Blackguards PC

User Score
7.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 215 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 215

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Dec 5, 2014
    5
    There is a game here. that I would love to recommend, but it's buried under layers of amateur mistakes and endless frustration. The game gives no real help in understanding, how it's core mechanics work, the heart and soul of any RPG, the leveling-up system is seriously flawed, since weapon attacks are way overpowered, spells, however are nearly useless. The graphics are acceptable,There is a game here. that I would love to recommend, but it's buried under layers of amateur mistakes and endless frustration. The game gives no real help in understanding, how it's core mechanics work, the heart and soul of any RPG, the leveling-up system is seriously flawed, since weapon attacks are way overpowered, spells, however are nearly useless. The graphics are acceptable, nothing more, and the voice-acting is sometimes painful.
    There are two features of the game: either you are looking at animated backgrounds, with conversation bubbles on them, clicking on it, will start dialogue, or trade options, or you are fighting some battles. Linking these to together is a world map, that is needlessly big, plus you can only travel to a known location, as in Baldur's Gate 2, so you can not stroll around.
    Since the whole game is build upon the fight mechanics, I expected it to excel on this field, but was somewhat disappointed. Apart from useless simple attacks, that the enemy uses 90% of the time, there are special moves - unlocked for ungodly amount of XP, as in Vampire: The masquerade - Redemption - these moves usually do exponentially more damage, for some minor hit chance decrease. But they don't have cool-down timers, so nothing prevents you, from constantly spamming triple-attacks, or critical hits. Sure, you will hit less times, but for triple damage, meaning you are still better off. And yet, the enemy combat AI almost never uses it. And still, the game is frustrating, and way too hard.
    The game tries to pose a challenge, but it does so, by implementing rules to most battles - like you have to defeat enemies within 7 turns, or the whole map is filled with traps, that deal permanent, and punitive damage. They are annoying, nothing else. I had battles, that made me give up for months - the nine-army gladiator fight - for being so needlessly hard. Enemy units usually attack closest ally with normal attacks, but will hit their mark 95% of the time, plus they will be highly resistant to the same spells and attacks, that will otherwise render your characters immobile, or paralyzed.
    Understand this: it's not hard, because the AI plays well, it is hard, because it's unfair.
    And what pains me the most, is that the game nails the most important aspect of an RPG perfectly! The story! That was the only thing that managed to bring me back, and made me push through it. I needed to know, what happened, and why, because it was interesting. Not the real twists, or the actual plot line, but the delivery, which is very funny, and the characters. The whole storytelling perspective of flashbacks, showing you the friends and allies, who now, in the present, are sworn enemies, bent on killing the protagonist. The banter among the NPC-s, and the personalities of these thugs, who will join you, are fantastic!
    It's such a same, that I had to suffer through dozens of nearly identical battles, which wore me down terribly. If you can handle frustration and repetition, and you can go without actual help from the game, then give it a try, otherwise: just run.
    5/10
    Expand
  2. Dec 6, 2014
    5
    I feel terrible for anyone that paid $40 for this game.
    Voice acting was good, graphics are fair, there seems to be some depth and strategy, but that's where the good stuff ends.
    CONS: - very difficult to compare item upgrades - questing interface in towns is barebones - work vs reward doesn't balance. In other words, if you're in an encounter fighting 3 enemies and more get summoned
    I feel terrible for anyone that paid $40 for this game.
    Voice acting was good, graphics are fair, there seems to be some depth and strategy, but that's where the good stuff ends.
    CONS:
    - very difficult to compare item upgrades
    - questing interface in towns is barebones
    - work vs reward doesn't balance. In other words, if you're in an encounter fighting 3 enemies and more get summoned or spawned you don't get xp (AP) payout. It's very frustrating fighting a simple and fast encounter for 25 xp payout....and then the next encounter you work your butt off in a brutal and slow fight and also get only 25xp.
    - ability points are ridiculous. It's far too easy to unbalance your character and go down the wrong path skilling yourself up. This is a clunky miserable mess for tuning up your character with a billion moving parts to navigate.
    - Cinematic and cut scene animations (particularly mouth movement) are hideous. While not a major detriment, it's still a low quality blemish that deserves a call out.

