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 (4,910 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Banner Saga

Buy The Banner Saga - Deluxe

Deluxe Edition includes The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga - Soundtrack

Buy The Banner Saga 4-Pack

Buy The Banner Saga - Soundtrack

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

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 (12)

May 6

Small Update

Howdy Folks!

Small update to the game today to fix/remove some unecessary files and we added in the missing Kickstarter Crests.

Thanks!

6 comments Read more

April 29

Version 2.16.41 now Available!

We're happy to announce that we're updating to Version 2.16.41!

Major Changes

• Fixed Linux graphical issues related to Intel / Nouveau video drivers

  • Videos do not play and a purple screen appears
  • Fonts in the game not rendering properly
  • Tutorial popup window backgrounds not appearing
  • Text disappears when hovering cursor over saved games in Load Games menu
  • Game stops responding on loading screen when using nouveau driver
• Fix issue with Hakon's being at rank 6 for some players, causing errors in the Heroes GUI
• Fix issue where the battle horn was unusable for some save older save games
• Add commandline option textscale=2 to increase text size globally

Bugfixes and Improvements

• Fixed gamepad icons not being positioned properly on Help Overlay messages
• Make damage indicator numbers vanish as soon as an affected unit dies
• Fix Puncture bonus not being reflected in damage indicators
• Dredge Fire Slinger no longer causes ability confirmation GUI to appear on its target tiles
• Improve mouse hitbox sensitivity around the enemy damage popup
• Fix missing text for Alette's Heroes description after she puts her hood up
• Fix Alette's stats being reset after donning her hood
• Fixed issue where player is unable to confirm a selection on the Heraldry menu when using a gamepad
• Added gamepad configuration for type of Xbox360 wired controller on Mac OSX
• Hovering cursor over units now display stat banners like it used to
• Fix issue with stat info banners piling up at origin of battle board on the beginning of second wave of war
• Fixed issue where player may open action menu without a pending move order being canceled
• Reduce a performance hitch when the battle resolution banner appears (victory/defeat)
• Preload match resolution texture and optimize some iso rendering hitches

Some additional notes:

- Able to dismiss the auto-detected Gamepad Configuration menu now to return to mouse/keyboard controls



Details about the Linux rendering fixes:

There was an incompatibility between the free Intel / Nouveau video drivers and the version of Mesa that The Banner Saga was using for OpenGL. The previous workaround, involving the export of the MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE environment variable, is no longer necessary and should be disabled if you were previously using it.

11 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
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 4 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
69 of 89 people (78%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
Most games these days are designed to be won; The Banner Saga is meant to be survived. Anything more would be a mockery of the Viking apocalypse suffered by its characters. The atmosphere of Stoic Studios' first title is very evocative of desolation and despair. With the gods dead and the sun stalled in the sky, humans and giants work together to eke out a shattered existence. The arrival of an ancient enemy throws the tenuous balance into question and sends desperate warrior caravans across the hostile landscape. The displaced and hopeful follow in their wake, scraping together what lives they can. The leaders of these caravans are forced to make difficult decisions, by which their followers live and die. The point of view shifts several times throughout The Banner Saga, demonstrating the dire straits in which both humans and giants find themselves. However, in spite of the multiple views, so much about what's really happening remains unknown. Each caravan meets many people, most of whom have an angle for survival. Figuring out who can be trusted is one of the great challenges of the game, and also one of its greatest pleasures. Despite the pervasive apocalypse, not all is lost. Stoic has done admirably at focusing on the personal stories at the epic's core. The key characters' motivations are well-explained, and their mysteries reveal themselves at an appropriate pace. Everything looks and sounds amazing. Character designs are rich and colorful, and their animation is like something from out of a lost 80s classic. The visuals scale impressively, handling great crumbling monuments and fierce monsters as well as delicate human gestures.Combat has many quirks that may seem counter-intuitive to SRPG players. However, learning the ins and outs of the system can be an enjoyable puzzle. Battle takes place on a flat grid. Up to six plot-relevant allies, drawn from a frequently shifting pool, face off against a potentially frightening number of enemies. Battle proceeds in alternative rounds, with one member of the enemy force getting a turn for every allied turn. Many battles begin with a large-scale conflict, which pits the caravan's rank-and-file soldiers against enemy hordes. The formation options in this system don't feel as strongly tied as they could be to the skirmishes that follow. The sole currency for preparing for battle is renown. When all is lost, only a man's observed actions are important. Renown is used on stat-boosting treasure, character advancement, and purchasing supplies for the caravan. Playing The Banner Saga as a standard game of optimization and the greatest possible success may lead to disappointment. Trusting the crazy-eyed wanderer who smells of stale mead could be the best decision you make all week, or it could lead to a knife in your back.Some choices are mechanically better than others, causing the more damaging answers to become less interesting during multiple replays. Stoic Studios have set themselves up with a difficult act to follow. The Banner Saga is a rare game that forces its player to think and feel, often in delightful opposition. Its subsystems combine to support the narrative of desperate heroism, hard choices, and survival.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2014
The Banner Saga’s awe inspiring scope is both its biggest strength and weakness.

