The Banner Saga is the story of an epic quest within a Nordic-inspired, fantasy world, full of Vikings, giants, wyrms, and centaurs. It’s a journey characterized by hand-drawn artwork, an award-winning soundtrack, and deep, tactical gameplay. Spanning two games so far that have an ongoing story between the two, Stoic hopes to complete that journey with some of the same characters and it is asking Kickstarter backers to help.
In The Banner Saga 3, players will take their clan beyond the wall of darkness as the world begins to crumble around them. Choices and the outcome of the game’s tactical battles will once again matter significantly to who lives and who dies throughout the story. While many faces will return, we will also get some new characters too and if the $250,000 stretch goal is met — it seems likely it will — then players will have some Dredge heroes to play with too.
If you’ve played either of the original Banner Saga games, you’ll know the Dredge are a rather quiet but consistently imminent danger to your party. Getting some of them on your side would be a real boon. If that stretch goal is met, players will have the chance to team up with a Stonesinger, a Stoneguard and a Hurler. Each will offer something different to the party and will open up new, tactical options in battle.
Stoic is well experienced with stretch goals, as this is the second time it has used crowdfunding for its games. It previously received close to three-quarters of a million dollars in 2012 when it was crafting the original Banner Saga. It used those same funds and those generated by sales of the original game to fund the second, which was successful, but no way near as much as the first.
To that end, and because it realizes the benefits of an ongoing relationship with fans, Stoic has returned to crowdfunding this time around. It’s still using the same team of industry veterans, including composer Austin Wintory, who provided the auditory backdrop for Journey, as well as the Banner Saga games, and Bioware design alumni John Watson and Arnie Jorgensen.
This time around, the team has hired Katie Postma as a dedicated community manager too, so we should hear much more about The Banner Saga 3 during its creation than we did with previous entries in the series.
That is a good thing, as this game isn’t just a few months off from being finished. The estimated shipping date for many of the pledges is December 2018, so you shouldn’t expect the game to arrive anytime soon. However, Stoic has reiterated that the publishing date for The Banner Saga 3 has yet to be announced.
If you’re willing to wait, though, there are a number of extras you can look forward to in the meantime. There is apparel, posters, art books, maps, customizable characters, and even the chance to have yourself implanted into the game world itself. You will need to pay up to $10,000 for the full privileges, though.
There are a ton of lower-level pledges too, with Stoic hoping that they help reach the next stretch goal of $250,000.
Updated 01-31-2017 by Jon Martindale: Added details regarding the game reaching its Kickstarter goal and stretch goals.