I dislike football. I’ve never been a football fan and it’s not because I don’t understand the game. On the contrary, I understand it completely. I just find the game of football incredibly boring. So why am I reviewing a game that is based around the game of football? Well, because Blood Bowl 2 is the craziest mashup of football, fantasy, and strategy that you’ll probably ever see. It’s this pot of mixed ingredients that got me interested. This is a parody of a game I highly dislike what was originally a board game is now brought to life on the small screen.
Blood Bowl 2 is set in a fantasy world not unlike something you’d find from Lord of the Rings. The world is made up of many different fantasy races such as elves, orcs, goblins, and trolls. Each of the different races have their own unique and characteristics along with a colorful assortment of supporting cast. What were once little plastic figurines on a game board are now living, breathing characters on your TV. These aren’t just characters with basic animations either. These characters have a full array of realistic animations tailored for each race. Not only that, the crowds, camera crew, cheerleaders, and commentators are all fully animated as well.
The art in Blood Bowl 2 in pretty incredible. Not only are the character designs very well done, but the arenas themselves are magnificent. These aren’t just simply designed, generic arenas. Each team gets their own unique stadium that is massive in scale and filled with life. You choose your stadium and how you want to upgrade them. Each upgrade can even affect how your matches play out. The crowds in the game rowdy, loud, and ready to tear the heads off of the opposing team and that’s just fine by me. No one wants to play a sport where the crowds are dead silent, so the crowds here play just as an important roll in the game as the players do. If only other sports games had crowds this lively, I would probably like playing sports games more.
Of course playing the game is just half of the entertainment. The other half is provided by the colorful commentary presented by “Jim and Bob” of Cabal Vision. These are some hilarious commentators that breath humor and life into the game. Basically before each match in campaign, they’ll do a little bit of back and forth highlighting both teams before taking you to the stadium. when in a match, they’ll highlight all the plays as well as any shenanigans that might go on.
There is a lot of polish in Blood Bowl 2 and it does a really good job of bring this board game to life. It’s a beautiful game with much to see and hear. Fans of Warhammer and Blood Bowl should really get a kick out of this.
While Blood Bowl 2 is based on the game of football, it’s not football like you know it at all. The football here is more like a strategy game consisting of turn-based movements and random dice encounters. The game lasts for 2 halves. Each half lasts for 8 turns. In those 8 turns, you muse try to score as many goals as possible.
Each player on your team can only be moved once per turn. They can move to any position on the field that is allowed. Players can interact with fellow teammates by throwing or passing the ball and can interact with the opposing team by attempting a tackle or push back. These events are all decided upon by chance and the randomness of the dice so while the game does require a fair bit of strategy, there’s always that bit of chance that can either make or break your best laid plans. Mainly, just keep attacking the ball and find ways to position your players to open areas.
Blood Bowl 2 features many different game modes – both local and online. Campaign mode is where I spent most of my time going through the ups and downs of the Reikland Reavers. Basically you are rebuilding the team from scratch and trying to get them back to their former glory days. I like the fact that there is a story mode, which is very uncommon for a sports game.
Multiplayer modes include local play against a friend or online where you can choose to enter a league or create your own league from scratch. I haven’t done any online multiplayer because I don’t know anyone else who has the game yet and I’m not really too big on playing sports games online with strangers.
I’m still not a fan of football, except if it’s of the Blood Bowl variety. While real football is only mildly violent, Blood Bowl 2 is takes that and cranks it way up. It’s what I kind of wish real football was like but that’s not something that will ever happen. Football traditionalists however might not like Blood Bowl 2 due to its rather slow pacing and turn based action, but I think that’s what I really love most about it. I like the fact that I can actually control each and every one of my players with almost complete control of what they do. I like that there’s a distinct bias towards strategy where it’s more of a mind game and less of game where it just feels like I’m mashing buttons and going through some scripted series of moves.
With that said, Blood Bowl 2 is one of the more interesting sports inspired games I’ve played. I’m impressed with the theme, gameplay, and presentation of the game and it all just seems to work well together. This is one of the few sports games that I’ll actually play voluntarily.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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