It paints a picture so lavish and compelling that its almost irritatingly compelling with each new thread it introduces, so rich that you want to spend time learning about every character and piece of lore but haven’t the time to do so. In a medium so oversaturated with derivative fantasy, the distinctiveness of the world Banner Saga creates pulled me in eagerly awaiting even the most trivial of pieces of exposition. It wrapped me up so tightly in its intrigue that even when its problems surfaced they could do little to take me out of the experience, the only real issue then being that said experience unfortunately only has enough time to tell part of its story.

The Banner Saga is quite simply the telling of the end of days. The Sun has stopped moving, the gods are dead, and the return of an enemy thought extent threaten to annihilate those few who still survive. It’s bleak and unrelenting in its showcasing of how dire a place the world has become, as you embark on a caravan fleeing to anywhere not already destroyed, many not living to see the journey’s end.

The tension of the narrative - the abundant despair and sacrifice every step of the way - rejects the overly cautious writing far too often substituted in for more disruptive outcomes, and makes the characters you travel with people you care and worry about. With how constant the possibility of death becomes, I was invested not only in each character’s narrative but also in fighting to keep them alive as best I could. The choices presented before you become agonizing decisions that often decides who lives and dies, leaving me paralyzed as I hoped I’d made the right call. It’s stressful, but crucial to the story Banner Saga wants to tell and the emotion it intends to make you feel, and it succeeds at this almost perfectly.

The lack of voice acting or animated cutscenes for most of the game definitely at times hinders the impact of events, but by the time these begin to arrive I was already so caught up in who my characters were that dialogue alone was enough to humanize them. The bigger “problem” is that Banner Saga’s narrative and world are on a scale far larger than a single game can contain, and as a result many of the story’s plotlines both overt and secondary are left dangling, with a statement that they will be expanded upon with the next two games in a planned trilogy, but for the time being left me frustrated that I was so quickly cut off. Of course I say this only because of how enthralling the narrative is already, but it was a tad disappointing to see so much setup but only partially executed, leaving me with more questions than answers and praying this adventure gets finished.

With how seamlessly the experience flows together, it might be easy to forget that under all the plot and jaw-dropping artwork exists a polished and inspired turn-based strategy game. The Banner Saga works as a game of small, important numbers and mechanical simplification so as to make every fight immediately understandable. There are very few numbers to be concerned about, and every one that is here matters and is imperative to make the absolute most of if you want your party to survive. Fights are designed not as giant encounters or grand boss fights, but small battles that often come down to the last fighter standing. This raw, streamlined approach was refreshing, not only in that it cut down on the number of throwaway encounters but also made me far more conscious of every tool at my disposal.

Party creation and leveling were more meaningful to me as each character played a distinct role in combat, and raising their skills was a rare and extremely important event. The low numbers tied to everything kept things from ever becoming overwhelming, and made positioning of fighters just as if not more important than the blunt force they could inflict. With each battle intimately tied to the narrative, I also became conscious of who it was I was sending into battle, a decision that could potentially result in them never coming back.

The areas where combat breaks slightly are mostly related to a handful of oversights as to what information you’re given. Though you might have been given hints via a preceding narrative bit, you’re never allowed to see who or what you’re fighting before the fight has already begun. This makes selecting the right fighters almost a game of luck or forcing you to develop a standardized strategy and only focus on characters that work within it (which of course is compromised if one of those characters dies or is injured). It prohibits experimentation and seems kind of silly, as surely you could see the battle you were going into before you walked into it. This extends even into letting you see character stats, level up, or change items on the party select screen, which can have a huge effect on your outcome if you haven’t recently looked at and adjusted these earlier.

