I looked into this game before buying it and it's obvious to see the Banner Saga influences, however when playing the game these comparisonsI looked into this game before buying it and it's obvious to see the Banner Saga influences, however when playing the game these comparisons are inseparable.
The graphics are what gives the game away first. Aesthetically speaking, the game is identical to BST. This isn't a bad thing as the animated graphics are charming and create atmosphere, however they do little to establish the game's own identity. A passing glance at this game looks no different to BST and even when playing it for myself I was seeing heavy resemblances in the character models. Hell, even the main protagonist is a withering father accompanied by his naive young daughter itching to be part of the combat!
The gameplay is where Ash of Gods separates itself from BST, but it's one place where I wish it wouldn't. I found the gameplay to be like taking everything that made BST so enjoyable and making it worse instead of better. Controlling the battle is an unfriendly mess as I tried to make my characters attack but ended up highlighting my enemy for more information multiple times. Then we have the character selection screen, which is bewilderingly combined with the equipment and magic elements all compressed into one highly messy and incomprehensible selection screen that you must navigate before each battle.
Then we have the difficulty spikes and RNG. If you've ever wanted to feel like a game hates you and will do anything to make you lose, then this is the game for you. At the start of Chapter 2 there is a one vs many battle that took me about a dozen attempts before I won it on what must have been sheer luck as my character remained the same level.
Add to this the bizzare 'trixes' concept, which works a lot like supplies in BST. I ran out of these very early into the game and the punishment for this is severe. It may be that making sacrifices is part and parcel of this game, but at least with BST there was always a counterbalance with key characters being strong enough to hold their own.
The story could have been the best part of the game, but again it suffers from BST syndrome, as we're met with a 'Reaping' event similar to Ragnarok and disturbingly resembling of BST. There are some emotive moments early on when your wife dies and villages are pillaged, but again these are cliched rather than effective.
Overall, 'Ash of Gods: Banner Saga' is far too resembling of a plagiarist's copy-and-paste approach to videogames, and there isn't much in the game to redeem itself, ironically given the title. Avoid unless you're a hardcore fan of this genre.… Expand