Metascore
80

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

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 495 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: 83 out of 127
  2. Negative: 23 out of 127
  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 12, 2014
    10
    Some one needs to make Peter Jackson play this game. Because this is game needs to become a movie! Directed by Jackson it will be the nextSome one needs to make Peter Jackson play this game. Because this is game needs to become a movie! Directed by Jackson it will be the next LOTR. YES THE STORY IS THAT GOOD! Expand
  3. Jan 15, 2014
    9
    This a game that you will love or feel uneven about. There is no middle ground. At first i hated it. I did not like the lack of animationThis a game that you will love or feel uneven about. There is no middle ground. At first i hated it. I did not like the lack of animation through the dialogue parts but after about 30 minutes of actually playing the game i don't know. It grew on me. I started to care about characters, about the fact supplies will not last, about the fight for survival. This a game obviously done on a budget but if you let that slide(and in today's AAA gaming market we let a lot slide for bigger games) you will find an actual game with actual choices, engaging combat. To me that is meaningful. It could use more polish, and better voice acting but for the little money they had you can't blame them. Expand
  4. Feb 3, 2014
    8
    I'm about four hours into the game and I am loving it. The art style is beautiful (and I'm running this on a low end pc), the story is prettyI'm about four hours into the game and I am loving it. The art style is beautiful (and I'm running this on a low end pc), the story is pretty solid, though I find the lore and history of the world more interesting, but that kind of adds to it. This is a very, very well thought out game. I find myself sometimes wanting to go back and do something over because someone may die, or I lose a lot of followers as a result of my actions. My only real complaints are the lack of options in the options menu. I would like to be able to do more than just change the resolution and the audio. My other complaint is the lack of an ability to save whenever I want, thereby forcing me to continue when I have messed something up. Overall amazing game so far. Expand
  5. Aug 25, 2014
    7
    Not really a Viking X-Com I was hoping for, but definitely interesting and unique piece well worth playing. The start is a bit slow, game isNot really a Viking X-Com I was hoping for, but definitely interesting and unique piece well worth playing. The start is a bit slow, game is doing quite a poor job in immersing you right away in it's story, throwing tons of viking names at you, not really knowing who you are or what's going on, but you slowly get a grip, learn the game mechanics, and by the time the story switches from the viking bunch to the eastern storyline with the dad and daughter, things get much better. Challenging turn-based tactical battles, beautiful visuals and amazing music. Very unique flavor is gathered in the sections of the game where your caravan is traveling the beautiful northern lands, visiting old god stones, where you have to make important decisions, quite a memorable adventure there. Despite it's slow start, quite short length overall and some of the budget shortcomings such as no voice-overs, I was pretty happy with The Banner Saga in the end. 7/10 Expand
  6. Jan 17, 2014
    5
    I backed this game on Kickstarter very early on, basically after having read the words "turn based strategy" and "vikings" and had very highI backed this game on Kickstarter very early on, basically after having read the words "turn based strategy" and "vikings" and had very high hopes for the project.
    During the first hour of play I was thouroughly impressed with the artwork, the graphical style, the music and the combat system. It runs well, I encountered no major bugs, and the story starts very intense and engrossing.
    Now, after nearing the end of my first (and, most likely, only) playthrough I can sum up my personal experience with a single sentence: I learned to *thoroughly* hate this game.
    I'm terribly sorry, I desperately wanted to like this, but with every tedious, frustrating and boring hour of gameplay I had to concede, that just about *every* design choice made by Stoic seems to go diametrically against my personal preferences.
    Trying to cast an objective vote, i give it a 5, because there are undoubtedly many things good about the game, but the essence of what it's about - having fun, being motivated and enjoying the time spent playing - simply doesn't happen.
    TBS is the very definition of a railroaded game. More than that, it actually *feels* like more than half of the time I'm actually watching pointless, endlessly repeating nice backgrounds scrolling past, while nothing happens. Events are scarce, and when they happen, they kill my motivation and the RPG aspect. Because, frankly, I'm NOT making decisions. I'm playing a random guessing game, in most cases with absolutely *no* clue on what the consequences of the 4 "choose your answer" alternatives *might* even be. I hate playing a game where I don't even know the rules, and I hate winning every battle and then losing my heroes to random dialogue events.
    The world map is like a bad joke on my expense, as it serves absolutely *no* function in the game but as a "choose your flavour text" library. It feels like there's an entire aspect of the game simply never implemented here...
    Same goes for character development and resource management. Both are oversimplified, shallow and simply feel completely unfinished. Each character has one single item slot, and the items available are nothing special. Abilities are pretty much predetermined, and dividing 10 points you *might* receive during 5 ranks isn't that big a deal.
    There is one single resource for everything (renown) and one single sure way to acquire it (by killing enemies in combat). Sometimes you might draw a lucky card during the random dialogue guessing game and acquire some extra, but that's it. As the resource is used to buy supplies, items *and* for leveling up your heroes, it comes down to either have your caravan starve or run around with level 1 heroes, despite them having earned several promotions on the battlefield. That kills motivation on such an epic scale, and can't even begin to describe it.
    There are no side quest, no method to forage for food, trade, to gain extra renown or anything - remember, you are on one long, single track railway and never look left or right. You will *never* feel in control of *anything* in this game. For me, however, that is what gaming should be about.
    Even the combat system, one of the best parts otherwise, has several unnerving flaws that started bothering me in the long run:
    - You are forced to choose your team *and* the sequence in which they act *before* you know anything about the enemies you will face. Why is there even a deployment phase at the begin of combat if all you do there is arrange the predetermined team on the board? That placement will be void after one round of movement, a wrong party mix or suboptimal sequence will stay, however.
    - the way the two sides take turns is beyond silly. If you face a single, strong opponent, that one will act 6 times for every ONCE your heroes do something, as it's always the *sides* that take turns.
    - one stat for hitpoints AND combat effectiveness basically means, that the battles are decided in the first round. The side that starts taking hits is the side that will lose. Always. Without a way to regain strength, a single hit can de facto disable a hero.
    So, again, sorry Stoic for being so negative, but this game is so totally NOT my piece of cake. Terrific art, great lore, good music and a stable game do NOT equal fun, I'm afraid. Lots of bad design choices for me equal de-motivation, tedium, boredom and frustration. Others might love this game, I can't, I'm afraid.
    Expand
  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 127 User Reviews