The Banner Saga is a Viking-themed tactical role-playing video game by Stoic, a trio of indie game developers formerly of BioWare. It was released as a single player campaign, The Banner Saga – the first game of a projected trilogy – on 14 January 2014.
The core of the game is a single-player campaign of turn-based combat engagements inspired by games such as Final Fantasy Tactics and Shining Force, with the player controlling and being able to build up a party of characters with complementing abilities.
According to the developers, their aim was to create a "mature game for adults in the vein of Game of Thrones or The Black Company". They intend to engage players emotionally by allowing them to build relationships with the game's characters and shape the outcome of the story through an array of conversation choices. The game eschews certain conventions of action-oriented computer role-playing games such as the focus on a young lone hero's story, looting and buying items, or reloading a saved game state after defeat. Instead, the developers intended to tell the story of the player's caravan as a whole, and encourage players to accept and deal with the consequences of any defeats they may encounter.
The first game in the Saga centers on the return of the Dredge, a warlike race that despises humans led by the Bellower, a nigh invincible Dredge who leads them on a warpath on human and Varl. As a wandering army sent to fight against the Dredge and find a weakness for the Bellower, many difficult decisions are made by the caravan that would shape the fate of both man and Varl.