User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 108
  2. Negative: 16 out of 108

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  1. Feb 27, 2013
    8
    There are many reasons to recommend The Banner Saga: the visuals are absolutely gorgeous, the gameplay is incredibly innovative and puts a big fat X through the standard turn-based tactics strategy of focus-firing on enemy units, the great variety of units and customization options creates many viable strategies, a variety of battle maps forces people to adapt to unpredictable situations,There are many reasons to recommend The Banner Saga: the visuals are absolutely gorgeous, the gameplay is incredibly innovative and puts a big fat X through the standard turn-based tactics strategy of focus-firing on enemy units, the great variety of units and customization options creates many viable strategies, a variety of battle maps forces people to adapt to unpredictable situations, and the developers keenly listen to the community and respond to issues with bugs and unit balance. Also, hey, it's free (there is a cash shop, but it doesn't give you any options that you can't get by playing normally for a few days).

    However, the game only recently came out of beta, and still hasn't gotten its sea legs. Bugs range from high latency (resulting in longer wait between your moves) to hanging battles (the final unit failing to register as dead, trapping players one step short of claiming their Renown reward for the fight) to failing to sync up with the other player at the start of the match and not even allowing you to place your units. These issues will be fixed soon, I'm sure, and don't detract much from the enjoyment of the game, but you will probably run into at least one of them if you grab this game in the immediate future.
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  2. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    The detail and work that was put into this game is amazing. If you enjoy tactical, turn-based multiplayer combat with stunning art then give it a try.
  3. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    Really one of the most deep and beautiful games I've ever played. And this is just the side-project of the actual single.player game. This is one of these board-games that would take too much calculating, when they were actually played as board games. This is a computer-assisted mix of chess, Magic the Gathering and D&D. Only minus is that the game really suffers from the flood of playersReally one of the most deep and beautiful games I've ever played. And this is just the side-project of the actual single.player game. This is one of these board-games that would take too much calculating, when they were actually played as board games. This is a computer-assisted mix of chess, Magic the Gathering and D&D. Only minus is that the game really suffers from the flood of players right now. But this will surely be solved by the awesome Team of Stoic. So still full 10 Points. Expand
  4. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    The combat is an abyss of options. The surface ripples with each move, creating new problems, new possibilities, new thoughts. Take a dive into the abyss!
  5. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    This game is wonderful! It's obviously crafted with love. I wouldn't even say that's it's hard on beginners, with the new matchmaking-function in place. For anyone who enjoys strategy and beauty!
  6. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    Unique and a game that has it's own way. Don't come to the game looking for Final Fantasy Tactics, instead you'll find a game different, delightful and wondrous in it's own right. For such a seemingly simple concept, the game has very deep gameplay, awesome art, and has so much potential with many things planned still for it. Definitely one of the best turn based strategies of all time!
  7. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    Beautiful game; deep, thoughtful tactics based on the premise that strength is health AND damage. This is the most fun I've had with competitive multiplayer games, bar none.

    Does have some network issues (at least so far--it is in its first week of existence.)
  8. Feb 28, 2013
    8
    This game is impressive, the art work is just stunning and magnificent, i am not exactly a big fan of turn based games, but to hell with it, i just felt in love with this one! "A must give it a try game"
  9. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    The combat in this team based 1v1 combat multiplayer game is unique. It is deep and offers many opportunities for advanced tactics.

    It is a beautiful and the so far the community has been friendly and helpful. I am addicted ti the combat'd depth.
  10. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    Very few games grab me the way Factions has. Usually I'm more of an RTS/FPS guy, but this game keeps my brain churning even during moments of calm. I've had my heart in my throat on more than one occasion, which brings back memories of PvP in EVE-Online.

    I'm not terribly experienced with turn-based games, though I have dabbled in Chess and Go. The gameplay here is more reminiscent of
    Very few games grab me the way Factions has. Usually I'm more of an RTS/FPS guy, but this game keeps my brain churning even during moments of calm. I've had my heart in my throat on more than one occasion, which brings back memories of PvP in EVE-Online.

