After a long wait, the critically acclaimed strategy RPG The Banner Saga will finally be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners, with an official release date set for January 12th next year.
The Banner Saga was originally released on PC and mobile devices early in 2014 and the developers have faced significant challenges trying to optimize the game for consoles. In an official announcement on the PlayStation Blog, Versus Evil representative Lance James spoke at length about the challenges of redesigning the interface to accommodate for controllers such as the DualShock 4. According to James, developers John and Mark Cooke “spent quite a while narrowing down the specific user experience and ensuring that the Banner Saga experience was true to form while holding a controller in hand.”
The Banner Saga places you in the middle of an epic Viking adventure where a tenuous alliance of men and giants flees from the oncoming onslaught of the mysterious and malevolent Dredge army. The game consists of a world screen where you watch your caravan trudge across a beautiful and haunting landscape, inspired by master animator Eyvinnd Earle, probably best known for designing the look of the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty, and a tactical battle screen where you face down your enemies. The tactical screen is heavily inspired by classic tactical strategy games such as Final Fantasy Tactics.
Another distinction of the game is that the choices you make on the world screen as well as the outcome of the battles you fight in the tactical screen have a real effect on the story that the player experiences. Choices such as refusing to help a mysterious stranger or allowing a band of wanderers to join your caravan can have helpful or disastrous impacts on the course of the game.
When the game arrives on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 12th it will also include localization support for Italian, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Portuguese and Polish languages. The console release date is also in anticipation of the next chapter in the series, The Banner Sage 2, expected sometime next year.