    There are plenty of gamers that can look past these flaws and have a fun time but I'm not one of them. Good effort but falls really short.
    Expand
  3. Jul 6, 2014
    6
    A mediocre tactical fantasy RPG with nice graphics.

    Character creation and improving is overly complex but when you figure out the best approach you are effectively only choosing what type of weapon or what spells you will use. Typical combat starts with buffs if necessary and then you use your strongest attacks with good hit chance until everything is dead. There are battles with
    A mediocre tactical fantasy RPG with nice graphics.

    Character creation and improving is overly complex but when you figure out the best approach you are effectively only choosing what type of weapon or what spells you will use.

    Typical combat starts with buffs if necessary and then you use your strongest attacks with good hit chance until everything is dead. There are battles with other objectives but new ideas are few and far between. Early on there is a focus on using environmental tools to exploit the stupid AI but later on there are many generic battles where you have to cut down a number of generic humanoids with little effort.

    The story is the typical heroes saving the world from a great evil with standard plot elements. Characters are very shallow and stereotypical.

    World exploration is fairly boring because you only see battles and town screens. Many of the towns being very empty with a few service providers and sometimes a quest giver. Side quests usually only provide some extra exp and gold, finding better gear doesn't happen very often.

    The game is still worth a try if you are a fan of the genre and it looks better than most other games in the genre.
    Expand
  4. Jul 15, 2014
    5
    Combat is widely reported as being the heart of Blackguards. Except it isn't. It is its saving grace, but the heart of Blackguards actually lies elsewhere.

    The combat starts out highly enjoyable, and would receive an excellent grade if it maintained the quality it has in chapter one and iterated upon it in the later chapters. But instead, the game fades out, with good combat in chapter
    Combat is widely reported as being the heart of Blackguards. Except it isn't. It is its saving grace, but the heart of Blackguards actually lies elsewhere.

    The combat starts out highly enjoyable, and would receive an excellent grade if it maintained the quality it has in chapter one and iterated upon it in the later chapters. But instead, the game fades out, with good combat in chapter two, drifting to okay combat in chapter three and part of four, and collapsing in chapter four into becoming rote routine through most of four and all of five. What drags it down is, in part, what turns out to be only a small number of ideas for antagonist combat styles, but is largely due to the heavily imbalanced character development system.

    For all of the famed glory of the Blackguards combat system, there actually isn't much to it. The party is made up of five members, and they usually fight from 6-7 enemies, occasionally more, sometimes less. The battles take place on a hex-grid, and they take place in turns based on individual character speed and an initiative roll.

    Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of enemy variety. There are a large number of enemy portraits to fight. But there are not a wide variety of methods of attack. Most enemies are melee grunts who attack using the same pattern and single attack, whether they are mindless zombies or (supposedly) intelligent bandits. A few combats have enemies with ranged ability, which they use in a largely random fashion, instead of a focused aggressive one. And a rare few have spellcasters, which use their spells in a largely ineffective fashion. Combats against opponents with special abilities beyond that are really rare.

    On the other hand, it is good for the party that enemies remain stupid and unfocused, as the party are always outnumbered and usually fighting on empty square battlemaps, and thus a focused effort would likely easily overwhelm the party. As it is, the enemy AI strikes largely randomly, effective (such as it is) only by its superior numbers.

    Likewise, the enemy do not have all of the special abilities that the party do. Again, this is a must for the survivability of the party. If the enemy were given full access to all of those abilities, then the party would just fall over when facing them. Much as the enemy does with the party during the latter parts of the game.

    Damage output ramps up from 10 to 15 to 25 to 50 (with over 90 on a critical) with each power upgrade. And once you get a power upgrade, there is no real reason to user a weaker attack in that line ever again. There is just no reason to NOT attempt to do 50 points of damage instead of 10. While the chance to hit when a character first gains Super Improved Power Attack is low, that does not outweigh the damage output.

    On top of that, the mages gain access to haste at about the same time the warriors gain access to Super Improved Power Attack. So, suddenly the warriors can do 90 points of damage in one attack and they can do it twice in one round! Only a handful of enemies can survive even one 90-point damage attack, much less 2. Thus, once the party has Super Improved Power Attack and haste, they can use just those two abilities to conquer 99.9% of the rest of the combats in the game. And half of the remaining 0.1% demand only the use of a couple of heals or an elemental knockdown.