    I'm not terribly experienced with turn-based games, though I have dabbled in Chess and Go. The gameplay here is more reminiscent of Dofus/Wakfu, but I feel like Factions presents itself as a more mature and balanced affair.
    And though your accuracy might sometimes throw a wrench in your strategy, it's nowhere near as annoying as RNG pvp in mmorpg's. For instance; you can opt for a guaranteed hit on your target's armor if the chance to hit their health pool is too low, or wait your turn out to build a point in that unit's Willpower (a bonus point you can allocate to bolster your offence for 1 turn).

    As for how the game looks? I'm thoroughly impressed by the way they handled the art style. I'm sure this might be down to taste, but as far as cartoonish styles go; this one has a pretty realistic foundation.

    If there's anything I'd lower the score for it would be the current lag issues, but the devs are on top of it, adding more capacity as fast as they can. During the mornings the game is smooth, but might start having odd timeouts as more people log on. Even though the game is free, if you're on the fence on whether you should spend time on it, you might want to wait a few days in case lag is a deal-breaker for you!

    Still, the game deserves a 10. It's bound to be one of the classics of this genre.
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  11. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    I just finished playing my 4th game. On a MAC.
    The game feels great, consistent, addictive and visually gorgeous. No server issues or problems mentioned by other users.
    If you like tactic games, stop reading and get it now!
  12. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    STUNNING. The amount of detail, both in the art and the incredibly complex gameplay are astounding. I am intimidated by strategy games, but this is more fun than anything I have played in a very long time. I love playing with my low-level army as much as my army full of special abilities. The music is delicious. Oh yeah...and it's free. Play the game. See you on the battlefield.
  13. Feb 28, 2013
    9
    The visuals are gorgeous and it makes you feel like you are looking at moving pictures from an ancient viking picture book. If you are a fan of turn based strategy games then this game is for you!
  14. Feb 28, 2013
    9
    The graphics are neat and polished and I admire the game's sound-design.
    The combat-system ist simple but brilliant. Over all a very good and surprisingly addictive game!
  15. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    Don't pay attention to any negative reviews about this game. If you like turn based combat you're almost guaranteed to like it. The music is cool. The graphics are cool. Give it a try. And don't be a wuss and give it negative reviews because you couldn't understand the strategy and got your ass kicked. It is NOT in any way "pay to win."
  16. Mar 3, 2013
    10
    Amazing game! Fantastic graphics! The perfect turn-bases tactical game. Runs smooth on my old mac-book pro meaning i can be in-my-underpants-lazy in the bed and still play, which as we all know is the bomb!
  17. Feb 28, 2013
    8
    I haven't seen a combat system quite like it, the combat is focused and interesting enough to keep the fights interesting to the bitter end. There's a great emphasis on your choices reflecting on how well/poor the battle goes.

    The drawback is that it appears the servers aren't coping with the demand for the game. It's a known issue and the developers are working on it but it will no
    I haven't seen a combat system quite like it, the combat is focused and interesting enough to keep the fights interesting to the bitter end. There's a great emphasis on your choices reflecting on how well/poor the battle goes.

    The drawback is that it appears the servers aren't coping with the demand for the game. It's a known issue and the developers are working on it but it will no doubt frustrate the new comer.

    That asides, what I have seen of the combat mechanics combined with what has been promised in the future, I'll be looking forward to experiencing the game in it's entirety on it's release later this year.
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  18. Feb 27, 2013
    7
    The game is beautiful to look at and creates a nice atmosphere. Its easy to learn and get started and with four base classes with 3 different specializations each there are a lot of different ways to customize your 6-man team.

    At this point there are some issues though. A lot of the matches are incredibly slow due to server issues; most of the time playing is spent waiting on lag.
  19. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    This game is leagues beyond anything I'm aware that exists. Stoic has evolved the turn based strategy genre and added a tactical depth that is beyond addicting. To boot, the art style used in the game is absolutely amazing. Be prepared to gasp as you explore the game because everything you see in-game looks like you could hang it in a gallery. If the artwork can be called graphics, itThis game is leagues beyond anything I'm aware that exists. Stoic has evolved the turn based strategy genre and added a tactical depth that is beyond addicting. To boot, the art style used in the game is absolutely amazing. Be prepared to gasp as you explore the game because everything you see in-game looks like you could hang it in a gallery. If the artwork can be called graphics, it has raised the bar for the gaming industry in it's entirety. Don't mistake this game as the next indie throwback, because Stoic Studeo's first release is on par to outpace the market titans. Expand
  20. Feb 28, 2013
    10
    An incredibly deep, beautiful and engaging game, made by a small team whose passion for what they are doing is obvious. A hand-crafted art style, a fresh take on turn-based combat mechanics packed with clever ideas, and a clear commitment to strategic depth makes this a real gem. I am also looking forward to the single player game, which I have high hopes for given the atmosphere of theAn incredibly deep, beautiful and engaging game, made by a small team whose passion for what they are doing is obvious. A hand-crafted art style, a fresh take on turn-based combat mechanics packed with clever ideas, and a clear commitment to strategic depth makes this a real gem. I am also looking forward to the single player game, which I have high hopes for given the atmosphere of the introductory video and launch trailer.

