TOKYO: “The Banner Saga” is the first-born son of Stoic Studio, an independent game development company created by three former BioWare employees who had worked on “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”
The trio followed the increasingly common trend of abandoning steady work at a large studio to start their own company, and they raised nearly $750,000 in a crowd-funding campaign to get them on their way.
Its four main strengths: a dazzling art style rooted in a familiar place, a harsh storyline fit for times of war, the resurrection of “Final Fantasy Tactics” combat and the best musical score in video game history.
The imaginative and brutal storyline of “The Banner Saga” also drew fans in. Players are cast into a harsh political climate similar to that found in “Game of Thrones.” Multiple factions of humans and Stoic’s own Norse-like giants, the Varl, squabble among themselves while a supernatural army builds the strength to wipe out civilization.
Players control several caravans travelling throughout the world to amass allies, warn the populace and battle Dredge, the dark, ghost-like enemies in “The Banner Saga.” Most of the decisions players make on behalf of their roving bands affect whether your soldiers, townspeople and leaders live or die.
Players select a handful of skilled soldiers to send to a checkerboard battlefield to battle the best of what enemy armies have to offer. Each soldier has a unique set of skills and can be further customized to suit whatever goals they may have for the man or woman.
The storyline, combat, art and music of “The Banner Saga” are symbiotic one could not live without the other. This creates a sensory experience that delivers the total package