Blackguards 2 Reviews
The opening of Blackguards 2 is deep with implication, unpleasant, entirely unfun, and a perfect metaphor for what you're in for with the rest of this game.
Although the turf-war element is fun to experience, the role-playing features of the game are completely uninspiring and feel like replicas of previous RPGs. No, I don’t think the game is a failure, as it is a decent follow up to the first Blackguards.
This still feels like an Alpha or a Beta version that needs to be fleshed out a bit more before it's release. The problem is, it has been released.
Blackguards 2 comes to consoles with the same formula as its first installment, a turn-based tactical RPG. A different title inside the genre that could be interesting for those searching for new adventures.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Its greatest strength is the surprisingly poignant narrative about the muddy area between good and evil. I almost want to play through again to see how different choices will affect the later battles and the story's conclusion, but at 25-30 hours for one playthrough and combat that wears thin toward the end, it is just long enough for me to shy away from that idea.
Blackguards 2 is not a perfect game and, unfortunately, not the reinvention of its predecessor it could have been. However, the game does ultimately reward a little (well, a lot of) patience, developing into a relatively enjoyable campaign once the player has progressed past the early stages.
Blackguards 2 delivers more brutal hex-based strategy and environmental puzzling while refining the original formula in several smart ways. The more open yet focused campaign, propped up by a fantastic central character who's as evil as you want her to be, makes for a satisfying if punishing experience.
Ultimately, Blackguards 2 is very good and enjoyable, but gets weighed down by some stupid limitations and flaws, such as its often unfair difficulty and still-present bugs. It boasts a great strategy aspect and a decent story, but falters elsewhere. Enjoyable, but frustrating at times, and not enough spiders to eat those bugs!
I have sort of enjoyed my time with Blackguards 2, although writing a review where all you really want to do is scream "IT'S THE SAME AS BLACKGUARDS!" has been a challenge. It really is a testament to the fine voice actors and tightly crafted combat above everything else, that even after two extremely similar games I'm still not staggeringly bored of it all. Slightly bored, perhaps, but not staggeringly.
For someone under time constraints and with little patience for having to repeat a long, slow, tough, scenario multiple times, I have to confess that although I wanted to like it, Blackguards 2 hasn't been one of my top gaming experiences.
A series of corrections rather than a sequel
One of the delights of settling down to a turn-based tactical RPG is poking around to understand how its systems combine and then utilising those systems in imaginative and tactically satisfying ways. In this regard, Blackguards 2 delivers. Eventually. The writing and presentation are serviceable rather than spectacular but there's a decent level of scope for customisation and engaging combat if you can push past its trudging opening hours. Cassia and co's deep-seated issues and baggage make them an entertaining bunch and while they won't set your world alight, they eventually prove capable of providing many hours of surprisingly amiable companionship.
Released just a year following the first title, Blackguards 2 wields exactly what you might expect from an abridged development time. The display is largely the same, yet packed with much more detail. The gameplay mechanics are similar, though with a few adjustments based on critical feedback including a much appreciated non-linear approach to story progression. And yet it also carries with it bugs and design flaws that could have been addressed with more vigorous quality assurance testing before delivery of the final product. As a diehard fan of pen-and-paper RPGs brought to life through video games, I would love to see the series continue, but Daedalic really needs to shake up the formula before their next attempt.
An intriguing protagonist and art style can't save you from long battles and artificial content.
Blackguards 2 offers us a good universe inspired by the great titles of classical fantasy literature where betrayals, stereotyped races and magic are more than present in a tactical RPG that is not very ambitious in technical terms, with a very good gameplay but a poor AI and a choices system that is not as deep as it originally seemed.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
When you consider buying Blackguards 2, there are three questions you need to ask yourself. Do you enjoy tactics RPGs? Do you like an interesting high-fantasy story? Do you have hours and hours to sink into a new game? If you answered yes to any of these, then I'd definitely recommend checking out not only Blackguards 2 but its predecessor as well. Daedalic has done a great job at actually listening to the community to help improve their product, and I'm really happy to see what they've done. You're not going to get blown away, but you'll certainly be left with some fond memories and a solid experience.
Blackguards 2 removes much of the chaff from the original game, but you'll still need some patience.
A sometimes frustrating, always enthralling strategy RPG that has its rough spots. The time necessary to get to grips with it is well spent despite this as it rewards you in so very many ways.
Blackguards 2 takes the formula of the initial release and expands upon it, but there's nothing truly innovative, apart from the origin story of Cassia and her frequent moments of near madness.
In spite of these small gripes, Blackguards 2 is a much more complete and better-playing game than its predecessor and will no doubt please all of those who loved the first. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you are a hardcore fan like me), the game has not been streamlined enough to attract casual CRPG fans and will still be far too complex and challenging for those not accustomed to the difficulty of a dyed-in-the-wool European game like Blackguards.