Reviews for The Banner Saga

90

I can't stop coming back to this game

redhawk20854 | Sept. 26, 2014 | See all redhawk20854's reviews »

Upon reflection, I've decided that, currently, this may have quietly become one of my favorite games.

A disclaimer about my preferences on most days: I prefer role playing games to first person shooters; a relaxed paced to frantic action; thoughtfulness to button mashing.

With that said, this game is amazing. It manages to have both a great story and opportunities to make decisions that have real impact on the game experience. The tempo is relaxed--both because it is turned-based combat and because the storytelling, imagery, and music between the combat moments are so graceful. It is a game that you can settle into and want to come back to whenever you leave. The characters are interesting and sometimes funny, and if someone dies because a decision you make, you might even mourn their loss from your party (or play again to try to figure out how to have a different outcome).

At a time when there are a lot of games to choose between, if you like games with a story, interesting characters, turn-based combat, and/or beautiful imagery and music, I recommend The Banner Saga.

85

Gorgeous art, good story, good gameplay

Lorddyran | Sept. 16, 2014 | See all Lorddyran's reviews »

This game fills a hole that I didn't know I had. It explores the Viking mythology a bit, which is a nice change of pace. The art is stunning, in a style I've never seen before in a game. The story is interesting enough to keep you playing, but the gameplay is where things really shine.

Unfortunately, it's also where it falls short of greatness. The battles are fun, the management is interesting, and you will find yourself absorbed; however, the world will never become entirely real. It's just a little too limited in the interactions you have, just a little too game-like to suspend disbelief.

Playing through this, even while I end up enjoying it, I can't help but think how much I am looking forward to seeing what they do NEXT, hopefully learning a bit from this outing.

85

Medieval XCOM

Ghost_Panther | Aug. 23, 2014 | See all Ghost_Panther's reviews »

If you're a fan of XCOM get this game. It isn't as good as XCOM but it still is fun to play, and it's a refreshing break from futuristic games.

89

A Medieval RPG Game done right.

mrminecrafter1 | July 6, 2014 | See all mrminecrafter1's reviews »

An excellent RPG game set in the medieval times that puts you into the task of starting your epic journey. The strategy involved is incredibly crafted. Every decision you make will affect in a rather different and significant way. Managing your caravan is just as important as combat in this game. Great sound design and also a really good soundtrack. The artistic style of the game is really great and fits the game nicely. Recommended.

90

Everything A Mid Evil Knights Era Game Should BE

Emoski12 | April 5, 2014 | See all Emoski12's reviews »

The Banner Saga, the most beautifully drawn game in existence. The artwork alone is worth more than the game itself. The fact that every character is detailed down to the stitches on their trousers. This game is a side scrolling type game, with a turn based battle style that leaves you wondering what the heck the creators were thinking. This game has so much going for it graphically, and each character actually speaks! It really draws you in and makes you feel like you know the characters. The story is amazing and the game play is fun. but the battling.. I always fall back to the battle system when I speak of this game. I just.. They could have done better. Overall worth the money, easily. 9/10

80

A game worthy of its name

TommyC7 | March 19, 2014 | See all TommyC7's reviews »

Its rare that I have played something so simple yet so deep and engaging. The turn based combat and decisions you make feel weighty and important make you weigh your options carefully to do the best for your heroes and those in your caravan. While you may not get to know all the characters as well as you would like they are clearly identified enough for you to care and be invested. The artwork and music beautifully enhance the experience. Multiple playthroughs and approaches is a must to get the full experience, be prepared for a frustrating but very fulfilling experience. Worth every penny.

89

Xcom with beards

connlasair | Feb. 4, 2014 | See all connlasair's reviews »

I stumbled upon this game by accident, but as a fan of turn-based combat, Xcom-like management and a steep difficulty curve I bought the Banner Saga right away. I am not at all disappointed. The game tells a story of varl (giants with horns) and humans as they struggle to survive in a dark time of dredge (stone-like figures) invasion. The player controls a handful of heroes leading a caravan that just tries to make it in the harsh reality of war. During the struggle the player faces myriad of difficult (often lose-lose) choices that are presented in a form of options in the dialogue box. The main characters also frequently engage in dialogues so we can learn their history, motivations and opinions. As a caravan leader, you must manage supplies (boy are they scarce!), morale of the entire group, the roster of fighters and how to spend renown points - the only currency in the game used to buy enchanted items or supplies, level up your fighters. Renown points are gained through winning battles and making dialogue choices. The combat is turn-based with a twist - the turns are always your character-enemy-your character-enemy and so forth, no matter the numbers. So you can have 6 fighters (maximum you can) against 3 enemies and it's always an even distribution of turns: you-them-you-them. I haven't made up my mind yet whether I like this system or not. It has both its advantages and disadvantages. There are five attributes: Health (the amount of punishment you can take and dish out. Lesser the health, lesser the damage output). Armor (block damage. your strength - their armor = damage). Willpower (points that grant a slight damage bonus, further movement or use of a special ability). Exertion (the amount of willpower you can spend on an action). Break (the amount of direct damage you can do to an enemy armor). Each stat is equally important and enhances the tactical aspect of the battles. The fighters come in different shapes. Varls are giants that take up 4 grids on the battlefield and humans are smaller and nimbler. As for classes you can have a spearmaster (can attack one grid away from the enemy and has the ability to impale), shieldmaster (attackim him drains armor), archer (for every point of armor the enemy lost the health damage increase), a mage even (called menders) and so on - each class has a special unique active ability (for instance taunt, which forces an enemy to attact the taunter) and one passive ability (i.e light step, which allows a character to swiftly move between big varls). The graphics are hand drawn are a pleasure to look at. Animations of the characters are very fluid and have a Disney feel to them. The music is definitely one of the highlights of this game - composed by Austin Wintory (known for the soundtrack to Journey) it sets a tone for the harrowing experience and fits perfectly to the snowy lands the game takes place in. I heard people complaining about how short the game is, but I can't really say that myself. The first playthrough took me 11 hours and I didn't even finished the game - I died in the beginning of the last chapter. Furthermore, I think the game has replay value, as you can make different choices and end up with a significantly different roster and problems along the way. Very much recommended.