Metascore
80

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

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 550 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.
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: 85 out of 131
  2. Negative: 25 out of 131
  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) Collapse
  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.
    Expand
  4. Nov 15, 2014
    8
    There is so much to admire about this title - the art style, the turn based strategy which has a fairly unique strength & health dynamic,There is so much to admire about this title - the art style, the turn based strategy which has a fairly unique strength & health dynamic, great characters, decent story, decent (if unfortunately largely irrelevant) resource management... but there's a glaring fault here; the game itself is just too damn short!

    It reminds me a high-end, turn based strategy version of the fantastic tower defence RPG Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten, and that's not a bad thing, but it ends on a cliffhanger a mere 8 hours or so into the game, and for that points have to be marked off.

    But technically it's very good. I grabbed this in a sale for £6 and it's great value at that price range.
    Expand
  5. Feb 15, 2014
    7
    Liked the story but even on normal difficulty the dredge were taking huge mechanical **** all over my guys and killing them in 1-2 hitsLiked the story but even on normal difficulty the dredge were taking huge mechanical **** all over my guys and killing them in 1-2 hits constantly. Not sure what I was doing wrong as I am an RPG veteran and skilled player (Silver in LoL and beat Skyrim on medium hard difficulty) so I usually do quite well at this sort of thing. Expand
  6. Mar 13, 2014
    5
    The artwork of the game is not only unique but lovely. The problem with the game is the actual game play itself, as far as that is concernedThe artwork of the game is not only unique but lovely. The problem with the game is the actual game play itself, as far as that is concerned it falls on its face pretty hard. Plane, lackluster and quite honestly just bad is how I would describe the game play of this turn based RPG. There is so little to it and managing your units along with your travels almost seem like an afterthought to the artwork, there are also multiple problems with the food and currency system that make it seem not well thought out. The story also ends rather abruptly too. So to recap, the art is good the rest is bad. Expand
  7. Feb 21, 2014
    0
    The graphics are cool, but did not keep the promise for a good game. I gave up to play after 20minutes being bored. I never knew who i am etc,The graphics are cool, but did not keep the promise for a good game. I gave up to play after 20minutes being bored. I never knew who i am etc, worst game ever. Begins with butchering some people, then a dialogue about helping and then the next fight. Who am I ? Who do I fight ? Would help for immersiveness. I ask me how it can get so good reviews, I am really astonished. Expand

See all 131 User Reviews