    Factions is free, and while it includes micro-transactions, from my experience these are in no way necessary to make good progress, in part due to a matchmaking system that pairs you with players who have made similar progress. The items you can buy are solely there for time-saving or cosmetic purposes.
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  21. Feb 27, 2013
    7
    This game is wonderful in so many ways. The amazing art style, a combat system with actual depth and an interesting progression system for each individual character. Sure, the game might suffer from some bugs and lag issues but that will be fixed in due time. There is, however, one major flaw of the game that drags the score down from a strong 9 to a 7: namely the in-game store. TheThis game is wonderful in so many ways. The amazing art style, a combat system with actual depth and an interesting progression system for each individual character. Sure, the game might suffer from some bugs and lag issues but that will be fixed in due time. There is, however, one major flaw of the game that drags the score down from a strong 9 to a 7: namely the in-game store. The primary thing you buy from the store is renown which is used as a "currency" in the game to buy levels for your party making your characters stronger and additional skins. The problem lies with the buying of levels though. This means you're essentially buying power which should be considered as a universally bad thing. Now, there is a system within the game to match you to an opponent with similar combat experience and a party with a similar amount of levels but let me give you a hypothetical scenario to point to the problem: a beginner start up the game one year from now with no experience whatsoever. The popularity of the game has cooled off and left are the hardcore players who have invested a lot of time and maybe money into the game. Now the beginner search for an opponent at his lever but since there are no such players the search algorithm has to go further and pick an opponent from the pool of hardcore players. He will become utterly crushed, both because of his inexperience but also because of his strictly inferior party to that of the opponent's. See the problem? The game is amazing in so very ways so I hope Stoic will resolve this problem as soon as possible. Expand
  22. Apr 17, 2013
    10
    This title is amazing. BUT it does not seem like it when you first try it. I backed it on Kickstarter at the time just based on the beautiful graphics. When i got in the beta i HATED the combat. I just could not wrap my head around the concepts. However, one fine Sunday, while i was in a relaxed mood i tried the game again. Since it was free and all. And i was hooked. Once you understandThis title is amazing. BUT it does not seem like it when you first try it. I backed it on Kickstarter at the time just based on the beautiful graphics. When i got in the beta i HATED the combat. I just could not wrap my head around the concepts. However, one fine Sunday, while i was in a relaxed mood i tried the game again. Since it was free and all. And i was hooked. Once you understand the basic concepts, the game starts to make sense. And the more you play it the more you realise its depth. This is the type of game you can play for a lifetime and not master. That in itself is a gargantuan achievement from Stoic. To understand why you need to play it think about this one other game that does this. Chess. It has been played for centuries now and it still fascinating. That's the punchline. This game is as good if not better than chess. And its just the multyplayer part of it. For free. Expand
  23. May 10, 2013
    4
    This is a very pretty game with a refreshing art style, everything is hand animated and every perceived angle is rendered. Which makes this game nothing more than a pretty package that when the player finally opens it nothing is found inside. The combat is very slow and rather basic. The only thing complicated or deep from the gameplay is whether or not you'll get to have a turn or willThis is a very pretty game with a refreshing art style, everything is hand animated and every perceived angle is rendered. Which makes this game nothing more than a pretty package that when the player finally opens it nothing is found inside. The combat is very slow and rather basic. The only thing complicated or deep from the gameplay is whether or not you'll get to have a turn or will your character do nothing? There is a very basic design flaw in this game that ruins it and it is that turns get skipped and characters will remain idle for no explained reason other than that the game doesn't work and the programmers didn't go over their product to see if it was broken. Expand
