The Banner Saga PC

The Banner Saga Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 74 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 626 Ratings

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  • Summary: 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.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74
  1. Jan 14, 2014
    100
    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.
  2. Jan 14, 2014
    90
    The cast is plausible and the art is nothing short of exceptional, and everything is molded in a coherent, fascinating experience. A great result from Stoic that puts some brilliant out-of-the-box thinking and sheer creativity to good use.
  3. Jan 22, 2014
    87
    A great tactical RPG coming from a forgotten era of videogaming, with a brilliant art style and a melancholic story.
  4. Jan 20, 2014
    80
    Banner Saga is a fascinating trip to Norse mythology. Half leg deep in snow, you will enjoy your wars, dilemmas and also emotions, all in its graceful audiovisuals. Several of its flaws and ambiguities are not worth mentioning. You should not miss this visual novel.
  5. Feb 12, 2014
    80
    There are definitely some mechanics to be fixed, namely the monotony of the combat, but I enjoyed my time in this bleak world thoroughly.
  6. Feb 5, 2014
    78
    With an inspiring art direction, a relentless but interesting game design and a good combat system, The Banner Saga only suffers from a lack of variety in its fighting scenarios and its slow caravan sequences. This solid Kickstarter game shows its pedigree but some players might not get charmed by its particular setting.
  7. Feb 7, 2014
    50
    Its stripped down battle system and low production values have a huge impact on the overall quality of Stoics game, a game that has a unique charm but cannot earn a place next to the best "tactics" games whether they are "indie/ kickstarter" projects or not.

See all 74 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 144
  2. Negative: 28 out of 144
  1. Jan 14, 2014
    10
    The Banner Saga is such an incredible tactic game. It´s by far the best game i have backed on Kickstarter. It a must have if you like tacticThe Banner Saga is such an incredible tactic game. It´s by far the best game i have backed on Kickstarter. It a must have if you like tactic combat game. And it´s a real choose - consequence game (not like TWD) Expand
  2. Feb 2, 2014
    10
    I made an account on this site just to say this is one of the best games I have ever played. I have been playing games since the early 90'sI made an account on this site just to say this is one of the best games I have ever played. I have been playing games since the early 90's and I would probably put this in the top 10 games of all time, it's that good. Perfect blend of gameplay + story. The game play is easy to pick up, but addictively complex and will make you want to keep playing to level up your heroes. Similar to Final Fantasy Tactics but simpler, which for a game of this style and length is appropriate. And the story....simply wow. I have not seen storytelling like this in a game in a long time, possibly ever. The artwork is simplistic but stunning, and the music fits perfectly. I was pretty sure I would like this game after watching the trailer and playing the factions multiplayer but this completely exceeded my expectations. Hopefully they will bring the gameplay in factions up to par with this, because as of right now the single player is much deeper. Expand
  3. Jan 17, 2014
    9
    The game is made up of three parts:
    (a) Dialogue & Role-playing -- You assume the roles of fixed characters and guide them through the story
    The game is made up of three parts:
    (a) Dialogue & Role-playing -- You assume the roles of fixed characters and guide them through the story in a choose-your-adventure style.
    (b) Traveling -- You manage a viking caravan that's almost always in peril, with enemies constantly its heels.
    (c) Tactical turn-based combat -- You assemble your heroes (1-6 of them) and fight against various enemies in on a grid-board.

    The first thing you've probably noticed about The Banner Saga is the so special graphics visual style. That's fantastic, a straight 10/10. Just look, if you haven't. What you can't actually "experience", unless you actually play the game, is the excellent bonding of the music with the visuals and the atmosphere it creates. That's also unique and powerful, worth another straight 10. One more straight "10" that the game deserves is the combat system. If you've played Factions, the free-to-play offspring release in March 2013, you know what I'm talking about. The combat mechanics are very sharp and allow for great simplicity and remarkable strategy depth, a the same time! It's really this "easy to learn but hard to master" type of game. Finally, the last "10" I'm gonna give to the game is to the very beautiful lore and world they have created. It takes a lot off of the viking/Norse history but blends in many fantasy themes in a very successful way.

