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The Banner Saga 2

The Banner Saga 2: "we want to make combat more nuanced"

We talk to Stoic about bringing more variety to their RPG sequel.

We talked to Stoic's John Watson about the refinements coming in the second instalment in the studio's beautiful RPG series, The Banner Saga.

"The second one is intended to be cohesive and coherent with the first," the game's technical director told us, "so we're not taking any left turns or making any major gameplay changes. We want it to feel like a continuation...

"That being said we felt like we could benefit by greater variety in combat, so we have more combat scenarios, more win conditions, lots more characters and classes, a lot of scripted events and storytelling in the combat scenarios. So we want to make combat feel more nuanced, feel like it's part of the world. That's one of the things we've been thinking about."

Watson continued: "The other is the interaction between you and your clansmen. We want your caravan of clansmen to means something to you in gameplay terms, and not just be a drain on you... We want to make the clansmen play a greater role.

"You can train them to be fighters... The clansmen have a purpose in foraging and gaining supplies. And all these things are done through story, so there's not this whole new interface or anything else, it's all very organic, the story."

Players will take their characters, and their decisions - for better and worse - from the first game, into the second. With old characters learning new tricks, combat should open up and become more interesting.

"We're increasing stats a little bit, but we're adding variety by giving your characters a chance to obtain a second ability at rank 6... So if you have six of your units in battle and now they all have two abilities you'll be able to, many more strategies will be available to you."

Our only issue with the first game (review here) was regarding the lack of variety in the combat, and if Stoic has fixed that, then The Banner Saga 2 could end up being one of the best games of the year when it launches on PC at the tail end of 2015.

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The Banner Saga 2