Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization.
User reviews: Very Positive (3,412 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 (9)

October 15

Reddit AMA

Howdy Folks!

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

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2jbcdk/we_are_stoic_indie_game_developers_creating_the/

Thanks all!

0 comments Read more

October 2

The Banner Saga oniOS and Linux Update

Howdy Folks!

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

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

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

5 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

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

PC
Mac
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 3 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: 3 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
One of the best games I've played in a long time. Three reasons stand out:

First, the writing is superb. I recently finished Divinity: Original Sin, and have played all kinds of RPGs from the old Baldur's Gate titles to Morrowind to System Shock 2 and a lot in between. This game manages what few others do: create believable, interesting characters without walls of text. I like reading, but I don't like huge amounts of text that do little to further the story, character development or immersion. Even though I liked D:OS a lot, and the game had some great writing, a lot of the dialogue was just doing nothing to these ends. The density of little clues and nuances in the Banner Saga is astonishing, coupled with some humor and great attention to setting-appropriate terminology.

Second, this might be the first game ever that managed to make me feel pressed. Generally, games I've played fall in two categories when it comes to time-crucial missions: either they don't enforce it at all mechanically, meaning that while the princess is being eaten by the bad guy I still have all the time I need to loot chests, talk to strangers and tend to my weapons. Or they implement some kind of timer - an option I hate with a passion because it feels so out-of-setting and forced. In the Banner Saga the whole setting screams 'hurry up' - and you do, by weighing the alternatives and choosing how much time to allocate to them. At least to me, it never feels artificial, or unfair, or like a difficulty-thing, it's just part of the story.

Third, and fans of A Song of Ice and Fire will likely agree, the fact that beloved characters can die on a whim makes the whole cast and your decisions infinitely more interesting. I'm generally someone aiming for the best possible outcome in RPGs, including loading a save game when something turned out to be a bad decision. In the Banner Saga, for the first time ever perhaps, I did not feel annoyed by bad things happening to me. It's just 'damn... guess the next few hours just got a lot harder'.

All in all a very, very good game, including the ending. Fights can get a bit repetitive since you only have one special ability per character, and some of those are frankly useless, but that's a minor gripe since the system is still well executed and challenging while staying fair. Maybe we should combine D:OS's combat system with the story and writing of the Banner Saga to create the perfect RPG.
Posted: October 4
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
I've been postponing to play The Banner Saga for a long time. When the game was released on iOS, I suddenly realized I didn't even start my pc game yet. That evening I sat down and played for several hours straight. Now, 18 hours along the way I just finished The Banner Saga on Normal difficulty for the very first time,

I'm not the type of gamer to play a game again in order to get all achievements, but I did check which ones I earned and which ones I did not get. As it turns out, there are many story branches based on the choices one makes. Characters can survive through out to story or die during battle.

I love the background of this game. Vikings are cool. By adding some kind of Super Viking (Varl) the studio has created a big divirsity in the characters one can use during the game. I will not spoil anything, but don't get too attached to your characters... they might die.

The combat is tactical. Take your time is make a move, look at the movement range of your enemies and make sure you double check for example the reach of your archers. It happened to me more than once that my archers was one block short to reach its target... That's just waste of a turn and might result in you losing the battle. During a battle characters can die. But you can't know in advance whether they are just "passed out" or they will be actually removed from the game and story.

Between the turn based battles there are lots of conversations in which you get to make choices. It's not always clear what the results of your choices will be. The most confusing thing in The Banner Saga is that you can be travelling without food and still thieves can steal food or Varls can drink beer because we passed some religious statue.

Overall The Banner Saga is one of the highlights in my recent gaming years. It left me wanting for more. I've got the same feeling I got when I played The Walking Dead by Telltale for the very first time. Game studio Stoic has developed a very nice and enjoyable game with a touching story. No tears, but in the end you can't help but wonder whether the ending is just the ending of the story or the result of your actions.

I've decided I'm not going to find out. This is it. My story is over and now I'm waiting for the second chapter.
Posted: October 14
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
I can not remember when I had to make such tough choices in gaming the last time. The story is brutal, makes you feel bad everytime you see the effects of your decisions. Because they matter. Because the world is tough and if you fail as a leader, your people die. Because if you decide that those resisting farmers shoudl give you their food so your clan can survive, you will have to kill them. This is Banner Saga, and it is awesome!

I am not normally the one to play story-driven games, but this one had me at the first choice to make. The combat system is refreshing enough to make it feel your tactic matters. Someone that got hit a lot, can't hti back this hard, someone withotu armour left, gets hit harder as well. Pretty logical, but amazing how it surprised me with these mechanics I have never encountered in any game so far.

By the way, if you are not the type for story-games, try out Banner Saga: Factions, it is free to play and features the same classes and battles as Banner Saga, but in a PvP-environment, where you fight against other leaders.

