kevin;;blood bowl;;sports;;football;;rugby;;cyanide;;focus Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen


By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on October 1, 2015

This isn’t your normal match of Football, this is Blood Bowl! Blood Bowl is an epic fantasy take on one of America’s favorite sports, football. While the players in the NFL make millions to play football, these Dwarves, Orcs, Elves, Ogres, Humans and other fantasy races are getting paid a lot less to put their lives on the line.

Blood Bowl was originally created by Jervis Johnson for the British games company Games Workshop in 1987 as a parody of American Football (Yes, the one and only). Just like other products of Games Workshop, it was a board game with miniatures and an awesome playing field. Due to its great popularity, it was made into a videogame for MS-DOS back in 1995 and a second videogame for Microsoft Windows and the Nintendo DS in 2009. The latter of the two was ported to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation Portable a year later, and to iOS in 2014. Now, the Blood Bowl series is back with an all-new game: Blood Bowl II. Cyanide Studios, best known for their work on a bunch of rugby-, cycling- and other sports simulation games in the past decade, is behind the development of this latest installation in the series. While Blood Bowl isn’t your average sports game it still resembles both Rugby and Football in a lot of ways, with an added bit of mature content.

In essence, Blood Bowl is a one of a kind strategy game, featuring a mix of sports simulation. Where normal sports games offer players licensed teams and characters, Blood Bowl offers a bunch of ugly looking creatures that are ready for battle. Blood Bowl isn’t just a sport; it’s a matter of life and death. A typical game plays out through a series of turn-based strategic moves, which may or may not result in the death of one of your characters.

After the introductory match, you can create your own team from one of the many races available. When you’re done assembling your team, you’ll have to give it a proper name and set a home stadium. Every character on the team can be customized and renamed to create your very own personal team of ugly-looking bad-ass Blood Bowl athletes. Once you’re happy with the team you’ve created, you can go on to playing local matches, online matches, starting your own league or playing through the campaign.

The campaign offers a tutorial and many situational games to prepare you for online matches and help you become good at the game at hand. Blood Bowl itself is, like I mentioned before, a strategy game, thus each and every player can be moved across the playing field like a chess piece. Each type of player has its own stats, abilities and offers their own play-style. Some players are limited to a few steps on the field but do more damage, while others are more agile and can move across half the length of the field in one go. This creates a unique take on the game and really makes it a one of a kind sports game. And what do sports games need? Of course, live commentary! In Blood Bowl II, commentary is provided by Bob and Jim. These two characters are rather funny and occasionally hilarious, but unfortunately, also a bit repetitive at times.

When you start a match, you can put your players in attack or defensive positions. You are free to use one of the preset lineups or distribute your players freely on your side of the field. Each and every player can be controlled during your turn and you are free to end your turn whenever you want. Each player has to be moved separately and you’re limited to use every player once a turn. Once you’re done with your turn you end the turn and the AI or opponent player takes over. Your goal is to reach the End Zone with one of your players carrying the ball, also known as a Touchdown. When you confront an enemy player, one or multiple dice are rolled, which determine the outcome of this clash. You can either be knocked down, knock down your opponent, knock each other down, push the other player aside or block his move. When either you or your opponent gets knocked down, the character is either stunned, K.O.’d, just down for the turn or even killed. When a character is stunned they’re out of the game for a certain amount of turns, after which they come back into play. When they’re K.O.’d, they are out for the entire match, unless they are revived during a kick off, If they’re killed… well, they’re finished.

I had an absolutely great time playing blood Bowl II and am even becoming quite a fan of the game. Though it’s not as good and immersive as some of the bigger sports games like Madden or NBA 2K, but Blood Bowl II still offers a good time and is probably one of the best strategy games I played on a console. So if you’re up for a good match, and are not afraid of broken or mangled body parts, just give this game a whirl. I’ll see you on match day!

available on:

Cyanide Studio & Focus Home Interactive
September 22, 2015