Is Banner Saga 3 Game of The Year?

For those of you that are new to the website, I’ve spent 2018 ranking games for my “best of” end of the year ranking. With every review, the ranking is subject to change. What may end up being my “game of the year” today, could easily change with the next review. Something else that’s important to note is that I try and write my reviews a little differently. With every game, I try and find a way to write an article in a creative way that mirrors the actual game. Some games are easier than others so when reading these, be gentle with the criticism. I’m trying my best. Either way though, whether it’s a trainwreck or something you end up enjoying, I just hope you have fun reading it.

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The roar of the stomachs of hundreds that chose to follow your leadership echoes throughout the mountains like a stampede of wild of animals. It’s been two days since camp ran out of rations and with every new step you’ve asked them to make, their confidence in you drops like the temperature of the weather they’re forced to trudge through.

The sounds of exhausted bodies collapsing into the snow are drowned out by the outcries of people begging you to let them stop for rest. While you would love nothing more than to give these people what they want, stopping for a day would mean the Dredge, an armor covered disease that looks to infect the entire world, would be that much closer to catching up with you. Though the thought of falling asleep by a warm fire and letting your wounds heal sounds like absolute heaven, the only smart thing to do now is to continue moving.

Only one more day to the grand city of Arberrang. There is where you will make your final stand. There you will try and survive long enough for the others to accomplish their goal. A mission that many consider a suicide that will have the ones you called friends and allies traveling down into depths of hell in hopes of saving the world from the true darkness that has even the Dredge running for their lives.

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It’s during the final day’s journey towards the city, surrounded by only snow and death, your mind starts to wander. The faces of the men and women that accompanied you on this journey, what they looked like before and after they were cut down by those monsters, haunt you. Whether it through battle or during the journey, they would still be alive had you made the correct choices. The pain of loss is sometimes too much for you to bare. While you are thankful to still have people you consider close travel alongside you, you wonder how different things would have been if it would have been you that had made the sacrifice. What if you weren’t here and she was? Would she have been strong enough to handle all of this? Would she have been able to keep everyone together? A pain lays across your body like a blanket as you accept the fact that had she lived and you died, she would have been great. A sacrifice that even to this day you regret with all of your heart, but it is that sacrifice that makes you continue on. Because of that moment, you will forever refuse to stop fighting.

Instantly you are snapped out of your daydream as a commotion begins to travel across the people. You prepare for the worst: The Dredge, a large group of bandits looking to kill and pillage for any remaining scrap of food the camp might be holding onto, or maybe something even far darker than anything you can imagine. Just as your reach for your bow, you realize that the city of Arberrang has begun to peak over the other side of the hills. The commotion rejoices, and for the first time in days, hope now fills the air that courses through the people’s lungs, and while a grin manages to crack the dirt that’s caked across your face, in the back of your mind you know that this is only the beginning. The fight to save the world from complete darkness is merely a few days away.

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Final Thoughts:

The Banner Saga trilogy is quite possibly my favorite series of the entire PlayStation 4 era. From the fantastic setting to the memorable characters, I adore everything the series has to offer. There have been so many times through the franchise where I’ve just stared at my TV screen wondering what the right decision should be heading into a fight or while having a conversation with another character. One wrong move might result in you realizing that the decision you made 3 hours ago has caused one of your favorite characters to bite the bullet. Whether its moments of joy or absolute shock, The Banner Saga Trilogy has given me everything I could possibly want from the series.

As for the finale of this trilogy, the reason I’m not giving it the highest score possible is simply that it plays like the finale and I don’t know that many of the moments would resonate with new players deciding to make Banner Saga 3 their first game into the series. Though developer Stoic Studio does do a really great job of offering a story breakdown in the main menu, there are just so many personalized moments throughout Banner Saga 1 and 2 that starting with three would be a mistake. With that being said though, as a long-time fan, I’m more than thankful for the incredible journey I got to go on and I cannot wait to see what’s next.

Final Score: 9 (Amazing)

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