  24. May 14, 2013
    0
    There's no a Game inside. It's a "social" game and It's all about dueling other players and paying for just everything. To be honest, I haven't read the description carefully... I've just seen the adv video where warriors is moving somewhere and I've thought that the game has a story and campaign, but I was wrong there's nothing under it's flash-style graphics.
  25. Feb 27, 2013
    3
    This game has so many server issues, you spend more time watching "stormy seas" messages than playing. The play looks interesting and their website shows promise, but it seems to be all promise and no out put. Three games in a row now i'm either disconnected or forfeit b/c of server issues. I am always hesitant for FTP models, but it looks like paying just lets you upgrade troopsThis game has so many server issues, you spend more time watching "stormy seas" messages than playing. The play looks interesting and their website shows promise, but it seems to be all promise and no out put. Three games in a row now i'm either disconnected or forfeit b/c of server issues. I am always hesitant for FTP models, but it looks like paying just lets you upgrade troops faster. Not sure it's a broken FTP yet. The combat is interesting and the graphics are nice, but again i can't get any game play in because thier servers are so bad. Guess they skipped too much in that area. Expand
  26. Mar 3, 2013
    9
    The only downside to this game is the server issues, which you may have already guessed from the angry reviews going up. These people need to relax and realise this is not a AAA title supported by a 100 million dollar conglomerate, it's a beautiful piece of work that was created to bring unique enjoyment to the player, whilst also making a bit of cash for a few people's hard work. The factThe only downside to this game is the server issues, which you may have already guessed from the angry reviews going up. These people need to relax and realise this is not a AAA title supported by a 100 million dollar conglomerate, it's a beautiful piece of work that was created to bring unique enjoyment to the player, whilst also making a bit of cash for a few people's hard work. The fact a game of this level can find so much support and make it this far without the need of meddling middle management is testimony to how fertile the future of PC gaming is. Expand
  27. Mar 21, 2013
    10
    TBS? I have played them all. Banner Saga is one of the best titles on the market and ever created. Although the rules are rather simple (just like chess) It takes a while to learn (or become good at). Once you know what you are doing, every game presents challenging strategical decisions, in every single turn.
    The game is multiplayer, so don't expect to win every game. This is a must-have
    TBS? I have played them all. Banner Saga is one of the best titles on the market and ever created. Although the rules are rather simple (just like chess) It takes a while to learn (or become good at). Once you know what you are doing, every game presents challenging strategical decisions, in every single turn.
    The game is multiplayer, so don't expect to win every game. This is a must-have for anyone enjoying thinking (and hitting stuff with big ass axes).
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  28. Mar 11, 2013
    2
    An off-spring of Kickstarter-funded single-player Banner Saga, TBS: Factions is multiplayer, and the Stoic team apparently doesn't have enough manpower to provide support to players in the FTP model. So, if the game is broken for you for whatever reason, it stays broken with no ETAs whatsoever
  29. Mar 5, 2013
    9
    This is a tactical turn based rpg. Your squad is vikings. According to Metacritic I have to keep talking, but tbh thats all there is Turn based tactical combat.
  30. Apr 17, 2013
    4
    This could have been great game, I would suggest you to check it out just because of graphics, sadly it's wasn't enough to keep me playing. What sinks this game to the bottom of ocean are terribly flawed mechanics. While there may be some others, I'm gonna mention two that when combined show you how futile playing this game is.

