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The Banner Saga 2

Mac Video Games Windows
8.2

Great

Game Reviews from around the web

95

The epic story of the banner comes again to touch our sensitive inner self. The second chapter of the saga is full of pain, grief, anxiety, courage and heroism. Lets sit by the fire and sing again songs about heroic deeds, forgotten gods and the loved ones who were lost along the way. The Banner Saga 2 is all about feelings.

95

The Banner Saga 2 continues the fantastic story or Rook, Hakon, Alette and Bolverk, with dynamic combat and the Horseborn keeping the battle boards fresh and unique with every fight.

90

Although the story is a definite middle section, the strategy and stakes of Banner Saga 2 are greatly improved. [Issue#251, p.64]

PC PowerPlay

90

Combine the combat enmeshed with the story and the sense of place – this world feels like it exists in a history book somewhere – and Banner Saga 2 deftly carries on the sigil of the first title.

90

A beautiful game that rewards those who lose themselves in the story and the world that Stoic Studio has weaved.

90

The Banner Saga 2 is a slight improvement on an already excellent game and the wait for the third game in the series is going to be even more painful than it was for the second.

90

Superb writing and a unique combat system combine to make The Banner Saga 2 something quite special, in the same way it did back in 2014. The larger variety and frequent introduction of enemy types stops The Banner Saga 2 from becoming dull and repetitive. The Banner Saga is fast becoming one of the best series in modern games, with some of the strongest characterisation and world-building in years.

90

A firm early nominee for story-based end-of-the-year awards, The Banner Saga 2 is an absolute must play for anyone with even a passing interest in high fantasy or strategy games.

90

Playing The Banner Saga 2 gives me the same feeling as when I’m reading a really good fantasy book. It makes me believe in the world and the characters that live there. The Banner Saga 2 does everything the first game did, but better.

90

Building upon the intriguing approach to the strategy genre laid out by the first game, The Banner Saga 2 broadens its horizons all while upping the ante in the process.

90

If you loved The Banner Saga there is no reason for you to miss The Banner Saga 2. It may not bring anything particular new to the gameplay, but it’s still a great game with a compelling mix of narrative, strategy and visuals.

90

While many reviewers will point to The Banner Saga 2’s breathtaking art, or mention the sophisticated elevation of a turn-based strategy/RPG, the game’s largest success is that it makes you feel like a true leader.

90

The Banner Saga 2 is fantastic. Yes, it has flaws, and yes, it’s not for everyone, especially if you aren’t a fan of reading walls of text. But for strategy fans and especially fans of games with narrative, this will be one of this year’s shining releases.

90

The Banner Saga 2 is a very solid sequel, improving both on the story and the gameplay mechanics of the first title in the series, with the only major downside being the fact that newcomers will have to play or read about the first title to have a clear idea about the narrative and the choices that they will have to make.

90

The Banner Saga 2 is on par with its predecessor. This means it’s a stunningly beautiful and uber entertaining RPG/adventure experience. Artistic values are through the roof, likewise the game mechanics that are perfectly crafted to offer interesting choices and great tactical entertainment.

90

The Banner Saga 2 surpass the first chapter, thanks to a more enticing narration and some important tweaks to the combat system. Stoic’s masterpiece is one of the best strategy games we played in years, with an unique and charming style.

90

The two year plus wait for The Banner Saga 2 was well worth it. Stoic has managed to improve on its formula, adding new wrinkles to the admittedly limited gameplay and telling an even more absorbing story in the process. The saga is better than ever and I’m very excited for the next installment.

89

The Banner Saga 2 is as beautiful and tactical as the first, but with greater variety in combat and story.

88

Part two of this epic fantasy trilogy shares a lot of DNA with its predecessor, but improves upon combat variety and caravan management. The result is a more well-rounded experience in between the terrific plot twists, which are sure to take your breath away again.

87

Banner Saga 2 surpasses the predecessor and continues the touching saga. An atmospheric masterpiece.

86

A handsome and brutal strategy sequel that benefits from a range of intelligent improvements.

85

It is a joy and a treat to spend time with a world so different, so unique and intriguing. Even if it is a dying and depressing one.