What’s surprising though, is that The Banner Saga’s flaws for as irritating as they often are feel less like problems and more potential. There’s so much here that’s inspired, engaging, and full of promise that anything that doesn’t work perfectly doesn’t bring the game down but show areas where it could be made even more amazing. This doesn’t make it a flawless game, but it does make it one that’s worth playing despite any mistakes it makes. Developer Stoic’s ambition is intoxicating and left me not unsatisfied by what The Banner Saga isn’t, but excited to see just how much more it becomes.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Wow, did I really already spend 15 hours in The Banner Saga?
Yes I did and as this game has currently been on various holiday sales it's time for a little subjective review without getting too much into game and details:
If you want to know about TBS's game mechanics you best checkout some gameplay video. I'll rather praise what in my opinion makes this game a good one worthwhile both your money and time.
- Art & style: Beautifully crafted (rather drawn) environments and characters and map; it may not be everyone's taste but the devs put much dedication into creating a world you care about.
- Music: The soundtrack alone is a masterpiece - the classical compositions fit seamlessly into the game's medieval fantasy theme. It really helps the immersion, for example if your caravan moves across the lands.
- Writing: It's based on Nordic mythology but neither does it copy known works nor does it feel clichéd. Each character and each location has its own history and meaning. You can read all about it if you care but you don't have to. The story unfolds in a great way and at good pace. I really care for the protagonists which isn't an easy task/achievement for this type of game - I never skipped through any dialogue as I always wanted to get to know as much as possible.
The whole story feels like it's part of something bigger, some universe that makes sense - one might even compare it to Sagas like Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones etc.
- Gameplay: To keep it short, this is solid turn-based strategy (some might miss complexity) along with text-based RPG where your decisions affect combat and experience. It offers enough opportunities to upgrade your characters and to make the impression that your choices matter without getting overwhelming at any time.

These points above are the core of why I recommend this game to others to whom those impressions appeal.
PS: As this is a saga the devs currently work on a sequel - TBS 2 (first trailer already out)...
I hope this was of any help for your,

Yours,
Bethlemos
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 74 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
According to Steam I tried for 8.5 hours to like this game. I failed, even though the story looks interesting enough and the visuals are beautiful.
I have read from others how they dislike that choices give little hint to as what the outcome could be. Even worse is how the story swaps between protagonists and thus those outcomes are arbitrarily moved into the future.
Still, I'd try to play it if it wasn't for the gameplay. The combat must be the worst turn based combat I have experienced. Units can move past enemies, in and out of melee without any fear of turning their backs on enemies. While attacks of opportunity have become a staple for many games, they are non-existent in the Banner Saga. Coupled with how units can burn Willpower for extra moves and then burn Willpower to boost their attack, means that even if you try to tie up an enemy in melee, they can still stroll past your fighters and get to your back row. After all, archery range is within charge distance. And since movement is always the same, there is no chance to get out of melee range once an opponent has gotten close.
Even worse is the initiative system. Both sides take turns moving units, meaning that the side with less units gets to move those more often. If those are more powerfull, having twice the stats of the player's units, then those powerfull enemies hit multiple times before you have the time to even try to save your hero.
Yes, you can learn to beat these fights. But it seems less like adapting tactics than learning to play a broken system.

I had heard combat was bad, but I had not expected it to be this bad. At least I bought it very cheap on the Humble Store for a good cause.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
This was a beautifully rendered tactical turn based RNG RPG with an engaging story and for the most part, stellar gameplay. The backdrop was visually stunning, and this was easily the games strongest feature. It really did a great job of not only creating a game setting, but also adding an air of mystery and intrigue and foreboding to the game.

The combat itself was fairly simplistic as far as hex based battle systems go. The RNG aspect can create some frustrating moments, but can also conversely make you so stoked that you took a low percentage chance and succeeded.
The RPG upgrading system likewise was fairly simple.

As far as the writing goes, the story itself well complemented the artistic design of the game, or vice versa, lol, and the characters were pretty interesting in my opinion, overall. They weren't fully fleshed out, but I didnt feel they needed to be, and for what the game was presenting, I thought the whole thing worked quite well.

So, based on all that, with the excellent story writing, the cool characters, the amazing set piece, and the decent combat, this game should really be one of the best. However, it had some very real issues that knock it down some.

