We’ll be treated to a huge map to travel across, with hundreds of unique locations to visit and a vast and varied population of aggressive opposing sides to do battle with. Managing your caravan across this huge map, ensuring they’re in good health and fit for battle should be one heck of a challenge.
I’ve spoken to Stoic about the single-player portion of The Banner Saga in the past. As they previously worked at BioWare, they said that players can expect a similar kind of character interaction, engrossing plot twists and narrative arcs that they’d expect from their ex-studio.
Giving us a glimpse into the challenges of The Banner Saga’s grueling single-player is a new video titled “Rough Guide To Travel.” The “Rough” in that sentence is surely being used to not only refer to the brevity of the overview, but also the nature of trying to ensure a large clan of Vikings survives the trip across the harsh, frozen environments the game takes place across.
The video breaks up your main concerns while travelling into three components: Morale, Supplies and Population.
Morale is the state of your peoples’s mood and how incited they are for their cause. Having a high morale gives you boosts while in battle, such as a higher starting will power, and when you’re partaking in the large-scale wars, high morale will ensure that fewer casualties are met on your side.
Supplies are highly important while travelling, especially as if you run out of supplies for your army and peasants, they’ll start to die off very rapidly. To purchase more supplies, you have to spend Renown, which is the main currency in The Banner Saga and is usually better spent recruiting new warriors, ability upgrades, new items and to make better choices within the story.
Population ties in with Supplies as you have to ensure you don’t take on too many new recruits and outsider groups and quickly run out of stock. But you also have to ensure that you have enough of the different types of people (Fighters, Peasants, Varl) so that you aren’t at an immediate disadvantage in battle due to being outnumbered greatly. One of the neat little touches in the game is that the more people you have in your caravan, the longer your banner will be, and the larger the story will become, too.
The last feature this video touches upon is the Camp, which is where you can give your heroes new items and upgrade and promote them. Camping will cause a day to pass and your morale to go up, but you will lose your supplies. You can also check the map tent in the Camp to see the various locations you’re likely to encounter as you journey. And that’s it. As said, expect The Banner Saga to land on your PC on January 14th 2014.