Xbox 360 Review: Blood Bowl

When you are playing a bad game, the last thing you’ll want to know is that Cyanide was involved…

If you read my PC review of Blood Bowl back in September, you’ll know that I was hardly a fan (giving it 6.5/10) I just didn’t like how it handled. To be honest, it felt like an incomplete game with awkward controls and poor gameplay. Alas, I wasn’t expecting much from the console version…and I’m glad I didn’t raise my hopes. 5 minutes into playing Blood Bowl on the 360 and I already knew it was miles worse than the PC version.
The biggest problem for me has to be the fact that the game looks awful. It could probably just qualify as an XBLA title and maybe that would have worked best, but to charge full price for a game that looks this poor is asking a lot. Of course, visuals aren’t everything…but the controls aren’t much better either. It’s somehow even more awkward to control and just plain confusing. Those who know the do’s and don’ts of Blood Bowl will know what to do, but newcomers will become increasingly frustrated with the way it handles.

The console version manages to keep intact all the game modes from the PC, but be prepared for long load times…which I just cannot understand. On the plus side, the deep management and customisation options are still as good as on the PC. Fans of the traditional game will find a lot to like here, but if you don’t like Warhammer or American Football, you’ll find it rather difficult to enjoy Blood Bowl for one second.
And that’s the problem with the game. It appeals to the fans, but isn’t accessible to anyone else. If you aren’t familiar with it at all, you’ll feel completely out of your depth…even after learning the rules. The tutorials do an average job of explaining things, but once they are over…I kept forgetting how to do specific things and had to revisit them a few times to learn them properly. As with the PC version, the brutality is the main selling point…but with load times that are even longer than on the PC (which were painfully long anyway) it’s hard to have patience to see the violence in action.

The Verdict

Everything about Blood Bowl is off-putting. The controls are awkward, the game looks dated beyond a joke, load times are awful and only fans of the board game will know exactly what to do. It’s one for the fans, but for no-one else. There aren’t any improvements over the PC version; instead it’s a weaker version. So if you absolutely must play Blood Bowl…make sure you get it on PC instead.