Finished The Banner Saga. Good game, but...
...for a game that is so big on choices, my choices mattered suspiciously little at the end. I guess they wanted to tell their story at the end. I was highly entertained for about 10 of my 13 hours of my playtime. Until the point where I did some reloading and tried some other choices (which I don't want to spoil), realizing that every action will eventually lead down to one final path. Mass Effect had at least three different colours by the end of it.
In the Banner Saga, the choices you take are ultimately meaningless. What really suspended my disbelief is the Capcom way of storytelling in games "if it didn't happen in a cutscene, it doesn't count", which finds it's way into the Banner Saga as "if it happens on the battlefield, it doesn't count". Characters can die, especially those who don't have a unique face tend to fare badly as result of dialogue choices, but they can't die in battle unless the script says so. I had one particular character getting beaten to a pulp every battle, but he went on to the very end, while one NPC who wasn't important enough got killed up in a throwaway line as result of some decision I made in the Dragon Pass-esque section of the game.
It is a beautiful game and I would urge everyone with a liking for rpg-lite with tactical combat to have a look. But the saga of vikings and varl unfortunately has a lot of missed potential and is too much in love with some of it's own storytelling to let players allow too much freedom.
The last two hours turned the beautiful game into a rather disappointing one, when all the ropes, smoke and mirrors could be seen behind the curtain. Well, there is hope the next game of the Saga will allow players more freedom.