Platforms PC, PS4, XBO, Droid, iOS
Developer Stoic
Publisher Versus Evil
Release Date April 19, 2016

The apocalypse is fertile ground for video game stories. Where most games task you with stopping it, or let you inhabit a post-apocalyptic world, The Banner Saga 2 simply tasks you with surviving it. As the world is crumbling around them, you must take control of a pair of protagonists and try to guide your people to relative safety in this Viking-themed fantasy world.

The Banner Saga 2 features a breathtaking narrative, packed to bursting with interesting characters and is one of the few examples of a video game where the choices it presents you can have big impacts on the story. Even the choice of protagonist gives you two entirely different character arcs, colouring the entire narrative in a different light depending on who leads the clan at the heart of The Banner Saga.

As well as the excellent story, The Banner Saga 2 also comes with some great combat mechanics. It’s a turn-based, strategy RPG that shakes up the traditional gameplay style you might otherwise expect from a game of its genre. Ideas such as turn order always switching between player and enemy and the arena design that places various obstacles for you to circumnavigate all help The Banner Saga 2 feel fresh.

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It’s the way that The Banner Saga 2 treats health and strength that truly makes for some deep, tactical gameplay. Giving characters both a strength and armour stat and forcing you to choose between depleting armour and being able to deal more damage later, or dealing a reduced amount of actual damage, make for some epic confrontations that hinge on clever decision making.

Doubling the strength stat as a characters HP, creating a system where the more damage a character takes the less damage they’ll do, borders on genius. It’s an endlessly rewarding system of mechanics that creates an addictive gameplay loop, but one that is high risk, creating dynamic battles that create as many epic story moments as the brilliantly written narrative.

Check out Gary’s review of The Banner Saga 2 here (Words About Games was provided the game for review purposes)

The List So Far:

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16) The Banner Saga 2
17) Planet Coaster
18) Gears of War 4
19) Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
20) Batman: The Telltale Series

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