Banner Saga, Scalzi and Beksinski

by Silver on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Posted in: Art, yay
7 Comments on Banner Saga, Scalzi and Beksinski

Dun, dun, duuuuun!

There’s rarely a game so stunning that I’ll stop everything just to stare at it.

I’m an avid gamer, and I’ve played so many games through the years that most of them have started to blend together at some point, all trapped in the same art troupes, just repeating each other. You might even say I’m bored with a lot of the new games, and BOOM then comes in Banner Saga with it’s beautiful, hand-drawn art, viking themed fantasy adventure. I first heard about Stoic Games and Banner Saga through their kickstarter, which succeeded netting them enough capita and a fanbase to create the game.

It’s unique art direction is what really makes it different. The graphic backgrounds are inspired by Eyvind Earle, the legendary art director, and the animations remind me of old Disney movies mixed with He-man. No matter how much 3D games keep pushing those shaders and resolutions, there’s something fantastical in 2D that 3D has yet to achieve.

The gameplay is solid, a tad slow at times and it can take a while to get the story rolling. But while there’s room to improve, the art and the setting (VIKINGS WOOO!) themselves are worth many times the price of the game. If you’re a gamer, then I recommend supporting this little indie gem from Texas, Austin and grabbing it from Steam!

TLDR: Epic Disney Viking Adventure is stunning.
banner saga

All the towns and cities are illustrated like this. Easily the best looking game for the year.

banner saga

Travelling bits of the game are full of decision making mini-games. Most decisions have severe consequences.

banner saga

In-game action turn-based combat. It’s fun, simple and fast. Also the animations are stellar.

Speaking of stories,

I still haven’t lost my bad habit of buying more books than I have time to read. But – I’m trying!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of finishing Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. It was a solid and fun hard science-fiction adventure that kept me interested the whole way through. To be honest, I didn’t want to put it down. If I had to describe more, I’d say it’s like Mass Effect and Starship Troopers (novel, not the movie) put together, at least that’s the vibe I got. There’s a universe to explore, alien races to meet and fight with, uncomprehensible technology of the future and philosophical speculation over the morality of it all. I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up the sequels too, right after I clear my read-list.
Next books are: Huckleberry Finn, Perfume and The Bone Season.
TLDR: I like books and sci-fi, and so should you.
old mans war by john scalzi

What happens when a 75-year old gets a young, enhanced body and is sent to war in the space colonies? Lots of stuff, that’s what.

Art is a funny thing.

No matter how many artists you know, art books you’ve bought or how many hours you’ve scanned through internet, there’s always an artist you’ve never heard of before.

To me, it was Zdzisław Beksiński, a now passed Polish contemporary artist whose paintings are made of dreams. They are macabre, dark, twisted and full of grotesque imaginary. Just the way I like it. It has this vibe of apocalypse and fantasy and while it’s kind of dated, in the sense that everyone’s into gritty and realistic art at the moment, I still find it captivating. Maybe this means that high-fantasy is making a come-back? After all, Game of Thrones was kind of a counter-attack against the high elves and paladins fantasy, and boy have the roles reversed since. Thank you to our new friend Seda for introducing this artist to me :)
Check it out, and I hope you enjoy the trip!
TLDR; Here’s some weird paintings.


Zdzisław-Beksiński-night-creeper Beksiński