:

Just to give you an update we are still working on the linux port and it’s progressing. We are dealing with a few crashes and remaining issues, then we need to add in sound plus address some general performance issues – but the takeaway is that it’s still being worked on and that we’re getting there. We don’t have a date yet as we want to ensure everything is wrapped up and working before any sort release.

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“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

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

    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
104 of 125 people (83%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Wow, just wow. The Banner Saga blew me away. Incredible art and animation, and a fabulous turn-based strategy game with RPG elements in general. I couldn't stop thinking about this game for days after I finished it and I normally don't even like turn-based strategy games (or it has to be something like Advance Wars).

This game is deep, as far as the story is concerned at least. You'll be losing plenty of people over the course of the game, and it's not necessarily because you made the wrong choice. It's because the choices *are* tough and there usually isn't a right answer to begin with. The game autosaves so you can't go back and try it again, and you can't save manually.

The artstyle and animations are just beautiful. I appreciated it, and enjoyed it, for the entire length of the game. There's just so many detail. The characters and the environments, especially when you're fighting. Normally all you see is empty looking environments with a tree or something, but here you have dead bodies lying around and destroyed villages. Nothing looks the same (as far as I can see). They put *a lot* of love in this game.

It also feels, and is, incredibly polished. It's simply amazing. The UI is small, clear and unobtrusive, but some things could've been explained a bit better. Some things are a bit unclear if you go to the character management screen, for example. It could benefit from more and better explanation. Still, no biggie.

One other thing that stuck with me are the difficulty spikes. These are random but annoying. However, you can change the difficulty on-the-fly so it's usually just a matter of pressing a button.
The game itself can take about 9-12 hours to complete, so it's a pretty big game. I personally never got bored of it.

Now I'm anxiously awaiting the sequels, because man, this one set the bar pretty high for me. If they can maintain the same quality and polish it will be awesome, even if they decide to never add any new features.

Absolutely recommended !

[Rating: 93/100]
Posted: April 28
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50 of 64 people (78%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
After my Assassin's Creed binge last week, I took a bit of a break to wind down a tad. I started playing Banner Saga a few days ago however - I wasn't sure what to expect from it, the screenshots looked more like a point and click adventure, a genre which I normally don't enjoy as much - thankfully I was wrong.

The Banner Saga is heavy role playing game where you face numerous scenarios throughout the story, each decision you make will impact the outcome and general feel of the game.

The story goes extremely deep into Viking saga and history, which if you are interested in that sort of thing, this will already be a winner for you. The devs have done a very good job at making you feel you are part of the caravan and are right there in the midst of it all.

The game does start out quite slow, but as you get past the first chapter, it picks up pace and you keep wanting more.

The actual game play is a turn-based strategy basis. Again strategy is not normally one of my favorite genres but The Banner Saga does a very good job at introducing all the elements and features of the game at a slow but reasonable pace for you to get used to them. By the end of the game you'll be able to blast through your turns without thinking at all, very simple (which is a good thing in my eyes).

Graphic wise, the 2D art is beautiful. It looks as if every scene has been hand drawn. Length of the game is just right - a full playthrough for me took about seven and a half hours, and this was with picking up quite a few achievements along the way.

I highly recommend The Banner Sage as it will be a welcome addition to your library if you give it a chance.

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Posted: August 23
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41 of 53 people (77%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
I have mixed opinions about The Banner Saga, but I'm still very happy to have played it. Most of the time, when I find games to be surprisingly brief, it's generally to their benefit. However, this is one title where I felt like it ended before it could really shine. I'm appreciative that it didn't drag itself out, but at the same time it's always a bit jarring when the end credits sneak up on you.

