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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Focus Home Interactive
Developed By: Cyanide
Genre: Sports, Strategy
Players: 1-2
Rated: T for Team (Alcohol Reference, Blood and Gore, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence)
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty







October 23, 2015 – What makes people fall in love with sports is how simplistic and approachable they are on the surface, but spend enough time immersed with in, you soon realize how in-depth and strategic these fun simple games are. This facsimile is derived from one of the oldest games known to man… the board game. While there are countless games that are simple and straight-forward, the ones that have stood the test of time is due to the fact that strategy was a key component of its structure. Games like Risk, Clue, Scrabble… and the oldest of them all; Chess have stood the test of time. It’s because of this similarity and the shear amount of fun people have playing games that Game Workshop mashed the two together into a boardgame known as Blood Bowl. With the success of the boardgame and the original installment of the video game adaptation, Focus Home Interactive and developer Cyanide Studios is back with Blood Bowl II.

What makes Blood Bowl II unique and intriguing is the fact that it appeals to those who are into sports or are simply looking for a solid turn-based experience. Quarterbacks, wide-receivers and linemen take the field as would any Madden football game, however it’s the strategy element that takes place off the field which determines a successful play, score or a win. To simplify the process; the offense takes a turn at scoring and once their turn ends, the defense will then act accordingly. Seems simple enough… right?



Blood Bowl II unique structure helps to curve your appetite for crazy plays. Each and every play performed on the field has a success rating attached to it. Whether we are talking about picking up the ball, passing to your wide-receiver or even dodging a tackle; which helps you focus more about the play you are about to perform than on that one miracle pass into the endzone for the touchdown. Also what becomes the huge factor in your strategy on the field is the stats of your players and that of your opponents. Knowing what you can and can't do will help in deciding what plays are best effective against the opposition. While we’ve seen passes to linemen in American Football to save the play and gain some yards; that’s something that may not be in your best interest in Blood Bowl II.

Due to the intricate depth of Blood Bowl II, I advise players who are not familiar with the game to venture through the campaign instead of jumping straight into the multiplayer. While you can certainly pick up things as you play, majority of your online matches will end in a loss for you. However, through the campaign, you are taught the rules of the game with each passing game, allowing you to adjust to the mechanics and capitalize on who you have learned from previous games.



With the 8th generation of consoles, gamers have come to expect ultra-realistic visuals, which is something we have seen in a few games, however Blood Bowl II isn’t one of those games. Not to say the visuals are downright horrible; which is far from the truth. The action on the field and the landscape for each games is unique and well stylized. Character animations are fluid and there was barely any noticeable frame-rate issues. The only negative that stood out was the level of detail within the character models; especially up close. Majority of the game is observed from a top down perspective, however those moments where you see the action up close leaves a little to be desired.

Next to the gameplay mechanics, another area worthy of note is the games audio. While the action of the field is brutal and you are focusing what play to call next, you will find yourself cracking up due to the witty nature of your commentators. This two-man team is comprised of a vampire and an Orc that’s a former player, who throughout the game will crack jokes, banter back and forth and even talk about the action on the field. Throughout the game you will often find yourself asking questions like… Did he really say that? What the heck did he say? Can you let me focus? It’s all in fun and that’s certainly what the commentary aspect of the audio brings to the table.



Outside of the single player campaign, Blood Bowl II gives you are few additional options to sink your teeth into. The first being League mode, which will allow you to create your own bad-ass team to do battle on the field against some of the best the game has to offer. While racking up victories and leaving your opponents dead and defeated on the field, you will earn coins which can be used to purchase various items to give you the edge on the field. Some of these items include the ability to re-roll (saving a turn), utilizing healers to keep your players healthy and on the field longer or even purchase new players for your team.

Taking on the best-of-the-best numerous times within Blood Bowl II will only get you so far. For those itching for some real competition can take the battles online and player against any would-be challengers around the world. You have your choice of simple one-on-one battles against your friends or random strangers, or you can participate in online leagues to test your mustard. Just like the single-player experience offline, you want to keep in mind that these matches can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete.



Hats off to developer Cyanide for being to adapt Game Workshops’ boardgame experience to a rather enjoyable videogame experience. While there is definitely a steep learning curve to the nature of turn-based videogames, it was certainly and fun and enthralling experience. Whether you are veteran playing these types of games or a rookie trying something new, once you learn the ropes, everyone is on equal footing… the question arises, whose strategic approach is better?


8/10



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