I know, it’s been a gazillion years since I’ve actually reviewed a game. I’ve been playing games! I have! I just haven’t sat down to review any of them. I get this thing where my mind turns into complete mind-oatmeal and I just read or play but never sit down to review. That’s about to change, y’all.
I’ve been on the fence about buying The Banner Saga for a while now. Every once in a while, my husband will mention it and sort of insists I get it. I usually reply with “Yeah, I just have so much to play right now, I’d feel guilty!”. However, Damian knows how much I loved Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced and my love for role playing games overall, so he was insistent. I did tell him I wanted to play it. He was just making sure I did.
The Banner Saga was brought to life by Stoic a development team that formerly worked for Bioware. Pretty awesome, right? That being said, you can already somewhat expect this game to be incredible. One of the first things that caught my attention was the storytelling. I’m huge on storytelling. If you have a captivating story, you’ve got an interesting game, right? Think about it. If it isn’t interesting, you aren’t going to get very far in the game. I mean, Vikings?! Big horned giants called the Varl?! Talk about Gods, wars, and these Colossal things called Dredge? I was blown away! I haven’t seen anything like it. The art style is something out of a dream. It’s intricate, detailed, but not trying to be LOL GRAPHICS!
This game is a tactical RPG so it’s similar Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics but it’s also something entirely it’s own. I’ve played enough tactic games to understand that some can be unforgiving. The Banner Saga is a nice balance between unforgiving but not heart wrenching. Your choices will give you different results. The way it’s written it makes the player feel that your actions have consequences but not to the point where you feel that the consequences are out of your hands. I truly felt myself deserving of the results of my actions and that’s not an easy thing for a game to accomplish.
There are two playable races: the Varls and Humans. Among these races you can have different classes: warrior, shieldbanger, landsman, raiders, and archers. Every class has its perks and the game has these “Training” grounds where you can put your new heroes to the test. You can practice strategies and get to know what your teams will be like before heading into the battlefield. I’ve always wished games had this. Who doesn’t want to take their new character out for a decent test run before taking them out on the battlefield?
If that doesn’t get you, the map system, renown, and strategic gameplay will. I love renown. I love the word. I love what it represents and whever I see it in games like this I get really excited. I honestly feel like I’m riding about with a trophy of some beast I just defeated and all the villagers are in awe at my ferocity. The map system explains each part of the map. You can actually click it and PUFF! A description about that place will pop up and immediately you feel like you understand their world a little better. I was so enthralled with it that the first time I played it that I played for 3 hours straight. In my defense, it didn’t feel like 3 hours went by and I could’ve have kept playing.
OH! And before I forget, I like using my PS4 controller to play online games. I like the feel of a controller. This game doesn’t need it but it supports it. So, if you’re like me and hate using your keyboard for gaming, you can totally use your controller!
If you’re on the fence about purchasing this game, don’t be. It’s truly fantastic. I cannot wait to finish this post so I can run off and play it again. You can find The Banner Saga on Steam, Amazon, Google Play. It’s pretty much anywhere. AND right now it’s 4.99 in Steam and on Google Play! If you want to wait to have it on console it’s been announced that they’re releasing The Banner Saga for the PS4 and PS Vita sometime in the year 2016.