The Banner saga is some weird mesh of grid based strategy rpg (Fire Emblem, Tactics Ogre, FFT/A) and...the Oregon trail. And Vikings (or something resembling Vikings). However, only the first part of that hybrid combination does the game feel polished, gameplay wise. The game's most notable feature when it comes to the primary battle engagements is the Armor/Strength duality, as well as Willpower and Exertion mechanics. In order to deal a lot of damage to most enemies, especially Dredge, you first have to spend time working down their armor instead of trying to outright lower their health to zero. This is only a small wrinkle to the normal rpg standby, but it is implemented well enough to have two interesting results. One, it creates some very real consequential moments where you've got a unit able to do decent armor or strength damage and you can't be certain whether you should really strip the armor down further or if you should take a chunk out of the enemy health so that they might be finished off sooner. Secondly, it creates much needed class specialization where certain units are much more adept at stripping armor while others are better set finishing weakened foes. The game then allows you to use some basic accessory-equipment to either further specialize (giving an armor-break boosting equipment to someone already well equiped to break armor) or to make certain units more versatile. One thing that I suppose I wasn't used to is that the class-roles are specified and listed on the heroes pages, but they still don't seem as iron-clad or strict as those in games such as the Japanese srpgs I listed earlier (where the class given to a unit is much more defining). I couldn't tell you which units were which class off of the top of my head, only what each given unit was good at performing in battle. I suppose it feels a bit more organic this way.

I feel like the willpower-exertion mechanics are the most important (and unique) mechanics of the battles. Exertion allows you to add damage points to your strength hits, break down armor faster, and move further than normal. Morale allows you to add willpower to units as you need it, and replenishes as you defeat enemies. Since exertion determines how much willpower you can add to any action, it was the first thing I upgraded on any unit promotion.

The battle animations and sound work is expecially great, and I generally love the look of this game. The battle environments are a bit bland but that's not a real dealbreaker. One thing that I never did gel with was the out-of-battle dialogues, usually set as continously reversing camera shots of the front facing portraits of the various characters. The continuously changing perspective and lack of multiple emotive artworks for each character really made clicking through these dialogues to be a chore at times, and it was sometimes more difficult than it needed to be to determine who was entering and leaving the scene, and even who is all present at any given time.

The in-between battle treks with the caravan were not super enjoyable. I was given a unit count of clansmen, fighters, and varl but I didn't really know what this represented and only tried to keep the numbers high because that's what you're expected to do, right? A handful of times the game would tell me that the enemy force was so large and my force was compartively large but I couldn't really tell what numbers the game was crunching underneath. While other moments of open-ended choice and consecquence within these sections was enjoyable (do you help the random caravan you come accross, do you punish the drunk, do you demand goods from the traders if your supplies are low, etc), the various off-screen battle tactician moments (do you charge in, do you pull back, you have x forces against their y forces) seemed to be more random and less consequential. In the last two chapters of the game, I had made a dumb mistake and lost most of my unit count but it didn't seem to matter at all.

That said, in general I enjoyed the challenge of the game. I played through on Normal mode, and I even lost two battles (one of which I am sure you are supposed to lose :p ) but the game ended up allowing the journey to progress with those loses, which makes the prospect of a replay to see if I could either avoid or overcome though encounters to be somewhat appealing. The last battle of the game took a few tries, but at the same time, I didn't realize it was the last battle. It didn't really seem appropriately grandiose when considering some of the things introduced before that point that I thought I would be tackling. I'm unsure how much the ending can change depending on your choices, so I might have to do some reading.

I just wish the game was a little longer. Some of the units in the game I felt like only saw 3-4 battles, and with the number of units you get in total (quite a few) and the frequency in which the become available and unavailable, and the low-map limit of who all you can bring into any given battle, I just felt like there were a few things I was unable to ever get to try. While I had some units level up many times, but the end of the game I had some units only often enough to have promoted once. But again, I suppose that allows for some variety in re-plays.

Great art, but I wish there was more to the dialogue sections, retweaked caravan between battle-mechanics, some larger more interesting maps would be neat, and more chances to be able to bring units into battle which a lower frequency of units becoming unavailable. Though not to any extreme extent, having some limitations on those sorts of things is a great way to force yourself to try out different strategies rather than just bringing your strongest units every time.

