REVIEW / The Banner Saga Complete Pack (PS4)

 

A refreshing of family and loss set in a beautiful, brutal world, The Banner Saga brings a new tactical turn-based game with great replay value to a console near you; the recently released Complete Pack includes the first and second installment in Versus Evil’s epic role-playing Viking saga for PS4. These games strive to tell a story in a unique way that hasn’t been seen in many turn-based games: decision making with an unclear aftermath.

 

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You spend a good bit of your time spectating, but your aesthetically pleasing journey is interrupted frequently with decision making moments. You will find yourself relying on instinct or just pure luck, and often time the decision that you thought was “right” doesn’t always give you the expected – or wanted – outcome.  This will keep you guessing and will give you more of a reason to stick around for this journey, rather than just for the beautiful hand drawn art and music.

 

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The choices you make and the consequences they have is what gives  The Banner Saga Complete Pack the replay value that has become a very important part of modern day video games.  With a price point for a new game firmly stuck at $60, we want to get our money worth out of the games we are buying, so one of the most important factors is replay value.  This game’s ability to keep you interested in the plot, and the variety of choices you will make as it unfolds, makes it worth playing through again. While some of the consequences seem a bit far fetched and can lead to some inconsistencies in the way you want to make decisions, the reward of the unknown is enough to make you fire this game up well after you have completed it.

 

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The combat is fluent and has some decision making of its own. If you’re familiar with playing turn based strategy games, you will immediately be familiar with the core gameplay.  You must choose who to take into battle with you before the combat begins.  Some characters are good in certain situations where others are not.  You can also make the decision of resting before the journey even begins, while this can be beneficial in some cases, it also takes a day’s worth of resources and if you don’t have enough to go around this can be problematic.

 

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This aesthetically pleasing, character driven journey does a great job at keeping you interested but also can fall victim to its own intentions.  While the consequences from your choices are fun, sometimes they reach a bit to keep you guessing and this can lead to frustration.  If you were trying to make a good morality choice to see a good outcome but you don’t, or you wanted to make a choice to cause some conflict and it doesn’t, this can also lead to disappointment.  Minus the web that the The Banner Saga Complete Pack gets itself entangled with storywise, the game does a great job of keeping the player engrossed and guessing to the point where replay value is high.

 

 

 

This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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