Despite knowing absolutely nothing about The Banner Saga, the series has made enough noise for me to realise that people have come to think quite highly of it. So, when I was given the chance to experience this ongoing Saga, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.
Developed by a selection of ex-Bioware employees The Banner Saga brings to life an epic Viking tale, which is tailored by your dialogue choices. Its charming world is underpinned by gorgeous art design, a majestic musical score and gameplay that focuses on tactical turn-based combat. It reminded me of my time in XCOM and South Park: The Stick of Truth, however, unfortunately it didn’t resonate with me nearly as much.
My biggest sticking point? Its countless text-based conversations. I’m used to games that present their fair share of narrative but most of the time I’ve had the pleasure of sitting back, relaxing, and listening to a set of fully-voiced characters. Don’t get me wrong, this game features its own voice acting with stunning cutscenes but when it comes to its more extensive, multi-choice text-exclusive conversations, I don’t have the patience to sift through and digest a list of dialogue. Perhaps I’m too used to games that have the resources to pull off fully-voiced dialogue options (ahem, Mass Effect), or maybe I’m expecting too much from a game that was crowdsourced through Kickstarter. All I know is that I prefer to indulge in a character’s colourful personality through their rich voice work.
Overall, The Banner Saga is well-crafted and lays out a world filled with a rich story, but unfortunately it doesn’t appeal to me as much as I thought it would. That said, I can see the quality with which this game has been built and just because I can’t get on with its design, it doesn’t mean you should arrive at the same conclusion. If you like role-playing games with turn-based combat and a journey that changes according to your decisions, then do yourself a favour and dismiss my negative perspective. You may be shouting at me for even bothering to pick this up, but remember that this is my opinion and I’ve decided to not score it.