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 (141 reviews) - 86% of the 141 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (7,662 reviews) - 90% of the 7,662 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 (141 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (7,662 reviews)
Recently Posted
EM
( 45.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Love this game! Beautiful story and artwork!
I finished it 3 times in less than a week, tried so hard to keep Eigil alive!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
EJ
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Having a lot of fun playing this one!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MANBUNGO
( 14.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Everything about this game is beautiful, apart from the actual gameplay.
I really got hooked on the choiceful story, but as a game.. It's one of the most bland and weirdest turn-based strategy game that I've ever played.
Don't get me wrong here, I like The Banner Saga but not as a turn-based strategy game. This game would do a lot better in another format, perhaps something like the Telltale's The Walking Dead game.
I still do recommend this experience to anyone who's interested, but don't expect the turn-based strategy part to be good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
pangalactic
( 6.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 29
Simply one of the most beautiful games I've ever played. The music, the art, the writing, the worldbuilding, it's all flawless. The story is deep and meaningful, full of emotional weight that never feels cheap or easy. The decisions I made had a direct impact on events in the game, and I really felt for the characters that I lost.

The only issue I have is that the game is incredibly short. I'm more than happy to pay for The Banner Saga 2 - I love the game, and I'm attached to the characters and world and want to know what happens - but when the credits rolled I was a little shocked that the game was already over. I felt like I was just getting started, that the story was beginning to pick up and that I'd just hit the first major milestone in the game. But the first major milestone was the end, and now I'm forced to spend more money to play on (which, again, I'm happy to do, but I'm not a fan of this model).

Overall I'd highly recommend this - just be aware that there are only a few hours of gameplay here.

(EDIT: Having just posted this review I now see that I completed the game in 7 hours. It honestly feels a lot shorter than that. Knowing that it's longer than I remember means I'm less disappointed by the length, and more impressed by how immersed I was in this world while playing.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
barneyriggs
( 7.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Great game. A lot of fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Majestik Møøse
( 11.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Pretty inexpensive game and a cute story-teller. Combat was a little dull... actually was really one of my least favorite things. It just ended up fairly repetative for me to the point hat I switched it to Easy haflway thorugh the game and just enjoyed the story. Not my most favorite game ever, but I don't regret playing it and I will end up playing The Banner Saga 2.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
trivaldi
( 10.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
I am hooked. I have been playing for hours. The Banner Saga is quality fun! The characters are memorable, and the gameplay is challenging!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CAUTION-R-WTF-1
( 6.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
engaging story, impressive imersion and choices that actualy matter.
everything i could hope for in a game,
although to say it was a grim and unforgiving story would be understating it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AK_Icebear
( 10.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
This game is one of my favorite RPGs in over a decade. Worthwhile at full price, a no-brainer on discount.

+++++ Storyline which is concise (~10 hours), yet offers clear room to replay with alternative choices. I'd guess I'll revisit at least 1-2 more times, probably spaced out over a few months. This is a massive plus for me - I'm not a fan of 100+ hour playthroughs so common in modern RPGs that make the thought of replaying for alternative endings a dreadful nightmare. I don't have time to burn like I used to, so prefer impactful gameplay in a tight package, rather than a game that will take me months to finish even once, assuming I don't bore of it first.
+ Each choice feels impactful - no stupid fetch quests, every dialogue has a bearing on the party/story.
+ Beautiful aesthetic - looks great on a desktop or HD TV in the living room.
+ Simple yet engaging combat system.
+ Steam controller compatible - worked without any set up.
- Occassional stuttering after a loading screen - small graphical glitch, only flaw I noticed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
22 of 28 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
8 of 8 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 8 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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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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13 of 23 people (57%) 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 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
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
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
As close as you can get to a retro Disney cartoon (ala Black Cauldron). Wonderful writing, characters, story, MUSIC & combat. Originality & vikings; whats more to love?
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Incredible art & animation, a beautiful game overall, and a great soundtrack.
The foundation of the story and the characters for this first installment of this trilogy could have been stronger.
The combat is simple but challenging, a lot of fun to strategize.
However, difficulty settings need to have more influence over the combat, especially for those new to the genre.

It's a great buy, but there are some lulls in the game.

8/10.
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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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