The Banner Saga 2
is one of the handful of games to launch immediately into the Games with Gold program, meaning many of us picked it up for free on release. Featuring a gruelling exodus across a dying land and some difficult turn-based battling, you can't help but feel bad for these embattled Vikings as they struggle to keep ahead of an apocalyptic cataclysm.
They had to leave their shirts behind. Tragic.
It seems cruel to add to their woes, but developer Stoic have decided to do just that by adding a "Survival Mode" DLC to the game. Unlike recent survival-themed updates in other games, this is an entirely separate game mode rather than an extreme version of the main campaign. Stoic wanted to showcase the depth and complexity of the turn-based battling sections of the main game, so in "Survival Mode" the narrative progression is stripped away, leaving 40 back-to-back fights that you'll need to try and live through. Publisher Versus Evil thought it was "only fitting" that a game praised and awarded as a strategy game be granted a mode that focuses on these elements specifically.
One battle at a time was intense enough for me...
You can purchase the "Survival Mode" DLC from the store
or via your Xbox One now, for US$4.99/ €4.99/ £3.99 or your local equivalent. If you didn't pick the game up for free last year, you can buy the first and second game together with the new DLC as a "Complete Pack"
Most importantly for our community, "Survival Mode" brings with it 12 achievements
worth a total of 250 Gamerscore, none of which are secret:
|Name || Description || Gamerscore |
|The Skirmisher (Survival Mode) || Survive all battles on Easy. || 15|
|The Professional (Survival Mode) || Survive all battles on Normal. || 25|
|The Berserk (Survival Mode) || Survive all battles on Hard. || 35|
|A Fallen Few (Survival Mode) || Survive with fewer than 20 Heroes dying. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|Together or Not At All (Survival Mode) || Survive without a single Hero dying. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 20|
|No Outsiders (Survival Mode) || Survive without Recruiting Heroes. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|Example to Others (Survival Mode) || Survive with only female Heroes. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|Not Some Fantasy (Survival Mode) || Survive with only human Heroes. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|Quad-Core Hardcore (Survival Mode) || Survive using only parties of 4 varl in every battle. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|On Wings of Ravens (Survival Mode) || Survive in less than 180 minutes for your total turns. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|Inner Fire (Survival Mode) || Survive without using the Horn for willpower. (Normal or Hard Difficulty) || 15|
|Krumr's Mentor (Survival Mode) || Survive Hard Mode without a single reload. || 50|
For fans of the series, you'll be pleased to know that The Banner Saga 3
is currently in development following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Release dates and platforms have yet to be confirmed.