The Banner Saga

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Theoden
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The Banner Saga

Postby Theoden » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:19 pm

... amazing.

Has anyone played this game yet? It released like two months ago, an indie developer with 3 guys formerly from Bioware. It has a nordic mystical viking theme, and plays like a Bioware game. Funded entirely off Kickstarter.

I bought it this weekend on Steam, it was on a discount, not sure if it's still there or not.

The best thing about the game is the melancholic nordic music, which they've actually hired Icelandic vocalists to create, as well as voice act. One of the youtubers that sing a lot of ESO and skyrim songs, Malukah, actually did the main theme.

Second best thing is the fact that, just like in Mass Effect, it creates bonds you have with characters, so that you mourn them if you choose some choices and they die. The game encourages you to deal with the negative consequences of your choices, by forbidding a quicksave system. There's automated save checkpoints, and you can save your progress in the game by quitting if you have to go, but there's no manual save that makes you able to quickly reload just before your choices.

Some choices caused the deaths of some characters that I cared deeply about. Others caused many in my caravan to starve and die. Others cause hundreds of men to perish. You really feel like it's not just a game to 'win' but an epic life simulator, in which shit happens and you try your best in this amazing storyline and care about the characters. The last scene in the game almost brought me to tears... the music was so powerful.

Good thing a sequel is coming out. There were some trademark issues but they said they're going to make it despite them anyway. They say its going to be part of a trilogy. and since it's an indie game it's not that expensive either, like 25 bucks.
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Victor.
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Re: The Banner Saga

Postby Victor. » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:57 am

Supported it when it was still in its Infancy over at Kickstarter and I haven't regretted it for a minute.

The artwork alone is well worth the price and the atmospheric story built on top of that foundation has made for a game that leaves a lasting impression even after your first play-through.

Actually, the first time I finished it, I immediately started a new one to make other choices and see how different the events pan out to be. While it's not that you have enormous influence over the set story, your choices still feel like they count in the grand scheme of things and that's beautifully refreshing for a modern day game.

If it's on discount on top of that: Fetch it! Unless you are a complete action junkie, it's well worth it - especially for those who enjoy strategic, round based combat and as mentioned above: a haunting story with fleshed out characters one easily empathises with.

That said, I am looking very much forward to its second installment, because open-ends are just something that doesn't sit well with me when I was so enthralled by the tale.

PS.: Farthingjord and the Worldhook are grossly overpowered! :heart:
Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. // Jealousy is a passion, seeking zealously what causes suffering. Franz Grillparzer
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Glaucon
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Re: The Banner Saga

Postby Glaucon » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:10 am

Thanks for the tip. I had never heard of it. Picked it up. Was waiting for a good new single player game with a decent story.
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Torolf Fenrirson
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Re: The Banner Saga

Postby Torolf Fenrirson » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:45 am

My fear is that the game will live up to the following person's review:

The story is slow to start but by the time it gets interesting the game ends. The story is presented almost entirely through text and that text reads like a "choose your own adventure novel". This would be fine but the quality of writing is lacking and the way the text jumps between third person perspective and second person narrative is annoying. It's especially annoying because there are multiple points of view for a majority of the game.

I'm an avid reader so I don't mind reading in my RPGs but I at least want some consistency.

As for the main game mechanics it's a lot like a 2D Oregon Trail. The campaign consists of two stories following two player controlled caravans as they cross a map. Most of the choices given the player consist of:

Do the smart but heartless thing
Do the dumb but moral thing
Do nothing
There will be other options but they either return you to previous "options" or are just variations on the same.


I'll probably give it a try anyway when it's on sale again.
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Victor.
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Re: The Banner Saga

Postby Victor. » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:54 pm

Torolf Fenrirson wrote:My fear is that the game will live up to the following person's review:

The story is slow to start but by the time it gets interesting the game ends. The story is presented almost entirely through text and that text reads like a "choose your own adventure novel". This would be fine but the quality of writing is lacking and the way the text jumps between third person perspective and second person narrative is annoying. It's especially annoying because there are multiple points of view for a majority of the game.

I'm an avid reader so I don't mind reading in my RPGs but I at least want some consistency.

As for the main game mechanics it's a lot like a 2D Oregon Trail. The campaign consists of two stories following two player controlled caravans as they cross a map. Most of the choices given the player consist of:

Do the smart but heartless thing
Do the dumb but moral thing
Do nothing
There will be other options but they either return you to previous "options" or are just variations on the same.



I'll probably give it a try anyway when it's on sale again.


Your quoted reviewer is by no means wrong - the writing isn't the strongest and there are those inconsistencies he mentions, but that has surprisingly little effect on the story.

He's also right about the fact that the story's peak moment is actually when it ends, because there are a lot of questions that remain open ended and lead into a sequel that's supposedly in production.

None of those things really put a dent into my enjoyment with the game but it might for others. The choices are for the most part FLAVOUR but still meaningful in their own rights or at least feel that way when you choose them.

I think his comparison as a "Make your own adventure novel" is pretty apt. It's almost exactly like that, just illustrated, animated, dubbed and equipped with a round-based combat system that, while not being too deep, is actually quite fun. At least I thought it was fun, despite your general moves hardly really changing from fight to fight.

For some 20 Bucks it's amazing, if it were an AAA title and they'd want you to shell out 59,99 - I am sure I'd be more critical.
Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. // Jealousy is a passion, seeking zealously what causes suffering. Franz Grillparzer
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Victor.
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Re: The Banner Saga

Postby Victor. » Wed May 21, 2014 6:26 am

For those still on the fence about that marvellous little piece of Kickstarter Goodiness, the game's 40 % off for TODAY (5/21) on the Steam store.

If you haven't played it yet, you ought to. Especially if it's down to some ~14 bucks.
Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. // Jealousy is a passion, seeking zealously what causes suffering. Franz Grillparzer
Tantus
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Re: The Banner Saga

Postby Tantus » Fri May 23, 2014 8:31 am

It seems like quite an immersive game from Youtube clips, I've had a mind to install it, but short on time for the moment to get stuck into a good RPG!

The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition is on Steam sale for the ridiculously low sum of £3. It's now compatible with Linux, and a worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in Valve's SteamOS.

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