Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition
The Warhammer universe has seen a lot of play as of late. The venerable IP is on par with Dungeons & Dragons as far as its ubiquity is concerned. However, whereas I can instantly name numerous digital iterations of the D&D pen and paper games that were really great, I can only count good Warhammer ones on one hand—and we’re not talking all five fingers here, either.
Total War: Warhammer is one such gleaming example of the Warhammer IP done right, and Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, while not quite as impressive, was still decent fun. Space Hulk: Deathwing (WH: 40K) has potential, but isn’t quite there yet. That’s three good Warhammer games to date, in my humble opinion.
What I like about Cyanide Studio’s take on the Warhammer franchise is that it’s much more light-hearted in tone than the other WH offerings. Their Blood Bowl series is based on the classic Games Workshop board game of the same name. Whereas the first Blood Bowl video game introduced the mechanics of the digital adaptation to the gaming masses, the follow-up, Blood Bowl 2, offered more races and additional game modes. If you happened to purchase the Gold Edition of BB 2 you’d also get all of the DLC races as well.
The latest game, Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition, offers even more bells and whistles in the form of eight further new races, even more game modes, and the ability to mix teams under certain circumstances. It also sports a full-fledged campaign which follows players to take command of underdog Reikland Reavers. The Reavers are a human Blood Bowl team who has gone through its fair share of trials and tribulations, but is set to rise from the ashes like a phoenix (under the player’s guidance of course).
The campaign, however, basically serves as an in-depth tutorial that introduces new players to the game’s mechanics, sense of style and silly humor, and the basic rules of Blood Bowl. The campaign is pretty lengthy too, and took me about a dozen or so games to complete in total. One thing that I would certainly suggest for newbies to do is that you play the campaign, because underneath BB2: LE’s hood lies a surprisingly complex game.
BB2: LE’s gameplay is its bread and butter, and this large, standalone expansion basically heaps tons of new content onto the pre-existing game. Once you’ve completed the campaign (or if you’re a returning player) you’ll find BB2: LE a pretty accessible game, but one that is simultaneously hard to master. Each individual game match is also pretty darn long, and a sense of tedium may sometimes set in for the less patient gamers out there. However, if you stick it out, it offers a tremendous amount of super-fun strategic gameplay, especially against other human opponents.
All 26 teams sport eleven players each, and individual players are varied in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. The game is played by moving members of your team up and down the digital representation of a board according to their movement points, and it depends on die rolls for each and every action that takes place. Think of it as a more brutal, fantasy version of football, but turn-based instead of real time.
Just as with football, you’ll attempt to carry or catch the ball into your opponent’s end zone, and thereby score points against them. There are many other actions that can be performed in the furtherance of either allowing you to score, or stopping your foe’s team from scoring. All of these factors depend on how many action point you have as well as each player’s individual abilities.
Some teams are naturally better at certain things. For instance, High Elves are fragile and can’t take too much punishment, but are also highly agile and have a superb passing game. Meanwhile, Halflings, which are sort of a joke team, sport legs that are so stubby that they might as well be slugs crawling up and down the fields.
Player injuries (and even deaths) have to be taken into account, as well as gaining new abilities based on their experience earned. Therefore, it can become a balancing act—do you want to risk putting your more valuable players out there and risk getting them taken out? Or, should you protect them a little more but in doing so not allow them to earn as much experience as their teammates?
BB2: LE’s graphics aren’t really anything to write home about, but they are detailed well enough. They’re not quite on par with say, Total War: Warhammer, but they’re not supposed to be. They serve as a digital representation of the classic board game that they’re based on, and to that end manage quite well.
Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition is a great turn-based strategy game with loads and loads of tactical depth. It also has a more humorous tone than other Warhammer games, and is perfect for fans of bizarre versions of sports games, such as Mario Kart or NBA Street.
Blood Bowl 2 features great graphics that make its goofy fantasy theme come alive. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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