    1. Small strategic choice. There is very small variety of
    This could have been great game, I would suggest you to check it out just because of graphics, sadly it's wasn't enough to keep me playing. What sinks this game to the bottom of ocean are terribly flawed mechanics. While there may be some others, I'm gonna mention two that when combined show you how futile playing this game is.

    1. Small strategic choice. There is very small variety of units, you can find which one fit you best and then you will stick with them. After that there really isn't point to changing your group and everyone will have pretty much the same group anyway. Besides that you can upgrade your units but the change there is almost negligible. You get small bonus to one of the units stats and ability that in rare occasions may be slightly better than normal turn. All this will make every game feel same and if you play well and so does your opponent you will each end up with the same last unit at the end of the battle. So this is where the small differences come into play right? Well except there is also...

    2. Random miss chance. There is nothing that can destroy carefully balanced difficulty of a game than random miss or crit chance. I was enjoying this game quite a lot until one game where I ended up with one upgraded archer and my enemy with one normal one. My archer had long distance shot ability which should give me the first hit and thus grant me victory, right? Well no. I got the first shot alright but when we started trading blows I missed a one shot. Despite enjoying the game up to this point, this match made me quit the game and never look back because it was enough to show me just how imbalanced this game can get.
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  31. Feb 28, 2013
    3
    The game is severely limited without having to either pay for upgrades or play for a long time. Server connection issues also cause battle times to extend beyond any reasonable timeframe. My first battle took over 40 minutes to play. The currency used to do anything in the game is called renown. An average battle will earn you 5 renown. A single character's upgrade costs 50 renown. YouThe game is severely limited without having to either pay for upgrades or play for a long time. Server connection issues also cause battle times to extend beyond any reasonable timeframe. My first battle took over 40 minutes to play. The currency used to do anything in the game is called renown. An average battle will earn you 5 renown. A single character's upgrade costs 50 renown. You do the math. You either need to play for a long time to afford a character upgrade, or you need to pay for renown. The current cost for renown is as follows:

    $2= 30
    $5=90
    $10=200
    $40=1000

    For a team of 6 characters, it would cost 300 renown to upgrade each to the next level. That's also only 1 of 3 possible upgrades. To fully upgrade to every character type would cost over 1000 renown. The gameplay itself is decent, but the lack of affordable character options is a major blow against the game.
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  32. eff
    Feb 28, 2013
    6
    I've followed this game since contributing to the beta funding campaign. Stoic has an incredible game on their hands that I love playing. Now if they could just sort out their server issues so that I might be able to play a full match in under an hour or even at all without being disconnected with little to no warning, I'm sure I'd be playing it at this very moment instead of writing aI've followed this game since contributing to the beta funding campaign. Stoic has an incredible game on their hands that I love playing. Now if they could just sort out their server issues so that I might be able to play a full match in under an hour or even at all without being disconnected with little to no warning, I'm sure I'd be playing it at this very moment instead of writing a lukewarm review out of frustration. I can only imagine how many potential fans they've alienated in the past few days since launching. If it hadn't been for my previous familiarity and awareness of just how much fun this game CAN be I would have ragequit and not looked back five prematurely disconnected matches ago.

