Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The Banner Saga: Factions - First Impressions
First thing I did when I got home yesterday was jump on Steam and get this sucker downloading. I have been craving a good Strategy RPG for a while now. It doesn’t help that everyone and their brother seems to be enjoying the crap out of the new Fire Emblem while I sit comatose in the corner lacking a 3DS entirely. But Stoic and The Banner Saga have come to save my poor ass. The single player campaign for The Banner Saga will cost money, and that is what I’m really looking forward to, but this online component is free and will do for now.
Factions starts out with a short cinematic and the Tutorial. The tutorial covers all the basics of combat and character customization. It’s pretty standard fare here. You have some units and as they fight, they gain renown for you. You use renown as general currency for things like recruiting new units and powering up your units when they can be promoted. The system has its own quirks, but anyone with a little SRPG background will be right at home as soon as the tutorial is done.
With every free to play game, there is a store. I didn’t get too into it last night, but the basic fare seems to be cosmetic items and renown boosters. I have heard some people say you can buy straight power as well. I cannot verify these claims but that does invoke the dreaded pay to win mantra. I think the match maker probably sorts those people into the appropriate areas, so it may not be too big a problem.
The Banner Saga: Factions is free people. It has a full tutorial and free online multiplayer. It looks great and plays great. There is no reason for a fan of Strategy RPGs to not take a look. The Banner Saga single player campaign is due out later this year.
Throw a comment down below if you’d like to meet up for a battle or five.