9/10 just because there is a small bit of potential left. Let's hope they nail it again with the next chapter.
Posted: September 24
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
I thoroughly enjoyed playing Banner Saga. I enjoyed the art work, though at certain times the scenes were a bit long and repetative (such as watching your part slowly move across a backdrop that looks similar or repeated.) The whole Banner Saga universe is quite interesting, though I would have loved to learn more about the Varl.
The same is simplistic in some ways, but the story itself is great. The different options you have for decision making, and the result of the decision making, seemed a bit random at times but in a hostile environment like your heroes face in the game, you never know how your story will go.
I spent about 6 or 7 hours through my first play through and will likely go back and see whatever endings or outcomes I can get.
Posted: September 29
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
41.1 hrs on record
Best game I ever played. The art is beutiful. The Story is engaging. The gameplay is smooth. Great World. The best part is that it all flows together.
Posted: October 6
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.4 hrs on record
What an amazing game.

The script writing is brilliant. They have created beleivable characters with distinguishable personalities that you actually care about. The music is perfect for this game and helps build towards the overall atmosphere. The one thing you can actually see before buying the game is the graphical style so make your own opinion on that bought i thought it is very original.

The gameplay mechanics is split into several main bits. 1) the battles; 2) the travel sections between towns and 3) dialogue.

1) the battle system is based on a chessboard style grid (areas are more streamlined compared with battlescenes in FF Tactics or vandal hearts). In each battle you control up to 6 characters each eith their own strength, defence, willpower, shield break and strain stats as well as a unique speical abilility. I won't go into the mechanics in detail (as there are plenty of videos on this) but I will say that it is cleverly designed system which encourages tactical and strategic thinking; this is evidenced through certain battles which are seemingly impossible to win but when reattempted with a different strategy become a doddle. Characters generate renown through battle and can be promoted for improved stats.

2) the travel sections between towns require a small amount of resource management as you need food and supplies to keep your caravan of followers alive. Whilst on the road you will be faced with events and decisions to make. The results of your decisions will have real consequences ranging from the loss/gain in supplies or morale to the death of main character.

3) throughout the game there is a lot of dialogue. I thought I class this as a separate gamplay mechanic in itself as it is a big part of the scene setting. The diaglogue is genuinely interesting which makes it readable (I tend to skip of text in games these days but this wasn't a problem).

The only downside is that the ending felt abrupt and I felt there was more to the story which went unexplained. Sequel maybe? I hope so...
Posted: October 7
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.9 hrs on record
This is a wonderful game for both storytelling as well as consequence in actions. The game has wonderful replayability in the design and the art is always mesmerizing to look at.
Posted: October 11
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
I really like the concept of this game. Banner saga introduces several new genre elements:
1) Your damage output depends on how much health you have
2) Decisions you make between battles can be life and death for your characters
3) Turn order changes based on the number of remaining characters on each side

I think 1 & 2 are really awesome, but 3 detracts from the experience for me. Instead of trying to kill your opponents, each battle is a struggle to keep as many enemies alive as possible, but with only 1 - 2 life remaining, so they can't do any damage. If you kill an opponent, then the remaining enemies move up in order (essentially getting more turns), which means if there is a powerful enemy in a battle, then by the end, they go every other turn. Enemies like Bellower that heal on their turn make this mechanic even more ridiculous.

If they make a banner saga 2 or come out with additional content, I hope they consider using a standard turn mechanic, where killing an enemy is actually favorable. Also, the map gives the illusion that the game is an open world with lots of travel options, but you are given very few opportunities to make travel choices; I'd like to see more variety in travel.
Posted: October 16
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.1 hrs on record
The Banner Saga is a beautiful, stunning turn based strategy game with it's own mythology, set in a world of Varl (horned giants) and men. The gods are dead. The sun unresting in the sky.

In this game you follow two groups. One is the group of Hakon, a leader of the Varl, still kind of uneasy in the role of leader. He has to get along with Ludin, the prince of men, and his bodyguards and entourage.
The other group is lead by Rook, a hunter from Skogr. He is together with Iver, a varl he has known for a while, his daughter Alette, Egil, archer Oddleif and all of his clansmen.

Along the way you can gather people to join your caravan as you travel the world, fleeing for the Dredge, stone creatures. Fighting them almost becomes monotone, as there aren't a lot of other enemies in the game, except for some enemy humans and varl. But the game makes up for that by fitting it perfectly in the story.

The other thing that helps making this game not so monotone is that the special events (raids, attacks, fighting families, hunger, theft, curious characters, etc.) are sometimes random and don't appear in a certain order. You have to think wise though if you want to let certain people in or out of your caravan, as your actions can have heavy consequences.

Sometimes, parts of the game seem a little buggy (losing people due to hunger while you aren't skipping a day for example).

It takes a while to really understand the dynamics in fighting. I was a bit confused by how willpower and renown works, so my advice to players is to really read into it while the game explains and train with your character for practice-battles, or fighting enemies becomes frustrating and confusing. I almost finished my first playthrough and I'm very surprised. Definetely going to replay the game, as certain decisions seem to have a huge impact.
What a worth for my money! I've fallen in love with the characters and can't wait for the next parts.
Posted: October 14
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Oh God, this game is so cool.

First of all: the battles are just awesome and the battle system is pretty cleverly designed.

The story is not bad at all, it mostly feeds a big hunger for the next episode but you really find yourself being depressed for losing some members of your crew.

