If Battle Chess and NFL Blitz had an estranged love child it would be Blood Bowl 2. The campaign starts off with a tutorial that leaves a bit to be desired. Basically getting the player started by saying, “Hey! Click the players, screen and everywhere else!” It does so with very little explanation of main aspects of the game, like a limited amount of multi-space knockdowns per turn, benefits of where to move certain players strategically and leaves the player in a spot where they have to figure it all out themselves. In a way, this can be a good thing in games because it promotes a certain level of exploration, but in a sports game, you want things to be cut and dry in this area.
That leads me into the area that hurts this game the most, which is that it feels like a game that does not know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sports game? If so, it does many things in a mediocre fashion. I had several instances where my player with the ball was definitely going to score, but I knew it would be another five or ten minutes before he had his next turn to make his way into the end zone. This lack of fluidity makes the gameplay feel clunky at times. Combine this with some choppy animated cutscenes for when players make a big hit and you’re left without a lot of adrenaline coursing through during each game.
Does it want to be a strategy game? The “blocking dice” decide almost all outcomes of how a game turns out, which will not be in your favor very often as the campaign gains difficulty. This takes skill out of the equation and creates a lot of frustration when trying to make even the simplest of moves to improve your positioning. The percentages of dodges working or not working become more ambiguous even though 67% mockingly remains on your screen at all times.
There are twenty-four different races in the Legendary Edition of this game, which is fairly unbalanced in how you are able to construct their rosters. For example, Humans, Dwarfs, Dark Elves, and Skaven are able to use five unit types, to create a balanced team of linemen, throwers, and catchers. Orcs get six unit types, but High Elves have only four player types, Bretonnia and Chaos only get three. This makes it tough to even think of playing as the thinner races with them being so limited. New races were brought into play for the Legendary edition including Halflings, Amazons, Goblins, and Vampires, but they don’t do anything that is awe-inspiring in comparison to the races that were already in the game. Once you’ve seen the attack animation of choice the teams start to blend together again, even if it is kind of cool to see players getting attacked by bears a few times.
Overall, if you’re playing the multiplayer version of this game or playing with friends I could see this game being fun for game or two, but if you are grinding things out in the single-player mode of this game there is a lot to be desired. Blood Bowl 2 tries to do too many different things and does not execute any of them very well. While some laughs can be drawn from the witty banter in commentary at times, it does not make up for all of the game’s missteps.
Note: GameOctane Editor Jason Germino received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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+ Witty, fun commentary
+ Graphics are fairly good
+ Cool artwork for the teams themselves
+ Presentation is good to initially draw you in
-Lacks fluidity to simulate a sports game experience
-Multiplayer is only part of the game with replay value
-Every game feels the same
-Leaves too much up to chance rather than skill
-More teams doesn't improve issues with the game