The Banner Saga

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Developed by
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Platforms
Critic Score User Score
iPad
...
...
Macintosh
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Windows
84
2.4
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Description

The gods are dead. In their wake, man and giant survived through a tenuous alliance, driving black destroyers called dredge, deep into the northern wastes. Now is an era of growth and trade. Life goes on. Only one thing has stopped. The sun.

The Banner Saga is a Norse fantasy-themed hybrid tactical role-playing game. The player controls one of many main characters, which will change as the story progresses, indicated a story chapter. These main characters lead a party of heroes and a caravan which travels to a linear story-wise destination and it is up to the player to ensure that the caravan survives the onslaught of human, varl, or the fearsome dredge, may it come in the form of combat or story decisions.

The majority of the story is represented by visual novel-style dialogs or events, prompting the player to choose one from several options, many of which may result in a beneficial or negative outcome. These choices, for the most part do not change the overall story, however will affect the player's accessibility to for example, heroes and items or result in the immediate death of a hero.

Heroes
The heroes consist of human or the varl (horned giants), each with a unique biography (lore), as well as different classes and different traits. The character sheet of a hero primarily explains his or her combat abilities, a few examples are:

  1. Ability and Willpower
    Ability is unique combat power that hero possesses due to his or her character class. A hero has one special attack and one passive ability. Each ability has three different ranks, with each higher rank a more powerful version of itself. Willpower is power needed to activate abilities. It does not by default replenish during combat and will have bonus/penalties subject to morale of the caravan.

  2. Armor and Strength
    Armor the hero's ability to block combat damage. The lower the armor, the higher the damage to the hero, up to the point that it may different affect the hero's health. Strength is both the hero's ability to inflict combat damage, as well as the hero's health. When strength falls to zero, the hero will fall unconscious and cannot be revived for the remainder of combat.

  3. Promotion
    Character development of heroes progresses when the hero kills a sufficient number of enemies in combat. If the requirement is reached, the hero may be promoted at the cost of renown to the next level. Promotions will reward the hero with points which may be distributed to increase the aforementioned skills as well as access to higher special ability ranks. Hero levels are capped at Level 5.
Additionally, heroes may also carry a maximum of one item, which have beneficial properties when equipped. Items have a level requirement and may be purchased from merchants or obtained through story events.

The Caravan
As the story progresses, the player's caravan travelling between locations will become a prominent feature of the game. This caravan consists the party heroes, clansmen (non-fighting members), fighters, and varl. Although the destination cannot be changed, the player may opt to break camp at any time to equip or rest wounded heroes, as well as practice combat in training sessions. The caravan also brings supplies, which will affect the moral of the caravan. Supplies will be consumed at the start of each new day.

Screenshots

The Banner Saga Windows Help - The help button provides further information on each of the displayed features.
The Banner Saga Windows Story - All the heroes have finally gathered at the Varl Great Hall.
The Banner Saga Windows The forbidden city of the Varl, where no human has set foot. The thousand remaining Varl warriors make their last stand against the dredge onslaught.
The Banner Saga Windows Training - At the camp, the player may also use training facilities to test out heroes and their abilities. A trainer will sometimes offer advise during this session.

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

HonestGamers Windows Jan 27, 2014 9 out of 10 90
PC Games (Germany) Windows Jan 14, 2014 87 out of 100 87
4Players.de Windows Jan 14, 2014 86 out of 100 86
4Players.de iPad Oct 06, 2014 86 out of 100 86
Shoost Windows Jan 17, 2014 8.5 out of 10 85
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jan 16, 2014 83 out of 100 83
PCGamesN Windows Jan 17, 2014 8 out of 10 80
Jeuxvideo.com Windows Jan 14, 2014 16 out of 20 80

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Kickstarter Credits 1 Indra is stressed (20005)
Mar 16, 2014
Hybrids will be the death of me. 8 Indra is stressed (20005)
Feb 09, 2014

Trivia

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Contributed to by Kabushi (134637) and Indra is stressed (20005)