    C'mon Stoic. Sort it out.
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  33. Mar 4, 2013
    10
    Great Game. Not many multiplayer games use this level of strategy anymore. Very easy to get renown points so the store doesn't matter at all. If you like turn based strategy I would recommend trying it out.
  34. Mar 1, 2015
    9
    Great game, great stoy, great chars, great soundtrack, great drawings, long duration, high replay value, great battlesystem, great journey system.
    Overall one of the best Games i've seen in the past decade.
  35. Mar 3, 2013
    8
    When this game came out on Steam it took me completely by surprise, after viewing some screenshots and realizing it was a turn-based strategy game I did not hesitate to download it and I can say I did not regret it. The first thing you see is a beautiful drawn cutscene showcasing the awesome art-style, then you reach a city and go through a good tutorial that will help you get started. YouWhen this game came out on Steam it took me completely by surprise, after viewing some screenshots and realizing it was a turn-based strategy game I did not hesitate to download it and I can say I did not regret it. The first thing you see is a beautiful drawn cutscene showcasing the awesome art-style, then you reach a city and go through a good tutorial that will help you get started. You are required to play multiplayer, which I was expecting from a free game on Steam. The matchmaking system is excellent, you are matchmade with people that have equal or extremely similar stats so the battles aren't unfair. You would think that the flow of the battles on multiplayer is slow, however, it seemed to be about right with every move having a time limit. You can also make a formation for your troops before the game starts, which can actually be the difference between victory and defeat. Combat is a little more complicated though, there is an armour stat and a life stat that you can attack, attacking the life stat would seem smarter, however, the more you attack the life stat the less damage you are able to deal in future turns. The combat can be a little misleading but that is a minor complain. After the battles you can join tournaments if you have enough experience, recruit new troops, level them up, and much more. My second and last complain is about the difficulty curve, it seems a little high when you start playing since leveling up costs renown (the currency) and renown is earned very slowly. After playing this game for a good while all I can say is that I absolutely recommend it, it doesn't take much space and it will deliver countless hours on satisfaction. Expand
  36. Mar 4, 2013
    10
    To those who enjoy the genre, this game will be an incredible delight.
    There's beautiful art, and the flowing of the battles is awesome, everything can change pretty quick..
    The system of Force/Armor is quite different, i really appreciate it. It forces you to make decisions that will seriously affect the end of a match. The different classes and skills are a plus. Ignore them and you
    To those who enjoy the genre, this game will be an incredible delight.
    There's beautiful art, and the flowing of the battles is awesome, everything can change pretty quick..
    The system of Force/Armor is quite different, i really appreciate it. It forces you to make decisions that will seriously affect the end of a match.
    The different classes and skills are a plus. Ignore them and you are seriously in risk of getting smashed. Just defeated an enemy with the same troops as me because i kept my men in a shield wall, increasing their armor with the skill of two of my man, and let my archers loose from the beginning, distracting some of his troops long enough that my shield wall made a bloody work out of the doomed warriors and archers who faced it without backup.
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  37. Mar 11, 2013
    8
    I read complaints about server issues, but I downloaded the game and played 6 hours straight with no issues. This is a great turn-based strategy game. Its FTP, but does not appear to be pay to win because the servers do a pretty good job of matching you with opponents of equal team value. Paying money only provides you with higher level toons, but won't necessarily give you an advantageI read complaints about server issues, but I downloaded the game and played 6 hours straight with no issues. This is a great turn-based strategy game. Its FTP, but does not appear to be pay to win because the servers do a pretty good job of matching you with opponents of equal team value. Paying money only provides you with higher level toons, but won't necessarily give you an advantage over your opponents. Leveling up your team and other game perks require renown. The more you win, and the faster you play (Expert Mode) the more renown you gain, so leveling up your team is not too difficult. There are frequent tournaments, but I haven't entered any of those yet. Lots of talk about the graphics, but really I'm not too impressed. Sure its done in a classic handmade illustration style, but it just doesnt do much for me. My only serious complaint is that some of the class stats and abilities seem a bit unbalanced. However I'm sure this can be easily tweaked if it becomes a game breaking issue meaning all the tournament players end up using the same 2 or 3 cookie cutter teams. This is one of those classic 'easy to learn but difficult to master' type of games. Give it try. It's free, and if you enjoy chess-like strategy then you'll probably enjoy this game. Expand
  38. Mar 3, 2013
    10
    What an amazing game! The art style is out of this world good. Hand Drawn, good music, and solid gameplay are what set this apart from other titles.

    I can not wait for the Singleplayer campaigns to come out. This is one warleader who will stand ready
  39. Mar 24, 2013
    10
    This is the best turn based tactical game i've played since final fantasy tactics. A very intriguing & in-depth combat system. Best of all, it is free and it isn't play to win due to how it matches you against teams that are your same level. They've achieved a well done balance that i've never before seen in a F2P game.

    I saw another low scored review mentioned server issues. I
    This is the best turn based tactical game i've played since final fantasy tactics. A very intriguing & in-depth combat system. Best of all, it is free and it isn't play to win due to how it matches you against teams that are your same level. They've achieved a well done balance that i've never before seen in a F2P game.

