trending / - - - - - - - - -

trending / playstation 4 - ni no kuni - halo - wii u - bungie interview - ces top picks - radeon hd 7850 - woods pga tour

The Banner Saga Brings Beauty to Strategy RPGs: PAX Preview

/ Sep 10th, 2013 1 Comment

The Banner Saga

[adsense250itp]The Banner Saga from Stoic Studio (formed ny three former BioWare employees who worked on The Old Republic) is an upcoming strategy RPG for the PC. Stoic Studio has a simple motto of creating games the developers themselves would want to play. The Banner Saga is planned as series of three games that will tell the tale of a caravan of Vikings dealing with the return of an ancient evil, which they must face.

Since the development for the game has taken longer than anticipated, Stoic released a free-to-play multiplayer version of the game back in February. The Banner Saga: Factions allows gamers to compete against each other as Vikings of their choice. While the single player game is separate from the multiplayer version, Factions will give an idea of how combat will take place in the single player game. Factions acts a way to see what people are responding to in the game’s combat and allow Stoic to refine single player combat (so for anyone interested in checking out the multiplayer, download it on Steam and tweet at me (@freepartysubs) to get one of three codes for a free starter pack in the game).

The Banner Saga

Tactical/strategic combat!

At PAX, Stoic Studio and Chaille Stidham gave me an opportunity to check out the single player demo. One thing is certain above all else, The Banner Saga is mind blowingly gorgeous. It is an absolutely beautiful game. The hand-drawn graphics are incredible. Characters animations are great and the game plays incredibly smooth.

The gameplay of The Banner Saga is broken down into turn-based tactical combat and a larger sim/Oregon Trail type metagame, where players must manage their caravan. During combat, each character has specific move ranges. Once the character moves depending on their type, they have a chance to attack, use abilities or end their turn. It is not hugely different from most strategy RPG or tactical games, fans of the genre will recognize the format instantly. Killing nets loot/renown, enemies vary from basic grunts to heavies and unit types include tanks, fighters, archers, etc. What makes combat interesting is the options for attacking that Stoic Studio included.

The Banner Saga

Plan wisely and figure out the best plan of attack.

When players attack an enemy they have an option to attack either health or armor. This may seem minor, but it adds another layer of strategy outside of basic combat. For instance, certain characters have lower hit chances with direct attacks, but their hit percentage for armor may be high. So attacking armor will allow the other characters to be in a better position (or ones who are stronger) to do more damage during their turn. Meaning the enemy will go down quicker. Additionally, players can use a character’s will power to add extra damage to either health or armor (depending on their will power amount), which adds a little extra power to certain attacks. There is a trade off in attacking armor because it may give the enemy more chances to wear down and kill characters in the player’s caravan. Death is a real issue.

The other gameplay element in the demo is players managing their Viking caravans. Between fights and missions, the player has to manage their caravan. Their caravan has only a certain number of supplies, so if their caravan is big and the journey is long, they may run out of food before they reach their destination. This has consequences because caravans have morale. Low morale will likely lead to less effective fighting, defections and since a lack of supplies means starvation, possibly deaths. This leads into Stoic’s main mission with The Banner Saga’s story.

The Banner Saga

It is important to manage your resources effectively when traveling in The Banner Saga.

In The Banner Saga, players will enjoy a mature story that heavily emphasizes decisions and choice. As a result, players’ choices may result in losses and Stoic Studio wants players to accept their decisions and losses as part of the story. In the demo, players meet Alette and her father, who must deal with the sudden reemergence of an ancient evil. Through their journey, they have to make decisions about tracking down supplies, which means to gain the supplies they have to fight these evil creatures or avoid the fight and supplies and possibly not have enough supplies for the rest of their journey. As with their BioWare lineage, The Banner Saga puts a heavy emphasis on choice through dialogue, which in the demo resulted in hard decisions that put members of the caravan in direct danger. This did lead to death occasionally. It is all part of the experience of this Viking caravan, sometimes people die, but you have to continue on because there is nothing else to do, but persevere.

This is one of the best times to be a tactical/strategy RPG fan with so many recent great titles in the genre (Fire Emblem: Awakenings, Skulls of the Shogun and XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the upcoming Enemy Within and Klei’s Incognita, and Brad Muir’s Massive Chalice next year). The Banner Saga looks to continue the trend of exciting, challenging and engrossing strategy games. If anything, it is going to offer an aesthetically pleasing tactical experience.

The Banner Saga is definitely one to look out for when it releases this November on Steam.

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. Currently, he lives in Tustin, California. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

Latest posts by Kalvin Martinez (see all)

tags: , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands

Going Wild in Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Massive Sandbox of Co-op Chaos

Jan 25th, 2017No Comments

For Honor

For Honor’s Combat is a Needed Change After a Shooter-Dominated Season

Dec 15th, 2016No Comments

Steep

Steep Beta Impressions: Winter Wonderland

Nov 16th, 2016No Comments

Watch Dogs 2 Hands-On Preview

Watch Dogs 2 Hands-On Preview: Function

Oct 26th, 2016No Comments

Top Articles

New Releases: Week of 2/19/17 Feb 19th, 2017 at 9:00

What’s in Your Box: Attack on Hyrule Feb 18th, 2017 at 11:00

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Release Date Announced Feb 16th, 2017 at 9:45

Rise & Shine Review: Bullet, Hell Feb 15th, 2017 at 12:00

5 Emotionally Compromising Video Games Feb 14th, 2017 at 10:00

Gaming Illustrated Plays For Honor Feb 13th, 2017 at 5:13

New Releases: Week of 2/12/17 Feb 12th, 2017 at 9:00

What’s in Your Box: Dark Titans 2 Feb 11th, 2017 at 11:30

Fire Emblem Heroes: The Jump Off Feb 9th, 2017 at 9:00

E3 Will Be Open to the Public Feb 8th, 2017 at 9:59

Rise & Shine Review: Bullet, Hell Feb 15th, 2017 at 12:00

Tower Defense Generals Review Feb 6th, 2017 at 12:00

FIFA 17 Review: The Journey Forward Feb 3rd, 2017 at 12:00

Toby: The Secret Mine Review: Outside of Limbo Jan 27th, 2017 at 10:30

Yakuza 0 Review: Sub-Prime Gangsters Jan 25th, 2017 at 10:00

Defense Zone 3 HD Review Jan 17th, 2017 at 10:00

Orconoid Review Jan 2nd, 2017 at 10:00

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 5 – City of Light Review Dec 20th, 2016 at 11:00

Portal Router Review: The Future of WiFi Dec 16th, 2016 at 12:30

Clutch G1 Optical Mouse Review: Coming Up Clutch Dec 14th, 2016 at 11:00

bestjett buyeww 9404271567 link


besttrew buyhfgh 9404271567 link


bestavbe buydfgss 9404271567 link


bestjett buyeww 1999192713 link


besttrew buyhfgh 1999192713 link


bestavbe buydfgss 1999192713 link


bestjett buyeww 564123276 link


besttrew buyhfgh 564123276 link


bestavbe buydfgss 564123276 link


bestjett buyeww 6285235667 link


besttrew buyhfgh 6285235667 link


bestavbe buydfgss 6285235667 link


bestjett buyeww 5852485284 link


besttrew buyhfgh 5852485284 link


bestavbe buydfgss 5852485284 link