The Banner Saga is set to continue soon; April 19th, to be exact. That’s when Stoic and Versus Evil will roll out The Banner Saga 2, the sequel to the popular and highly acclaimed turn-based strategy RPG. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a preview copy, and would like to offer up these first impressions of the game.
If you haven’t yet played the first entry in the series, go get your copy right now (it’s on sale for $4.99 at press time)…or as soon as you’re done reading this article, anyway. If you did play the first installment of The Banner Saga, this is more of the same with a new type of character, a new potential ability for your hero, and new chapters to the story. In fact, fans will be pleased to know The Banner Saga 2 has a feature which allows you to import your progress and pick up from there; decisions made in the first game will factor into how the sequel picks up.
This means those new to the story will be a bit out of the loop, but you can still get into the game and enjoy the experience. We’re not going to talk much more about that because we don’t want to ruin the fun.
The overall look of the game is a bit like the old hand-animated Disney films—2D with plenty of layering to provide a sense of distance, great composition with the scenery, a nice level of detail, vibrant colors, and so on. The soundtrack from composer Austin Wintory is also worthy of note, providing intense battle music and soaring themes which serve to highlight the epicocity of the game.
The game controls for the activities in camp and for combat are limited to what is necessary and are easy to use.
But the focus in The Banner Saga 2 is the story, which you control with the decisions you make and the actions you take. You must choose, but choose wisely; some of the consequences are short term, some are long term. The story elements draw the player in without taking too much time away from more active game play.
The combat is a familiar turn based sequence: move then attack, next character, lather-rinse-repeat. Before each movement and attack, the game will provide a confirmation check box so you don’t suffer from oops factor and get something you don’t really want.
I have only spent a few hours in The Banner Saga 2, but so far but it’s a real keeper. We’ll offer a full review when the game is released on April 19th, but don’t wait for us to make it official; you have our blessing to head on over to Steam now and get your order in.
For more information on The Banner Saga 2, visit www.bannersaga2.com.