I’ve played Blood Bowl in table top format, so I skipped the tutorial and created a wood elf team to go kick some blood-bowlian ass. The game consists of two teams of 11 players and a match is played in two halves are made up of 8 turns, which can be extended or decreased with a bribe, and can go into overtime depending on what kind of match your playing. Your goal is to score as many touchdowns as possible, sound simple? Well it would be if you weren’t facing a horde of enemies that will kill all your players given a chance!!
Blood bowl starts off as one of the most infuriating games you’re likely to play. Each action you try and do will backfire, each tactic you have carefully considered will dissapate and any form of faith in the fairness of computer games will be burnt to a crisp. My first two games, I was trounced on the Easy setting. 2-0 then 4-0. The advantages the other team had like more money and players with equipment, really helped them out and hindered me.
They could afford to bribe the ref, or pay for star players… or had players over level 1 who could have equipment. I however, could not. I just had my lvl 1 linemen, 2 catchers and a thrower. You might not be able to see the dice roll, but in the bottom right hand corner of the screen is a list of all the rolls that have been secretly done for you. You begin to fear the sound of the die rolling, as if you fail at anything (picking up a ball, passing the ball, catching the ball, moving past an enemy without getting hit, attacking a player, etc..) then your turn is forfeit and it goes over to the other team.
As I say, the first few games were an excersise in frustration, I was wondering how much longer I’d be able to take hammerings before throwing the controller at the tv… However, my third match onwards things have been getting better. Once 1 or 2 characters reached lvl2 I could give them a skill to help them out, and once I’d gotten a higher ammount of fans, my luck seemed to improve too.
Blood Bowl is a game you need to invest some time into, and even though it started shaky with how fair the game felt, after a few hours it’s gotten to a point where my strategies can be pulled off and I wont leave the pitch with (m)any injuries. I even won the first competition!
There are I think 8 races in this, and more races coming in the form of DLC, and each race really does have a different playing style, for example the Goblins are weak but fast and your Chaos Warriors are strong but slow. You have to vary your strategies depending on who you’re up against.
I’ve not played online yet, but I’ve played hotseat with my brother. I’m glad to say that you can have your custom teams play each other as long as your both signed in and the teams are saved on your individiual profiles.
All in all this really is a faithful representation of the board game, without the half an hour downtime to set it up. Once you’ve gotten past the tough first few games it really opens up, it’s violent, it’s gory, it’s a thinking mans game too, but most importantly it is a fun game, and will keep you busy for some time.
HOWEVER!!! DUN DUN DUN!!! If you are going to get this, I’d say get the PC version. They’ve really F**ked us over on customisation on this! The trailer shows you being able to change the colors of everything, however that’s not in this version, just Red V Blue.
Xbox360 version 8/10