The Banner Saga makes you choose between life and death. It's a strategy game set in an epic fantasy world, one where little good happens. It's not quite as bad as Game of Thrones, but it’s far from a cheery experience, despite the stunningly rendered, Disney-style art. Look past that beautiful exterior and harsh setting, however, and you’ll find a surprisingly approachable strategy game, but one with enough depth to keep you swinging swords late into the night.

The game takes place in a world on the brink. The sun has vanished, while a mysterious, mechanical army known as the dredge is laying siege to everything in its path. This threat forces humans and varl (a race of massive horned giants) to work together in order to survive. It's not the most original of plots, and for the first few hours it feels like you're constantly being bombarded with cliche fantasy gibberish — sort of like picking up a Lord of the Rings book halfway through. Even when it gets going, and you actually start remembering the difference between Mogr and Haken, it can feel like a lot of clicking through text to get to the good stuff.

But that good stuff is really good.