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 (486 reviews) - 88% of the 486 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (7,521 reviews) - 90% of the 7,521 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.

7 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 (486 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (7,521 reviews)
Recently Posted
Make Penguin Great Again
( 39.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
If you love tactical games and Vikings this is an amazing game. Outstanding story, sound and graphic production!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Exalt
( 16.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
Beautiful game!
The music, the art style, the story.

A true gamingt masterpiece.

Get it now.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Conner
( 8.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Magical game. Great story. I'd recommend. 7/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AgentSloth
( 9.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Fantastic RPG. Compelling and challenging.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zipomatic
( 14.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
It's not just a turn based strategy game with a Norse-esque theme, it is so much more.

You get to make a lot of choices, not usually life and death choices, but they do make a difference to the way the game progresses. Do you send warriors off from your group to help a village under attack? They might save the villagers and add more members to your party, which would in turn bring you more supplies.... but, if they don't fight off the enemies. No new supplies and you lose fighters making your party weaker.

The best thing is, if you lose on of the battles (turn based) then the story continues regardless, you just don't gain extra renoun, which you need to level up your characters (or buy supplies - you have to choose what to spend it on) The battle system is fun but fair and you can choose your difficulty if you find it too hard (or easy)

Around 10 hours in length, this one is well worth a go!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
badman
( 25.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
This game is story rich, if you ain't one that loved stories-based game, it ain't for you. My complain is, it's too short and I can't enough.. I hate the devs who made this game, made me addict to this type of game.

P.S. I choose a bad or rather sad ending, so I shed my tears
Helpful? Yes No Funny
a scintillating comment
( 12.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
A punishing and unforgiving world meets Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Varl'--er, Dwarves...
I throroughly enjoyed this one, with the visuals, sound and story being highlights.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
soulsamurai3222
( 15.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
front and centre, the aesthetic of this game is gorgeous. the art, the music; the music, the story, the characters. they are all (to avoid using buzz words) i would call endearing.

those set the stage for the other thing i love about this game, the pacing and flow. i love the first parts, everytime you switch characters you are more comfortable with a spacific mechanic and the game in general. it does a great job warming you up for when the decision making becomes a big deal

both of these things combine to make the core gamplay thoroughly enthralling and intense, the afore mentioned decision making and resorce managment. i got so invested in the characters and story because it is so closely linked with the actuall gameplay. you'll know what i mean if you play it.

my only caviat is you should buy this game with enough money left over for the second one as well
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wheezy247
( 10.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
Felt like my choices mattered. Great art, great music! Alright combat, could be improved. In fact, there were instances I wish they could've gone without the combat. However, I feel that the choices take the spotlight here, which I actually had some difficulty choosing between. Wish there was more voice acting, since a lot of the game is cutscenes, but it's not too big of a deal. Just finished, and I'm buying the sequel.

8.5/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Greniclex
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
Great story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bragi
( 12.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
Great animation and soundtrack don't make up for boring and uncreative battle system
Helpful? Yes No Funny
johnlackie
( 16.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
The game starts out and I was thinking... meh, maybe I wasted my money... An hour later I'm hooked and waiting to see where the story is going to go. Once you really figure out the combat and strategies its fairly easy but it grows on you. Storywise it takes a moment to pick up but when it does you will be waiting to play Banner Saga 2. After my first play through I love this game and will definitely play it again to see how other choices affect the story!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
orkan
( 17.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
This was my first turn-based strategy game, and if you're like me looking for a place to start, I would gladly recommend starting here.

The game has a great story. The characters are thoughtfully made, they make you second guess their intentions, burst in to laughter and perhaps even shed a tear or two.

The combat is as you probably would expect from turn-based strategy games like these, and although I haven't got any experience to compare with, being quite confusing for a newbie in the beginning, it is also easy enough for you to catch up in a little hour or so of playing, which is also why I would recommend it for beginners.

I doubt it's anywhere near as difficult as the hardcore games in this genre and I am surely looking forward to my next adventure in Divinity: Original Sin now that I have completed The Banner Saga.

