Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization.
User reviews: Very Positive (5,535 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

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

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Buy The Banner Saga - Soundtrack

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Recommended By Curators

"A wonderfully realised Viking adventure with in-depth tactical combat. Roto-scope style animation leads to a beautiful world. Ends a bit abruptly though"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (13)

June 29

Localization Update

Howdy

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

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


Thanks!

16 comments Read more

May 6

Small Update

Howdy Folks!

Small update to the game today to fix/remove some unecessary files and we added in the missing Kickstarter Crests.

Thanks!

9 comments Read more

Reviews

“Game of Thrones Meets Vikings Meets Disney. The Banner Saga is blindingly lovely and arguably just as intriguing to play. Built atop a world that all but demands the attention of travel documentaries, it's epic in the literal sense of the word.”
100% – US Gamer

“With a refreshingly unique aesthetic, well-written story, and challenging gameplay, The Banner Saga is an excellent adventure well worth your time.”
90% – Games Radar

“The Banner Saga deserves commendation for the strength of its art and music experience alone, which shatters conventions.”
86% – IGN

Coming to SteamOS/Linux

The Banner Saga will be available on SteamOS and Linux in March 2015.

Digital Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition – Combines The Banner Saga with the official soundtrack which includes 29 tracks by Grammy nominated, and two time BAFTA Award winning, composer Austin Wintory, performed by the Dallas Winds orchestra plus a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: vocalists Peter Hollens and Malukah and violinist Taylor Davis.

About This Game

Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization. Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds. Not everyone will survive, but they will be remembered.

Key Features

  • Player choice that drives your own narrative – every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds.
  • Over 25 playable characters from 2 different races, human and varl, the horned giants – embark on your epic journey with a variety of characters from 7 different classes, each with unique abilities and upgrade options to fit your play style.
  • Strategic combat with consequences - victory or defeat and even the permanent loss of a character depends on which characters you choose to take into battle and what decisions you make afterwards.
  • The journey is as important as battle – your role in building and managing your caravan as you travel the vast frozen landscape is critical to not only your own survival but the survival of an entire civilization.
  • An epic Viking saga brought to life in 2D glory – beautifully hand drawn combat sequences and animations, accompanied by an evocative score from Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, will immerse you into a fantasy realm inspired by Norse mythology.
  • Multiplayer Combat Enhanced – sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game “Factions”. Compete against other players with many of the character classes you see in The Banner Saga.

The Banner Saga is the first part of a planned trilogy. If you complete this game, your unique progress and storyline will carry over to the next part of the story.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • Memory: 4 MB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
50 of 69 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
This was a beautifully rendered tactical turn based RNG RPG with an engaging story and for the most part, stellar gameplay. The backdrop was visually stunning, and this was easily the games strongest feature. It really did a great job of not only creating a game setting, but also adding an air of mystery and intrigue and foreboding to the game.

The combat itself was fairly simplistic as far as hex based battle systems go. The RNG aspect can create some frustrating moments, but can also conversely make you so stoked that you took a low percentage chance and succeeded.
The RPG upgrading system likewise was fairly simple.

As far as the writing goes, the story itself well complemented the artistic design of the game, or vice versa, lol, and the characters were pretty interesting in my opinion, overall. They weren't fully fleshed out, but I didnt feel they needed to be, and for what the game was presenting, I thought the whole thing worked quite well.

So, based on all that, with the excellent story writing, the cool characters, the amazing set piece, and the decent combat, this game should really be one of the best. However, it had some very real issues that knock it down some.

For one, as good as the writing was, realistically, none of your choices leading up to the finale really mattered, EXCEPT who you leveled up. Speaking of which, party members only level up through use, which I feel, based on the type of game it is, is something of a failure. I feel party members should level together in games like this, or at least, the unused ones should get some sort of experience. Otherwise, you end up woefully unprepared later when you are FORCED to use certain characters, arguably the ones that held the least appeal through the rest of the story as far as using them in battle went.

So, like I say, your choices didnt really matter. You have to fight starvation and loss through battle based on your actions, which for the bulk of your group (the common soldiers, scouts, and peasants), basically affected the amount of survivors left when you get to the final city WHERE they all die anyway, lol. However, your party decisions definitely matter, and because you are forced to use certain characters later in the game, and one specifically for the final battle sequence (the daughter), you would be encouraged to use them EXCEPT, the game really doesn't hint at that. They are mostly the characters you will find least useful overall, and that coupled with a distinct lack of anything suggesting they might be important later, virtually guarantees that most players will face the same complications later in the game.

