I’ve been waiting for the second installment of Stoic‘s The Banner Saga for ages, and it’s finally on its way, set to release this winter. The second chapter of the game will pick up from where the first one left off. Any characters you lost in that game will not be with you in this one.
The first Banner Saga, a turn-based strategy roleplaying game, tells the story of several different individuals as they make their way across a cold northern landscape on the run from the invading Dredge. The Dredge are sort of undead, sort of not, and nobody really knows who they are or what they’re doing there, except that they’re willing to destroy anything in their path. The setting is firmly fantasy, but with powerful visuals that evoke Scandinavia and Vikings.
The new game has a lot going for it in terms of updates. The combat boards and special effects have been completely redesigned, and it looks super cool. You’ll fight not only the Dredge, but also wild animals of various kinds. The objective of each battle won’t simply be to wipe out your enemy. It might be to take out only the leaders, or gain a foothold in a certain area. Animations are improved, so when your characters are speaking with one another their facial expressions will be more reactive. There’s a new race of characters called the Horseborn, who are basically centaurs, and the choices you make in the game will determine whether they’ll be your allies or your enemies. Finally, the clans that you’re responsible for aren’t just there to drag you down. They’ll actively forage for food and supplies while you’re stopped, making them a valuable asset.
Austin Wintory is still doing music for the game, which is bound to bring back all the emotions we left with the first chapter. The Banner Saga 2 is coming out this winter and it’ll be available on Android, iPad, and iPhone.