It is not difficult to come up with good things to say about the game, and if I had to come with some criticism as well, it would hardly be worth griping over.

But I did wish they implemented more of the world map in to your jounrey so you could see which routes you took a long the way. Most of the time I was too concerned with the events that popped up on the road, the happiness of my clansmen and warriors, and having enough supply to survive the trips than keeping track of where I was going. When I finally arrived at the cities, there were no trace of which routes I picked besides paying close attention to the story.

Would definitely buy agan, and will definitely buy The Banner Saga 2 as well.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dnt3Z
( 11.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
Not even sure what to say. This game is something differnt for me. So breaking my review into small Q/A:

Is gameplay (battles) good ? Not really.
Is storyline good? Average.
How about the lore? Not enough.
Does player choices matters? Absolutelly.
Are consequences predictable? Not always.

Personally I picked it up with 70 or 80 % discount, and played 11 hours. Dont regret time/money spend, but wont bother to replay for achievments or different endings (choices?). Keep in mind that story is not complete, a lot of question probably answered in sequel ( I havent played it, waiting for good discount).

So if you want to lead people forward (right or left) and make choices with unknown outcomes pick this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FattPuss
( 15.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
A great game with a moving story, meaningful choices, bogged down by some weird combat design decisions.

This is fairly standard turn based tactical combat, with a few interesting twists but in the end, very little variety.
I'm still not sold on the Armour/Power system. Nor do I like that your health is the same as your stregth. It causes big problems in character balance, with characters ending up tanky and strong, or weak and crippled. You have a "mage" like character with just two spells, neither of which is powerful, and his attack is a tickle at best. Less glass cannon and more glass peashooter.

Abilities in general feel like they have little impact. I'd pull of some interesting moves (mark target with two archers in range) only to do 1 or 2 damage because of the armor/health is strength system. It just doesn't balance correctly in my opinion

The main gripe I have, which may seem small to some, is turn order. It is ALWAYS your turn, their turn, your turn, their turn. At least until there is one enemy left. If you have 5 people left on the feild, and the enemy has 2, they still get the same number of moves as you. Since your characters never really feel all that powerful, it feels like an unfair disadvantage.

I recommend the game for it's story. The decisions you make have genuine impact, and are extremely tough to call in some instances. The atmostphere is quite harrowing after a point.

If you are looking for a deep tactical SRPG, I'd look elsewhere
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dannyboy
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
Well, honestly I really tried hard to like this game. Being one for the more story rich games I got this when I found out about it, but it really didn't live up to my expectations. playing for a short time it really just couldn't keep my attention. I'm sure the story is good but what good is a story if it cannot captivate its audience. 2/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheAwesomeSauce
( 12.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
The Banner Sage is a depressing take on a realistic setting in an RPG strategy game. It's a mix of RPG elements from Final fantasy Tactics and turn based RPGs. Not worth full price imo, but its definitely a great game that should nto go unplayed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
timeturtle
( 49.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
good game. great art. great story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DamnedChoir
( 10.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
This game has beautiful graphics and a wonderful story, but nonsensical, frustrating and poorly explained mechanics.

It feels more like the experience the makers of the game were trying to provide would fit better in an engine of interactive storytelling, but far too often do the mechanics of the game get in the way of actually telling any sort of story.

I have quit this game and restarted it several times, coming back for the story, and then leaving because of the game mechanics once again.

I just don't have the time or patience as an adult to go through frustration and annoyance this game provides to get to the fun bits.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sugam
( 26.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
A great strategy game!
Soundtrack is simply excellent the visuals are a treat. Animation and palette is just incredible. Very reminiscent of hand-drawn Disney stuff.

Gameplay wise, some parts and fights are slightly unbalanced but overall all the character combos and skills make for interesting strategy decisions. The Varl, who take up more space, the ranged characters and different skills really force you to think about the placement and order of play.
My only real downside is that some "caravan" decisions have strong, truly unforeseeable consequences.

The characters are almost all very interesting, some are engaging and loveable in a Mass Effect sort of way.

For all interested, BS2 is very similar so do not expect major changes - however, more skills, skill specialization and higher level and items make BS2 actually easier. More animated sequences, too!


Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
39.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Though arguably inferior to its sequel, The Banner Saga is worth buying for the same reasons: hand-drawn animation, beautiful medieval music score, and strategic element of turn-based combat.

If you're interested in the first installment, my immediate concerns are the survival and RPG elements.

At least 50% of the gameplay is an unrealized Oregon Trail as randomized situations cause your clan to fight, argue, rejoice, or die off. Being nice to people in Banner Saga presents an equal chance of receiving resources and getting stabbed in the back. Read a game guide, attempt to roleplay, or flip a coin.

The nagging survival elements consist of managing food supply and morale. Food supply can be bought with Renown, your experience points, which takes away from the pool used to level up party members. This fight for balancing the health of your clan with the power of your party takes away from the possible enjoyment of combat and skill allocation.

Fighting with a party of developed skills is arguably much more fun than keeping your clan members alive. Unless you care about the weak consequences (the resulting dialogue is similar to a waving finger), you might as well not care about their health. On the other hand, Morale supports combat by increasing strength of actions, but I did not see this as a necessity.

If you are much more interested in the combat, try The Banner Saga: Factions. It's free-to-play, solely based on the turn-based strategy, and free from managing an annoying clan.

If you are curious about its Viking-esque world specked with music for pressed marchers, give this game a go.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
I've owned this game for over 2 years and I am kind of glad I did, since Banner Saga 2 is out now.

Banner Saga is a well-written, tactical turn-based RPG. You become attached to the characters who have their own personalities and depth. The other part of the game is managing your rations, because the whole game you are pretty much travelling to save the lives of others and yourself. If you get into it, you can feel the hopelessness of everyone. Mainly because there is no hope. There is no happy ending, and I think that's what makes the game so appealing. It's like "The Empire Strikes Back", or if the White Walkers from Game of Thrones busted loose from the wall and there was no Dany, Jon Snow or Tyrion to make things right again.

I highly recommend this game if you love RPGs. It really does have a great storyline that sticks with you. I can't wait to play the second game now.

Thank you, Stoic, for making a game that people will remember, much like Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
The Banner Saga definitely looks beautiful, and it will suck you in with it's nice story and voice acting (where available xD), but in the end it did not deliver the full blown experience I expected...

The Banner Saga is somewhat like rail-RPG. You have a few tough decisions, but in the end, the game has it's somewhat linear path and will play along while you watch. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but not everyone likes it that way.

During the game, you will be in control of few characters and their caravans, travelling through Viking inspired lands of humans and giants... When in combat, you will choose a party of available characters and fight in turn-based map (similar to Heroes). Nice touch is when you fight in big battles and have more options before and after combat, that will affect the outcome of the battle. Anyway, after combat, you get Renown points and each character can level up (if they killed enough enemies) by spending Renown from the pool. Renown is also used for trading supplies and items.
Aside from visuals, combat is pretty much the best part of the game... It is both simple and fast, but not so easy to master, which is great.

And now for the cons; By far, my biggest letdown in the game is its ending... It is very anticlimactic and abrupt... The whole story is nicely presented, it keeps you going and then BAM! It's over... They were obviously getting ready for the second part, but nevertheless, it left the bitter taste in the end...
Second bad thing would be the Renown point system (which I explained earlier mostly because of this). Anyway, since game is (except for combat) similar to choose-your-own-adventure book, you are not able to fight when you want and how much you want (or need); you have a very limited amount of Renown points. And since these are used for everything (leveling up, buying items and supplies to keep caravan alive), you need to be careful with how you spend them; and then, you level up some guy, spend a large amount of renown, and he dies in the next scene, and you can do nothing about it. Although, it is realistic to not have ability to control everything, it is still frustrating, and game should not (as they cannot) be 100% realistic...

