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Banner Saga 2 Launch Trailer + Preview at Game Informer

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Banner Saga 2 Launch Trailer + Preview at Game Informer

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 6 April 2016, 20:37:54

Tags: Stoic Studio; The Banner Saga 2

Stoic Studio have published the launch trailer for The Banner Saga 2, which is due for release in less than two weeks. It offers a quick look at the adventures players will face in the game's collapsing world, including snippets of its improved, more diverse combat scenarios:


Pre-release previews of the game have begun to appear across the web. Here's Game Informer's preview, which lists four reasons why The Banner Saga 2 is better than its predecessor. I'll quote the two that explain more about the improved combat:

3) Enter the horseborn
The Banner Saga 2’s journey will lead players south and introduce them to an entirely new race called the horseborn. Tribal, warring, and somewhat mysterious, the horseborn have a lifespan that is only half that of humans. These horseborn once lived among men and varl, but centuries ago they slaughtered all of the horses in order to free themselves from captivity. Now the horseborn feel ashamed of this and have fled south in self-exile.

Not only will players fight the horseborn, but they will be able to add a few to their own ranks. These speedy warriors are designed to roam the battlefield and control their enemies using their mobility. Unlike the bulky centaurs of Greek myth, these horse-people are small, surefooted Icelandic ponies crossed with bronze-age Celts. They are, therefore, only slightly stronger than a human, and can move about far more freely.

Male horseborn are great hit-and-run tacticians who can boost their attack depending on how many squares they travel beforehand – Stoic’s idea of a running head start. They can also move again after an attack to better position themselves for the next turn. Their Mule Kick knocks enemies back into other units and stuns the enemy in the process.

Meanwhile, female horseborn have a passive ability called Free Roam that allows them to move two extra tiles for each Willpower spent. Their javelins are tipped with poison that deals recurring damage, and they can use their spears to pin enemies in place, allowing them to better control the battlefield.

Whether fighting with them or against them, the horseborn push you to change up your battle tactics, and help create new strategies to work around the opposition.

4) Combat has evolved
Instead of tinkering with its balanced combat formula, Stoic has instead focused on improving combat in other ways. One of the biggest complaints the team heard after the release of the first game was that players felt like they were fighting the same enemies throughout the entire game.

It didn’t take me long to encounter some of these new beasts. A group of white, hound-like creatures called skulkers slowly sneaked onto the battlefield. These creatures aren’t hard to kill, but they can turn invisible and disappear from combat, so you never know when they are going to turn back up. In one battle, I encountered a group of human-like bog people who had trained bears to fight alongside them. Not only are bears heavy hitters who take a lot of damage, they can resurrect themselves once after you knock them down. The Banner Saga 2’s list of new enemies adds a lot of visual variety to the board, and forces you to approach each combat scenario a little differently.

Stoic’s list of combat tweaks is also fairly extensive. The studio has hand-crafted each battle, adding new victory conditions for some encounters. In the last game, a battle only ended once the player had beaten every enemy on the board. This time around, I encountered several battles that asked me to kill a certain unit or accomplish some other task that lined up with the narrative. Additionally, battles are now better integrated with the story, so heroes talk during combat, and some units will leave or enter the action in the middle of fight. A new training ground also lets heroes hone their skills at camp, allowing them to rank up faster.
There's also a 25 minute gameplay video at IGN, but beware the annoying hosts. The Banner Saga 2 is going to be at EGX Rezzed this week, so perhaps we'll see more of it soon.

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