    I saw another low scored review mentioned server issues. I haven't seen any yet myself.
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  40. Apr 2, 2013
    10
    The Banner Saga is one of the most unique phenomena in the PC gaming market today. Being a unique creation, it manages to maintain its familiarity at a necessarily high level so that it does not cause estrangement of the player. In a nutshell, it is classic strategy gaming in the form of an ultimate mix of 2D graphics, beautiful art direction inspired by old-school cartoons and theThe Banner Saga is one of the most unique phenomena in the PC gaming market today. Being a unique creation, it manages to maintain its familiarity at a necessarily high level so that it does not cause estrangement of the player. In a nutshell, it is classic strategy gaming in the form of an ultimate mix of 2D graphics, beautiful art direction inspired by old-school cartoons and the fantastic work of Eyvind Earle (look it up if you don't know it), turn-based gameplay and team-based tactics with extremely sharp difficulty. Here, each decision can save your life or bring your defeat. Matches are kept at an easily digestible length of 10-20 minutes and each player has a 6-unit team at his or her disposal. Units need to be chosen wisely and if you fail to use the given unit's powers appropriately, the enemy will and your warriors will die quickly. Each match brings you renown (the “experience” with which you upgrade your units) and although this game is F2P, the paying player has no advantage here, apart from faster unit progression. Simply put, this may not be your type of game, but if like cerebral exercise and you're into TBS and PVP which makes you sweat like a pig despite the game's slow pace, you'll get hooked instantly. The game is still in pretty early stages, so it is expected that it will get better soon. Besides, it can possibly be a great preparation for the campaign-based single player The Banner Saga, which is to be released in the future. Expand
  41. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    In the long run, this portion of The Banner Saga will appeal mainly to those who enjoy the tactical depth and pace of chess (albeit a timed game). Graphics are great for a couple of reasons: stylistically it's a beautiful homage to the old school animations of the 60's and 70's Disney stuff. Because of this style, I'm able to easily play it on my piece of crap computer with no discernibleIn the long run, this portion of The Banner Saga will appeal mainly to those who enjoy the tactical depth and pace of chess (albeit a timed game). Graphics are great for a couple of reasons: stylistically it's a beautiful homage to the old school animations of the 60's and 70's Disney stuff. Because of this style, I'm able to easily play it on my piece of crap computer with no discernible performance issues.
    My concerns about it being an f2p game were quickly taken care of when I realized that purchasing anything from their market will allow you to have higher level teams but it won't give you the skill to play your team. It would actually be convenient if you were an experienced player who simply wanted to double up on a particular unit without having to grind. Mainly you are paying for a convenience. It is not pay to win. Also, you can cheaply purchase different color schemes for your units.

    I am already firmly addicted to this game. It's been many years since I enjoyed a tactical game as much as I do Banner Saga: Factions. It is going to be a niche game, but I get the impression that Stoic Studio is ok with that. And so am I.
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  42. Jun 21, 2013
    3
    While the game has a very nice graphical style it does not make up for the games lack of content or its poor matchmaking system. I would not recommend this game in its current state.
  43. Jul 3, 2013
    6
    While having a neat art style, the game has some fatal flaws.

    1. Paying makes you level up faster. I know this is a FTP game and they have to make money. However the whole micro-transaction and just straight purchasing of renown makes the game a rich man poor man type of deal. 2. Not many units to choose from and not many options to customize those units. 3. Random misses. It
    While having a neat art style, the game has some fatal flaws.

    1. Paying makes you level up faster. I know this is a FTP game and they have to make money. However the whole micro-transaction and just straight purchasing of renown makes the game a rich man poor man type of deal.

    2. Not many units to choose from and not many options to customize those units.

    3. Random misses. It seems like the game randomly throws you a cooked grenade to hold to help the other player. Chance to hit percentages seem completely off sometimes and don't make much sense.

    4. A few balancing issues with archers and some units dealing one shots with simple attacks when you're at full armor and full health.

    Despite this it is still a fun game. For a FTP its worth checking out so long as you can deal with some flaws.
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  44. Aug 28, 2013
    5
    Beautiful game, but to be honest, it got boring fast. On one hand, some of the mechanics are incredibly interesting; you can actually set up some very interesting combos. The main issue, which I question greatly, is the designer's decision to tie the hp stat to the damage stat. While it works for some games, this is a huge hindrance to the traditional tactical RPG gameplay. HalfwayBeautiful game, but to be honest, it got boring fast. On one hand, some of the mechanics are incredibly interesting; you can actually set up some very interesting combos. The main issue, which I question greatly, is the designer's decision to tie the hp stat to the damage stat. While it works for some games, this is a huge hindrance to the traditional tactical RPG gameplay. Halfway through the game, most units are dealing little damage, or even missing, due to low health pools. Especially when games are matched evenly, it becomes all about who misses the least.

    Those being said, it definitely has it's perks. The synergy between classes is phenomenal, and the the growth system is engaging enough. Many will complain about the boosts/currency store, but to be honest it's to be expected with the f2p model, and there's nothing in the store you can't get in other albeit slower ways. The artwork and animation are simply beautiful.