    Which leads to the main issue with the combat - the gameplay is badly balanced. Open character development systems are really hard to balance, and this one is not even remotely in the balanced ballpark. There are some aspects of the character that are hugely beneficial (Super Improved Power Attack), some that are only of minor benefit (Read Enemy hp), and some that are of no benefit at all (fireball). Thus, the difficulty of the game lies almost entirely in the character sheet.

    And that means nothing you do on the battlefield matters, after leaving chapter one. Tactical gameplay is thrown out the window, and the game becomes a game of character building strategy. Battles are won and lost by wise choices on the character sheet, not through brilliant tactics in the field. Which means the vaunted tactical combat of Blackguards gets lost in a haze of character builds and spreadsheeting.
    Expand
  5. Feb 9, 2014
    7
    The best thing about this game, mentioned by a few other reviewers, is the difficulty. It's challenging, even on the Normal setting and truly painful on Hard. At least in the first half of the game, before the characters are developed.
    People who enjoyed Heroes of Might and Magic combat, will find this familiar, however there is a lot more luck involved in Blackguards. Misses, parries,
    The best thing about this game, mentioned by a few other reviewers, is the difficulty. It's challenging, even on the Normal setting and truly painful on Hard. At least in the first half of the game, before the characters are developed.
    People who enjoyed Heroes of Might and Magic combat, will find this familiar, however there is a lot more luck involved in Blackguards. Misses, parries, dodges and damage rolls play a huge role and even though they prevent the player from winning battles with a set strategy every time, they make a lot of the combat tedious.
    Good character development is important - knowing the skills and reaching those which will allow you to implement your desired strategy makes the game easier sooner. Some spells, like the area-wide debuffs on enemies or the ultimate melee and bow skills are a little too strong. Like in almost all RPGs past a certain point in character development, the game becomes easy.
    The story isn't too engaging. There is mystery but the path is linear and the player's decisions whether moral or not, do not seem to have any effect.
    The thing I missed the most, is a choice in companions. I realise this would require a little more voice acting and animation, however it would also add a lot more variety to the game-play. Currently, players who do not opt to go for the generic warrior-tank are severely gimped in combat, since out of the 4 playable companions, 3 can't really take a hit without being knocked down or wounded. Having 2 melee warriors seems a necessity, at least on normal and hard difficulty.
    Overall the game is enjoyable, but the linear nature of the story, and little variety in companions cause it to become boring a lot sooner than it should.
    Expand
  6. Jan 24, 2014
    6
    I really enjoy a good turn based RPG, Blackguards has some merit, but something always feels really off.

    I haven't played a PnP RPG since my AD&D days so I'm not familiar with The Dark Eye character set and Blackguards does little to explain how to raise skills. Even when I'm at a trainer will all prerequisites and enough AP to buy the skill, it won't let me. So whatever. In any case I
    I really enjoy a good turn based RPG, Blackguards has some merit, but something always feels really off.

    I haven't played a PnP RPG since my AD&D days so I'm not familiar with The Dark Eye character set and Blackguards does little to explain how to raise skills. Even when I'm at a trainer will all prerequisites and enough AP to buy the skill, it won't let me. So whatever. In any case I pressed on, but the game has issues that really irritate me.

    I know combat is based on dice rolls in the background, but it seems oddly skewed in favor of the NPCs. 95% chance to hit? Miss Miss Miss Miss Miss, oh well now my warrior is dead. Or maybe I'm lucky enough to hit, 4 damage with level 18 2h sword skill . . . whereas enemies hit for 15. Nice.

    Then there's fights like the gladiator gauntlet. 3 fights back to back, you don't get to rest or heal, no mana for your wizard (really wtf?), I don't get the thought behind doing that.

    Story is anemic for an RPG (let alone an "old school" rpg), haven't decided if I'm going to finish it - it's more tedious than fun.
    Expand
  7. Jan 29, 2014
    6
    Fun, entertaining (at least for a while) but always felt like it was missing somethings.

    Key points: A) The graphics were great; they put a lot into it. Great artwork, etc. B) Audio was good, not spectacular, but good enough. C) Game play and the user experience: Now where the game falls flat, bad in key area's of it's design, and over all it's game play. The worst glaring
    Fun, entertaining (at least for a while) but always felt like it was missing somethings.