So, this matters because the final battle is two stages and relies solely on the daughters archery skills to win. However, there was no real reason to level her up through the game, and I know that most players enter that final battle with an under leveled primary use character, which generally spells defeat.

Now, it is my understanding that the developers listened to these same complaints from a large percentage of the people who played this just after release and made some adjustments, but I haven't played it since those patches were released, so I cant speak to whether they really helped out with these issues or not. My understanding was the patch release focused on the final battle, so that aspect might be better now.

Anyway, I think overall, I want to give this game an 8 out of 10, but all the issues with it make me drop my rating down to about a 6.5 out of 10.

I do intend to revisit this game and see how the patches impacted things, so I will revise this review if necessary after I do so. Regardless, it is a game worth experiencing, so I do in fact recommend it.
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
The gods are dead. The sun never leaves the horizon, shining on boundless wastes of tundra. The land is torn between men, giants known as varl and armored creatures known as dredge, neither carry any reason to trust each other. A new day dawns, and the world is at the brink of turmoil, weary of old wars, always anticipating new wars; nearly void of hope. In such a time, you take the role of leading a caravan across frozen wastes to its destiny.

You play the parts of many characters, make their choices and endure the consequences while discovering the beautifuly weaved tale of the realm. Each and every character that you lead tell a story of their own in this Nordic, war-thorn saga. Each choice that you make affects your chances of survival, and makes you approach one step closer to your destination. The setting is incredibly rich, expected from any proper rpg game. Every road, landmark, settlement, mountain or forest; every region depicted on the map contains its own local history. The lore is complete and refreshing.

To begin with, the game contains a diverse gameplay, bringing together elements of adventure, role-playing and strategy games. The adventure elements are directly affecting the story, and the outcome of your choices twist and turn to present you alternative destinies. Combats are turn-based in isometric maps, and gameplay is fairly easy to grasp. Yet 'fairly easy to grasp' quickly turns into 'hard to master'. You are able to level up your characters with reknown, a kind of currency that you may gain through heroism either in adventure choices or by slaying your adversaries in battle field. Alongside leveling, you are capable of gathering minor and major items to enhance your heroes furthermore.

The Banner Saga presents a direct example for my reason to become a gamer: a story to be told. The game satisfied all my expectations throughly. I do not wish to present any spoilers, but it is safe to declare that the story of the realm is not finished in this game. Good news is that The Banner Saga 2 is in development. Cheers!
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79 of 129 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
I don't think The Banner Saga is a very well executed game. The ideas are certainly there, the story is interesting, the music is excellent, but gameplay-wise, it has some pretty egregious design problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For me it was a lesson in negative reinforcement.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
87.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
My review of The Banner Saga will be based on 4 categories: Performance,Gameplay,Graphics, and Story. As a summary, The Banner Saga gives its players one of the most tactical gameplay to ever grace the indie scene as well as delivering a story that's comparable to its AAA counterparts. A bit disappointed on the game length though as I found myself wanting more after each story revelation and battle. Nevertheless, this gem is still a well-made game and is definitely the shining needle in a haystack full of lousy, unpolished games.

Performance
Being an indie game, The Banner Saga just gives you the bare-bones required to run it. No graphics options to tinker with, no resolution slider to adjust, Just your typical indie with the option to toggle sound effects, background music, and subtitles to on or off. Performance on a FX-6300 processor, R9 270 GPU, and 8 GB of RAM at 1080p yields a constant 60 FPS with no hitches whatsoever.

No bugs or crashes experienced during playthroughs but be wary that no game is ever bug-free. Note that the game uses auto-saves and checkpoints as a saving mechanic; there is no save option to be found.

Gameplay
Tactical RPG is basically digital chess - you've got a king, queen, and pawns that you move through the digital field in a battle to either wipe out all of your opponents or follow a specific objective that will require absolute knowledge of the mechanics. The main difference between the two is that you've got the RPG element to it in which you level-up your pawns, distribute stat points to your king, and choose the equipment that your queen will wear for battle. The fusion of chess' tactical difficulty and the customization features of RPGs are what made games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and X-COM so memorable and fun to play. The Banner Saga adopts these mechanics and made it more simplified and casual-friendly but it doesn't compromise the gameplay and even adds in some innovations of its own.

