Turn-based Viking adventure The Banner Saga out in January

When they weren't strutting around in their stupid spiky helmets or having a go at poor old Grendel, the Vikings loved nothing better than to gather in mead halls and beat each other to bloody pulps. We know this from the historical document The Banner Saga: Factions, the free-to-play multiplayer prologue to Stoic's upcoming single-player turn-based RPG. We weren't overly enamoured of that morsel, despite the high beard quotient, but maybe the full feast will taste better. The fully fledged Banner Saga has just been given a release date: 14th January 2014.

While Factions was a multiplayer, free-to-play thing (and essentially a demo for the main game), The Banner Saga's structure more closely resembles The Oregon Trail, only with a bigger focus on story - expect branching choices - and a battle system evoking Tactics Ogre, Disgaea and the like.

Now obviously you can't announce a release date without issuing an accompanying video, so here's a short, sumptuously illustrated trailer with a number slapped on the end:

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.