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 (116 reviews) - 88% of the 116 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (7,955 reviews) - 90% of the 7,955 user reviews for this game are positive.
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 Deluxe Pack BUNDLE (?)

Includes 4 items: The Banner Saga - Soundtrack, The Banner Saga, The Banner Saga 2, The Banner Saga 2 - Soundtrack

 

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 (116 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (7,955 reviews)
Recently Posted
Queen Marceline
12.8 hrs
Posted: August 25
Finally, a fun version of Oregon Trail. :D

Banner Saga is an enjoyable game. The characters are intreguing, the plot is intricate, and the atwork is stunning. If you like turn-based, tactical, story-driven games, you will like this game. The world is very reminicent of Norse Mythology, but also unique with its own creatures.

It can be challenging to keep party members alive, but that makes it more fun. There is a lot of reading, so if that's not your thing, this is not for you.

My only issue is that I wish there were more of it, but now the second one is out. Hopefully, the second one will be longer than the first.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sebeturtle
10.4 hrs
Posted: August 25
OMFG!!!!!!!!! BEST GAME EVER YOU SHOULD BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gttony1986
8.7 hrs
Posted: August 25
Fantastic game with incredible writing!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lodre
21.2 hrs
Posted: August 23
The Banner Saga is by far one of the greatest games I have ever played. The combat is engaging and challenging and once you get a feel for it you waste no time in placing your units exactly where you want them to go. The story is gripping, if a little sad; It allows to you connect to the characters through the main protagonist, Rook, and then takes away some of them who you had come to rely on. The most difficult thing I fould were the different choices you had to make, because no matter which one you ended up choosing you ended up taking the consequences, good or bad, for your actions. One thing I didn't like was the way you had to choose the difficulty of the game. Choosing the difficulty of the game is never an easy thing to do especially when you haven't had any experience in the game, and choosing easy feels like the short road out. Normal mode challenges you a fair bit, while hard mode I've never beaten and would recommend only those who are willing to invest a very serious amount of time into it. Aside from the difficulty the mechanics, story, and overall theme of the game make this a great experience for any who enjoy tactical rpg games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Toub
17.3 hrs
Posted: August 23
First game that I walk through two times in a row, while enjoying every single minutes of it. I loved the elegant drawings describing each small parts of this world, the story with its nice universe, the music, and everything that this game gave me. Thanks a lot, stoic studios!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zorus
9.4 hrs
Posted: August 23
Beautiful, haunting, well written. Bad combat, strange random events (I am always starving, despite buying ALL the supplies at every stop), and extremely linear.

If those things appeal to you, its a good game. If you value combat with depth and logic, dislike having rng decide your fate without recourse, and prefer a more open and explorable world (as I do), you'll not enjoy this game.


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armcurl_7 "Modus Ponens"
11.3 hrs
Posted: August 23
A very good artistically made game from a small group. It helps as well that the choices you make really affect your party.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wizard
21.4 hrs
Posted: August 22
I decided to give this game a shot, which I just finished. I am very surprised at how good this game was. The story was fantastic and the combat was well done. I LOVED when at a certain someone was given a Viking funeral on a burning boat. The scene and the music was spot on! The only negative thing I have to say, it took me only 21 hours to finish the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
detective118
18.4 hrs
Posted: August 21
great game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
strifeleader
21.5 hrs
Posted: August 21
Good game once you get the hang of the combat system.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
This was a good game. I liked that it had good art and story, but it was a lot of reading. There is very little animation. Most images are still art that you pan across. I was expecting it to talk like the telltale games, but it doesn’t. There are a few speaking narrative parts so expect to read a lot and don’t try and skip the text or you won’t know how to respond to conversations. The fighting part of the game was fun, but could have been better. I'll probably pass on the sequel unless a good sale comes along. Overall I give it a 80/100
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
How often would you do take a wrong turn in a game and then load to get it just right? The big difference between a really good and an average game is that you live up to your decisions.
You never wanted neither planned to be a leader, but here you are, people depending on you, enemies around you, food hopefully long enough to sustain you, every day facing a new problem. You would sometimes screw up, get someone killed, but you move on and take responsibility for your actions. The game is so immersive it doesn't even come to mind to save-load and change it.

Banner Saga is a beautiful interactive novel / oregon trail mix with clever and dynamic tactical fights. It features a mysterious doomed Norse mythology based world and a rich story told from different viewpoints.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
If you're interested in story driven games and RPGs, this game is definitely worth the buy. The Banner Saga is a combination of (a) turn based, micro-scale combat (a la Dungeons & Dragons or CRPGs), (b) visual novel storytelling with many choices, and (c) a clan management game. This it the abc of The Banner Saga, and its primary innovation is trying to entwine the three elements into a single, engaging experience.