The artworks are beautiful even if i would have liked to have some actually animated cutscenes in certain parts of the story.

I don't think i have many bad comments to share. All the other users' complains about the lack of supplies are nonsense: you're conducting a pilgrimage across a desolated land chased by monsters. You're SUPPOSED to be hungry.

Really, this game is awesome. Kinda replayable but a few more hours of gameplay wouldn't have hurted.

p.s. SCREW KING
Posted: October 2
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
47.1 hrs on record
The Banner Saga is a game about a world. There are dozens of characters, all with compelling personalities and motivations, and while you only take full control of a couple of them, the story sections are filled with so much thoughtful dialogue you will end up relating to just about everybody. But even more than that is the world they find themselves in. Drawing largely from norse mythology while adding a few twists of it's own, The Banner Saga shows us a land rich in narrative and life. The first time the map opened up I spent the better part of an hour exploring and reading and understanding it all- it's just that well thought out. You lead your band of warriors and clansmen through hostile lands, trying to unearth the secrets of the most recent crisis. The sun has stopped, the gods are dead, new behemoths loom large, and hordes of stone-skinned warriors threaten to destroy everything. The world of The Banner Saga almost gives the feeling of the real world- much bigger than your individual experience, yet you still eke out your own path and do what you can to help. Whether you help yourself or the world at large is your choice.

Now this game has a lot of moral choices in it. There's no morality system (thank god), but very frequently you will be choosing between many tough decisions to make. Almost everything counts, too. If you ever wondered what leading a large group of people in tough times feels like, I think this game gives a very flavorful taste of that. Definitely not something to be missed, if only for that experience.

I've already gone on a while- I leave the sound and art direction for the interested player to look into. Needless to say both are beautiful and compelling. I can't recommend this game highly enough. It delivers on several fronts- gameplay, story, music, art direction- this game has it all. If you happen to dislike the game in one of those areas, you're in luck, because there are three more to please you.
Posted: October 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
very good game

battle system is very simple but also challenging (hp=strengh), not so many development and upgrading in characters, money can be used to buy supplies, item and upgrading character (very careful in this :D)

story is good (but for me it's hard to remember some character names), and there's some decision you make along your journey, too linear but it's okay

music is good and there's some narration, art is superb

for me 8/10
Posted: October 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
38.4 hrs on record
The storyline and artwork to this were done really well. The big drawback to me was the combat which i didnt find all that exciting. You play as two seperate factions, the Giants who seem to be on easy mode, they always have plenty of food and morale and smash the enemy in combat easily, and the humans who seem to be constantly on the verge of starving with poor morale and much harder in combat to get by with. All in all it was a fun game that i would reccomend, i just hope they make combat more exciting with the next one, and they dont make you choose between the cool item or feeding your caravan ;)
Posted: October 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
I feel almost bad not recommending it, this game has so much potential, but unfortunately it's pretty much wasted by the horrible ending.
The pros:
- The graphics are very pretty, and do convey the sense of being in another world, and of setting things up nicely
- The music and the few voice-overs are very good
- The general story, up until the end, is captivating and unique enough when stacked up against other games.

The cons:
- The game is on rails. Serious rails. And it feels like it. It actually provides you with a map you can click on, so you can learn about the different regions and cities of the world, but then won't let you plot a course to visit any of them.
- The combat is actually pretty boring once you realize that every round of turn based combat, the turns go back and forth between you and the enemy. You just killed 3 enemies so it's now 5 on 3? Well, that just means some of the enemy units will go twice. It really sucks any aspect of strategy right out of the game.
- The ENDING! Wow. I don't want to spoil it, but the game builds up so much about the setting, the history of the world, the different characters....and then it just ends. SO much could have been done, but wasn't. What a gyp.
Posted: September 25
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
BORING!!!!!!
Posted: September 24
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
This game is amazing. The end.

Yes, my review sucks, but you're wasting time by not playing the game instead.
Posted: October 14
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Too much frustrating randomness to be enjoyable.
Posted: October 19
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
29.7 hrs on record
The visuals are genuinely stunning and deserve to be marveled at. The musical score is also truly extraordinary and unique. Ultimately (and maybe even tragically), however, the game as a whole contains too many design flaws (or is it a matter of incomplete ideas?) for me to recommend others sinking any kind of time into it. I very, very rarely give up on a game after getting far into it, but I did with The Banner Saga, I'm sorry to say.
Posted: October 20
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Slow combat, cinematic animations. Games are art doesn't necessarily mean games are fun. Permadeath on units, slow turn based combat, tons of stupid viking names that get mixed up with a billion different locations, titles, names etc. Not very rewarding, constantly busy worrying if I made the right decision rather than enjoying myself. If you're looking for a game, it's not here. If you're looking for an interactive story with crappy grid based, turn based combat? I guess get this. I still wouldn't.
Posted: October 6
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
It has such potential. I consider this a story based game.. but it has very limited voice work and I rather just watch a movie or read a book then go through this game.

Gameplay is subpar but that is expected since the effort was put into the story. Sadly the story is kind of dull.
Posted: October 5
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