PC Review: Blood Bowl

The classic Warhammer game heads to the PC with mixed results…

Many of you will know that I’m not a huge fan of American Football. I’m not familiar with Blood Bowl, but I fail to see how a game of the sport with Orcs, Wood Elves, Humans, Dwarfs would appeal to anyone who hasn’t played the original board game. I guess it’s one of those games that appeals only to major fans of both Warhammer and American Football. Features below:

2 radically different game modes: Turn-based for a faithful adaptation of the board game, or Real-Time for intense and spectacular matches.

8 different races, each offering its own style of play: Humans, Orcs, Skaven, Dwarfs, Wood Elves, Goblins, Lizardmen and Chaos.

Magnificent graphical rendering, literally giving life to the Blood Bowl miniatures!

Take part in a full Blood Bowl campaign to win the 15 championship trophies and cups while developing your own team.

Export your own team from a championship and play it in One-off matches or in multiplayer.

Create your own online League and challenge other player and participate to online tournaments on the internet to rise your team on the top of the official online rankings!

Get started easily and progressively using the in-game tutorial and 3 levels of difficulty.
The game itself isn’t terrible, but it is hard to get to grips with…especially if you are unfamiliar with how to play it. There’s a steep learning curve and the tutorial isn’t the best I’ve come across, the controls are hard to get to grips with at first which makes it all the harder to get into the game. Load times are especially long, which I do not understand for a PC game like this. It isn’t the best looking game and the hardware I was running it on was powerful enough to load Crysis quickly, so why was the load times longer for Blood Bowl? Strange indeed.

On the plus side, there is a lot of depth to be found in Blood Bowl…even in terms of management. You can manage the popularity and sponsorship of players, buy and sell players and so on. There is a level of strategy in the game that will please fans of the classic board game, but newcomers like myself will be put off as it seems to do everything for the fans and becomes inaccessible to anyone else.
You can choose to play the game in real-time or turn-based modes, the latter which seems a little odd for a sports game. But this was the way to play the original, so I understand why it was included in the game. The level of brutality is perhaps the best aspect of the game and is something newbies and fans can all enjoy. In multiplayer, the player will be able to throw down a challenge to other Blood Bowl players and participate in large tournaments online to climb the leaderboards.

The Verdict

I really don’t know what to make of Blood Bowl. I can see the appeal of it to fans, but everyone else will wonder what all the fuss is about. It’s steep learning curve is off-putting to newcomers and the controls take some getting used to. Overall, it’s purely for the fans and no-one else.


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