The Banner Saga Image
Metascore
80

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

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 783 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.

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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: 95 out of 167
  2. Negative: 28 out of 167
  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. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    The Banner Saga is a compelling tale following close knit to Norse Mythology. The Viking-esque feel is excellent for the type of story. TheThe Banner Saga is a compelling tale following close knit to Norse Mythology. The Viking-esque feel is excellent for the type of story. The cause and effect style to the story really makes the player (myself) think long and hard about choices before rapidly doing things. Slow to start, Chapters 1 and 2 introduce you to the two main stories, which, by the end of the game merge to become one story, which I quite frankly love. The game on normal difficulty, is not hard, but does not baby you past the initial tutorial, some battles, especially the last, can prove to be a struggle, and may cause losses, injuries, or a need to rethink your strategies for later battles. The game is quite... real, it doesn't beat around the bush with the story. It really feels like the end of the world. When you have maybe 350 clansmen, 140 warriors and 60 varl in your caravan, with limited supplies running, you're forced to be conservative at most times and on occasion, be the polar opposite, offensive and assertive, to gain supplies from meek farmers. The characters really interact with your decisions too and tug on how you want to convey yourself as a character to those close to you. All in all an excellent game. 10/10 Gameplay, 11/10 story and I absolutely love the 'cause and effect'-esque mechanics. Nothing like having to really think before performing actions. The replay value is excellent as well, to see how you could play differently to get different reactions from characters, the caravans, or to earn new heroes from placing yourself in more "immediate" danger. Expand
  3. Jan 22, 2014
    9
    Solid tactical turn base game, not dissimilar to chess. As folks mentioned, the game is essentially Oregon Trail outside of the combat. TheSolid tactical turn base game, not dissimilar to chess. As folks mentioned, the game is essentially Oregon Trail outside of the combat. The story is dark and engaging, and while you could fault it for being about 10 hours that wouldn't be fair as the price is set appropriately for the play length.

    If you are a fan of factions, i'd suggest starting on hard difficulty.. normal would be a breeze for you probably.
    Expand
  4. Nov 29, 2018
    8
    Tiene un arte precioso y el sistema de combate es divertido pero no muy retante. A pesar de las múltiples tomas de decisiones no sientes queTiene un arte precioso y el sistema de combate es divertido pero no muy retante. A pesar de las múltiples tomas de decisiones no sientes que tengan un peso real más allá de perder algunos soldados o de conseguir víveres de los que tocan. A pesar de ello los carismáticos personajes te hacen querer jugar a la secuela en cuando te lo acabas. Unas 20 horas de juego. Expand
  5. Jan 26, 2014
    7
    I'd been waiting for this game since the kickstarter. The Scenic backdrops are really beautiful though i think the character art leavesI'd been waiting for this game since the kickstarter. The Scenic backdrops are really beautiful though i think the character art leaves something to be desired. Its kinda like Oregon trail with turn based fights. The story is good though i was expecting it to be better. The actual turn based fights are getting pretty repetitive (fighting the same enemies over and over), but they are still pretty fun and the additional strategy elements involving enemy and character placement on the board is interesting. All in all, the game is a solid good play, with a good story, and some good strategy. Expand
  6. Apr 8, 2014
    6
    This game has an interesting TBS mechanics, but at the same time has major faults and ends up a mediocre broken game at best.

    First, the
    This game has an interesting TBS mechanics, but at the same time has major faults and ends up a mediocre broken game at best.

    First, the tutorial battles push too much info on the player, leaving you confused. I had to re-start the game 3 times until finally I understood how combat works.

    Second, there are multiple problems with game controls. There is no "undo" command, so if you do something wrong because you didn't know the rules (e.g. nowhere it's said that "tempest" attack also damages allies), there is no obvious way to replay or reload. The field is scrolled in tablet-style (dragging) and not by pushing the cursor to the edge of the screen. The whole battlefield get cluttered already in the second battle because the units are drawn using fixed-angle isometric 2.5D and overlap. The option to hide banners doesn't really help it. Mouse-over just doesn't exist here, and it would be much easier to play if there were handy tooltips like in Rome Total War 2, for example. But well, obviously the game was designed for tablets. So all hardcore gamers (like myself) have got a clumsy port from iPad or something. Not really fair for the asked $20+ price.

    The third major issue of the game is that the texts were written without any regard to the fact that there will also be non-native speakers (like myself) playing this game. In the first city I found myself failing to understand many of those low-frequency adjectives scattered around almost every phrase. Maybe the writer wanted to show off, but the result is that the text is hard to read (I suppose, even to native-speakers), it looks unnecessarily complex. Combine that with the pile of fantasy-themed names most of which you will see for the first time, and you have an mess of crap which you hardly have desire to dig thru. Even the voice-overs were done with such heavy accent (is it Swedish accent?) that I had to strain myself to understand what they were saying. Btw I'm not that bad in English. I read Fallout 2 texts easily as well as Baldur's Gate's texts, and watch piles of US movies in English without any problems. The runic font used on the map is hard to read, too.

    The forth issue is with graphics. The drawings of the characters in the cutscenes look strikingly worse that the smooth backgrounds.

    On the plus side, the music and sounds are excellent, as well as backgrounds. What this game needs is an overhaul of the controls with more regard to desktop users. Also, someone should go thru all those piles of text you have there, make shorter sentences and replace low-frequency words with normal, high-frequency synonyms. At its current state, the game isn't worth the money and is no fun to play.
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  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.
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See all 167 User Reviews