For one, as good as the writing was, realistically, none of your choices leading up to the finale really mattered, EXCEPT who you leveled up. Speaking of which, party members only level up through use, which I feel, based on the type of game it is, is something of a failure. I feel party members should level together in games like this, or at least, the unused ones should get some sort of experience. Otherwise, you end up woefully unprepared later when you are FORCED to use certain characters, arguably the ones that held the least appeal through the rest of the story as far as using them in battle went.

So, like I say, your choices didnt really matter. You have to fight starvation and loss through battle based on your actions, which for the bulk of your group (the common soldiers, scouts, and peasants), basically affected the amount of survivors left when you get to the final city WHERE they all die anyway, lol. However, your party decisions definitely matter, and because you are forced to use certain characters later in the game, and one specifically for the final battle sequence (the daughter), you would be encouraged to use them EXCEPT, the game really doesn't hint at that. They are mostly the characters you will find least useful overall, and that coupled with a distinct lack of anything suggesting they might be important later, virtually guarantees that most players will face the same complications later in the game.

So, this matters because the final battle is two stages and relies solely on the daughters archery skills to win. However, there was no real reason to level her up through the game, and I know that most players enter that final battle with an under leveled primary use character, which generally spells defeat.

Now, it is my understanding that the developers listened to these same complaints from a large percentage of the people who played this just after release and made some adjustments, but I haven't played it since those patches were released, so I cant speak to whether they really helped out with these issues or not. My understanding was the patch release focused on the final battle, so that aspect might be better now.

Anyway, I think overall, I want to give this game an 8 out of 10, but all the issues with it make me drop my rating down to about a 6.5 out of 10.

I do intend to revisit this game and see how the patches impacted things, so I will revise this review if necessary after I do so. Regardless, it is a game worth experiencing, so I do in fact recommend it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 38 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
I had heard very good things about this game so I had high expectations.

The art is indeed gorgeous, it is reminiscent of old animation movies from 70s and 80s, but with a modern twist.

Unfortunately I wish there was more positive things to say about the game. Well, the world and the background story are pretty good, plus the game doesnt feel too short nor too long... I actually was positively surprised by it, I thought the story would draw to an end earlier.

Here's a collection of random thoughts I have about the game:

