Blackguards 2 (Hands-On) (PC) Preview

By Ian Soltes 17.12.2014

Review for Blackguards 2 (Hands-On) on PC

Blackguards 2 is a game that, despite seeming to have at least some of the right pieces, is mired in technical problems. Blackguards 2 is developed and published by Daedalic Entertainment, and is an interestingly dark and disturbing turn-based tactical RPG. Cubed3 was given the chance to try an early version to see if the wrongs of the first game have been righted.

The story follows a young and recently deposed woman named Cassia who gets thrown into the pits, doomed to die at the hands (fangs?) of the spiders that dwell within, whilst the world above forgets entirely about her. As the years pass by, her sanity struggles to maintain itself as she becomes horribly disfigured by spider bites, learns to fight on her own, and finally escapes. Now a free woman, of questionable mindset and a desire for revenge on the people who abandoned her and a desire to rule over the realm, she has set out to gather allies and dominate the world.

Following in the footsteps of many tactical RPGs before it, there is little to be surprised about in Blackguards 2. There is a grid-map viewed from an overhead perspective, the player selects their characters at the start of each level, and then they set out to accomplish a series of goals in order to defeat the stage and move on. It's pretty straightforward on the whole and, while Blackguards 2 does its best to accommodate gamers and provide helpful tools - such as the ability to check the likelihood of hitting a foe - there is nothing amazingly stand-out that can't be seen in other games of a similar nature, insofar as combat goes.

What is interesting is the overworld map. Instead of opting for a simple series of missions, or even just a series of randomised battles, for resources the game provides a map with a series of towns and other locations, with each providing certain bonuses and assets. Taking one location will bolster the defence of Cassia's mercenaries, while another will boost their attack, all while the enemy forces are trying to push back and claim their old territory, resulting in a need for management and map control.

Screenshot for Blackguards 2 (Hands-On) on PC

However, despite the decent ideas and notions Blackguards 2 has, that is all they are at the time - ideas and notions that could become decent, maybe even great, but seemed trapped in an endless maze of technical bugs that constantly gnaw away at the game, similar to Cassia's own predicament at the start of the story. This makes everything incredibly frustrating to play (at least in its current preview state) as an entire mission may be scrapped simply because the player assigned a hero to one mission in a series only for the next to come up and reveal that the player can't start the mission until they have one more hero… the one they just sent off!

It is not limited to issues like that though, and extends to even basic problems that clearly show the game has plenty of technical work to undergo. For example, if shopping at the blacksmith and then deciding to head back to camp, or even go on a mission without fully closing the blacksmith screen, the purchasing screen will STILL be up once the mission actually starts! Bits of blatantly missing dialogue, some strange issues with how viable some of the maps are, and the like, show that Blackguards 2's potential cannot be filled just yet in this nowhere near complete form.

Screenshot for Blackguards 2 (Hands-On) on PC

Final Thoughts

Blackguards 2 has at least some of the right pieces to be a decent, possibly even great, game that delves into a dark fantasy world without becoming one of the 'everything is evil and pain' kinds that seem to pop up everywhere that 'dark fantasy' seems to go. However, in its current state it is simply impossible to tell how good the final product is going to be since far too many pieces are missing. It's like trying to figure out the game of chess when all the knights, the black rook, and several pawns are missing. Even with a guide and general concept of how the game is played, it is simply difficult to tell how it might turn out in the end. Keep an eye on this as Daedalic Entertainment does have a strong reputation and will be taking feedback going forwards during the development period.

Developer

Daedalic

Publisher

Daedalic

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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