The Banner Saga 2
Publisher: Versus Evil
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Role Playing
Release Date: 2016
Banner Saga 2 is a direct sequel to the original Banner Saga game that was developed by Stoic Games and published by Versus Evil. The game was originally expected to be released at some point in 2015 but towards the end of that year, the developer announced the release date had been pushed back into Q1 2016. It’s in development for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The fact that this title is also being made for consoles out of the gate is a change from the approach the developers took with the original Banner Saga. The first game in this franchise was released on PC and then for mobile platforms. It was not released on current generation consoles until early in 2016.
Banner Saga 2 was officially announced during The Video Game Awards in 2014 and was originally said to be coming later in 2015. During the announcement of the game, the development team pointed out how big a deal it was for an independent collaboration between Versus Evil and Stoic to be getting attention at an event that is generally geared towards AAA titles.
On December 7, 2014 the company released a number of new screen shots along with the announcement that game would be coming sometime in 2015. At E3 2015, the game released a new trailer and again the developer said it going to be able to bring the game sometime in 2015, though they still weren’t able to give an exact date for that particular release. In November of 2015 the company officially announced they would not actually be able to bring the game to consoles or the PC in 2015. At the same time the firm announced they were now shooting for a release in the first quarter of 2016. Around the same time, the developers made it clear that production of the game was moving along even if it wasn’t at the pace fans of the game wanted. The team posted on their Facebook page that “Banner Saga 2‘s development is progressing nicely. Customers who have attended Gamescom and PAX have seen its progress. We will update everyone on its launch date when the timing is right.”
The story of Banner Saga 2 picks up where the first Banner Saga left off. The land is said to be a bit darker as the Dredge have become even more of a dangerous force both for the Varl and the humans that are living in this mythical world. Just how the story is supposed to unfold hasn’t been laid out but there is also talk of a third Banner Saga so this will likely feed into that story. Players will again be trying to lead a party of adventurers from one spot to another while fighting off vicious enemies. The Dredge aren’t the only threat players will face though how the new races of heroes and enemies fit into the story has not yet been laid out by the developers.
The basic aspects of Banner Saga 2 gameplay will be similar to what we saw in Banner Saga. This means the basic game play is a mix of turn-based and grid-based combat. On top of that combat style, there is a separate “Choose Your Own Adventure” laid on top. Sometimes the choices are who you want to take into battle and other times it’s about deciding when your party is going to break camp. As in the other game, there are said to be choices based on whether or not you will go into combat or try and go around an area that has seen the Dredge attack or get near.
There are said to be new enemies including support units and four-legged creatures with new abilities that can actually come from off screen in the heat of a battle. This will call for more strategic decisions when it comes to where players move their forces on the battlefield grid. Banner Saga games don’t include a “Fog of War” feature, so players can see exactly where all the enemies are on the board. Having players now come from off the main board is a big change from the previous version of the game. Stoic has said that there is still no permadeath for the characters in Banner Saga 2, so these tactics make the battle harder but will not rob players of the main characters.
Renown is still used for leveling up various characters throughout the game and there are said to be some new skills that can be assigned to various characters. Stoic has said they haven’t talked about this new aspect of leveling up as much as some might have hoped, considering they’re still figuring out exactly how it will work. Managing the caravan traveling the countryside has also changed. Stoic says that clansmen in the caravan are going to have more of a purpose. In the first game, veteran players realized it made more sense to let these clansmen starve to death, rather than have them use up supplies. In this iteration they will do things like spread positive word about you and your caravan ahead of a stop. The clansmen will also hunt to offset the number of supplies they consume. The developers say these NPCs can also be trained into fighters. There is one drawback in doing this because the training will deprive your caravan of supplies faster.
There are a number of characters from the original Banner Saga game that will be featured in Banner Saga 2 but Stoic has not yet said exactly which one of those characters will make an appearance. Rook has been confirmed to be in the game and there are likely other humans and Varls that will make a repeat performance. There are also other races both on the hero and the enemy side though the Dredge and some sort of four legged creatures are the only enemies that have been confirmed.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game