Lastly, the overarching story and narrative were interesting enough, but sometimes it felt messy and cluttered. You find yourself moving from one outpost to the next, each with exotics names, and never in one place for too long. Yes, there's a fairly nice in game map that helps to try to put things into place mentally, but when the purpose of most encampments is to simply upgrade your units and merch and be on your way, there wasn't a lot of incentive to really keep track of much. A large part of the game boils down to someone declaring that you need to leave place x and head to place y for reason z, and that's really all of the motivation I needed or wanted.
Posted: August 8
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
A story very well done with many incredible elements, and that will make you almost cry. Early in the game you will feel lost, but long of the journey, you will getting the hang of the game and understand the story.
-A mixture of Final Fantasy Tactics and some RPGs and games Point click, make this game one of the best of 2014.
Make decisions in the midst of war, will make you think twice, because a simple decision can make you lose the battle.
-Graphs beautiful ... Clean and simple but detailed.
-Excellent soundtrack, Songs that make you want to stop the battle and listen.
-But the weak point of the game, it would be his lack of command and compatibility with the X360 control.
-Some commands are complicated because the screen is static and you do not to move it to different angles ... it always keeps the same angle, amid battles it ultimately fail bad gameplay.
-Another thing that could be better is the personaliação of perssonagens, it could be more like FFT, which has several items, jobs, and powers / different attacks, which ends up leaving the game more envolvente.
-The lack of animations of the characters, are always with the same anemation, do you get angry, but this is a simple and silly thing for an amazing game.
=Recommend a few people, more for those who like challenges
Note 79/100
(sorry my bad english... I tried!)

Uma história muito bem feita com muitos elementos incríveis, e que fara voce quase chorar. No começo do game voce vai se sentir perdido, mas ao decorrer da jornada, voce vai pegando o jeito do jogo e entendendo a historia.
-Uma mistura de Final Fantasy Tatics e alguns RPGS e jogos Point Clicks, fazem desse game, um dos melhores de 2014
-Tomar as decisões em meio a guerra, vai te fazer pensar duas vezes, pois uma simples decisão, pode fazer você perder a batalha.
-Graficos lindos e simples... Limpos mas detalhados.
-Excelente trilha sonora, Musicas que te fazem querer parar a batalha e ficar ouvindo.
-Mas o ponto fraco do jogo, seria sua falta de comandos e compatibilidade com controle do X360.
-Alguns comandos são complicados pois a tela é estatica e você não tem como move-la para diversos angulos... ela se mantem no mesmo angulo sempre, em meio as batalhas isso acaba prejudicando algumas coisas. outra coisa que poderia ser melhor, é a personaliação dos perssonagens, que poderia ser mais parecida com FFT, que tem varios itens, jobs, e poderes/ataques diferenciados, que acaba deixando o game mais envolvente.
-E a falta de animações dos personagens que sempre estão com a mesma animação, fazem voce ficar irritado, mas isso é uma coisa simples e boba, para um game incrivel.
=Recomendo a poucas pessoas, mais para aquelas que gostam de desafios

Nota 79/100
----PS:A linguagem em Portugues é horrivel, deve ser portugues de portugal, mas mesmo assim ajuda muito na historia.----
Posted: September 10
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22 of 35 people (63%) found this review helpful
22.2 hrs on record
I absolutely loved this game.

Having been afraid of strategy RPG's most of my life (Final Fantasy Tactics drove me away because I think I was too young to understand what was going on when I played it and found it immensely frustrating) I've recently found a new love for the genre. It started with Valkyria Chronicles on the PS3, expanded to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and now The Banner Saga joins the list.