Short version;

Pros:
- Absolutely beautiful visuals
- Really, really pretty visuals... Trust me xD
- Nice voice acting and script...
- Story is nice and compelling for the most part
- Combat is GREAT!
- Music is really nice and adds to atmosphere
- The game is pretty much choose-your-own-adventure book (if you like that)

Cons:
- Game ends abruptly
- Renown system is nice and simple, but frustrating sometimes (read up for more info xD)
- The game is pretty much choose-your-own-adventure book (if you don't like that)

Anyway, I liked this game and enjoyed most of the time I played it... I do recommend it, and I plan on playing the second part, too...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 22
It's not just a turn based strategy game with a Norse-esque theme, it is so much more.

You get to make a lot of choices, not usually life and death choices, but they do make a difference to the way the game progresses. Do you send warriors off from your group to help a village under attack? They might save the villagers and add more members to your party, which would in turn bring you more supplies.... but, if they don't fight off the enemies. No new supplies and you lose fighters making your party weaker.

The best thing is, if you lose on of the battles (turn based) then the story continues regardless, you just don't gain extra renoun, which you need to level up your characters (or buy supplies - you have to choose what to spend it on) The battle system is fun but fair and you can choose your difficulty if you find it too hard (or easy)

Around 10 hours in length, this one is well worth a go!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
The Banner Saga is a fantastic game. Telling a story in a bleak and beautiful world, the game developers have crafted an excellent experience. Based upon Norse and Icelandic lore, the Banner Saga makes you empathize and feel for the characters as they traverse the bleak hills and snowy woods of their world. In addition to possessing an amazing art style which hearkens back to 1960's Disney animation, the game's combat is both tactical and enjoyable. If you are a fan of the Fire Emblem and Oregon Trail games, then you will most certainly fall in love with this fantastic game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
much game very wow but seriously its a great game with a great art style
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
The Banner Saga has great animation, a compelling story, and choices that really matter.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
this turn-based rpg is soooo cool! It follows the stories of a species called Varl and Men fighting alongside each other for the first time in centuries against the evil force of the Dredge. The story is great and your choices really carry weight. I love the strong female characters and the art is beautiful~ It has a strong Viking feel to it and just about anyone could enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
I honestly don't know how to describe this game other than saying it's basically as if someone made Oregan Trail and Fire emblem have a beautifull love child. Without the majority of the stress because you don't permenantly lose units.
All in all it's fun and has an amazing story and fluid gameplay! 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 19
Not even sure what to say. This game is something differnt for me. So breaking my review into small Q/A:

Is gameplay (battles) good ? Not really.
Is storyline good? Average.
How about the lore? Not enough.
Does player choices matters? Absolutelly.
Are consequences predictable? Not always.

Personally I picked it up with 70 or 80 % discount, and played 11 hours. Dont regret time/money spend, but wont bother to replay for achievments or different endings (choices?). Keep in mind that story is not complete, a lot of question probably answered in sequel ( I havent played it, waiting for good discount).

So if you want to lead people forward (right or left) and make choices with unknown outcomes pick this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 22
A punishing and unforgiving world meets Disney's 'Snow White and the Seven Varl'--er, Dwarves...
I throroughly enjoyed this one, with the visuals, sound and story being highlights.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 21
Felt like my choices mattered. Great art, great music! Alright combat, could be improved. In fact, there were instances I wish they could've gone without the combat. However, I feel that the choices take the spotlight here, which I actually had some difficulty choosing between. Wish there was more voice acting, since a lot of the game is cutscenes, but it's not too big of a deal. Just finished, and I'm buying the sequel.

8.5/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
The Banner Saga is a game that I recommend because:
- is a method to banish boredom
- is indie & RPG
- it has strategy
- it has trading cards

Enjoy!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
The Banner Saga - A Viking Tale of Tragedy and Survival

----PROS----

-Art. The art is the most striking part of this game. It shows you the beauty of hand drawn creations coming alive in what one could only assume is a painful effort to create wonderful animations that flow well. The backdrops show you snowy mountains and barren wastelands to ravaged villages and burning cities, all colored in to show the intense to the calming.

-Music. Wonderful pieces that fit each scene quite well. Loud drums and deep bellowing for combat, and soft orchestra-styled music for traveling and such.

