As a passing fan of the Warhammer games and its larger universe, I did a double-take when I first heard about Bloodbowl. Not only did I find out that it had been a tabletop game for a long time, but I also found out that it was coming to PS4. When I found out that it was essentially a football game set in the Warhammer universe, I had to see this for myself.
Having journeyed with the Reikland Reavers and plenty of other teams, it's time to find out if these two concepts can score a touchdown, or if they smash into each other with less than pleasant results.
The Journey of the Underdog (Narrated by an Ogre and a Vampire)
Blood Bowl 2's concept combines turn-based strategy with football and throws it all into the Warhammer universe. That alone had my attention. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that the game even features a full campaign.
In this entry mode, you control a human team called the Reikland Reavers. Having fallen down on their luck, you need to turn them around and find them favor amongst both fans and sponsors.
The classic underdog story wouldn't be too much on its own, but Bloodbowl 2's campaign is elevated massively by the inclusion of Jim Johnson and Bob Bifford. These are the announcers who narrate the entire adventure and comment on the games you participate in.
Jim's a vampire and Bob himself is an Ogre. They set a great tone for the whole campaign, and while their commentary can be repetitive at times, they still kept a smile on my face, even when the matches started to drag on at times.
Beyond the announcers, the campaign and story in Bloobowl 2 Legendary Edition aren't too remarkable. The fact that is included, however, is a very nice edition that you wouldn't expect from a sports game (at least not until recently where it has become a thing).
It's a great way to introduce yourself to both the universe and the game's mechanics. Let's find out what you can do once you've become acquainted.
A Variety of Modes and Specialized Teams
Bloodbowl 2 Legendary Edition has a lot of different modes to satisfy your urge for both football and Warhammer. Once you've dabbled in the campaign, you can enjoy the Endless League to manage a new team through numerous seasons using your knowledge gained in the campaign.
Local multiplayer is an option for those who want to compete with other players in the same room, but Bloodbowl 2 Legendary Edition also features a large suite of online option for long-term competitive play with both online matches and entires leagues to join.
The newest edition of Bloodbowl 2 also features a huge amount of teams to choose from. Each of these has their own strengths and weakness. Certain teams, like the Halflings for example, are extremely specialized and require a skilled player to properly utilize.
Others, like the humans, are balanced for beginners with a lot of different ways you can play them. It's smart that the game chooses to have you play as humans during the campaign, as they represent the best way to get acquainted with the mechanics.
Speaking of mechanics, let's delve into the actual gameplay of Bloodbowl 2 Legendary Edition. The moment-to-moment gameplay plays out like a turn-based strategy game on a football field. When it's your turn, you can take actions with each of your players to move them or to employ skills to turn the tide in your favor.
For example, you can pass the ball to a distant player and use a few others to knock down enemy players for the next turn so they can't give chase. There's a healthy amount of strategy here, and with the potential to injure or even complete take players out of the game, the stakes are pretty high.
It's also quite satisfying to smash the heads of enemy team players and knock them out for a round. I had a good time learning the ropes and scoring touchdowns, but I also recognize that Blood Bowl 2 isn't for everyone.
Football fans may be happy with the concept, but the turn-based combat that was pulled from the tabletop version may be too slow for them. Likewise, strategy aficionados may very well enjoy the gameplay, but find the football approach too limited in scope.
It sits in a very specific niche, and well some will say that it's a "love it or hate it" kind of game, I felt somewhere in between. While I loved the commentary and the concept, I found that the games themselves dragged on just a bit too long.
While the strategy is satisfying, and the animations suitably visceral, turn-based football tends to rob the sport of its chaotic nature. There's a satisfying level of unpredictability, but the deliberately slow pace of the action drags down the nature of the sport.
Even so, I think those who are interested should absolutely check out Bloodbowl 2 Legendary Edition. There's a huge offering of content, and the concept is solid. While it would be really fun to check out the tabletop game that this is based on, you can check out the full experience here without the need for a long setup in the real world.
Smooth Presentation With Excellent Voice Acting
Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition isn't the most beautiful game you've ever seen, but it does a fine job of making each team and arena look and feel unique. The animations are smooth and suitably intense for moments of clashing, while the announcers do an excellent job in regards to the voice work.
I can't say Bloodbowl 2 Legendary Edition completely clicked with me, but I did really enjoy the concept. If you're a Warhammer fan, a football fan, or a turn-based strategy gamer, this one is certainly worth a look.
Final Score: 7.5/10
A copy of Bloodbowl 2 Legendary Edition was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 9/28/17