There are a lot of things The Banner Saga does right:
+ A compelling story in an interesting world (basically a Nordic world where humans and giants try their hardest to tolerate each other);
+ A simple yet interesting combat system that is genuinely fun;
+ Genuinely difficult choices, both in terms of gameplay and story progression;
+ Beautiful and unique art and visuals (a sort of gritty Disney meets Eyvind Earle (mentioned in the credits as inspiration));
+ An equally beautiful celtic sound track.

But the game has several flaws as well: where it is ambitious in entwining the abc and innovative in its ways to make the interactions between those elements engaging, it never really delivers in the end-game. This is mostly due to The Banner Saga's Renown system, which hopes to bring all three (combat, narrative, and magement) together, but ultimately fails to do so.

The Renown system functions much like Experience Points, only Renown Points will buy you (1) character levels, (2) items for your heroes, and (3) supplies for your clan, which you require to travel. Although this is an engaging way of resource management, it fails in several respects. Firstly, it can be anti-fun when the player is forced to choose to buy supplies for the clan rather than spend money on leveling characters, which is a core element of what is enjoyable about RPGs. Secondly, characters that die in the narrative will have been a waste of invested Renown (I personally don't find this a big deal, but those who enjoy the turn based combat more than the narrative may find it irritating).

More importantly, this system leads to a watering down of all the three elements: combat becomes too easy and narrative and managament choices unimpactful. The clan management for example consists of managing Supplies (for travel), Figthers (for large battles and random events) and Morale (which affects fighter efficiency as well as the combat system). Yet this never ends up being sufficiently relevant: leveling characters makes it easy to ignore the penalty for having bad Morale, you always end up having enough Fighters, and buying sufficient Supplies is more of a necessary tedium.

There are some other, less prominent flaws: sometimes the writing takes much agency away from the player, resulting in catastrophes that you may feel were completely beyond your control. Often, the narrative fails to emphasize important events that aren't entirely in the script, such as a character dying due to a narrative decision. There is also very little time spent actually developing some of the side characters in interesting dialogue, and much focus rests on the main storyline. The latter bothered me enormously, because I liked many of the characters upon introduction, but barely got to interact with them. This is partially due to the game introducing too many characters, but partially simply too few of such events were actually written out.

These flaws, as well as a rather abrupt ending (which pretty much makes buying the sequal mandatory), leave me feeling slightly less satisfied than I'd hoped to be. However the flaws are easily forgiven, because The Banner Saga manages to keep the players attention where it wants it, namely with the main storyline. This storyline itself is compelling and well presented to the extent that it warrants the €20,- pricetag in itself.

Verdict: Recommended with a 7/10. The flaws in the gameplay are compensated by a great narrative experience; moreover, the gameplay has much potential and if the developer learns, The Banner Saga 2 may become a real classic.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
The Banner Saga is fantastic from start to finish. Been sitting in my pile of games to play for a while, and I'm glad I finally go around to checking it out. This game combines a rich story set in a nordic mythology, turn-based combat that harkens to X-com, and survival decisions that remind me of the old Oregon Trail.

Three great things about the game:
- Decisions matter. They shape the way your party forms over the course of a solid 12-14 hour story.
- A solid combat system that keeps action interesting
- Fantastic story of the end times

It's not without a few faults however. The surival-ESQUE gameplay is definitely in service to the story. Things like caravan supplies and army size feel inconsequential at times. Sometimes you will spend a bunch of currency on supplies for a long haul... only to have the supplies made meaningless by cutting a long journey short due to a story element.

Other times you make sacrifices to keep your army numbers high, only never to fight or encounter another large army. Why? Because the story didn't call for you to run into an army yet. I would have much rather used the currency buy items or upgrade my party members. But there's no way to know when supplies and army size are actually needed, before you actually need them... making their currency system a bit of random guesswork

The story is good, so the above points are forgivable, but I would have liked to see them strike a better balance between the story, and the game-y parts.

You should buy this game. You will enjoy it. Can't wait to play The Banner Saga 2.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Some games you can just tell that the creators loved them. The care, the atmosphere, the characters, story and pacing are all beautiful. I am the sort of person easily turned off by games you 'watch' instead of play, but there are exceptions out there and this is one. The isometric battles are frankly not that great, the atmosphere is what makes this.

