Banner Saga 2 Adds a Free Survival Mode

Banner Saga 2 Adds a Free Survival Mode

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A new survival mode for Banner Saga 2 has released, and it's free to those who own the game.

If you own Banner Saga 2, your game just got a little bit better. Stoic has released a new Survival Mode that adds to their Viking game.

In Survival Mode, you'll be tasked with building a team out of a group of existing heroes, and then taking them into combat. They'll have to survive 40 back-to-back rounds of turn-based combat. If one of your heroes is killed, they're gone for good. That said, every time you win a round, you'll earn an in-game currency called Renown that you can use to add new heroes to your roster. Items will drop during combat as well, and you won't have to worry about matches bogging down thanks to the 30-second timer.

Stoic says they've been working on Survival Mode for a while now. Technical Director John Watson said in a press release, "This is an entirely new experience within Banner Saga 2. Our goal was to create a fun, tactical game mode where fans can play from a different perspective which focuses on strategy and the hard cost of death in combat. We modified how the combat worked from the core game based on feedback from our community and put it through a closed beta to make sure that it was fun."

Banner Saga 2 has been available on PC and Mac since April 19, but if you're an PS4 or Xbox One owner, you'll have to wait until July 26 for the game to release. The good news is that Survival Mode is coming free with every version of the game, no matter when you buy it.

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I keep looking at this in the xbone store and have come close to buying it a few times. This may be the push I needed...

bjj hero:
I keep looking at this in the xbone store and have come close to buying it a few times. This may be the push I needed...

Keep in mind, you'd only be buying the first game right now. And that doesn't have survival mode in it. Sadly, we must wait until the end of July for the console version. I'm killing time by replaying the first game again, trying to get everything set up the way I want it to be.

And on that note, some of those characters in the hero list are dead, or can't be in the party together at this point in the story. So I'm guessing that in survival mode, they're just letting you use everyone who's ever shown up, regardless?

Sniper Team 4:

Keep in mind, you'd only be buying the first game right now. And that doesn't have survival mode in it. Sadly, we must wait until the end of July for the console version. I'm killing time by replaying the first game again, trying to get everything set up the way I want it to be.

And on that note, some of those characters in the hero list are dead, or can't be in the party together at this point in the story. So I'm guessing that in survival mode, they're just letting you use everyone who's ever shown up, regardless?

So you would recommend it?

bjj hero:

Sniper Team 4:

Keep in mind, you'd only be buying the first game right now. And that doesn't have survival mode in it. Sadly, we must wait until the end of July for the console version. I'm killing time by replaying the first game again, trying to get everything set up the way I want it to be.

And on that note, some of those characters in the hero list are dead, or can't be in the party together at this point in the story. So I'm guessing that in survival mode, they're just letting you use everyone who's ever shown up, regardless?

So you would recommend it?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: It depends. The best way to sum up this game is Oregon Trail meets Fire Emblem. The vast majority of the game is spent simply watching your caravan traverse the world as the days go by. Occasionally, random events will happen (some aren't random, most are) and you have to make a choice. The results of your choices are either felt right away, or in a few cases, not until a few chapters later. And we're not talking Mass Effect type choices, where Udina still ends up on the Council regardless. You make a choice that gets a character killed, or causes them to leave, they are gone. No coming back.
Actual gameplay is straight out of Fire Emblem, or other turn based strategy games like Final Fantasy Tactics. Each unit has its pros and cons. Archers can hit from far away, but if the enemy closes, they get slaughtered. Shield carriers have more armor than most, so they can suck up more damage, but they won't hit as hard as your fighters.
Next, the story is pretty interesting, if not making much sense yet. For some reason, the sun has just stopped moving. It hangs in the sky forever now. This is mentioned at the start of the game, so you think it's going to be a big part of the story, but it's barely mentioned after that. This is due to the fact that the story takes a different turn almost immediately because an ancient enemy has returned, so now you have to deal with that. Then, halfway through the game, you find out that even MORE is going on and that the Dredge, the enemy you've been fighting and running from, isn't even the biggest problem. By the end of the first game, you're going to have more questions than answers, but in a good way. Your party has spent so much time clinging to life and just struggling to stay alive that you yourself won't really have time to wonder about the big picture.
Granted, all of these things will most certainly be cleared up by the third game, so don't stress about the mysteries if you want answers.

Final note. The game's art style, to me, is beautiful and is actually what drew me to the game when I first heard about it. The game starts with an amazing cutscene, so I was hoping I'd get more cutscenes throughout, but you don't. Also, the vast majority of the game does not have voice acting. A very few places do, but you will spend most time reading dialogue.

So, if that all sounds like something you'd enjoy, I recommend picking it up. Especially since you won't have to wait months for the sequel, like have been doing.

Sniper Team 4:

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:...

Youve sold me.

I'm astonished by how few people even know the second game came out. The first one's sold a large amount, but the second game has only sold 50,000 on Steam. (source: http://steamspy.com/search.php?s=banner+saga)

Can we get the word out? Banner Saga 2 improved on the first game in essentially every way and I'd be disappointed if the third game has to suffer because of a lack of sales.

