If you just want to know what I think, I’ll put it up front right here. Because I’ve got a lot to write about afterwards and I won’t force you to wait for the end result. Like Stoic would have. Zing!
Game Grade: A– In spite of its brevity, and some mechanical shortcomings, the work that went into The Banner Saga still shines through. A laudable addition to the increasingly neglected Strategy Role Playing Game Genre, and a promising first installment to a hopefully increasingly successful trilogy.
Kickstarter Execution Grade: B– Stoic Studio made lofty promises with an ambitious delivery date. They delivered late but still delivered a good product. Communication horrendous at the finish line making all of their other efforts colored with a heavy splash of backer irritation. A simple update about the DRM-Free version would jack this up to a B+ easily.
On January 12, 2014, roughly a year and two months after the estimated release date according to their Kickstarter, Stoic Studio finally released the critically acclaimed The Banner Saga.
After trying to wait for the DRM free version for a while (more on this later) I finally caved and downloaded it through Steam. [Note, I have no real issues with Steam aside from technical network reasons that I won’t go through now, except for to say that a DRM free download would have been much more preferable for me.
Timing issues aside, The Banner Saga (hereafter referred to as TBS) has delivered a truly great addition to the world of strategy role playing games, one of my favorite and most neglected genres, not in small part because it’s a great game genre where you can eat a sandwich in one hand and play the game with the other.
Now for the review proper. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible.