A Game of Chance
Before jumping into the world of Blood Bowl 2, I never knew this was a digital adaptation of a tabletop board game and quite a faithful one at that. Blood Bowl has been around for a long time and upon discovering this, I looked back into the history of the game which spanned almost a decades.
Blood Bowl 2 is a loosely based on American Football but it plays more like soccer as you can only score point goals. Before the match begins, you place your individual players on the field laid out as a grid to either attack or defend. The game plays in turns as you have to utilise limited grid movements and tackle/defensive manoeuvres to put your team at the advantage. Since this is a tabletop game in digital form, moves like passes/tackles/movements are all based on dice rolls. If you want to tackle another player, you roll the dice and it decides whether your player succeeds or theirs. It’s all based on chance which you yourself must position your players at an advantage.
There’s never no clear indication that you might win, you just have to make sure you’re in a way laid out to take the chance. The game is easy to understand once you master the basic rules but things like the differences in race and random events can turn the tide of the match. Because the game is from the Warhammer universe, there’s teams that feature orcs and goblins plus more. Humans are decent and I’ve won many matches with them but when they’re up against a team of orcs, things can be quite one-sided which provides somewhat of a challenge.
The game does feature a single-player campaign which pretty serves as a basic tutorial. Before you even begin to jump straight into a match, it’s probably a must to do this. The campaign also tells the story of a human team returning back into the competition. The comedy is pretty lacking but the game doesn’t try to take itself to seriously which makes it cheesy.
While it may take a few hours playing single-player matches/campaign in Blood Bowl 2 to get a grip on the core mechanics, the AI really doesn’t give the best challenge. At some points, it was just too obvious the AI wasn’t even focusing on the game as it positions itself weirdly to defend from my attack. In one segment when I flip possession of the ball, the AI didn’t attempt to even facilitate a counter-attack when it was obviously in the position to do so which made the game way too easy then it should be. Playing with real people is where this game shines (like the tabletop version) because the AI doesn’t seem to have the ability to make the game challenging and that’s where the fun is.
Blood Bowl 2 has been quite an experience for myself. While the learning curve was rather steep for a newcomer, the game overall is fun and addictive plus always challenging. As this game is more about chance and skill which can frustrate people – it’s up to the player to maximise their position and overall take the risk to become a winner. It’s not for everyone but the sheer unpredictability of the game made it enjoyable for me.
Developer: Cyanide Studios
Publisher: Focus Home Interactiv
Platforms: PC (reviewed), PS4 & Xbox One
A review copy was provided by the publisher.