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 (5,257 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

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

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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 (13)

June 29

Localization Update

Howdy

We're about to do a small update that includes the addition of the Italian language and revisions of Spanish & Brazilian Portuguese,

Changes:
• Added Italian Language translation
• Revised and improved Spanish Language translation
• Revised and improved Brazilian Portuguese Language translation


Thanks!

11 comments Read more

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!

9 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
30 of 42 people (71%) 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.
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22 of 31 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
I don't think The Banner Saga is a very well executed game. The ideas are certainly there, the story is interesting, the music is excellent, but gameplay-wise, it has some pretty egregious design problems.

Consider that players replaying the game regularly consult a guide to check when certain characters might die, in order to not waste resources levelling before that point. Then consider that on your first run, you don't have that - you have the option to choose from an assortment of characters, spending your points (renown) on whoever you please. But while they can die from your negligence, they generally don't: they die from purely unpredictable events instead.

Well that's how surviving in a viking wasteland is, yes? That's how it should be!

The trouble is that this is not FTL - a run is not 1-2 hours, it's 10, and it isn't replayable if you find yourself trapped with a now-useless team after luck decides to screw you. It's harsh, and adds to the tone of the game, but it's also ruinous. Save-scum, save-scum.

Double-edged sword that may be, I can see the (unreasonable) justification for it. What I can't justify, at all, is that the game essentially does nothing with it's random encounter system. Events pop up and you're faced with options. Based on my runthrough of the game, I'd say you get positive outcomes maybe a fifth of the time. Further adding to the harsh climate of the game, etc, etc... the trouble is, your options tend to lie in shades of grey between the -right- thing and the -wrong- thing to do in any given case... and THERE IS ZERO DIFFERENCE. They're all dice rolls, and that I started at a point of angelic service to my fellow survivors and slowly arced towards commiting horrible deeds for my tribe caused not one change. It was dice rolls all the way through; you get nothing in exchange for that guilt, and seeing what emotional impact it has on the player to decide, I'll murder this person in front of my (charatcer's) daughter, when you take the plunge and hit that button ----> dice roll. The same dice roll. 80% of the time, it goes bad, and you feel worse.

(On a lesser note, a gripe: this game totally does not have good animation, as nearly everyone is excited to share. It has a very cool art style, but central story beats aren't illustrated; they're all just text... including the climax.)

I leave off with one thing. The final boss is very very poorly designed, requiring a combat style the rest of the game would punish (rushing in a straight line forward), and I didn't/couldn't finish with the team I had, and I now have no intention of continuing with this franchise.

Cross your fingers. You might find the telepathy to make the right decisions, and the game might be fun!

For me it was a lesson in negative reinforcement.
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15 of 22 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Definitely have mixed feelings about this, because while The Banner Saga is a game with great art, great music and an interesting concept, it falls short in immersing players into its world. I would love to recommend the game on the basis of the beautiful drawings and epic music, but it's been really disappointing to see that this game isn't what they marketed it to be.

The game promises that every decision will have a "meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds" and that "the journey is as important as battle", but players aren't even given the option to choose where to go and the micro-management of the caravan doesn't really affect how the story ends. Although there's a possibility of gaining, keeping or losing supplies and units during random encounters on your journey, the only thing that really matters is keeping your main team alive. Losing units doesn't mean anything.

The game isn't too long but has players going in between different caravans with different characters in each one of them. This isn't too great because after spending time with one caravan and just starting to become emotionally invested in their plight, they abruptly shift you over to another where you have to familiarize yourself with a whole new set of names and faces. It might have been nice if they stuck to one caravan throughout this first episode of the trilogy, so we could've seen more character development and become more attached to the world.

Battle mechanics are interesting but the fights can be tedious and repetitive because of the limited diversity of foes. Some battles can be challenging in a good way but most of the time, it felt like a "rinse and repeat" kind of affair. There are also weird spikes in difficulty from time to time, and the final fight arrived quite abruptly in a "that's it?" kind of way.

If you're interested in looking at the beautifully detailed drawings and can appreciate epic music, the game would be worth getting when it's on sale. However, as the game stands currently, If you're expecting more from the gameplay and story, then this is hard to recommend. I hope the next part will fair better.
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17 of 27 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.7 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.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Amazing game. Good combat system, nice visuals and sound. Excellent 1440p support, everything is very crisp.

The game itself is worth purchasing, i launched it only to test it for a few minutes and before i realised i was playing 6 hours. If You like SRPG's give this a shot.
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