    Really, I would have enjoyed playing this a lot, but it's just too repetitive. The lack of stalemates and ability to turn the tables makes the combat system one sided, and frankly boring. And unfortunately, for a tactical RPG, gameplay is important.
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  45. Sep 20, 2013
    7
    This game is awesome if u ask me. Simply let me put it like this:
    “You can’t sell advantage. That’s rule number one. You can’t buy advantage in Factions. You can speed up progression and you can buy vanity items. We made the decision to make it not pay-to-win.” That is said by Watson. I LOVE THIS GAME!!!
  46. Feb 11, 2014
    6
    Not as good as the singleplayer iteration, but a pretty solid game nonetheless. The combat system, which is the same as the singleplayer, is very good and is of the "easy to pick up, difficult to master" variety. However there are far less classes than the singleplayer and also no option to equip items, apparently these will be added eventually but the options in the game are pretty bareNot as good as the singleplayer iteration, but a pretty solid game nonetheless. The combat system, which is the same as the singleplayer, is very good and is of the "easy to pick up, difficult to master" variety. However there are far less classes than the singleplayer and also no option to equip items, apparently these will be added eventually but the options in the game are pretty bare right now. As of now though I have to attempt to open the game anywhere from 3-15 times because it almost always crashes on starting, many other users have this issue too. I would rate this game 2 points higher and give it an 8(and will change my score once they fix this) if I could reliably open it but until then I can only give it a 6. Expand
  47. Jul 18, 2014
    3
    The initial impression given by this game is that it is 'old school' and mysterious. It is beautiful. I distinctly achieved that excited feeling in my belly as the game began. I just knew that this game had been done right, and that I was about to experience one of the greatest moments in gaming history. The feeling persisted until about the third hour of game play, unfortunately. At thatThe initial impression given by this game is that it is 'old school' and mysterious. It is beautiful. I distinctly achieved that excited feeling in my belly as the game began. I just knew that this game had been done right, and that I was about to experience one of the greatest moments in gaming history. The feeling persisted until about the third hour of game play, unfortunately. At that point I was waiting, no begging, for new elements to emerge. Then I realized that the game had reached its pentacle and I had experienced everything that the game had to offer.

    The rest of my short experience with this game was a litany of letdowns.

    "Puh-lease don't be another fight!" I found myself saying quite often. The main enemy, these Dredge, are interesting at first, and at second, but ten redundant fights down the line and one begins to ache for an auto-resolve feature.

    Beyond being mind-numbingly similar, once you get the hang of it every fight is ridiculously easy. The game touts the necessary use of items and tactics but I was never challenged by anything that a few shield bangers and warhawks couldn't put down with ease.

    Another deflating feature is the game's map. The map is awesome. One can click on the numerous and varied locations and read all about the game history. As you do so, excitement rises as you wonder which of the many paths you will take... and then you realize that the map has no function other than flavor. And it loads slow.

    The final disappointment to mention, which sadly goes hand in hand with the redundancy of combat, occurs when your band reaches places of "interest". Arriving in villages or cities is at first arousing, and then you realize that the most common options - to "rest", "heroes", "market", or "leave" - are similarly devoid of excitement. My goodness, there is even an option to "train" which gives you a chance to "try out new tactics" in a mock combat. I had a good laugh at this invitation to engage in another boring battle. Really?

    In summary, you'll get as much enjoyment out of this game by watching online trailers and youtube reviews as you will by playing. And save money as well.
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  48. Feb 27, 2013
    10
    The detail and work that was put into this game is amazing. If you enjoy tactical, turn-based multiplayer combat with stunning art then give it a try.
Metascore
67

Mixed or average reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. CD-Action
    May 13, 2013
    60
    Factions is a teaser of a bigger game and does a rather lousy job at encouraging to check out the main dish. It’s simply boring. [CD-Action 06/2013, p.81]
  2. Apr 15, 2013
    60
    The Banner Saga: Factions’ slower pace and current lack of class variety will be enough to discourage many from trying this particular brand of turn-based strategy. But those who can look past these flaws will find a somewhat deep combat system that necessitates tactical awareness and forethought, and a rewarding experience for those who invest the time needed to learn its intricacies.
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    59
    An accomplished and pretty strategy game, sadly hindered by a handful of questionable design choices.