That said, I did have a few quibbles – mainly stemming from a clearly work-in-progress interface. Ordering anyone to do anything took multiple clicks and further “are you sure?” confirmation clicks – but when time is ticking down, every second counts. At one point, I actually lost a unit because my final click was one milisecond too late. That was exceedingly frustrating. On top of that, selecting special skills felt similarly clunky, forcing me to click on the space around a character instead of the character itself, then choose a skill, then pick a target and finally, mercifully hit something – when, in fact, simply targeting someone and picking whether I wanted to use a normal or special attack would’ve made a lot more sense. But Stoic showed me images of the new interface ideas it’s currently tweaking, and they seem much, much, much, much better.
I must admit to initially being worried that Banner Saga – with its silky smooth Disney-style visuals making raucously passionate love to my eyeballs – was just a pretty face. Playing it, though, pretty much obliterated that fear. If Stoic can maintain this standard of quality, it could have something really special on its hands – a mixture of ocean-like tactical depth and frantic mid-match pacing that feels impressively different. I’ve got high hopes, anyway, and November’s right around the corner. Winter is coming. But, you know, hopefully in a good way.