Axe of the Blood God Reviews Banner Saga 3

PODCAST | The well-regarded indie trilogy ends on a dark note.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

Banner Saga 3 launched last week, and I'm joined by reviewer Hirun Cryer to discuss whether the final entry lives up to the first two games in the popular trilogy [download link here]

Hirun and I talk about the story, the combat, and oddly enough, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (it makes sense in the moment, I swear). But mostly we talk about how crushingly dark it is, and whether that's necessarily a bad thing. You can read our Banner Saga 3 review here.

Also in this episode, I'm joined by Gamesbeat's Jason Wilson and Divinity Original Sin 2 writer Kevin VanOrd to talk about number 20 in our ongoing RPG countdown: Divinity: Original Sin! Find out why 2014 gem deserves to counted as a modern classic.

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Show Description

Kat is joined by Mike Williams and Vidjagame Apocalypse co-host Matthew Allen to discuss number 21 on our Top 25 RPG Countdown: World of WarCraft! They talk about its RPG roots, why it changed MMORPGs forever, and why it continues to command a loyal audience to this day. Then Kat and Nadia respond to some of the more heated feedback from last episode's Octopath Traveler review.

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

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Comments 9

  • Avatar for Frosty840 #1 Frosty840 22 days ago
    I made it all the way through to Banner Saga 1's final battle, which was crushingly, miserably, fatally difficult (I believe it's since been patched to relieve some of that horror), and I never made it past that.
    I picked up the sequel but couldn't actually pick it up and start playing it. It was just too much for me.

    Banner Saga was certainly an excellent game with a very well crafted story, but so much of it was (or appeared to be) determined by the combat deaths you suffered, and my initial (only) playthrough wasn't me at my most competent.
    Dark narratives are far more bearable in films. Those at least play themselves out without my active participation. With Banner Saga and the infamous Spec Ops: The Line, the only winning move is not to play.
    And so I haven't.
    I stopped playing Banner Saga, and I stopped playing Spec Ops. The games are both asking me to inflict terrible suffering in order to progress, and I don't want to do that, so I haven't.
    I'm not sure that's particularly productive.
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  • Avatar for Kochambra #2 Kochambra 22 days ago
    @Frosty840 "The games are both asking me to inflict terrible suffering in order to progress, and I don't want to do that, so I haven't."

    I had that same problem with Warcraft III, back in the day. The first two chapters of its single player campaign consisted in basically helping your character carry out his absolutely terrible decisions. I felt so disconnected to the narrative that I almost stopped playing, and then I found out that the remaining chapters of the campaign basically consisted in commanding other races to try and fix that idiot's mess.
    The gameplay was really enjoyable but the storytelling was a pretty poor, in my opinion.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #3 pdubb 21 days ago
    Divinity Original Sin is a great addition to the list guys. I don't remember many games that actually gave you the ability the solve a problem in many creative ways.
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  • Avatar for LastStarfighter #4 LastStarfighter 20 days ago
    Me and my brother are in our early 30's and grew up playing couch co-op. We recently came across this game and now once every week or so we meet up to play Divinity in same room and it's amazing. A shining light in the bleak couch co-op void. Also bonus points for every line having voice acting "Where is my pepper? Did it sprout legs and run away"
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  • Avatar for SlimeKnight #5 SlimeKnight 20 days ago
    Deleted 3 weeks ago by SlimeKnight
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  • Avatar for SlimeKnight #6 SlimeKnight 20 days ago
    As of the release of Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition I will be a fledgling newcomer to the series. I've always been interested in top-down RPGs a la Diablo III but I never got into them due to the overwhelming backlog I do my best to slog through. Hearing about the first installment of the Original Sin series from your list truly has me excited for the variety of high points it has to offer, from substantial storytelling to in-depth combat spanning various choices and possibilities.

    Sidenote: I've been influenced by your top 25 RPG discussion so much that I bought a Vita, in 2018, to play #24 mainstay Tactics Ogre! Judging from the overly dark and dramatic storylines and ability to break the game to your liking I knew I had to give this tactics game the chance it rightfully deserves.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #7 riderkicker 20 days ago
    Does Nadia actually do the announcing voice?
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #8 Kat.Bailey 20 days ago
    @riderkicker Announcing voice?
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #9 SatelliteOfLove 19 days ago
    Jason Wilson AND Kevin Van Ord?

    We're not worthy in the least!

    DOS1 was a revelation, and especially for the reasons that old guard talked about: before this, "Lariansoft" was the maker of janky ARPGs they had NO business being driven into by the horrid Dogma of Gen 7. Then along comes this game here, where you cast rain on a burning boat, that boat gets put OUT, then you get a quest ding and, well, that's it: welcome to The Revolution. It's all genocide and more inventive Stupid Things from here on out.

    Also, RIP to Kirill Pokrovsky, whose free-spirited, empathetic work on this was sadly his last.

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  • Avatar for stewartshearer63 #10 stewartshearer63 14 days ago
    Was excited to hear someone mention Infinite Space in the mailbag portion! I loved that game so much and put a lot of time into it. The only issue I had was the weird incest-y stuff the story kept trying to toss in. It was so unnecessary and out of place.
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