    Key points:
    A) The graphics were great; they put a lot into it. Great artwork, etc.
    B) Audio was good, not spectacular, but good enough.

    C) Game play and the user experience:
    Now where the game falls flat, bad in key area's of it's design, and over all it's game play.
    The worst glaring problem was the lack of any sensible progression/leveling.
    They do away with "levels" using some sort of stats based system instead.
    I'm left over all with no clear direction of where/how to progress.
    Okay, I can say increase a weapons skill level but then how does it directly effect my character?

    There was no real skill tree to say advance up with any notable special moves, perks or improvements.
    No real coolness factor, no pizzazz.
    The story was interesting though; it made sense and did make me want to play from this standpoint.

    D) Gear:
    Dismal. For one no special magic armor of note.
    Again no coolness factor nothing really to look forward too in finding any "awesome" loot drops.
    Even worse it oddly took for ever to even find a base set of amour.
    Kind of frustrating feeling that I could do better if I just had at least a basic set of newbie armor!

    So in the end you are left with a game that looks pretty, an interesting story, but is basically boring.
    I'm not sure if it was supposed to be more of an RPG or strategy game but most of the 'R' in "RPG" was missing.

    I want to feel empowered in an RPG. I want to go into fantasy land after a days work where I am a King, a Knight, a grand wizard!, something special.

    It's all about:
    "Hey I'm a cool wizard!" (or fighter, thief, what ever)
    "Look at my cool gear!"
    "If I keep killing these monsters, especially the bosses, I'll find some great loot drops!"
    "Hah! I advanced to level 3 fireballs, now I'll really kick some!"
    "I used my smartness in building my character, it's powerful!"
    In this game I felt very little of these things.

