The Blood Bowl series may look like a football game from a distance, but it’s more akin to a turn-based fantasy sports game that mixes in football elements with characters from the Warhammer universe. In fact, the upcoming Blood Bowl 3 is based on the titular board game’s newest edition and utilizes its new rules and content letting longtime players feel right at home. For those new to the series, a steep learning curve and some strategic planning await.
Your goal in each game is to, of course, get your ball to the end zone, but getting there is not like you would expect in a traditional sports game. Instead, rolling the dice will determine several factors such as how far you can run, dodge, or pass the ball. Even the weather at the start of each turn can affect certain playing conditions such as needing to switch out certain teammates from the heat so it adds something else you need to keep in mind during your play.
Each team you can select also has its own quirks that can change your playstyle for a game. For those interested in more brawn than speed, the Black Orcs are the team to pick as their players can take on a beating on the defense but are bad at running with the ball. Conversely, the more nimble Elven Union is quick on their feet but very frail. The Beta offers three teams to choose from in addition to the more balanced Imperial Nobility team but the final game is expected to come with 12 teams at launch.
Visually, the game already does a great job at inviting you into its world with gorgeous renders and impressive lighting effects on Unreal Engine 4. Even the grunts and the humorous quips made by the commentators sound right on point. And for a series known for its twisted blend of comedy, it’s already winning in that respect.
The final version of the game will also let you customize your players and teams and even let you create your own uniform designs and team members allowing you to fully manage a team of your choosing. You will also be able to take on a story-based campaign and play additional multiplayer and competitive modes.
We will have to wait for more as the game has some time to go before its launch. Blood Bowl 3 beta is currently available through Steam. Developer Cyanide Studio expects it to be available for Early Access in September with a full release targeted for February 2022.
Giancarlo Saldana | Gamepressure.com