    OK, enough with the good stuff. Lets see the bad ones. Actually, what hurts most about this game is its own extremely high potential. I mean, it offers so much potential that seeing it come short of that is ofter enough to let you down. For me, the biggest problem about the game is that the final product feels a little rushed, kinda unfinished in the sense of consistency and balancing. There aren't big flaws in the core mechanics of the game, but it could use a lot more polishing. I'm gonna bring up some specific issues so that you understand what I mean:
    -- No subtitles : VO is really scarce (not a problem for me), so why ain't there no subtitles?
    -- Caravan/Survival balancing issues : Sometimes the game feels too hard for its own sake. I mean, it's supposed to be hard, about survival and all, but at some points it just feels wrong and fall out of perspective.
    -- Language & typos : In my opinion, the language used is often too "American" styled, something that hits bad in the viking theme of the world. Also, there's quite some typos and syntax errors. The game's text is enough, but not so much...
    -- Inconsistencies and awkward "story delivery" : The game is all about a branching story line, where each choice you make has consequences. That's fine. Problem is that it feels like some story parts don't quite glue together or the pacing of the story changes from Chapter to Chapter sometimes putting you off. That's more noticeable near the end of the game, where the pace dramatically picks up, and you are bombarded by a lot events all at once, that you barely have time to digest. Also, I could argue that the ending sequence is a little wanting in view of the climax that precedes it. Finally, it's quite evident that the game is just the part 1 of the proclaimed trilogy, so it leaves a lot of open questions.

    To conclude, I'm giving it a 9 because of the four very strong components (visuals, music, battle system, theme/lore) and because I believe that most of the problems I found can be easily addressed with patches without meaning that the game is "bad" in its release state.
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  4. Apr 28, 2016
    8
    This is a wonderful approach to turn based stratetegy: the mechanics are simple, but it needs learning to grasp them. Tt's mastery is reallyThis is a wonderful approach to turn based stratetegy: the mechanics are simple, but it needs learning to grasp them. Tt's mastery is really rewarding. Combined with the second part this game is just awesome: wonderful graphics (if you like the style!), an intriguing story, challenging fights and some real hard decisions to make. Get this game if you like nordic legends and much more realism and grit than many other settings. Expand
  5. Jan 15, 2014
    7
    I haven't finished it yet - but on the gameplay alone side it feels very different and unique. It gets off at a cracking pace, so you might beI haven't finished it yet - but on the gameplay alone side it feels very different and unique. It gets off at a cracking pace, so you might be a bit lost at first but the tactics are quick to learn difficult to master and incredibly satisfying once you pull off more difficult situations.
    Takes a little while to start putting together who is who and what is happening - so at first you might not feel much connection with the characters or the story - but after a while a case of the 'one more turn' syndrome kicks in. You'll be watching those supplies and weighing up promotions, supplies and items while juggling the story decisions and their potential impacts.
    Well worth the price - with the only faults being in animation and voiced dialogue (the lack of it).
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  6. Feb 24, 2014
    5
    While the setting and overall idea is ingenious, I felt the story of the game didn't do it justice as it felt shallow and rushed. Perhaps IWhile the setting and overall idea is ingenious, I felt the story of the game didn't do it justice as it felt shallow and rushed. Perhaps I simply had too great of expectations from the story, as it ended up feeling like a storyline from older Final Fantasy games - big evil comes, engulfs the world, got to find someone who can stop it and there is a lot of sacrifice on the way.

    The gameplay was most problematic at first - at the beginning, I liked both difficulty and variety of character skills..until the variety died out, and each anoher battle felt exactly the same. The experience-per-kill system later on forced me to only use characters that I have leveled up, instead of using interesting combinations.

    But my biggest issue is with the savegame system. A player can only save if he stops for a camp - it was probably done so people wouldn't save during battles and before making decisions, but people have lives and they sometimes can't finish a battle because they need to go somewhere or are simply tired - so a 20 minute fight has to be suddenly started over because I can't save. And those battles are long because the animations take a bit of time.

    All in all, I have a rather mixed feelings about the game - its not a game I would recommend to anyone, but at the same time, I'm far from calling it 'bad'.
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  7. Sep 6, 2014
    0
    to much to read....... great fights but this reading...... has this game failed to me
    pls make somehting like that with voice acting or less story...

See all 144 User Reviews