Check out my review of the game here: The Banner Saga review
On paper, The Banner Saga sounds great. After actually finishing the game, however, I can’t help but feel that it was a colossal failure, squandering its potential and mixing together a bunch of elements that never really manage to coexist in peace. This is supposed to be a game that marries tactical, turn-based combat like you’d find in an XCOM or Fire Emblem game with a kind of Oregon Trail, choose-your-own-adventure style of gameplay outside of combat (much like Tales of Illyria). Instead, it’s full of watered-down combat and arbitrary decisions that you never really feel the true brunt of because of the game’s muddied story and worthless characters. Hell, half the time I couldn’t even tell who was dying because of my decisions, and by the end of the game, I still wasn’t sure who half of the characters were or where I had picked them up.
This is a niche game, so it’s a given that not everyone will like it, but turn-based strategy chock full of difficult decisions that kill off characters is totally a niche that I’m a part of—Fire Emblem is my favorite series ever, XCOM’s combat is (mostly) great, and I even found the turn-based portions of Divinity: Dragon Commander incredibly enjoyable. The Banner Saga is not a good game, and everything that it attempts has been done far better by other games.