-Story. It's difficult to find a game where your choices truly make a diffrence. In the Banner Saga, you could make the choice to invite more people into your caravan only for your food to run out in a wasteland and have so many starve. Choose to have your heroes charge head first into the stony masses of your enemies and end up being dragged back on the backs of your friends wathcing the rest of the battle fail.

-Characters. From the proud Varl, a group of horned giants who have no women or children to hold them back in battle to the Dredge, a mysterious horde of stone men that never cease in their equally enigmatic plight, every race, character, and hero is wonderfully written.

-Troop Management. Ah, the troop management. Keeping your caravan alive in this masterpiece is... unique, for lack of a better word. Your troops have to be promoted (leveled) by killing troops, however each soldier requires renown (the game's universal currency) to level up. This means you must choose between promoting your heroes, buying life-sustaining supplies, or purchasing trinkets that could keep the battle going in your favor.

-Good Combat. The combat feels like a mix between chess and final fantasy tactics advanced (thats the only ff I played). The player must use each hero's special abilities to break through an enemy's armor (a seperate health bar) to get to their strength (or health and hitting power), creating a nice style of combat that forces players to use armorbreakers alongside tank and dps units.

-Length. Yeah, it's a good sized game.

-Flow Between Games. Your save carries over into the next like Mass Effect. I like that alot.

----CONS----

-Bad Combat. Yeah, I had to split it into two groups. The combat gets unwieldy as you kill enemies. Say the enemy has 5 units and you have 5 units: each player swaps off every time they "use" a hero (ie moving and attacking). Now say you killed the ♥♥♥♥ out of two of their units (5 to 3): they still get to move every other turn, meaning they get more movement per hero. This could be considered good, which I can definitely see, but it causes alot of problems. I see this as a neutral, but alot of people tell me they think it corrupts the rest of their experience. I decided to put this in the cons as a warning for those who would like to avoid this. For these people, I suggest easy mode which strips the need to let your heroes heal up after battle.

----Summary----

This game is clearly a work of art. I have personally introduced this game to many people (some of which think video games are a nonsensical hobby) and all have said it is breath-taking. This game is beautiful in so many more ways than one. I hope you enjoy your adventures as much as I have. See you in Abberang, my viking amigos.


My Final rating: 9.7/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
30.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
I tried to like this game. I really did. The story is engaging, the visuals are great, and the soundtrack is a masterpiece. But the gameplay is nonexistent. The different take on turn-based combat was cool at first but quickly turned stale. None of your choices matter: you are always forced to take a certain path. There is no point in really trying to choose what to do with your reknown (the games currency); if you use it to level up a character, that character may die or leave and you have absolutely no control on whether or not this happens, if you use reknown to buy supplies, those supplies will be destroyed or stolen regardless of the choices you make. This "game" only gives you the illusion of choice and the battles are basically a minigame. The Banner Saga is a visual novel that pretends to be an RPG.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
46 of 56 people (82%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
8/10
"Great saga with mediocore turn-based combat."
TheBannerSaga is a solid gaming experience of a turn-based combat adventure/saga with some rpg&"roguelike" elements. You keep traveling through beautiful painted landscapes moving from village to battle² while "managing" your fellowship so they don't hunger & die - complicated by some decision making,

Pros:
+ geat art-style (graphics)
+ very good ost/sound
+ very good story
+ good gameplay
+ good atmosphere
+ good controls
+ you have to read
+ solid experience

Cons:
- feels shortened (in the middle)
- almost no spoken audio
- too few ambient sounds
- you must read (who minds)
- missing complexity (@combat) and depth (@characters)

Hopefully the saga continues with a bit more complexity and depth in total.
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37 of 46 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
The Banner Saga..

I've been trying to write this review for two days now. I played through the game twice. The first time I played was about a year ago. I'm trying to find some quick snippet I can use to surmise the game but nothing comes forth. So I guess I'll provide some exposition.

Its a turn based, tile based, highly narratively driven up to 5 person party adventure. You make decisions as the leader of a large group of traveling humans and a race-- Well, more of a species called the Varl; which more or less are giants.

You are constantly having to manage resources. Battles earn you renown, which is used as a currency and XP. Renown can buy you items for your characters to wear to increase stats, supplies for travel as well as allow ready candidates to level up. Resources are needed on the road for your traveling companions to survive. As well as keep morale up. Poor morale can effect the abilities of your fighters in the from of losing willpower.

On the road you will run into events that you will have to make decisions about. Including dealing with everything from fights in the caravan to deciding to trust outsiders or not. I never quite pinned down if they are all scripted or procedurally generated. Some but not all seem very timely.

COMBAT
The battle system takes a little time to get used to as its slightly obtuse at first. Each characters health is their strength, what this means is as someone gets hurt they progressively become weaker and their strength is directly blocked by the enemies armor. So you must choose to either attack their health or armor. There are some other variables such as willpower, which allow you to move farther or do extra damage in one turn. Killing enemies earn you a notch on the horn which equates to an extra willpower lying in wait when needed. Some other stats that effect the two main ones are exertion and armor break. Exertion limits how much willpower one can use even if they have more. Armor break allows one to do more damage to armor regardless of other variables. There are of course classes for all the characters which have specific abilities such and Tempest, a sort of whirlwind attack and others like Forge ahead that allow you to choose someone to move up in the turn order. If a character falls in battle they will become injured and need to rest, usually for multiple days. The character can still be used in other battles while injured at the cost of lowered stats typically.

The game does have multiple endings. I am interested to see what happens in the sequel regarding them. I will also say the game does sort of end abruptly. It does come to a climax but to be honest, a lot it seems a bit unresolved.

The game is also, from what I can tell, hand drawn. Characters have very fluid animations when attacking and the overall aesthetic is very pleasing.

THE GIST
This is maybe one of my favorite games in the last.. decade? One of the most gripping, memorable and emotional games I've played in my life. Definitely in the top 20 ever. Difficult decisions abound. Stuck in between a rock and a hard place? Can't move the rock? Don't have a drill? People are relying on you ya know. Better think about your actions.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
44.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
Once you begin this winding and perilous journey you almost want it to never end. The Banner Saga has one of the best stories of any game. You really get absorbed into the characters and the plot line. The graphics are gorgeous. The turnbased combat is simple and easy to learn, though it does require some strategy and forthought. This is a great game that all can play and enjoy.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 17
+Beautiful art
+Great soundtrack.
+Easy gameplay.
+Interesting story.
+Different ways to upgrade your characters, as you cannot max out all of your stats.

-Lots of text reading.
-The campaign ends a little bit unexpectedly. It could be bigger, too.
-Not enough time to upgrade all your characters and small max level limits.
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
I so want to enjoy this game more than I actually do. The combat system is fun, sensible, and deep; the artwork is beyond beautiful; the music is fantastic; and the story is enthralling.

But there's just way too damn much railroading. I don't mean in terms of not having much choice as to where you're going (that part's fine with me). I mean in terms of what happens to people.

The bottom line is that characters don't live or die based on the foreseeable outcomes of your choices. They die based on what whoever wrote the story thought should happen. "If you do X, this person will die five hours later in your game. Period. No, you will not see it coming. No, you will not get to react to it or have any
sort of impact on what happens; you will get a bunch of text that tells you what I have decided will happen." You're left completely powerless and turned into a passive observer.

The loss of control kills the story; it completely ruins your immersion in this rich, deep world, and slams you back on the tracks. Whenever someone's died, I've felt cheated in a way no other game has made me feel. My reaction hasn't been "well, I was hoping for a better outcome than that, but fair's fair. I took some risks, and I can see how that would make sense." Nope. The overwhelming feeling I'm left with is "How the heck was I supposed to know that was going to happen?" I feel like I have to constantly second-guess the game by trying to figure out how the various choices are trying to screw me over, instead of getting into the mindset of the characters and thinking "what makes sense here?"

This is the second time I've tried to play this game through, and I'm genuinely sad that I suspect it'll be the last. With such a linear storyline, it's only got so many playthroughs in it. Which is a shame, because apart from that it really is a terrific game. If you don't think that'll bother you as much as it does me, give it a go.
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