Banner Saga 2 Switch Review
Gripping narrative that is perfectly paced
New playable race adds something new to combat
Story is so good, you’ll find it annoying that you have to wait another couple months before BS3 releases
The high presentation makes you wish the entire game was animated with cutscenes
Banner Saga 1 not only contained an engrossing story, it ended on a life or death situation (trying to avoid spoilers here). Banner Saga 2 kicks off immediately after the events of the first game with your decisions playing host to consequence.
While it is possible to jump into the Banner Saga series with this sophomore effort, it is not recommended. The narrative is so well written, especially here in the sequel, that you are doing yourself a disservice for not playing each game in order. The consequences of your actions in the first game, even though they might seem small, directly affects the results here. More so than the original, the writing makes the player realize there isn’t a right or wrong answer, just different outcomes. It is engaging from beginning to end and well paced. This is one game to absorb every detail of the plot. The player will be faced with many difficult and apprehensive decisions throughout which only adds to the overall entertainment value.
From a gameplay perspective, nothing has changed from the original other than the addition of a new playable class, the Horseborn. This new race not only adds something new to combat, it also directly ties into the narrative. Again, trying not to spoil things here, but the Dredge are still around causing problems and the stress of the journey leaves an emotional impact on the player. Like the Oregon Trail, your party is trying to reach a city for the entirety of the game with all sorts of drama right on their heels. For a game with few cutscenes and no voice acting, it is very tense.
The problems apparent in BS1 still arise here in BS2. Battlefield control can sometimes be confusing as the player can only zoom in and out as opposed to rotate view around the field. Selecting the confirm action is also difficult to distinguish, even more so when playing on the Switch’s smaller screen in handheld mode. And through no fault of the developers, it is not possible to transfer your save file from a different platform and carry it over to another. This is still a bummer since this series in pretty much on everything with a screen including mobile and the Switch version is the last to the party.
Banner Saga 2 builds upon the success of the first game and stands as a must play to simply find out what happens next. It might be more of the same when compared to the original but still playing around the remaining quality of life flaws from the original are a bit of a letdown. However, the slight negative aspects are easily overlooked due to the quality of the narrative alone. Just be sure to play through the first game before flying the banner of the sequel.
Make Sure You: play the original game on your platform of choice before playing BS2
Also Try: watching Game of Thrones
Wait For It: the third and final chapter coming out this summer