The Banner Saga 2 is a tactical RPG based on Norse mythology. You lead a wandering army sent to fight forces of evil.
Pro Great hand drawn graphics
Banner Saga 2 environments, characters, and animations are all hand-drawn. This includes your caravan as it marches over a snowy hill, passing trees and houses in the distance. The various viking-esque soldiers, centaurs and other mythological creatures, swinging axes and thrusting spears on a worn out bridge. Even the very detailed character sprites as they discuss matters with extremely serious expressions. Everything just feels like you’re watching an animated movie, which is something almost never encountered in a game.
Pro Solid tactical combat
Even though Banner Saga 2’s turn-based combat system is fairly straightforward. You and your opponent take turns in moving and attacking with units on a tactical grid. Each unit has its strengths, weaknesses, and set of unique abilities that you need to consider.
For example, archers can attack from far away but they have low armor, so you can’t leave them out in the open. Another example are the Varl, very durable and strong melee units that occupy 4 tiles as opposed to 1. This makes it trickier to position them since more enemies can stand next to them and attack them.
This creates combat that is not too simple but still has enough variety and strategy involved to feel rewarding.
Pro Helps you to learn the gameplay thoroughly
Tactical RPGs can be really intimidating, especially if you're just starting out. The tutorials often blaze forward, causing you to miss important mechanics. Luckily, Banner Saga 2 tries to alleviate this by adding a trainer NPC who will give you challenges. These involve performing various combat exercises, helping you to solidify your understanding of the game and even learn something new.
Con Incomplete story
To get a full and satisfying story, you’ll have to play the entire Banner Saga trilogy. Banner Saga 2 on its own feels like you’ve suddenly started reading a book from the middle. There are a lot of characters you know very little about, making it hard to understand their motivations. The on-going events are not explained fully. Even the ending is not a satisfying conclusion but just a setup for the next arc.
Con HP damage based attacks cause one-dimensional tactics
A unit's current number of hit points equals the damage it will deal to an enemy. Because of this, the best strategy is always to hit all enemy units in a sequence, so they inflict as little damage as possible. Any other strategy is too risky and can backfire way too easily, limiting your creativity.