Sniper Team 4:

bjj hero:

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: It depends. The best way to sum up this game is Oregon Trail meets Fire Emblem. The vast majority of the game is spent simply watching your caravan traverse the world as the days go by. Occasionally, random events will happen (some aren't random, most are) and you have to make a choice. The results of your choices are either felt right away, or in a few cases, not until a few chapters later. And we're not talking Mass Effect type choices, where Udina still ends up on the Council regardless. You make a choice that gets a character killed, or causes them to leave, they are gone. No coming back.
Actual gameplay is straight out of Fire Emblem, or other turn based strategy games like Final Fantasy Tactics. Each unit has its pros and cons. Archers can hit from far away, but if the enemy closes, they get slaughtered. Shield carriers have more armor than most, so they can suck up more damage, but they won't hit as hard as your fighters.
Next, the story is pretty interesting, if not making much sense yet. For some reason, the sun has just stopped moving. It hangs in the sky forever now. This is mentioned at the start of the game, so you think it's going to be a big part of the story, but it's barely mentioned after that. This is due to the fact that the story takes a different turn almost immediately because an ancient enemy has returned, so now you have to deal with that. Then, halfway through the game, you find out that even MORE is going on and that the Dredge, the enemy you've been fighting and running from, isn't even the biggest problem. By the end of the first game, you're going to have more questions than answers, but in a good way. Your party has spent so much time clinging to life and just struggling to stay alive that you yourself won't really have time to wonder about the big picture.
Granted, all of these things will most certainly be cleared up by the third game, so don't stress about the mysteries if you want answers.

Final note. The game's art style, to me, is beautiful and is actually what drew me to the game when I first heard about it. The game starts with an amazing cutscene, so I was hoping I'd get more cutscenes throughout, but you don't. Also, the vast majority of the game does not have voice acting. A very few places do, but you will spend most time reading dialogue.

So, if that all sounds like something you'd enjoy, I recommend picking it up. Especially since you won't have to wait months for the sequel, like have been doing.

Tell me, does it feel short? First Banner Saga felt like it ended very suddenly.
And I agree on the art style. Why isn't anyone making hand drawn animations anymore (yeah, i know, costs and a lot of work)?

Penitent:
I'm astonished by how few people even know the second game came out.

The first game got a lot of media attention. The second, not so much.

Penitent:
Banner Saga 2 improved on the first game in essentially every way...

Well, that's good. In my personal humble opinion there was a lot of room for improvement - the first one didn't exactly leave me with a burning desire to continue.

Jute88:

Tell me, does it feel short? First Banner Saga felt like it ended very suddenly.
And I agree on the art style. Why isn't anyone making hand drawn animations anymore (yeah, i know, costs and a lot of work)?

The first time I played it, when it ended, I was disappointed. Not because it felt short or anything, but because I wanted MORE. You're right, that ending does feel very sudden. I wouldn't have complained if we at least got an epilogue of seeing them get on the boats.
But having played through the game several times since then, I have come to appreciate how it ended. Rook's chapters, if you're trying to keep everyone fed and happy and you DIDN'T let certain people join your party, becomes a nail-biting experience. You are constantly left wondering if you have enough supplies to reach the next town, and should you spend that precious renown on leveling or food? This starts in Chapter 3 and it does not stop until the second to last battle in the game (again, assuming you choose not to recruit certain people, and I don't recruit them because I want other people to live). Going through the whole game like this, and finally having the feeling of relief after the final boss, does feel...right to me now. It feels real. Like a soldier who has just survived two days of non-stop fighting, and now it's finally over. There's nothing left you want to do at that moment except sit down and breathe. The world seems to just stop at moments like that, and I feel the game stopping there captures that.

That being said, after replaying the game several times and knowing how everything plays out, I can say that it does feel short. But I'm fine with that, as it's an indie game that didn't cost much and I can clearly see that they put everything they could into this project. I can't wait until I can play the next game next month, because I hear they've made adjustments and may address some of the length issues.

And I'm super excited to see the artwork for the new races and units and people. And the new cutscenes. I spoiled myself a little and looked up a few of them on YouTube already. Had to stop watching or there was going to be nothing left for me to see when I finally get the game.

Pyrian:

Penitent:
I'm astonished by how few people even know the second game came out.

The first game got a lot of media attention. The second, not so much.

Penitent:
Banner Saga 2 improved on the first game in essentially every way...

Well, that's good. In my personal humble opinion there was a lot of room for improvement - the first one didn't exactly leave me with a burning desire to continue.

Feel free to continue. I can promise that its structure of choice-and-consequence puts Mass Effect to complete shame. A lot of choices have different payoff, especially the first game's final decision. Also the caravan is much more important now, and the combat takes the original template to a much deeper level; team synergy is a lot more important now. Plus, Survival Mode is pretty damn tough; I still can't beat it on hard mode yet.

 

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