Score: 5 out of 10
Cyanide’s Blood Bowl II is a turn-based fantasy themed sport game. I say sport and not football because there’s only a loose base in American football. There’s a kick-off at the start of the half and after a touchdown and that’s about it, oh and the ball looks like a football with spikes. And the players’ uniforms are based on football uniforms. Other than that it’s completely different.
I know if you think about football is turn-based but this isn’t like that. Each half is 8 turns and during each turn you can move each player individually a certain number of invisible spaces on the field. If a player is standing in a space adjacent to and opposed player they can attack the player whether they have the ball or not. When you attack you roll die to see what action you can do. The action could be a simple push but where the fun in that it is called Blood Bowl so the action you really want is to upper cut them in the jaw and possibly KO them or maybe even kill them. If you have fellow teammates around you to ups your strength and can add one or two extra dice to give you a better chance at a favorable roll. That can work against you as well if the opponent has friends or is just plain stronger than you the dice will so up red meaning that the opponent can choose from the die which action happens. Attacks aren’t the only “dice rolls” that happen if you want to pick the ball up off the ground you are given a percentage of success and you hear the sound of dice being rolled, the same happens if you want to take a couple extra steps past your given movement area or if you want to run one space away from an opponent. If you fail any of these and it ends with a one of your players or the ball falling on the ground it’s turnover, which is a forced end turn. There were plenty of time my first action was to attack an opponent and I ended up rolling a player down which is when they uppercut my player and that immediately ends my turn.
There is a campaign with a story. You are the new coach of the once great human team, Reikland Reavers, which is now rank last in the league. Much of the first games are tutorials to teach you the rules. In some of those some of the games mechanics are turned off like turnovers. The match when the turnovers are turned on I swear that was when the computer AI started cheating. And I don’t mean cheating as a game mechanic, I mean I started rolling a lot of player downs and both downs. The both down die means that both players attack each other and if neither one has the block ability they both go down. In the previous games most of my players had the block ability then at that game none of them did. I could eventually level up my players to get a chance at getting the blocking ability back. It may have just been training wheels while I learn the game but to suddenly take them away and have every other roll be both down and have every opponent have that ability it a bit bullshit. Then as the campaign goes on after all the rules have been introduced, it ups the difficulty even more by having other objectives other and just winning the game be required to continue. The other objectives could be something like score with a certain player type or make sure this random thing happens, something that you could spend hours just to get to happen. If those were optional things you could do that would have been great but they weren’t.
Throughout the campaign you hear the comedic commentary of Jim the vampire and Bob the ogre. Their funny at first but like all commentaries you after hearing the same joke for 50th time it’s not funny anymore. The sound in general is pretty good. Hearing the player hit each other sounds just as brutal as it looks.
As you could tell earlier in this review I have some issues with the game. The major one is just that when you lose a game you don’t feel like you lose because you’re bad at the game you lose because the computer wanted you to lose. It replaces skill with a RGN (Random Number Generator). I did not play any games online with people but I’ve heard the community is as acidic and League of Legends or Dota 2. Another issue I had with the game was that the game doesn’t explain some of it’s team management mechanics.
I liked the idea of the game but it’s execution leaves something to be desired. I don’t think it’d recommend to anyone but fans of the franchise. This was my first time play a Blood Bowl game and I would have rather played something like a Madden with this art style which I know it not what Blood Bowl is. If you like this type of game then this is your game.
*Code Supplied by Publisher*