Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Banner Saga

So the next game on the steam challenge I've set myself upon is one I backed quite some time ago, The Banner Saga (Link) . So keep that in mind while reading this, I backed this game, and actually put in a little more then the hour I've been doing so far for these games.  So let's get into the nitty gritty of this title shall we?  Please note, there will be some mild spoilers, so keep that in mind.

The game follows a group of vikings, living in a world where the sun never moves, it's almost always perpetual winter and these large, golem like creatures called the Dredge are waging war on everyone.  You begin the game controlling a large caravan of Vurl (giants) and humans as they are leading a caravan to the Vurl capital (believe it's that) to cement a full treaty between the races.  After playing as this group a bit, you move over to Rook and his town.  Now, this game was made by former BioWare members, and this is where it begins to show.  You begin to have to make choices, such as what to defend, how to react and actions you take between combat.  This will affect your supplies, party members and your renown.  I actually lost a party member at the beginning of the game due to a choice I made.  This will more then likely lead to the game being able to be played multiple times through, as your choices do seem to have consequences.

Now to combat.  It uses a grid based system where enemies and allies take turns.  It always goes ally, enemy, even if there are more allies then enemies, or vice a versa.  Every character can move, rest, use a special ability, or attack if something is in range.  When attacking, you can choose to damage armor, or strength.  Armor will help shield you from damage, while strength is not only your health, but how much damage you do with hits.  So by lowering an enemies strength, you not only kill them quicker, but reduce their combat effectiveness.  Along with this you have a special stat called willpower, which can be used to move further, hit harder. and is also used for your special abilities.  As you kill enemies, you earn renown, which is your currency.  It can be used to buy items, supplies for your caravan, and also to promote your troops.  Once a hero has killed x number of enemies, they can be promoted, which increases their stats and special ability.

So with the time I've put in so far, I'm definitely interested in continuing to play this game.  The story so far has me intrigued, combat is nice, and the music is excellent.  I'd recommend picking up this game if your a fan of BioWare games at all.

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