The Banner Saga's gameplay consists of management, combat, and customization of your fighters. The whole game is spent traveling with a caravan along a linear path and making sure that they last the journey by managing supplies, winning your battles, and making the right choices that will affect your caravan in a very big way. Along with the caravan comes the morale mechanic which helps give you extra willpower in battle at higher statuses. While it is possible to win battles even with low morale, the extra advantages given by a high morale will surely help in winning the game. For those wanting to have the perfect caravan with people from the first day of travel surviving until the end of the journey, you may have to work harder than your average casual player because the game has a limiting factor to it. First of all, the viking-themed world of The Banner Saga lacks towns and shops that you can visit - which is kind of weird since you'd expect a traveling caravan would find a lot of settlements on the road. The severe lack of places to visit means that you get less opportunities to stock up and buy supplies which in turn makes the members of your caravan leave or picked out one-by-one because of hunger. Second, the currency of the world uses renown; basically, Stoic games' name for experience points which actually adds a lot of depth to the game BUT the potential isn't exactly realized because renown is very hard to come by and the price that the traders are asking for supplies is abysmal. I mean seriously, 1/4 of my hard-earned renown just for a day's worth of supplies? LOL! No thanks! GFY and KMA you MoFo! And again, another weird situation because gold exists in their world. Heck, the traveling caravan from the beginning of the game is collecting fief from a human settlement. I guess traders just like the sweet taste of a day's hard work and the sweat coming off warrior's bodies. Let me clarify though that traders are entirely optional and you can go through the game without ever buying from one but I can already imagine the frustration of some players deciding between the caravan and their character's levels.

While half of the time is spent on looking at your caravan slog through lifeless snow-filled backgrounds, the other half is spent on strategic battles that will test your wits and cunning. Now, The Banner Saga's combat is just like any tactical RPGs out there. It's just that the main focus this time around is the need to balance an armor and health meter - and what's amazing is just the two of these is needed to make the game so strategic. It's a game of critical decisions, a high armored enemy can take more damage so you have to try and break his armor and hope that you and your teammates has a high enough attack power so you can defeat him, an enemy low on health will do less damage to you (and vice versa for the player character low on health) but still won't bode well if the opponent has a very high armor. Very simple mechanics for the casual player, very hard game to master even for the veterans. Customization is limited to choosing your warriors and arming them a single solitary equipment from the game's limited number of items that can be counted on three hands. While the effects of each item can vary from being really good to not actually worth the price, the inclusion of such items helps with the game a lot even in the tiniest degree.

Graphics
The cartoonish art style in this game is very unique in comparison to its peers. The Disney-inspired aetethics of The Banner Saga is very beautiful and it really feels like you're watching and playing a Disney movie through all its glory. The artists also captured the viking elements of the world perfectly; the people, weapons, and the locales show the uniqueness and individuality of the nordic people and its a real treat to play through the whole game with this kind of art style.

Story
The story may seem like a journey through barren fields and war-torn lands based on first impressions but its actually an epic tale of beings who are just misunderstanding each other because of past events and war but in the grand scheme of things are really destined to to exist with one another in a fight against a common threat. The varl - giant, towering beings with horns growing in their head and the humans must fight an old enemy called the dredge - creatures with human-like intelligence as they believe that the mysterious beings have come to the human and varl lands again to raise war once more. But things soon take a turn as a surprising revelation that involves all races may decide the fate of the whole world.

Each character's goals and motivations are believable and they really show the situation in a land where the sun suddenly stopped moving. You have fathers who just want to protect their daughters, varl trying to be the leader that he thinks everyone deserves, and people questioning whether the enemy that they fight really is the enemy. All of this is set-up in a very nice pace which lets players know what is needed to be known without revealing too much for that perfect moment of awe and surprise.

The game also lets you choose choices with severe effects that affect both your characters personally, your caravan, and the future events that will happen to your team. Some of them make sense, some have the same outcome masked by pretty clever wording, and some are just plain annoying - especially that one with the backbiter (*wink). You'll come across these choices at regular intervals and every choice is important. Choose a wrong one and suffer forever through the game as that choice haunts you while you think that it may have turned out differently.

The mythology that they've created is just an amazing pice of work - and there's much to be explored in this huge world that they've established. I personally can't wait for more.



And there you have it
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
Amazing game. Good combat system, nice visuals and sound. Excellent 1440p support, everything is very crisp.

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