11 RPG Games Every PC Gamer Needs to Try: Page 8 of 11

The beautiful art of The Banner Saga
The RPG genre's "required reading"

4. The Banner Saga (2014)

Banner Saga
The battles play out on a grid, with enemies of different sizes that have different strengths and abilities.

Developed as a passion project by 3 former BioWare developers (I half-lied about being done with BioWare), this strategy RPG was funded through Kickstarter and sought to bring several new things to RPG games. Taking the consequence-heavy dialogue and choices that BioWare made famous and integrating in some turn-based strategy reminiscent of the Fire Emblem or X-COM series, The Banner Saga takes place in a Viking-inspired fantasy setting that draws heavily on Norse folktales and mythology, which was a fresh departure from the standard zombies and dragons of most games.

The first thing anyone notices about The Banner Saga, when first starting up the game, is the beautiful, hand-drawn art. Taking cues from iconic animators such as Ralph Bakshi (of the animated Lord of the Rings fame) and Eyvind Earle (who designed Disney's Sleeping Beauty), the art style of the game is incredibly attractive, and immediately pulls you into the world. Since the game was made by a small team, you won't find any long, super-complex cutscene animations, but the developers put a lot of detail into idle movements such as breathing after a big attack, looking at people who are talking, and other natural things which give the characters a lot of life.

The combat is very challenging, requiring a good understanding of the game's unique grid-based system, but once you get the hang of it, you get addicted very quickly. If you are a fan of choice-based RPGs and tactical combat, you owe it to yourself to try this game.

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Teacher, writer and story-gamer in Japan
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mass Effect 2, Portal 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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