Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Watchlist: The Banner Saga

Title: The Banner Saga
Developer: Stoic Studios
Platforms: PC, Mac
Releasing January 2014
The Banner Saga is an epic role-playing game inspired by Viking legend. Hand-painted landscapes portray a world eerily suspended in perpetual twilight. Cities and towns begin to crumble into chaos. Heroes abandon their hearths and homes to traverse the snowy countryside, gaining allies along the way to help battle a strange, new threat.
Over a year after an incrediblY successful Kickstarter campaign, The Banner Saga is nearing release. Perhaps one of the game's most striking elements is its hand-drawn art style, that brings to mind the animation of Disney classic films. But beyond its artistic prowess, the Banner Saga promises a deep tactical experience set in a world of politics, tough choices, survival, warfare, and Viking mythology.

Embroiled in a landscape of warring clans, giants, and struggling peasants, you must guide your clan as you traverse an expansive and fight other groups and a new threat endangering the land. Combat is turn based and strategic, with characters able to utilize special skills and the permadeath always looming. But the meat of the game is the journey. Your caravan, consisting of villagers, soldiers, and others that join during your quest, travels across the map. Food and supplies are constant factors to consider; run low on food and watch your people starve to death or abandon your cause. Setting up camps allow you to rest, restore moral, and upgrade your heroes. However this journey is not merely a physical challenge to endure, but one of mental and political fortitude, as you met alliances with other clans and carefully consider your options and choices when the lives of your men are at stake.
Banner Saga's single player campaign will be only part of what the full games offers; the game's Factions PvP multiplayer is actually available to played for free on Steam. You can experience this harsh Viking world of survival and battle when The Banner Saga releases on January 14, 2014.

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