The Banner Saga Image
Metascore
80

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

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 719 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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.

Trailer

Please enter your birth date to watch this video:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
The Banner Saga - Rough Guide to Travel
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: 88 out of 158
  2. Negative: 28 out of 158
  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. May 26, 2014
    10
    This is a great game; reminded me of many of the tactics games that I used to love on play station and pc. If you like these types of games,This is a great game; reminded me of many of the tactics games that I used to love on play station and pc. If you like these types of games, this one is as good as any. The artwork graphics is amazing and the storyline is solid Expand
  3. Mar 1, 2014
    9
    This is a great game, and a real breath of fresh air for the RPG genre, which arguably has been pretty stagnant for a while now. The BannerThis is a great game, and a real breath of fresh air for the RPG genre, which arguably has been pretty stagnant for a while now. The Banner Saga boasts well crafted and fun gameplay to go along with an engaging story filled with a large cast of interesting characters, but the real jewel for me is the setting itself, and the way it's presented. The artwork, as most reviewers have pointed out, is just outstanding, and it really enhances the aesthetic of an already unique and deep world.

    Gameplay: The gameplay could I guess be divided into three broad areas: the combat system, the caravan system, and the character advancement system, which sort of straddles the border between the other two systems.

    The combat system is rather simple, but very elegant in its design. It's the sort of system whose simplicity makes it easy to learn, but I feel like the more discerning gamers will note that there is a level of subtle tactics, which is not so easy to master, which can really enhance your effectiveness. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the combat is excellent, but it more than serves its purpose, and it kept me entertained.

    The caravan system is arguably the more essential part of the game. Throughout the game, the player is responsible for looking after a caravan of his clansmen. You're constantly making decisions, whether they be in the form of random events that pop up along the road and demand your attention, or in the form of making decisions regarding whether to spend your renown on supplies to keep your people alive, or equipment and level ups for your characters to make combat easier. There's a keen feeling of desperation, survival, and leadership, and I think it's a real key to what makes the game so cool.

    Finally, there's the character advancement system, which to me is one of the most vital parts of any rpg. Sadly, I think The Banner Saga is just a little bit lacking in this area. Your ability to advance your characters is constantly being hamstrung by the supply demands of your caravan. Yes, this does contribute to the survival aspect of the game, and I understand why the devs decided to design it this way, but it is a frustrating tradeoff for someone who really enjoys building and customizing his party. Still, the character advancement is much better than what you would find in many rpgs, so I was able to get over my quibbles.

    Story/Setting: This is where the game really starts to shine. I've played a pretty decent number of video games, especially of the fantasy rpg variety, but I was really caught off guard by the feel of this world. Early on in the game, you get access to the world map, and it is riddled with clickable landmarks (cities, mountain ranges, regions... all sorts of stuff, really) which each have neat little tidbits of lore. After spending just a little while reading the lore, I could tell that this was a really deep and well crafted setting, very unlike your typical Forgotten Realms esque high fantasy world. You really feel like you've been transported to a pre-Christian world of nordic mythic, and you get caught up in some pretty fascinating events of pretty epic proportion. A lot of the characters are also pretty neat, though you don't really get to know any of them extremely well, as you're too busy managing things.

    As I understand it, this is just the first chapter of a planned trilogy, and I'm very eagerly awaiting a chance to see what happens next.

    Presentation: While the story and setting certainly stand out from the crowd, I think that the look and feel of the game is truly one of a kind. The character art is beautiful. The cinematic backdrops that your caravan travels through are breathtaking. The music rules. I've really never experienced anything like it. Watching your caravan wearily journey through this lovingly created world is just awesome. It's hard to describe. You've got to try it for yourself.

    Conclusion: What a wonderful game. In the midst of all the gaudy, big budget, mass produced AAA titles, it would be easy to convince yourself that the future of gaming is bleak, but games like this renew my confidence in the industry. I'm so excited to see the next batch of kickstarter games, and of course the other two games in this trilogy. If you're as eager to see the progress of video games as a medium of storytelling as I am, and if you're the sort of person who can appreciate subtlety and art, you should try this game.
    Expand
  4. Jun 4, 2016
    8
    A really enjoyable experience this game, has a great feel to it and has some lovely visuals. A strong story which you can change slightly withA really enjoyable experience this game, has a great feel to it and has some lovely visuals. A strong story which you can change slightly with your own choices and input. Combat is solid as a turn based style with unique abilities for your team. Worth a look. 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. Aug 5, 2018
    0
    The game constantly stops on loading screens, making it borderline unplayable. Not much of a surprise considering the developer but stillThe game constantly stops on loading screens, making it borderline unplayable. Not much of a surprise considering the developer but still makes this game a complete waste of money.
    This game has the best story of any game I've played in a very long time. Just for that it's definitely worth it and the choices are well implemented. Making you think about every choice and hoping you didn't do the wrong thing. Of course there is the amazing looking Artwork, which definitely ups the games points.
    Sadly the gameplay is just boring. The tactical combat is about as simple as you can make it and unless you're playing at a high difficulty it's pretty easy. There is very little room for creativity on the side of the player, after a bit every fight is pretty much exactly the same unless it has some gimmick. Think the second South Park game.
    The world map is the most boring thing ever. You just watch your little caravan move and wait for some decision to interrupt the boredom.
    Expand

See all 158 User Reviews