The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga's strong mechanics are enhanced by a compelling storyline and characters as colourful as its visual palette.

Key events

The Banner Saga 2 console versions to launch one month ahead of schedule

Viking strategy sequel The Banner Saga 2 wasn't going to launch on consoles until 26th July, but porting team Shiny Shoe was remarkably ahead of schedule so we're now getting it in the next few days.

The Xbox One version will arrive as early as this Friday, where it will be free for Xbox Live Gold members. The PS4 port will follow on Monday, 5th July.

Players will be able to import their save data from the first Banner Saga into this sequel.

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The Banner Saga 2 launch detailed

The Banner Saga 2 launch detailed

UPDATE: PS4 and Xbox One editions dated.

UPDATE 12/5/16: The Banner Saga 2 will launch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Tuesday 26th July, developer Stoic has said.

The Viking strategy sequel will arrive for consoles just a month after it hit PC and Mac - a vast improvement on the console launch time of the original.

"We are happy that we were able to create a development schedule where the console version of Banner Saga 2 could come out shortly after the PC version," Stoic technical director John Watson - no relation to Sherlock Holmes - said.

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The Banner Saga console review

I'm not sure why it's taken two years since The Banner Saga's debut on computers for this handsome, world-weary tactical role-player to arrive on consoles [edit: Bertie points out to me that it's because the developer's original partner for the port folded]. But if, like me, you've let it pass you by, its appearance on Xbox One and PS4 this week presents a welcome excuse to catch up before a second instalment is released later this year.

The Banner Saga

Developer: Stoic

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The Banner Saga gets PS4 and Xbox One release date

The Banner Saga gets PS4 and Xbox One release date

UPDATE: Vita version back in business.

UPDATE 23/12/2015 8.32pm: Good news, everyone! The Banner Saga will be coming to Vita after all.

Developer Gio Corsi confirmed on Twitter that the game's publisher, Versus Evil, has decided to fund the Vita version's development.

The Vita version was previously "put on the back burner" after a third-party porting company folded, leaving developer Stoic under budget and needing to focus on the PS4 and Xbox One ports. The developer has promised more news about the Vita version in 2016.

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Banner Saga launches on iOS today at 7

Lovely jubbly crowd-funded Viking game The Banner Saga launches today on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It's 6.99.

Banner Saga mashes a few styles of game together with striking animation. It's a strategical, turn-based and grid-based game of combat; it's a Choose Your Own Adventure in between; and it's glued together by companions and dialogue and RPG bits and bobs.

The idea is to guide two caravans of Vikings, each at different ends of the map, to the same conclusion, meeting new characters and making difficult decisions along the way.

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King vs The Banner Saga

Inside the David vs Goliath trademark battle that fuelled an indie hit.

On 22nd January 2014, The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studios released a statement about its trademark dispute with mobile game specialist King.com over the word "Saga".

Work on The Banner Saga 2 will commence

"We'll be able to keep working for a long time to come."

The Banner Saga seems to have been both a critical and, crucially, a commercial success. Developer Stoic announced to followers on Facebook last night that work on a second instalment in the planned trilogy will commence.

"We should never have published Pac-Avoid," King admits

Clone dev still calls Candy Crush publisher "deceitful and hypocritical."

Following accusations of knowingly cloning the game Scamperghost, King CEO Riccardo Zacconi has issued an open letter to the community addressing the issue of the publisher cloning games, as well as being a trademark troll.

The Banner Saga review

RecommendedThe Banner Saga review

Trooping the colour.

The Banner Saga is a tactical RPG that's been pushing its way into my thoughts even when I'm occupied with other things. Its epic tale tells of a sun that no longer sets, the death of the old gods and a land on the brink of war - but it is the more mundane burdens of leadership that weigh most heavily on my mind.

I'm haunted by the disheartening discovery of spoiled supplies that dented the morale of a beleaguered caravan, and the foolish gambit that saw a decorated warrior lost to the ignominy of freak accident. The crushing guilt of losing people to starvation because I purchased a trinket to protect a favoured archer in battle, rather than ensure a surplus of supplies for the journey ahead, acts as its own damning indictment of my leadership. You too may come to rue these misfortunes or, by exercising better judgement than I, you might avoid them entirely.

The Banner Saga is a game of choice, and the fact that I can outline my mishaps here without fear of spoiling your own sense of discovery is testament to the myriad scenarios it presents, and the permutations of outcomes that can play out. It's a game in which a character can survive the 20-plus hours to the adventure's end or die minutes after they're introduced, and where well-meaning attempts to save an imperilled few can call down greater suffering on the heads of many.

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Independent Games Festival 2014 finalists announced

Independent Games Festival 2014 finalists announced

Led by Device 6, Dominique Pamplemousse and Papers, Please.

They're not the only indie games you should care about but they're some of the best: finalists for this year's Independent Games Festival - the Oscars of the indie world - have been announced.

The main event, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, will be contested by The Stanley Parable (Galactic Cafe); Papers, Please (Lucas Pope); Don't Starve (Klei); Device 6 (Simogo); Jazzpunk (Necrophone); and Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!" (Deirdra Kiai Productions).

The Stanley Parable and Papers, Please finished as two of Eurogamer's Games of 2013.

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FeatureThe Banner Saga: Much more than you're expecting

And only the first of three beautiful storied adventures.

So much has changed. For six years they were ants in a colony - three people amongst the hundreds building Star Wars: The Old Republic at BioWare Austin. Then, two years ago, they broke away and followed a dream - an idea for a game that had been buzzing around their heads since childhood. They swapped the security of a corporation for a shed-of-an-office behind a bar and laid down a plan: six months, tiny budget, game. Any more and they'd have to dip into their respective family's savings. This way, if things didn't work out, they could just about shrug it off and get a job again.

The Banner Saga: Factions is out of beta

The Banner Saga: Factions is out of beta

Available now for Kickstarter backers and next week for everyone else.

The Banner Saga: Factions, a free-to-play turn-based strategy game that serves as an intro to Stoic's upcoming cartoony viking epic, The Banner Saga, is now out of beta and will officially launch to the public on 25th February.

In the meantime, it will be available a week early for those who donated to the former BioWare devs' wildly successful Kickstarter. Backers also receive a special green jade stone on their combat emblem.

Since the game is officially out of beta, all characters, stats and rankings have been wiped, but this means it's a good time for newcomers to join in. "If you've been waiting for beta to end before trying the game, this is your week," said Stoic community manager Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg on the developer's forum.

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