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Stoic Studio implemented the new Survival Mode for free for PC gamers. The mode gives The Banner Saga 2 a whole new kind of strategic element, allowing players to gather their heroes and attempt to survive through 40 waves of enemies.
Engadget is reporting that the mode is available now and features three different difficulty levels to challenge a player's skill and tactical prowess in the turn-based strategy game.
The mode operates in 30 second turns, forcing players to act fast and react quickly when formulating their on-field strategies. Just like in the normal game, if the hero on the player's party dies, they are done for good in the Survival Mode. Players can replace fallen heroes with new ones by racking up kills and earning points to purchase new heroes to fill out their ranks.
It's no easy task, though, because The Banner Saga 2 is one of the hardest turn-based role-playing games out there. The NPCs don't give players an inch, and the field conditions can sometimes work against even the most tactically-minded player.
According to Stoic technical director John Watson, some of the conditions and modifiers that drastically altered combat in the single-player campaign mode aren't present in the Survival Mode, instead things have been altered to capitalize on the core combat mechanics, stating in the press release...
Our goal was to create a fun, tactical game mode where fans can play from a different perspective which focuses on strategy and the hard cost of death in combat. We modified how the combat worked from the core game based on feedback from our community and put it through a closed beta to make sure that it was fun.
A similar mode was actually released a head of the official release of the original Banner Saga, where players could get a taste of the combat with a preset team and a series of fights they could engage in to get a feel for how each of the classes behaved on the battlefield and how to make the most of the tile-based setup.
In this case, the Survival Mode focuses squarely on how well players will be able to manage their heroes in The Banner Saga against a gauntlet of relentless enemies. Just like in the story campaign, it's still possible to utilize hero items during combat, which can drastically affect their performance, resilience, defenses and attack properties.
As heroes fall in the Survival Mode, new ones can be swapped in, just like in the final battle of Final Fantasy VI against Kefka, where the heroes are ordered and can be put into the fight after someone died.
Gamers can either play the mode just for the heck of it or attempt to climb up the global leaderboards to become the best survivalist in The Banner Saga 2. The mode is available now for the PC version of the game, and it will be available for the Xbox One and PS4 when The Banner Saga 2 launches on July 2th for the home consoles.