1) you spend almost half of your time staring at a long string of tiny characters plodding at unnatural speed through snowy landscapes.
2) the map is not integrated at all in the game. You dont have any saying in which direction your caravan is going, everything is decided. You can access the map only when you camp or stop the caravan, and at that point I've already forgotten where I am supposed to go... why isnt the map shown when the route to be taken is presented to the player? there's a huge map full of Norse-sounding names, and you can click on most of them to get additional info... but why would you? I got bored after a while, like with the planets' descriptions in Mass Effect. You dont just dump a huge map to the players to satisfy their thirst of knowledge, you introduce the world little by little with bits and pieces that are relevant to the story. In TBS only a handful of locations on the map matter for the story and they are all non-descriptive... one town or the other, they feel all the same (except the Varl capital).
3) I heard some people saying "The dialogues are really good"... well I dont know what kind of games these people have been playing but the dialogues in TBS range from average to bad, with a couple bordering to nonsensical (e.g. the one of the mead house stands out for making little to no sense). I grew more and more irritated.
4) Another little irritating thing: the lines in dialogues only proceed forward. If you press accidentally the mouse key (in my case the trackpad) you will skip to the next line without possibility to go back. it happened to me a bunch of times, I play with the finger resting on the Macbook's trackpad and a little twitch sends the dialogue forward
5) the story feels really average, many questions are left completely unanswered... I can only guess they might be doing a sequel to expand on the story. I'm not gonna mention anything to avoid spoilers but seriously there's stuff that happens that you feel it's major and could definitely steer the story some way or the other, but instead nothing happens and the event/story element is not mentioned anymore afterwards.
6) the fighting system is super clunky, doesnt feel fluid at all. You are often pitted against more numerous / stronger enemies and your characters never seem to level up fast enough for the fight to feel equal. Moreover they are equipped with abilities which are often difficult to use (this ability? Only works with enemies which are positioned EXACTLY diagonally in respect to the original target. Oh you think it's hard to use? How about we make it so that it can inflict damage also to your allies?), or semi-useless (each time my Raidmaster used Stone Wall he's never been targeted afterwards; Rain of Arrows, Mend, and others are so nerfed they suck). In the end it pretty much resolved in "I start chipping down the armor first, then I go for the health" with basic attacks, hoping the bad guys would go down before mine. Sometimes it worked sometimes it didnt. Lost maybe 1/3 of the battles, without chance to replay them.
7) the big-scale clashes are just ridiculous... you can chose one of the strategies like "Hold them" or "charge" or "tighten your ranks", and how the battle will resolve feels totally random. If it is not, than there is no way to understand the logic behind it.
8) I felt no attachment whatsoever for the characters nor the caravan members (i.e. people who depended on me for protection and leadership). Especially the caravan members, they are just a stat, when they starve you see the numbers going down and the morale plunging and you're like "yeah so what? the game continues anyway.". This is a major drawback, you dont feel you have anything to lose, you can lose all the battles and starve out almost everyone in the caravan, you will still go on. At a certain point I started playing like a di*k, thinking "well let's see how much I can f-up before I get a game over screen"... it never came. Ok for the story-driven playability, but this is still a game. If the game plays itself what's the point?
9) you are forced to make totally random choices. E.g. how many ratios to buy before setting on a leg of the journey... you have no idea how many days it will last... how about informing the player?? Renown is always scarce, because it is mainly used to evolve characters, so it would be good to have some planning before spending some hard-gained renown.
10) The banner itself plays NO role at all in the story, it is mentioned in one line of dialogue and that's it. For the whole game. So much for a whole "saga"....
11) Hardly any tutorial in the game, just a basic one about combat. How about explaining how the different abilities work? I had to quit the game and resume from last checkpoint when I realised my assumptions about a certain ability were off and I lost the little tactical advantage I had because I screwed up
12) I dunno what was the reason, not enough money to put in the artistic production or time constraints, but I got so ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off when I realised (and i realised it pretty soon in the game) that there is only one image for each character. All the dialogues, during the whole story, the same expression. Zero emotion response. Oddleif is stuck with the same scornful expression for the whole game, Eyvind with a sorry-♥♥♥♥♥ smile, and Ubin goes around holding his quill even in the middle of a battle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
I had a very hard time deciding if I should give this game a thumbs up, or thumbs down. TL;DR: This game is too short, the story left wholly unfinished, and your choices matter much less than the game leads you to believe. Purchase only on a good sale.

At first blush, this game is evocative and intriguing; the artwork is beautiful and the characters well-wrought. It's sort of an Oregon Trail meets turn-based RPG, and the story appears vast and your choices deeply important.

Unfortunately this game fails to deliver in three key areas: choice, story, and length.

At the beginning you feel like your choices matter. Make a wrong decision and you run out of food, or an important character dies. Later, you realize that you're pretty firmly on the rails; you might save people here or there, but in the end, it doesn't really matter much who lives and who dies. I was deeply disappointed to discover this, as the game felt like it offered really gritty options in the beginning.

The story and length problems go hand-in-hand--this feels like a book you slam shut in the middle and never pick up again. There are so many loose threads that doesn't have answers, so many stories left untold. The ending felt so abrupt that I had to do some internet searches to see if I'd somehow screwed up and ruined my game, or if the credits just happened to roll in the middle. It didn't end, it just dropped off into oblivion. I got roughly six hours of gameplay out of this, so the $10 sale price tag wasn't too bad. If there's a sequel released, I'll pick it up for roughly the same price...but for now I feel cheated. Not in price, but in story. There's so much left unfinished that I feel unsettled, and the realization that my choices matter not is rather disappointing as well.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 25 people (64%) found this review helpful
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
While the story borrows some really fantastic concepts from Norse mythology and starts with a bang, you're promised a Saga and receive a segment. There is no finality to this game, and you're ultimately left with an extremely shallow version of Final Fantasy Tactics with units who max at level five and some beautiful locations / characters who are left hopelessly vague.