I felt that everything about it - the gameplay, the pacing, the music, the art - was all top notch. This is a game I'm glad to have backed on Kickstarter, and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

If you like strategy RPG's I don't know what's not to like about this one. But the biggest caveat to my recommendation is that if you don't like the genre then you may want to avoid it.
Posted: June 25
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2,034 of 2,631 people (77%) found this review helpful
10.7 hrs on record
I backed this game on Kickstarter very early on, basically after having read the words "turn based strategy" and "vikings" and had very high hopes for the project.
During the first hour of play I was entusiastic and impressed with the artwork, the graphical style, the music and the combat system. It runs well, I encountered no major bugs, and the story starts very intense and engrossing.
Now, after nearing the end of my first (and, most likely, only) playthrough I can sum up my personal experience with a single sentence: I learned to *thoroughly* hate this game.
I'm terribly sorry, I desperately wanted to like this, but with every tedious, frustrating and boring hour of gameplay I had to concede, that just about *every* design choice made by Stoic seems to go diametrically against my personal preferences.
Trying to cast an objective vote, I'd rate it about 5 out of 10, because there are undoubtedly many things good about the game, but the essence of what it's about - having fun, being motivated and enjoying the time spent playing - simply doesn't happen.
TBS is the very definition of a railroaded game. More than that, it actually *feels* like more than half of the time I'm actually watching pointless, endlessly repeating nice backgrounds scrolling past, while nothing happens. Events are scarce, and when they happen, they kill my motivation and the RPG aspect. Because, frankly, I'm NOT making decisions. I'm playing a random guessing game, in most cases with absolutely *no* clue on what the consequences of the 4 "choose your answer" alternatives *might* even be. I hate playing a game where I don't even know the rules, and I hate winning every battle and then losing my heroes (and the associated investment!) to random dialogue events.
The world map is like a bad joke on my expense, as it serves absolutely *no* function in the game but as a "choose your flavour text" library. It feels like there's an entire aspect of the game simply never implemented here...
Same goes for character development and resource management. Both are oversimplified, shallow and simply feel completely unfinished. Each character has one single item slot, and the items available are nothing special. Abilities are pretty much predetermined, and dividing 10 points you *might* receive during 5 ranks isn't that big a deal towards diverity or individualization.
There is one single resource for everything (renown) and one single sure way to acquire it (by killing enemies in combat). Sometimes you might draw a lucky card during the random dialogue guessing game and acquire some extra, but that's it. As the resource is used to buy supplies, items *and* for leveling up your heroes, it comes down to either have your caravan starve or run around with level 1 heroes, despite them having earned several promotions on the battlefield. That kills motivation on such an epic scale, and can't even begin to describe it.
There are no side quests, no method to forage for food, trade, to gain extra renown or anything - remember, you are on one long, single track railway and never look left or right. You will *never* feel in control of *anything* in this game. For me, however, that is what gaming should be about.
Even the combat system, one of the best parts otherwise, has several unnerving flaws that started bothering me in the long run:
- You are forced to choose your team *and* the sequence in which they act *before* you know anything about the enemies you will face. Why is there even a deployment phase at the begin of combat if all you do there is arrange the predetermined team on the board? That placement will be void after one round of movement, a wrong party mix or suboptimal sequence will stay, however.
- the way the two sides take turns is beyond silly. If you face a single, strong opponent, that one will act 6 times for every ONCE your heroes do something, as it's always the *sides* that take turns.
- one stat for hitpoints AND combat effectiveness basically means, that the battles are decided in the first round. The side that starts taking hits is the side that will lose. Always. Without a way to regain strength, a single hit can de facto disable a hero. The whole system is too simplistic, counter-intuitive and artificial. Simple to understand, but never becomes fun for me.
And another main grief is the complete absense of a save game feature. Not because of technical problems, but simply because the designers want to forbid me to play the game any other way than to live with the random outcome of their nonsensical guessing games. Sorry, folks, I'm 45 years old, have been playing games for 30 years and don't need *anyone* to tell me how to. This arrogant patronizing annoys me to kingdom come!
So, again, sorry Stoic for being so negative, but this game is so totally NOT my piece of cake. Terrific art, great lore, good music and a stable game do NOT equal fun, I'm afraid. Lots of bad design choices for me equal de-motivation, tedium, boredom and frustration. Others might love this game, probably the majority. But it's definitely 100% not for me - and the files were deleted after that completely silly, unfair and annoying final battle.
Posted: January 19
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