The Banner Saga PC


Generally favorable reviews - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74
  1. Feb 7, 2014
    A saga indeed - long on story, short on gameplay - and as a gamer it's something you'll either love or hate.
  2. CD-Action
    Mar 5, 2014
    Turn-based combat – especially later in the game – is enjoyable, but too easy on the normal difficulty level. Visuals resembling old Disney movies are wonderful and music is excellent. It’s a shame that the characters have no voices though, because it would make them easier to attach to. [03/2014, p.64]
  3. PC PowerPlay
    Feb 24, 2014
    For all its flaws and shortcomings, The Banner Saga's ambitions shine through well enough. [March 2014, p.52]
  4. Feb 16, 2014
    Stoic has been successful with its tactical role-playing game. The viking theme and graphic design is a breath of fresh air, while the animations and the combat system could have been a bit more varied. Expect a text heavy and challenging experience where most of the role playing consists of your choices in dialogues which then affects the plot.
  5. Jan 27, 2014
    Overall The Banner Saga's an enjoyable product, just one that lets itself down in several key ways. It's almost where it needs to be, but these niggling issues prevent it from reaching its full potential. That said, it's a damn fine-looking game with quality writing at a reasonable price, and still comes fairly recommended for anyone looking to flee for their lives in a harsh and unforgiving environment.
  6. Jan 27, 2014
    The Banner Saga offers a good look into the world Stoic has created for this three-part adventure. It’s a depressing, but beautiful tale of survival against all odds, one that creates a developed plot and theme without degrading the characters or world to appear mature.
  7. Jan 16, 2014
    Some of the most difficult decision-making in gaming, both tactically and morally, but occasional rough edges betray the game’s small budget and short development time.
  8. Jan 14, 2014
    The Banner Saga is a beautiful game, filled with interesting ideas and enjoyable battles. It's too bad the story gets entangled within its own winding web, but this chilly journey does a fine job of reminding you that being a respectable leader is about more than just giving rousing speeches and schmoozing with the high and mighty.
  9. Jan 22, 2014
    The presentation promises much and is highly polished but it lies at the surface, working to conceal the more problematic aspects of the actual game itself.
  10. Games Master UK
    Feb 16, 2014
    Gorgeous and with some great ideas, but lacking the genre's defining depth. [March 2014, p.80]
  11. Feb 27, 2014
    Despite the fact that the game's battle system never fully clicked for me, I was won over by the well-rounded universe that Stoic has established, providing players a few good reasons to count their lucky stars when training some women later beget archers for combat, or just for having collected some supplies without losing fighters in the process.
  12. Jan 16, 2014
    While I applaud their artists and music, The Banner Saga has very little else to cheer about.
  13. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 23, 2014
    On their way through a beautiful landscape, the developers made a few missteps but the result still goes well with long winter nights. [Issue#238]
  14. Jan 14, 2014
    The battle system controls easily and is fairly easy to learn; those who see this game basically like chess will enjoy it. Those looking for a new RPG to get into, however, should look elsewhere.
  15. Feb 7, 2014
    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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 671 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 151
  2. Negative: 28 out of 151
  1. Jan 14, 2014
    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) Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2014
    After I played this game through, I have mixed feelings.
    - The story is good, your choices do have some impact (not heavy tho) , but most of
    After I played this game through, I have mixed feelings.
    - The story is good, your choices do have some impact (not heavy tho) , but most of it is told through walls of text, with some animation here and there.
    - Tactical combat is great at the beginning, every unit has one special move which impact the battle, but as he game goes on there are clear choices which characters to take and which not, so towards the end you will take same ones over and over again. Also it gets repetitive towards the end.
    - There are not many bugs, but the ones I had are annoying. For example, I lost all my men due to hunger at one point but the game still goes on, random events about problems of the people in caravan still emerging (even if there are none left). I also think that you can play whole game on easy, and then switch to hard on last battle, and you'll get achievement for finishing it on hard (steam).
    - I played this game on normal. For me, the game quickly turned to hunger game (you're marching without stop 'cause you don't have enough food, and every renown you get, you use on buying more food). Battles tend to be easy with little practice, but if you played whole game on normal last battle is almost impossible. Hence, I got achievement for finishing it on easy, even if I played only last battle that way
    - The game map is useless, except if you're into reading more walls of text to figure out the whole "setting" of this game (I think that is "RPG" element)
    - It is clear that this is meant to be just first part of series, 'cause game ends pretty much in the middle of things. Its like you sit and watch just first part of the lord of the rings.

    All in all, since this is advertised as indie game and it's from kickstarter, it is very good. Bearing that in mind, price of 23 euros is just too high, that's why my score is that low. Add +2 to score if you don't care about money and waiting for (possible) next chapter in this saga. 10-15 euro price tag would be more appropriate for this game.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 16, 2014
    Well, now we finally have the Banner Saga RPG, and I have to ask: What were they doing in the year between this release and the free combatWell, now we finally have the Banner Saga RPG, and I have to ask: What were they doing in the year between this release and the free combat multiplayer? Because it doesn't look like they were doing much at all, honestly, the game looks like it was abandoned at about the 70% completed mark, so sparse is the gameplay, dialogue, plotting and yes, even the vaunted artwork.

    I've heard how there are "10 hours" of play time in this $20 title, as if that's even defensible in an RPG, but I have to say that that isn't the case, the playtime is extended artificially by a series of unskippable cutscenes, travel scenes and battle scenes that add nothing to the game except to drastically slow the pacing in order to pad out what little was delivered at release.

    Serious issues:

    -Poor story, minimal player choice, remarkable little "dialogue" given that text is the cheapest content a game designer can offer, and this designer offers little except for text. I figure there's under 10 pages of normally-spaced text in this game, and I doubt you'll see more than 6-7 pages of it in a given playthrough.

    -Beautiful artwork that quickly becomes copypasta after the first couple chapters. The game is "oregon trail" style, just a long slog down a dangerous road, and once you pass the 3rd or fourth copypasta'd landmark (godstones) or village you realize that the art talent was as poorly directed as the rest of the game.

    -There's an entire interactive map screen that promises a sandbox-style play at some point (or at least a few hubs to choose from), but DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING throughout the entire game, you are on rails down a text-driven road with the same 3-4 choices every few days. This is the most glaring example of an unfinished game element that I've ever seen in a full release. It's like having a character tab for "inventory" and then clicking on that tab doing nothing, because the function was never implemented.

    -The tactical level of the game on "Normal" is definitely challenging, however once you learn how to manage the three types of opponents (dredge, human, varl) in the first couple chapters, you will never really think that hard about combat again, because ultimately it is quite shallow, and 80% of your opponents will be Dredge anyway, with the occasional boss fight,

    -The script, such as it is, is dark and despressing, with every choice essentially a bad one. But the whole trudging from one place to the next, "chased" by enemy isnt really that dramatic, like Battlestar Galactica, but much more like Oregon Trail: A slow, tedious slog with your people starving and complaining the whole way, only at least in oregon trail you had some actual resource management role to play, in Banner Saga, you can't hunt for food and most of your opportunities to get more will come from dialogue choices that give no hint of the results, so you have to memorize ideal decision trees and then reload the game to accomplish your tasks. Horrible design.

    2/10, 1 for art and 1 for initial tactical combat difficulty. Many minuses for giving up on what could have been a solid adventure with some gritty decisions but just wound up being a muddled mess.
    Full Review »