You wake up on the battlefield and once again you have survived something dreadful, Ragnarok as you know it is coming to the world and you are struggling to survive in the only way you know how. Your clansmen and you head for the farthest settlements to escape the coming calamity, however, when you arrive at your destination you are fighting people you didn’t think you would, your own humankind. What will you do as this saga comes to an end? This is our review of The Banner Saga 3.
The epic conclusion to the game saga that we have become enthralled in over the past few reviews, from Stoic Games the Viking Epic comes to a fitting end. Once again you start shortly after the last chapter of the game ends in Banner Saga 2, and if you have a saved game you will start from wherever the previous save file was. If you have never played Banner Saga 1 or 2, or you have but on a different system, don’t be afraid because the game allows you to make choices at the beginning of the game, specifically which of the two main characters you will pick from your previous gameplay.
Like its predecessors, Banner Saga 3 is a tactical strategy game that forces you to make the hard choices. Whether you are picking story options which will direct the game forward, or if you are fighting the Dredge or other Humans you will need all of your wits about you. The city of Arberrang is in a state of panic as the end of the world approaches, and if you can’t keep it together then there may not be any civilization left to save. The decisions you make will ultimately lead you in the direction you want to go or the direction that you didn’t want to go but had to. The loss, the pain, the events from the previous games still weigh heavy on your mind as you try to push forward to finish the stories started in this world.
The beautiful hand painted and drawn graphic style, previously established in Banner Saga 1 and 2, continue to show the amazing skill of Stoics’ storytelling skills. The cinematics, the fight scenes, or the movement through the cities and other areas, show exactly why we have a huge connection to this world. It immerses you into the story so greatly that you feel like it is your world, and how else would you want to play a game? Personally, the more immersed in the game due to the story or the graphical world I am, the more fun I have playing the game. Stoic Games continues to bring it when it comes to this part of the game. The feeling of loss that this game will make you feel is fully intensified by the story and cinematics that come with each new part of your story.
Like the other installments, the battles that take place in this game are all based on a tactical board game type situation. You place each of your characters onto the board before the battles start, and you move the characters around the board to attack the opposing forces. There are some pretty tough battles here, and I found it difficult to go through a battle without losing someone to the enemy forces. The good thing, however, is that your forces are wounded when the battle ends and you can give them time to recover and come back into the fight. Some battles do let you continue with more and more waves to try and earn yourself more lucrative rewards to continue on your story, and this does make for even more difficult fights in some places. Be prepared for the eventuality that some of your people are going to get wounded. Even though these battles are the same as you’ve done constantly for the last two games, they offer a little variation with new locales to fight in. Where one thing is new, there is another that is the same though.
If you liked the first two games then you will like this last chapter in the Banner Saga story. Prepare yourself for a thrilling final chapter as you set off one last time. I will save you the details on the story finale because I don’t want to ruin it for you. Just remember that it’s only a game.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by PR.