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The Banner Saga 2 Review - The Nordic journey is ongoing and will not end there

Thursday, Aug 10, 2017 | Post by Wiktorija | 0 comment(s)

The greatness of the first part of The Banner Saga - the original gameplay in the Nordic storyline - has fueled the fans' hopes for an equally successful continuation. All indications are that the latest production of Stoic Games will meet these great expectations.

The Banner Saga 2

The Banner Saga is a brave mix of text and drawing RPG and turn-based strategy, embedded in the mythology of the peoples of the North. The first edition of the series won the hearts of players thanks to phenomenal climate, interesting plot, perfect graphics, and above all - a strong breeze of freshness. By creating a sequel, the authors have evidently assumed that what is good is not worth changing. So they left most of the "patents" in use, concentrating rather on the development of history and the design of subsequent locations in this undoubtedly intriguing universe. Has the chosen direction actually turned out to be right?

The Banner Saga 2 begins just after the big battle in Boersgard, so exactly where the first part of the series ended. As the strange and disturbing events do not stop, they just get stronger, pushing the world into ever greater chaos, again forced to gather their clan druids and set off on a journey. History, as in the first part, is divided into chapters, in which we follow the related fate of two caravans. With the option of importing the game record, the choices we made in the previous cycle of the game are reflected in future events and team composition.

I have to admit that even with the standards of fantasy the story in The Banner Saga 2 is tightly twisted. It is surprising that the story, so boldly galloping in the fields of abstraction, managed to perfectly fit and retain its mature character. The authors of the story have definitely developed wings. The caravan trail is not only covered by snowy peaks, but also more diverse places such as vast steppes, magical forest or underground tunnels. During the journey we encounter mysterious creatures, heroes have strange dreams, and the world around us is really peculiar things. Along with the dense atmosphere of the threat, new secrets are emerging, and threads that seem already closed come back even more complicating the situation. History is fast, climatic, decadent and much better than the first part of The Banner Saga. Unfortunately, the lack of space leaves the very end of the game. The final battle is absurd, because its outcome has no effect on how the game ends. The epilogue, on the other hand, raises more questions than answers, evidently to make us taste the promised third part. I do not know how many players will catch it, but one thing I'm sure: I grabbed the catch.

The graphics in the first part of the saga made a great impression, in the "two", and it blossoms with its perfection. After seeing all the landscapes and backgrounds in the game, I do not have the slightest doubt that the visual studio guests of Stoic Games could draw city screens to the Heroes of Might and Magic and they would have done better than anyone before. The Banner Saga 2 is a great proof that even with the simple form of cartoon-style graphics, you can create a more enjoyable atmosphere than using sophisticated effects.

For such a good result, there are many elements. First of all, the creators managed to perfectly combine the colors together. Not afraid of the experiments, they kept at the same time a great color interplay within the palettes used. The boards designs are ingenious and crafted with great craftsmanship. Incorrectly placed minimalist objects, such as trees and shrubs, fit perfectly into the classic look of the rest.

Completely completed with a great taste finish. Blurry image filters and falling snow create the impression of several plans, adding locations of impressive depth. It is a pity that such special boards appear so rare, depicting the heroes in various dynamic situations. Those that are, they look great, and more could replace some of the storyline dry talk and static conversations in the presentation. It is also worth mentioning the extremely atmospheric music, which was perfectly matched to the individual moments of the game.

The mechanisms of the game in The Banner Saga 2 do not match, unfortunately, the facial and aesthetic aspects. The weakest link in production is still caravan management. This system is not quite logical and offers too little time to spend with him. On the first part of the game, fans complained about the lack of any influence on the status and number of members of the clan for the development of events. Unfortunately, it is also in the "two". The loss of many subordinates, whether due to a rash decision or their starvation, is not a problem from the gameplay point of view. What's more, paradoxically, it simplifies the issue by letting the celebrities point to the development of heroes rather than buying food.

The unforeseen events that occur during the wanderings are also unsuitable. Although they are quite ingenious descriptions, unfortunately - as one-off situations do not become any beginning of new side tasks that could break the linearity of the game. In addition, the decisions we make in connection with them usually lead to only three possibilities: gaining / losing stocks, recruiting / losing caravan members, and minor clashes. As a result, continuous downtime to read further insignificant information starts to get a little irritated.

The turn-based battle system, played on separate boards, is quite different. In spite of the simple rules governing the fight, a great diversity of opponents, heroes and their abilities creates many interesting tactical situations and makes this aspect of the game a powerful production site. Unfortunately, like the other elements of The Banner Saga 2, this one is weakly linked to the whole and even a series of failures does not generate major problems in the main gameplay. On this occasion, another weakness of production is emerging, which are unfortunately balanced levels of difficulty. Most of the battles at normal level seem to be so easy that we are dealing with them without using sophisticated strategies. The difficult level may turn out to be too much for many, and that is a nuisance because of the difficulty in the poor caravan management system. Disappointing is also the final battle, which has nothing to do with the clash we have played so far, more like playing with a cat and mouse than real fight.

I have never been a supporter of giving special discounted turkeys, just because they are so unusual and cool in them. In spite of this, The Banner Saga 2 has so much freshness and climate, and all this is fueling an interesting story that even some of the unprocessed parts of the game have not ruined my very positive experience. I hope that while preparing the next part, Stoic Games will focus not only on its fictional and artistic qualities, but it will improve this and the mechanics of the gameplay. In the end, the grace of the horse riding players!

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