The Banner Saga
Third party DRM: SteamThis game requires a free Steam account to play.
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.
- 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”. As you play through the single player game you’ll also unlock new characters to use in multiplayer.
Xcom with beardsconnlasair | 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.