I bought this game when it went down to $15 after being released from like $30, and it was by far the worst decision I had made during any Steam Sale. I can say that as somebody who hasn't bought into too many Early Access titles. Download a background or two, watch a video on YouTube, just don't make the same mistake I did.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 19
I really wanted to like this game, but it does not 'click' with me. Actually, of all the games I backed on Kickstarter, this one has disappointed me the most so far. It is still an ok game and there are many worse out there, but here is why I do not recommend it:

- It is story based, but the story is not great - mostly it seemed pretty boring, to be honest.
- Lore and world bckground are probably interesting, but the game presents them extermely scarcely (mostly on the world map).
- There are a lot of characters, who seem interesting at first, but never really fulfill their potential and end up being bland to annoying.
- There is tactical combat, but rather simple and repetitive - and battles seem more like solving a puzzle than being in command of a party of unique warriors. There is little enemy variety too.
- Caravan management layer is exteremely simplistic and only allows you to make decisions at preset points.
- No manual save option means you might end up forced to repeat certain parts after coming back, if you happened to play through a longer section not containing autosave points.
- CYOA dialogue options are not always clear as to what they will cause, meaning you might choose something else than you wanted by accident, or you are just forced to choose randomly.

On the positive side, presentation in superb. The game looks and sounds great (music is especially impressive), but this should be dressing for a good core game, not its main advantage.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
Bewarn if anyone gets this game and expects a "Bioware" style gameplay where your choices matter. They really don't, they just make the story much more interesting but not really world shaping

The artwork is incredibly beautiful, just by looking at not only the larger details but just the small things makes you awe at the beauty of this game.

the music is well done. Really matching and up pace with the story and the situation at hand. The combat system while not all that great, it's pretty easy to understand, you just got to get use to it.

This game is a mixture of Oregons Trail meets Vikings and not only that but adding RPG & Strategy elements makes this for an interesting game to have.

Just bewarned again, your choices won't matter not like in a Bioware game where they do, it will just make the story much more interesting at the many possible scenarios.

I would recommend this game for gamers who want something fresh in an RPG game like this, But for gamers who prefer "Choice shaping" then move along this game is not for you
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 19
This is a beautiful turn-based-strategy RPG. I was really drawn to the cartoon-like aesthetic. Unfortunately, only the opening cinematic is fully animated, but the rest of the game is still beautiful. The setting is vaguely Scandinavian-ish fantasy, featuring men, Varl (a race of horned giants), and the Dredge (a race of stone creatures that are invading the land). It is the end of the world, with a unique apocalyptic fantasy feel.

The game is a mix of tactical combat and leading your caravan by making lots of little decisions as you travel. Some decisions have big long term consequences, which is nice. Once I got into the game a few hours, I got invested in the few main characters' stories. I really enjoyed the game and found a couple moments emotionally touching.

The combat mechanics are pretty gamey in some ways. You and the enemy alternate taking turns with a single fighter, even if you don't have the same number of fighters. Losing one of your characters effectively lets your other characters act more often. If either side loses all but one character, the game switches to "pillage mode", where all characters on one side get a turn before the single enemy does. It encourages you to keep some enemies weakened but alive until you can take out all the more powerful enemies.

I switched between 'Normal' and 'Easy' periodically throughout the game. There's quite a big difference between them. The final battle, especially, I found impossibly difficult on normal, but unexpectedly easy on easy.

Highly recommended if you like turn-based strategy and the cartoon-like visuals.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
EPIC STORY.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
Great game, highly recommended.

+ Beautiful, hand drawn graphics
+ Great soundtrack
+ Atmosphere
+ Challencing battles

± Great story but it will continue in Banner Saga 2 (and probably in BS 3), so it ends bit abruptly.
± Choices matter but not as much as i would like. Now you can get few characters killed by making bad choices and that's about it. You can still finish the game even if you get whole caravan starved to death.

- Resource management. You get renown by winning battles and doing "heroic deeds", which is then divided between keeping your caravan alive, leveling heroes and buying items. In my first playthrough i made mistake by using too much renown on caravan and leveling wrong heroes, thus making end game too challencing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
I am going to start off with a (kinda) spoiler and and the real kick in the teeth that comes with it before I lead up to a very positive review.

In my opinion and in the opinions of at least a few hundred others the biggest problem with this game is THE ENDING....I can't decide whether to call it non-existent, unfinished or incredibly poorly executed. This game is 1 out of 3 in a planned trilogy by the way. This is something I was not aware of a when I initially purchased the game. There you are prepared now on the good...

Now please bear in mind I do not think I would be nearly as bitter about the ending if the the rest of the game had not hit on so many levels. Initially I thought the combat in the game was based on too simple of a concept but after an hour of play I realized in execution there is a great deal of depth. The simple concept by the way is that of combining atack power and life into one stat for your characters. It really flips the whole concept behind a tactically rpg on its tail and made me think through every battle (and paiiiinfully so on the Hardest Setting). While the RPG style Character Progression of your characters are an Important aspect of gameplay I was pleased to find that the actually Tactical aspects of the game are firmly in the driver seat. To me this is the highlight and the reason any fan of the genre should take the opportunity to download this game (I admit waiting for a sale myself but I would not have been disappointed if I had paid the $19.99 it's currently listed at either).