    Whom ever built this game focused on the graphics, the maps and their strategy, the story, but then left all the cool things out that makes you want to keep playing..
    Expand
  8. May 22, 2014
    5
    Looks warm, artistic , i kinda want it BUT it makes me too feel like "God , why am i even here - this is taking foreveeer!" -when im trying to battle.
    i would not waste my TIME even if , honestly , this was free game .
    If you're normal guy / girl , experienced with games that demand some skills, you will get bored in this game. - Daedalic had hurry to work on better game , and they
    Looks warm, artistic , i kinda want it BUT it makes me too feel like "God , why am i even here - this is taking foreveeer!" -when im trying to battle.
    i would not waste my TIME even if , honestly , this was free game .
    If you're normal guy / girl , experienced with games that demand some skills, you will get bored in this game.
    - Daedalic had hurry to work on better game , and they released this incomplete.
    Too bad that the graphics is enough to post pretty game-pictures online and sell game, kids pre order it.
    Expand
  9. Jan 24, 2014
    5
    Most skills are useless and this is a real shame. The sound is awful the story it repetitive and boring with uninteresting characters and dialogues. The only plus is the 40 hour campaign main story gives you a chance to invent your own story since the main story is nothing to write home about... The combat is something you love at the beginning and dread at the end i found myself so boredMost skills are useless and this is a real shame. The sound is awful the story it repetitive and boring with uninteresting characters and dialogues. The only plus is the 40 hour campaign main story gives you a chance to invent your own story since the main story is nothing to write home about... The combat is something you love at the beginning and dread at the end i found myself so bored of spamming the only useful spell that i started using other spells (or tried too). Combat just gets repetitive really fast and its a shame i really liked other turned based strategy games such as Tactics Ogre... The games not bad but it needs work, I'd play through it again... Expand
  10. Jan 23, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Very refreshing title for someone who likes turn based tactical RPGs.
    - Graphic is nice. Nothing to write home about, but nothing bad either, so no kudos in this category
    - I liked the story. It's not the greatest story, but it's very good. Definitely it kept me for "one more fight" most of the time. Almost all of the story and dialogue is narrated, and the actors are quite good. One thing that I didn't liked is that the end animation is not narrated. Why?
    - now the important part - gameplay. Tactical combat is good, and most of the time is without bugs. It's standard pen and paper RPG style mechanic, nothing new, but it's better that way :). I have few complaints here tho. Didn't really invested much time in number crunching since mechanic is similar to ADND and many other systems, but there are several things I didn't like. For example, lowly spider will hit mage in robes and fully armored dwarf fighter for same (high) damage constantly. They will apply poison no matter the resistance. They will also actively pursuit mage, like they have max intelligence. Also, when nedded they will cleverly block your paths. Very smart spiders. Zombies too. Ah, and skeletons. You get the idea, it's OK for humans and such to have battle plan, but not all of the monsters. Speaking of damage, prepare to be hit 90% of the time for about 1/3 to 1/2 of your health. Spider will do that damage, as will naked tribesman with spear, wood troll, stone colossus, large dragon, zombie, and tiny scarab.
    There is lot of variety of monsters in game, but 80% of the time you will fight humans or undead. Now, you could have all sorts of undead in RPG, but here you have zombies, skelies, and some ghouls I guess, which look more like the alien. It gets repetitive that way. Oh, and if you don't have all stats that affect the initiative maxed, forget about going first. Even against zombies. Same goes for damage, you will do damage only if you have strength and weapon mastery maxed, else don't bother attacking. Same for offensive spells, you need at least 13 points invested or don't bother. Speaking of which, many monsters have all sorts of resistances and immunities to cold, fire, poison, piercing damage etc., but I didn't noticed that any has weaknesses? . Some abilities are broken INMHO. For example, there is power blow (double damage) which you will spam since only then you will do SOME damage. And that would be around 10-20 dmg range, no matter weather you have rusty sword or megazor great axe of slaying. And then, there is ability which gives you 3x damage which will do 100 (more or less) damage per hit. Stone colossal? no problem, it's one hitter with this ability. Else, you will not kill him in 2 life times. Ah, yes, hit chance. 75% will hit aprox. half of the time so its more like 50%. True 50%? forget it, its like 15% in reality. And yes, equipment. There is like 5 uncommon pieces in whole game, and maybe 1 rare (because it does magical damage, which is a minus 'cause most bosses are immune or resistant to magic).
    So, to summarize, this game heavily relies on offense, so don't bother about defensive items, spells, abilities etc. Equipment is scarce and of common quality, and there are some broken abilities. Only things worth carrying on belts are healing and magic potions. But don't get me wrong, game is still fun to play, only frustrating on occasions. But that can be easily patched, so I wouldn't cut off much of points there.
    But sadly, there is one thing that cannot be repaired in patches. Linear game play. Once you finished, there is no reason to play again, since all your choices are superficial, they don't impact the game (well, almost always). For example, you have a side quest, you have 3 choices: Deny, accept, ask more money. If you have high appropriate skill, you have 4th option - to ask even more money. No matter what you choose it won't impact anything. There is fixed party at all times, so no diversity there either.

    All in all, this is a niche game for hardcore fans of RPG turn based games, which need some polish. It's NOT a indie game, so price tag of 30(ish) euros is about right. If you're fan, buy it. I am, so 7 overall score.

    P.S. Whats the catch with that "teenage mutant ninja turtles" theme at the end of the credits???????
    Expand
  11. Jan 27, 2014
    7
    For the starters, the game gets a little repetitive when you are mostly thrust from one battle to another. This is not a typical RPG but something more akin to FF Tactics.

    That being said, the combat is fun, the story intriguing, interesting characters with detailed skilltalent trees.Some of the fights can be pretty hard and the RNG combat system can get a little annoying at times but
    For the starters, the game gets a little repetitive when you are mostly thrust from one battle to another. This is not a typical RPG but something more akin to FF Tactics.

    That being said, the combat is fun, the story intriguing, interesting characters with detailed skilltalent trees.Some of the fights can be pretty hard and the RNG combat system can get a little annoying at times but nothing a reload can't solve. I like the fact that you actually need to prepare before moving on the next battle as you simply cannot hit the Inventory key and start swapping weapons or using items.

    All in all a solid game and one worth playing. Just try to limit your play sessions to 1-2 hours. Personally I feel any play session longer than 2 hours tends to get tedious.
    Expand
  12. Jan 30, 2014
    6
    A dour, but decently looking game, with detail given even to the most common items. Occasionally clever and charming writing lightens the decidedly grimdark atmosphere. Solid voice acting save for a few laughably voiced NPCs.