85

Like the first one, just a bit better: more units, more enemies, new tactical situations. Choices and consequences are soul-crushing as ever, but it’s all part of the fun.

85

Expands and enhances the concept of its predecessor in every respect. A larger world, a deeper and more accessible combat system and the use of different points of view makes it one of the most engaging human fantasy strategy games ever.

85

The Banner Saga 2 carries the banner onward for the series, and while it’s made a few steps forward in creating more interesting tactical decisions and has added some more options for customization, it seems to have taken a step back in terms of making your journey across the world memorable.

85

Banner Saga 2 may be just the next part of Stoic’s ongoing tale but basically everything has been improved.

83

The Banner Saga 2 could be one of the most beautiful games ever made. It is a modern day King of Dragon Pass. [June/July 2016]

Pelit (Finland)

83

The slick design and solid gameplay really makes the game enjoyable both as a lovely 2D adventure and a turn-based strategy.

80

The Banner Saga 2 fuels momentum towards the next chapter with rich new territories and captivating mysteries. Gameplay is less frustrating without losing its sense of challenge, pushing you and your people on through tough scenarios at the height of desperation.

80

Accepting the inevitability of bad things happening helps prevent this from descending into suffocating bleakness. [July 2016, p.116]

Edge Magazine

80

Builds on an already brilliant indie hit. [Issue#175, p.82]

80

The Banner Saga 2 is like moving through a still-life painting of swords and spears and ice and hunger. A few thoughtful gameplay tweaks make things a little bit better for players, and a whole lot worse for characters.

80

The Banner Saga 2 is a must-have for fans of Stoic’s acclaimed original RPG, continuing the series with an equally strong narrative, beautiful visuals, and addictive combat.

80

The Banner Saga 2 is a story about being forced to quickly mature, about trying to find a reason to live after you’ve lost everyone you used to live for, about betrayal and price of love. A story that ends all too abruptly, with no satisfactory conclusion. But Stoic will finish it; we’ll just have to hold on for now. [Issue#209, p.60]

Game World Navigator Magazine

80

The Banner Saga hasn’t changed much. The foundations remain the same and the minor improvements mean that this still is a great turn-based strategy RPG, that is lacking more complex battles to be perfect. [Issue#263]

LEVEL (Czech Republic)

80

The formula here is excellent and the inescapable hardships of being a leader making the tough choices gave me a real sense of ownership over the duration of the game. If you enjoy a weighty narrative and a challenging turn-based strategy system, there is no reason not to give this Nordic themed title a chance.

80

Story-wise, the Banner Saga 2 is not a stand-alone installment; it’s just a few chapters of a riveting book that end on a cliffhanger. It is definitely worth buying, but don’t play it just yet, and wait for the final part.

80

The combination of gameplay, character building, strategy, and narrative highlights the power games have in telling stories, and that experience is uniquely Banner Saga — even if I have to wait until the third installment to see if anything pays off.

80

The Banner Saga 2 isn’t mechanically distinct from the first game and its story suffers second act syndrome, but it’s nonetheless a cracking title that will both satisfy and leave players in desperate need of the trilogy’s closing act.

80

The Banner Saga 2 solves many of the most urgent issues from the original, creating a richer and more elaborate combat, not forgetting to add a greater depth to the whole game system.

80

The Banner Saga 2 captures much of what made the first game such a compelling fight for survival. It has a tendency to focus on the bigger picture and with the large number of characters that don’t have much to say, some of the emotional engagement from the original is lost, but both the management side of things and the tactical battles have been lavished with improvements. The journey is bleak and savage, but the game is great.

80

If you enjoy the original game, this sequel is a title you can’t miss. There isn’t much evolution, but it’s beautiful, well-designed adventure, and darker than its predecessor.

80

The Banner Saga 2 is the worthy sequel to one of the most acclaimed titles of 2014. The core of the game remains the same, further improved by a lot of new additions and tweaks to the gameplay. On top of that, the art direction and the soundtrack are simply amazing.

80

If you’re a fan of Fire Emblem, Oregon Trail or any of the Telltale games, then you’ll find something to enjoy with The Banner Saga 2.

80

As its predecessor, The Banner Saga 2 hits the chord with a specific audience that won’t mind the brutal difficulty and random events that can cripple their armies. You might not complete the game in your first sitting, but it will be a journey worth taking.

80

The Banner Saga 2 continues the tradition set forth in the first entry. Expanding on the beautiful art and soundtrack by adding interesting new classes, races, and challenges to the mix. Stoic has done a great job of delivering another game that Banner Saga fans will enjoy, but will also bring new players into the fold. The Banner Saga 2 absolutely deserves the time of gamers looking for a narrative experience with challenging gameplay, and true gravity behind decisions made during nearly every moment of playing.

80

Like the original game, the The Banner Saga 2 leaves you holding your breath, completely invested in the world, its inhabitants, and their struggles, anxiously eager for more.

80

The Banner Saga 2 doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it just makes the wheel bigger and keeps on rolling. Even with minor stumbles in the form of slow combat animation and initially overwhelming combat mechanics, it’s a game that excels at what it aims to accomplish.

78

A strong middle chapter full of engaging strategy. [June 2016, p.76]

Games Master UK

78

The sequel to a great turn-based strategy game that does not disappoint, adding a new plot and brand new combat elements, but it’s too iterative in its gameplay.

75

The Banner Saga 2 offers the same gameplay mechanics as its first installment, but with some remarkable improvements. It is a good game, but it does not achieve the greatness of its predecessor.

72

It’s the decisions that bind the experience; enabling The Banner Saga 2 to transcend its videogame construct. You’re left with an experience that feels not only alive, but alive with the complexities of the real world.

70

I was disappointed to see the return of the old, a bit obscure user interface and the biggest pain in the neck – the inability to attack diagonally in close combat. I was also once more let down by the story which is awkward at times and ends too abruptly. [06/2016, p.52]

CD-Action

70

Spectacular and grandiosely created journey reached its center with several scriptwriter mistakes. When patched it will proceed directly in the gaming Valhalla. However, it is standing outside the gates for now.

70

There’s not much substance here, and certainly not enough for this game to stand on its own as a work of fiction. It’s an episode, presented as not-an-episode. Judged on its own merits—not the plot lines it wraps up from the first game and not those it sets up for the last— The Banner Saga 2 is underwhelming.

70

For every character’s death etched in stone, The Banner Saga 2 informed me how fragile life can be. But on the battlefield or in branching, possibly deadly conversations, I want nothing more than to revisit this role-playing game’s world and tug at the puppet strings again.

70

The Banner Saga 2 picks up right where the first game left off, with powerful storytelling and stunning graphics. Sadly, some changes to the game mechanics have practically eliminated the tension and excitement that made The Banner Saga a truly unforgettable experience.

70

More a new episode than a full-blown sequel, but the clever blend of strategic, tactical, and moral decision-making is as compelling as ever.

70

The Banner Saga 2 reaps all the benefits and foibles of strict continuity. It maintains the outstanding presentation and decision-based narrative highs of the first entry, but minor changes to mechanics are unlikely to sway opinion on the unique, but slightly peculiar, combat system.

70

If you’re looking for an atmospheric, beautifully crafted, nuanced and thoughtful narrative experience, The Banner Saga 2 is a contemporary leader in all of those fields.

Game Reviews from around the web

About the only thing that bummed me out was that, despite the end of TBS1 falling flat, the last battle of TBS2 is somehow even worse, a weird little puzzle of a thing that’s too dependent on luck and scripting.

The Banner Saga 2 is a beautiful sequel. There are moments where, as I watch the drama unfold in the dialogue and cutscenes, I almost forget I’m playing a game that came out in this decade. There’s an evocative sense of timelessness about the story and world that few RPGs create. And now that the combat has become a strength and not a weakness, immersing myself in the richness of The Banner Saga’s dying world is almost as enchanting as cracking open the weathered pages of my favorite fantasy novels.

The Banner Saga 2 still tells a great story, and it’s hard to imagine someone who enjoyed the first installment not feeling impatient for the trilogy’s conclusion after playing the sequel. But like its army of weary travelers, the series would be better served by the solemn pace of the death march rather than a wild scramble to impress its already loyal fanbase.

Summary

The Banner Saga 2 is like moving through a still-life painting of swords and spears and ice and hunger.
8.2

Great

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