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The Banner Saga 2

3 months ago

Feature: Gonna take my norse to the old town road

Have You Played… The Banner Saga?

An idea I’m happy to see the back of, is the notion that “graphics” is a one-way sliding scale towards photorealistic perfection. While I’m certainly fond of games that exhibit hyperbudget beauty along the lines of Metro: Exodus or Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I’m equally - probably more - excited by those who eschew realism in order to utterly master a particular aesthetic. Often,…

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8 months ago

Feature: Make flags, not war

Overthinking Games: The Banner Saga’s banner represents unity rather than division

Banners, then and now, are often a curious amalgamation of plain communication and naked aggression. They’re well-known as heraldic devices, displaying a coat of arms to identify one side to the other on the battlefield, usually just before they were about to attack each other. However, they’re also just a means of communicating who or what a place or thing belongs to. If you’re shipwrecked,…

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1 year ago

Feature: Death becomes us

The Joy Of meaningful death in The Banner Saga

From the outset, everything in The Banner Saga seems designed to encourage you to be careful. As you lead your caravan towards safety, you try to keep people alive by rationing food, managing the number of your followers and weighing the dangers of the unknown. Anyone who has ever given a soldier in XCOM a custom name knows that it takes very little to get…

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Feature: Norse of a different colour

The allure of Viking fantasies, and the games that cherry-pick them

The Vikings have long ago invaded the coasts of pop culture on their dragon-headed longships and carved out their own Danelaw in the realm of video games. In recent years, they’ve grown even bolder, taking over most genres from RTS to RPG, classic point and click adventure to action, with an utter disregard towards distinctions between AAA and indie. They’ve settled in Hellblade and Frostrune,…

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Feature: I'm going to need a Saga holiday after this

The Banner Saga 3 review

After waiting two long years for the final instalment of Stoic's fantastical strategy trilogy, The Banner Saga 3 begins in the best possible way. It picks up where the second The Banner Saga 2 left off, and one of the first things you get to do is punch your scheming arch nemesis - who probably made your last moments of that second game a right…

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Feature: Hit Parade

The 50 best strategy games on PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now freshened up to include our favourites from 2017 and 2018. From intricate, global-scale wargames to the tight thrills of guerrilla squads, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we've gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free…

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2 years ago

Feature: The end of the trilogy

The Banner Saga 3 will be a final foray into darkness

The bearded warrior looks exhausted. Part of a band of mercenaries, he blinks slowly at us. Even while the player chooses their next words, the crease-eyed humans and horned Varls of The Banner Saga 3 stand there, blinking slowly. Their hair fluttering, eyes searching you for intent. These are quiet moments of incidental detail. Twitching moustaches, billowing capes, tensing fists. They are looping animations, designed…

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Get up to 3 free games when you spend £12 / $15 in GOG’s Weekly Sale

This week, GOG is offering up a trio of free games when you spend $5, $10, and $15 in its Weekly Sale range. You'll get to pick which game you want when you hit each tier and the codes will be sent out via email next week. The games up for free are Kyn, Tropico Reloaded and Breach & Clear: Deadline Rebirth, and the Weekly…

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3 years ago

The Banner Saga 3 now fluttering on Kickstarter

The tale of the little flag that could will continue in The Banner Saga 3 [official site], if a Kickstarter goes well. Yup, developers Stoic have turned back to crowdfunding to conclude their strategy RPG series. We waved the safety flag for the first Banner Saga, digging its look and style but not so much the combat, then waved the chequered flag for its follow-up,…

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Thrill Of The Fight: The Banner Saga 2 Survival Mode Out

If you've been waiting Ever Since The World Began, you Can't Hold Back, you're suffering Desperate Dreams, your Eye of the Tiger scans the horizon for signs of Broken Promises, then good news: The Search Is Over, and Here Comes Desire. Today The Banner Saga 2 [official site] receives its promised Survivor mode in a free update. Survivor mode is a permadeath challenge with rounds…

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4 years ago

Feature: A strong second act

The Banner Saga 2 review

Despite its flaws, The Banner Saga [official site] is one of the most memorable indie releases of 2014, and now the second act is here to push the story to even more desperate frontiers. But does The Banner Saga 2 improve upon its predecessor's lackluster strategy combat while still expanding on its promising story? Here's wot I think. (Note: there are spoilers for the first…

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Death, Despair And Lovely Cutscenes: The Banner Saga 2

I've spent so long frolicking in the intangible tangerine skies of VR-land lately that it's genuinely bewildering to look at a traditional game again. It's so... flat. So... image-y. And also so sharp and fluid and won't make my eyeballs pulsate and flail as if dancing helplessly to some unseen disco beat from hell. Confusing matters worse is that gorgeous strategy/roleplaying/survival opus The Banner Saga…

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Feature: Tweaking the trilogy

The Banner Saga 2: On Combat And Continuity

I arrived a few minutes early for a Banner Saga 2 [official site] interview with Stoic's artist Arnie Jorgensen and writer Drew McGee at E3 so I set my bags down and walked over to a vacant demo computer. The game is the second of Stoic's planned trilogy and I've only played half of the first Banner Saga so I was a little cautious –…

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5 years ago

Marching On: The Banner Saga 2

The Banner Saga arrived at the great RPS mead hall to a somewhat mixed reception. We appreciated the manner in which the beleaguered band of luminaries presented themselves but couldn't help but yawn long before they'd finished telling us of the events that had brought them to our table. Whatever its flaws may be, The Banner Saga told an unusually bleak and believable tale of…

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