    The gameplay though.. and there is literally nothing else to do besides fight in this game.. and the combat is incredibly unforgiving. Highly, highly based on
    A dour, but decently looking game, with detail given even to the most common items. Occasionally clever and charming writing lightens the decidedly grimdark atmosphere. Solid voice acting save for a few laughably voiced NPCs.

    The gameplay though.. and there is literally nothing else to do besides fight in this game.. and the combat is incredibly unforgiving. Highly, highly based on luck. Play at your mental health's risk.
    Expand
  13. Feb 5, 2014
    5
    I love RPG. I seriously do but this game is just not good. It is fun for a really short time. It is not the worst but it definitely is weak. Don't waste your time on this.
  14. Jan 25, 2014
    5
    £27.99 for this... I am shocked that this even got out of the initial design phase. The endless talking, to then right click an enemy and the game interpret it as an attack and whack, missed.

    Well I am glad I didn't buy it as I will not be playing again. I really want a decent turn based combat RPG but seems the remakes will never capture the FO/FO2 Greatness.

    Back to FO1
  15. Feb 15, 2014
    6
    I like strategy games that are party-level in scope and size (E.G. King's Bounty: The Legend), therefore was thrilled to hear of such a game based on a set of rules for a pen-and-paper RPG, and apparently very popular in its native Germany. But the first thing I thought after playing a few hours Blackguards was: GMing this game must have been a hellish enterprise. This Dark Eye rules setI like strategy games that are party-level in scope and size (E.G. King's Bounty: The Legend), therefore was thrilled to hear of such a game based on a set of rules for a pen-and-paper RPG, and apparently very popular in its native Germany. But the first thing I thought after playing a few hours Blackguards was: GMing this game must have been a hellish enterprise. This Dark Eye rules set seems to be full of tedious minutiae, but I digress.
    The game is set in an interesting place and populated by mostly entertaining people. The mood of the fantasy in this game is closer to that of "The Black Company" books, than that of the "Lord of the Rings" type. The story stutters in its telling for it jumps rather brusquely at times, but it is not a bad tale altogether.
    What is bad is the underlying set of rules that control this world, and our experience of it.
    Simply, The Dark Eye, and how it works, may not the best "engine" to try to create a strategy game from.
    Battles can be won or lost by basically the toss of a coin, an event that has very little to do with strategy.
    The interface makes it very easy to give an order incorrectly.
    The inability of the battle map to be manipulated, beyond a simple tilt and pan, conspires with the interface to make the missordering all the easier.
    Characters have to be hearded with utmost care on the battlefield. It is almost a given, that if you just choose a final point for your escaping combatant, they will choose to do so next to the enemy, even if many other safer paths are available, exposing themselves to that abomination of RPGs called: The attack of opportunity.
    Inconstancy in what is possible detracts from the strategical element. For example: Enemies may have Line of Sight, whereas you don't, in the exact same line but in the opposite direction. A missile attack can fly over a small object on its path (E.G. a Dwarf or a table) but cannot go over prone bodies (dead or knocked down).
    Guesswork (and possibly soothsaying) is needed more than strategic planning while picking your areas of advancement.
    It is very possible to arrive to a progress impasse, for simple matters such as the unideal choice of those advancements, which are overwhelming at the earliest stages of the game.
    The interesting feature that some elements of the battlefield are interactive and can be used to aid or hamper your efforts, is usually blandly integrated and their ultimate impact in the combat hardly meriting your efforts.
    In general, the game rewards strategical thinking in a very irregular way.

    This game is by no means bad. It is in fact a fun game. It is just not a great game, although it could see greatness from its comfortable and unoriginal standpoint.
    Expand
  16. Jan 30, 2014
    6
    I cannot in good faith reccomend (LOAD SCREEN) this game at this time. Quite honestly, there are WAY too much bugs and issues (LOAD SCREEN)with the game that really prevent a full enjoyment of the title. The character (LOAD SCREEN)creation is very rich, but provides NO explanation (LOAD SCREEN)as to what certain abilities mean or even how (LOAD SCREEN)they affect your character in anyI cannot in good faith reccomend (LOAD SCREEN) this game at this time. Quite honestly, there are WAY too much bugs and issues (LOAD SCREEN)with the game that really prevent a full enjoyment of the title. The character (LOAD SCREEN)creation is very rich, but provides NO explanation (LOAD SCREEN)as to what certain abilities mean or even how (LOAD SCREEN)they affect your character in any way shape or form. It's honestly in desperate (LOAD SCREEN)need of a complete overhaul, and should not have been launched in it's (LOAD SCREEN)current state.

