Developed by CYANIDE and published by Focus Home Interactive comes Blood Bowl 2, American Football mixed with a tactical RPG theme. Blood Bowl 2 is the follow up to the 2009 title, which is based on the Game Workshop board game. In Bloodbowl 2 the objective is to score more touchdowns then your opponent by any means necessary in a more violent version of American Football.
Blood Bowl 2: Xbox One, PC, Playstation 4 [Reviewed]
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: 22 September 2015
Price: £39.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Developer/Publisher]
Blood Bowl 2’s looks and feels great complete with a sports broadcast consisting of two hosts, Bob Bifford and Jim Johnson, who also commentate on the game and bring some light hearted humour to the game. The game also acts as a love letter to the board game, including all of the rules from the latest version of the rulebook of the Games Workshop version. Cyanide have also taken note of complaints from the previous title and created a campaign mode where you take over the Reikland Reavers, a Championship team who have fallen on hard times and have replaced all of its players with rookies. During the Campaign players are tasked with helping the Reavers bring back the glory years, with the rules slowly introduced, this, for me is far more appropriate then the previous games text.
The gameplay is well presented and continues the running theme of a real sports broadcast, with team introductions and in game commentary, this is all topped off with crowd shots whenever a touchdown is scored. Blood Bowl 2 is turn based with each turn timed. Each match is split into two halves with eight turns per side, per half. Games are centred on the roll of a dice, which are automated, with one of the games rules bringing your go to an unfortunate an abrupt end, if one of your players happens to fumble the ball or gets sacked during a tackle.
At times Blood Bowl 2 can feel very frustrating with dice rolls feeling a little one sided, I personally suffered on multiple occasions as my running back would fumble the ball over and over only to stand by and watch as the A.I controlled opposition team run literal rings around my team while somehow evading every single attempt at a block before heading into the End-Zone for a touchdown. It appears that the game favours the A.I a whole lot more than it does the player, dice rolls are testament to that.
The real fun of Blood Bowl 2 is the multiplayer and this is where the game explodes into life, whereas the single player matches might appear to be very unfair, playing against a human Online brings a real edge to the game and can leave for some fantastic moments. Instead of watching as the A.I sweep around me, helpless, I end up praying for a mistake from my opponent so I can punish them with my next dice throw. The sports presentation of Blood Bowl 2 comes to the fray with the Online multiplayer and for me this is where the real action lies.
There is no greater feeling then playing against friends and watching the drama unfold as tactics meet pure violence, it emulates the feeling you get from the board game exceedingly well.
Overall, CYANIDE have succeeding in creating a fantastic fantasy based sports game with a polished presentation and great in game commentary. At times the game can feel like it’s totally against you with the lopsided dice rolls, but switch to the multiplayer mode and the game springs to life like a wide receiver taking in a throw from his quarter back and heading down the field at a rate of knots.
The dice rolls and game rules are very akin to the board game which helps bring a large sense of authenticity to Blood Bowl 2 and maybe the true fans of the original board game would enjoy this more then newcomers who might find the rules a little hard to understand, but playing with friends online is very enjoyable and something to experience.