Football + Boardgames = Fun? | Blood Bowl 2 Review
I came into Blood Bowl 2 expecting an action/gory football game, but as the first cut-scene through story mode finished, I was presented with something very surprising. Blood Bowl has always been a Board Strategy like RPG, and that’s not a bad thing. Blood Bowl definitely takes inspiration from football but has more of a fantasy approach. Cyanide Studios does a good job portraying the fantasy setting; you can play with humans, elves and monsters. Instead of usual football tackles, you get even more brutal hits as well as a darker grim feel to everything around. Although, Blood Bowl 2 does have lighter dialogue.
Blood Bowl 2 plays similar to a strategy RPG, where you use up all of your turns; then, your opponent takes action. When you begin the story mode in Blood Bowl, you’re given a certain number of player spots to fill up your roster. As you start winning games, those players can acquire different types of skills to give you an edge on the field. Players take turns for 16 rounds with no timer. While this sounds like your average football game, it really is not. Depending on your player’s class, you’re able to move a few squares. But, there are things that can set you back. For instance, players can trip on the field if they don’t have great stats. That definitely makes the game more balanced as some players with higher stats can literally take a turn from one side of the field to another.
Tripping is just one thing that can make your recovery time much longer. Once you do fall, it takes away your blitz token, which are used to make offensive plays on your opponents. When you’re ready for offensive plays, you have to select the player you want to use and target the enemy that you want to tackle. From there, two dice appear on the opponent’s head with a different status depending on your stats. For example, if the dice rolls on an attack, you have the option to either follow the opponent in the direction where you attack stay in place.
You do have the option of passing the ball, but it gets tricky. You can either play it risky by throwing the ball, since it could get intercepted. Also, if your receiver stats aren’t high enough, there’s a chance he will drop the pass. Blood Bowl 2’s difficulty level is not off-putting, and you can definitely win matches as long as you take some time to develop a strategy. Even when I did have a lead on the opponent, I never felt like the AI was using unfair plays or comeback mechanics. It was always based on how I dealt with opportunities. Blood Bowl does make sure to teach you the mechanics. You can read some helpful tips; unfortunately, some of the text was difficult to read from a distance.
Blood Bowl 2 looks very colorful on the field and is a nice change of pace visually speaking. The amount of color used is the only good thing about it. The character models felt very low quality when on the field. Also, sometimes I did get frame drops, which was disappointing. While graphically the game is not up to par, the rest of Blood Bowl 2 also leaves a lot to be desired. The music is not memorable at all; not even the banter from the commentators can save this one. The game retails for $49.99, but I would probably wait for a sale on this one.
Overall, if you want to try more digital board games or anything with strategic gameplay, I recommend Blood Bowl 2 because it definitely fills that void. It does offer a great experience in the gameplay department that makes you think and really take in to account how your field is being played.