    In case you can't figure out the other serious problem with this game.. lemme clue you in.. you will see the Load Screen so often and so long any real enjoyment of the story or plot gets completely lost in the dreary times you sit and stare at the same 3 screens and 5 tooltips over.. and over.. and over.. and over .. and over again. In the first chapter I counted 17 LOADING PLEASE WAIT... about 15-25 seconds each. Do the math yourselves.
    Expand
  17. Jun 13, 2015
    5
    How would you feel when you are unable to proceed because you do not have the required abilities to deal with the enemy?
    You could say, tough luck, it is your own fault, because you made the wrong choices.
    And I grant you that. But how can I make the right choices when I do not know the strengths and weaknesses of these abilities? And how can I foresee that the story seriously impacts
    How would you feel when you are unable to proceed because you do not have the required abilities to deal with the enemy?
    You could say, tough luck, it is your own fault, because you made the wrong choices.
    And I grant you that.

    But how can I make the right choices when I do not know the strengths and weaknesses of these abilities? And how can I foresee that the story seriously impacts the functioning of my party? At two moments in the game you will be inflicted with a setback that unhinges your party's fighting power. Once, one of the party members gets killed because the story is written that way. And at another time her replacement, a magic user, gets robbed of her ability to do magic and so thousands of points sunk in developing her magic powers becomes nullified with one stroke.
    So you might expect that the game takes this into account, but not at all: you cannot undo your choices nor does the game allow you to make up for the loss of a valuable party member.

    This then, in a nutshell, is the problem with Blackguards..

    This game is very much like searching for keys to doors, while you do not know which key opens which door, you do not know if a door leads to anything useful, you do not know when or if you will find the key or the door to which it belongs and you might find that the keys and doors disappeared before you actually could make use of them.
    So what is left is to go back to an earlier point in the game and find the right keys to the right doors: make the right choices. And unfortunately you might have to go a long way back: perhaps all the way to the beginning.

    And then another issue pops up.

    Blackguards is basically a tactical battle simulator in which the battles are linked together by a thin storyline that gives the battles context. You will find that many of the common characteristics of a roleplay game are underdeveloped. For one, your party members are a given and so are their classes. Do not expect that you can build your own party.
    Furthermore there are few choices in equipment so your party will be running around with the same armor and weapons for long stretches. And while many places have shops, you will only visit them to restock your supplies.
    But the crucial issue is that the story is simply too linear. While at some point you can select what to do first, you will be unable to change the storyline in any significant way. And because the story isn't really special at all, redoing this game just so you can change your characters is not enough of an incentive to go through the game again..

    Even as a tactical battle simulator the game leaves much to be desired. For instance you are unable to determine the setup of your party members. More often than not the game gleefully shoves your more vulnerable members, your magic users, in the front line. Hilarious is the ability to set traps. You have almost no time to set traps, let alone set the traps that actually make difference. The traps are expensive, the relevant skill requires a massive amount of points and you have only a very limited amount of traps.
    In addition some battles confront you with a special setup that is pivotal to the battle, often without explaining to you the specifics. In one battle, for instance, you will be able to make use of automated flamethrowers. But the game doesn't explain this to you, nor do you know what the impact is until you have seen their effect and you figured out how to operate them. It therefore requires you to redo the battle at least once.
    Some battles are practically unwinnable until you achieve a certain level, or develop a certain ability to a certain level.

    Is it all bad then?

    Actually no.
    When I went through the game the first time I actually was entertained. The game uses what I call the fall out principle. The fall out principle is that you start out as a nobody and then gradually start to make a difference when the story unfolds. This is the reverse of what you might call the dragon age effect in which it is clear from the start that you are a special person destined to make a difference.
    Personally I prefer the first angle to the last.
    Also the characters are amusing, even though, or perhaps because, they are so cliche. The remarks of the Naurim, the grumpy dwarf, are pretty funny and in line of what you might expect from a dwarf: a fighter who distrusts magic users and elves.
    The story, although linear, has a few twists and also there is some emotional connection as it involves a friend and later on a family member. It isn't also clearcut that the enemy is actually bad and it leaves things fuzzy for a long time.
    So it seems to me that if you go once through the game(using a game guide to form your party) then you might probably be entertained.