The story and experience itself is very dark one. It was clearly intended and I feel like the developers hit the nail on the head when it came to using every method and mechanic availalbe to them to create that atmosphere. Your watching this World Tear itself apart while the characters fight to hold it together. The animations, story, music, the gameplay all are all geared up to make you feel that way and were a resounding success.

The complete butchering of the end of the game really hurt and pulled down the review a notch but overall the hours (and i have far more than 10.2 that steam has me at for some reason) of greatness vastly overshadow the final few moments and bad taste I had after finishing the game for the 1st time. This game is refreshingly different from anything I have played before and would recommend it to just about anyone intersted in this genre.

8/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
The Banner Saga is a turn-based...fantasy battle game? I'm not sure how exactly I'd label it. But the art is beautiful. Do you remember Dragon's Lair? One of the video games animated by Don Bluth? Or how about some of the movies he did: The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Anastasia? This game's art reminds me of him and his work. And I mean the entire game looks like this, not just title cards or animations. It's amazing that they even made the battle sprites look like this.

As a whole, the game is a bit of a weird Oregon Trail meets high fantasy, with trying to keep your caravan alive between plot points. There are events along the way that you have to make choices on, either to you benefit or your detriment. I thought these were randomized but it turns out they're not so I'm a little disappointed in that regard.

On the battle side of things, I don't think The Banner Saga will win awards for innovation. However, it's simple and it works. I only wish there were some way to train characters since the number of battles you have in a game seems to be capped at a certain number. By this I mean battles only arise out of event opportunities, so there isn't any real way to grind and whatnot to reach higher levels. Regardless, I think characters are hard capped at level 5 anyway.

The story seems interesting and I am looking forward to what's in store for the future.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
I had no idea what I was getting into.. This game is frickin awesome. Great music, stunning art stlye, great story, I just love it. My only problem is that I have to read the dialogs ._. Other than that it's pretty much this -> 9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
This game has been sitting in my library, unplayed for months. I was expecting The Banner Saga to require some dedicated play time, and I was right. This game is challenging both in tactics and in dialouge decision making. The artwork, story, and game mechanics keep me hooked.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Great artistic style, real consequences for your actions, challenging gameplay and an enthralling story that seems to easily pull you in and keep you there. It's a game that's easy to learn but hard to master, which will keep you coming back for more.

Over all it's a great game but it's not without it's flaws:

The hardest setting can be a tad ridiculous and demands a bit of perfection... If you're looking to just enjoy the story it's best played on the easiest setting as I found the final battle and latter half of the game a bit unbalanced in terms of difficulty... I'm sure normal mode is equally as challenging as I found hard almost impossible to complete near the end.

The story is also a bit long and there should of been a way to skip the boring walking segments but I suppose it's all part of the artistic style that's supposed to emerse you in the game.

The leveling and reward system needs a bit of tweaking... I don't really enjoy how each character get's stronger based on their individual amount of kills... It kind of pigeon holes you in to using a single set up the entire game. Using a single strategy might not always work out in certain fights which can leave you kind of gimped in the late game.

7 / 10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
It has amazing music, graphics, rich story and gameworld, however its a completely railed game - your decisions do not matter at all. You get huge map with dozens of locations but you always travel in a straight path. I think its one of those "lost opportunity" games. Still good though for exactly one playthrough. You might actually want to just download trainer and complete it just for the story and music.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
this game is wonderful , for the art style and music . the presentation of this game is very very good.
the same as the story. every choice has consequences and it's not a easy choice, it's all matter even a small simple choice can bite you in the long run.

gameplay sprit between 2 part. move the caravan and turn-based RPG combat.
caravan part is manage the resource and pick a choice which effect your jouney. making camp to rest and prepare to the next battle. and travel across the world (sadly you can't pick the destination the game story does).
combat part is simple but yet challange and fun. it's good but not so special.

story and lore is very good I'm gladly to read more but can't seem to find within game. so yeah....more would be nice.

overall , it's a very good game and it can be a lot better. I can't wait for the sequel.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny