I pre-ordered The Banner Saga 2 as soon as I had the chance. The first game caught my attention due to it’s beautiful 2-D animation art style, reminiscent of old animated films from the 70’s and 80’s. Learning that it was a tactical RPG was all I needed to hear, and finding that I enjoyed both the combat and the story was even better. I loved it, but only managed one playthrough of the game. Sadly, I lost my save file so I was unable to import that into my playthrough of The Banner Saga 2. I might have to go back and play through them both again at some point, as the sequel is a direction continuation of the first game, so it is less of a sequel and more of a second episode — despite the title never being labelled as “episodic.”
The game went live this past Tuesday, and I dove right in. I’m only three hours into the game at this point, but I can already tell you it’s fantastic. If you enjoyed the first game, you will enjoy this one all the same. It feels like some of the kinks from the first game have been ironed out, and some additional depth has been added. For instance, it seems like you earn Renown more readily, which can be used to promote your heroes and buy items/supplies. It also feels like the random encounters are almost always bad, but you’ll still make it to your next destination with supplies to spare. Either that or things that I learned during the first game are just coming back to me, and I’m playing a safe style? I’m not sure but it seems more balanced this time around. The combat also feels more varied and diverse. There are additional races and combat abilities this time around. For the most part though, if you liked the first title, you will enjoy this one as well. I wanted to save some of the screenshots for posterity, so I’m going to add them to the bottom of this post. Be warned, there might be some mild spoilers but I don’t think anything game-breaking.
I saved a couple bucks by pre-ordering, but you can still pick the game up for only $20 on Steam. It’s very much worth your time. The first game took me 8 hours to beat, and it’s likely this one will be a similar length, so it’s also one of those games you can beat in a weekend and still feel like you got your money’s worth. That’s my two cents at least.