How many games are there where you can't wait to finish the battle to find out what happens next in the story? Can't think of another right now. Superb... Off to buy 2.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
(Disclaimer: The following review was done before playing the sequel(s) and is exclusively pertinent to it.)

Banner Saga is the first chapter in a series that weaves nordic mythology and aesthetic with an interesting unique fantasy world that is quite apocalyptic in tone. It mixes tactical RPG elements with a survival "on-rails" traveling mechanic (the term "viking orion trail" describes it quite well), both dictated ultimately by a visual novel "choice-based" gameplay structure.

This game's strongest qualities are by far its brilliantly crafted artistic elements: Story, graphics and music. The graphics are wonderful and seeing traditional hand-drawn 2d animation in a world where 3d animation is the norm is refreshing. The backgrounds are inspired by artist Eyvind Earle (they even named a character after him) and are quite breathtaking. The music sounds quite authentic in its attempts to complement its theme, as it mixes elements of traditional nordic folk music (with singing), and is very well composed and was recorded in an actual orchestra which brings it to a whole new level.

The story is quite interesting and in parts quite brutal. The worldbuilding is well done and pulls you in quite intensely - though it feels a bit narrow in its scope, lacking a bit of cultural and political diversity at times. As for the plot, there are definately some "game of thronesy" ruthlessness (minus the outward adult elements to it), feeling like you're never really safe and anything can happen - except perhaps for some degree of "plot armor" that perhaps can't be avoided when you're writing a protagonist-driven narrative.

Now for the gameplay, which is where the real faults of this game unfortunately lie:

As I said before there are three elements that compose this game: A tactical RPG element that takes place in battles, a on-rails Orion Trail style travelling mechanic which takes place when going from one place to another, and a visual novel, "choose-your-adventure book" type of gameplay where the story and dialogue is presented to you and you have to make decisions to lead the game foward, decisions which can prove fortuitous or give you trouble.

The problem and the biggest flaw of this game is the fact that it pretends that it is not linear. It constantly throws you game elements that tease you into a false sense of freedom - such as the battle system, which is the only part where the "RPG" element really takes place - like for example the map system, which shows you a richly detailed world with many places to go, but never giving you the choice to actively opt to travel to any of those places, but instead claustrophobically forcing you to follow a set trail from which you can never stray off (and from which you can't even go back - once you're going foward, there is no stopping).

The resource system is quite simplistic, and the game "money" is only acquired in battle and is used for everything, including leveling up your characters. And to make it worse, it's in quite short supply, essencially robbing you with the pleasure of making your characters stronger in case you don't want to, you know, starve to death. This is where the Viking Trail element comes in - yes, you need food to feed your caravan. And not only it's difficult to find supplies, but you also lose them very easily, especially due to events that happen over which you have no control.The game also doesn't make clear what the advantage of having a large caravan even is.

Now I have only played this game once, so I only know the extent to which choices matters from other people talking about it, but as far as I know, a lot of the choices don't actually change the story very significantly. Which can be kind of dishonest as it sabotages the feeling you get when first playing the game of you having crafted your own story.

All in all, the game feels way too much like a book. A book where you sometimes play "chess" against, and a very good one at that, but still a book.

But anyway, I really enjoyed playing it, and I appreciate the effort that went into it, so I'm giving it a positive review. But it could certainly be more of a "game", or at least be more honest about how much it isn't.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Nobody ever felt hunger so i had that going for me.

Be prepared for anything and think ahead for at least 7 days.

Rating: At the end of the world don't be afraid to make tough choices.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 31
A very rewarding and challenging turn based strategy that has a gorgeous artsyle, a moving soundtrack, and a memorable cast of characters. Unlike other games, The Banner Saga tells its story mainly through its characters, all of which are magnificently well written and realized within the game's world.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
44.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Hard difficulty is the only mode of play I have experience on.

That noted I enjoy this game, highly.
I see alot of people complain about difficulty and leave bad reviews.
If you do not setup and think for best engagements you will get rolled.

But this is how it should be, I request the developers not relinquish difficulty for the more challenged generations. But instead lead an example as to how it feels to fail, and fail miserably. Hence the reward of reworking strategy.

Some may be put off of the TBS/RPG infusion but I can say with most certainty.. It works.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
I decided to give this game a shot, which I just finished. I am very surprised at how good this game was. The story was fantastic and the combat was well done. I LOVED when at a certain someone was given a Viking funeral on a burning boat. The scene and the music was spot on! The only negative thing I have to say, it took me only 21 hours to finish the game.
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