    Verdict:
    Blackguard is a filler when you are in between better games. Pick it up when it is in the bargain bin and around five dollars or euros or less.
    Expand
  18. Nov 17, 2014
    7
    This is game is far from perfect. The item system should be improved (confrontation between 2 weapons or armors is confusing), the vendors also need some improvements, the shops are confusin too and the character could have been done better. But i give this game an 7 the combat system is addictive it's really tactic and difficult and winning an hard fight after a few tries is really satisfying!
  19. Aug 3, 2014
    7
    Fans of TBS games tend to be the patient type which is good because this game will try your patience !

    Theres definitely something of a good game here, the combat is involving & tactical enough, but slow to progress in skills which makes fights get a bit repetitive, and I feel there is not enough possible variation in party build & skill choice. It feels like there is a very narrow path
    Fans of TBS games tend to be the patient type which is good because this game will try your patience !

    Theres definitely something of a good game here, the combat is involving & tactical enough, but slow to progress in skills which makes fights get a bit repetitive, and I feel there is not enough possible variation in party build & skill choice. It feels like there is a very narrow path to success that you must follow, e.g. If you don't pick a hunter as your class you will regret not having one in your party. The tactical maps often allow you to interact with elements of the scenery, but targeting & activating these elements is obscure to the point of frustration.

    I still have it installed, but only played about 1/5 of the game before tedium really set in, though I'm not uninstalling yet.
    Expand
  20. Jan 19, 2015
    7
    Final verdict, Blackguards is a game I would recommend to any turn based strategy fan, for it’s world, content and solid gameplay and at it’s listed price point.
  21. Apr 15, 2015
    5
    I enjoyed the hex-based tactical gameplay in the King's Bounty games and bought Blackguards in a Steam sale as I enjoy CRPGs and thought this would be more of the same. It uses the Dark Eye RPG rules in the game, the same as some previous CRPGs like Drakensang and the Arkania series. I've spent around 20 or 30 hours playing the game so far, and this review is based on my impressions whileI enjoyed the hex-based tactical gameplay in the King's Bounty games and bought Blackguards in a Steam sale as I enjoy CRPGs and thought this would be more of the same. It uses the Dark Eye RPG rules in the game, the same as some previous CRPGs like Drakensang and the Arkania series. I've spent around 20 or 30 hours playing the game so far, and this review is based on my impressions while playing the first quarter or so of the game.

    Pros:
    - Storyline seems quite interesting. After a rather short, strange, surreal intro, you find yourself trying to escape from prison. At that point, you have no idea what is actually going on in the game, but later flashback sequences start to fill in the blanks for you, and this keeps you going (despite the game's other shortcomings) as you strive to find out more about the game's background story.
    - Some decent voice acting and funny moments in the game's dialogue. Love the dwarf Naurim!

    Cons:
    - The game mechanics. This game uses the ridiculously complicated Dark Eye RPG rules, which I'm not going to go into here. Suffice to say that most actions in the game involve a check against the relevant attributes of the character performing the action to determine whether it succeeds or not. Spells, for example, are not cast automatically, but are subject to this check. This system seems unfairly biased towards your enemies, who seem to land melee hits and cast spells in combat successfully way more often than what your characters do. Enemies also seem to land critical hits more often too. A lot of the fights are set up to be played a certain way and the game punishes you if you don't toe the line. It punishes you anyway as the random number rolls are almost never in your favour though.
    - Lack of clarity. For example, nowhere does it seem to show you what the chances are of some of your talents (like treating wounds or setting traps) succeeding or not. If you use poison on your equipped weapon before a battle, it doesn't show anywhere that your weapon has actually been poisoned. if you have a high strength score, it doesn't indicate what difference this makes to your weapon damage.
    - Clunky and tedious gameplay. You can't use a healing potion, mana potion, trap, or poison in battle unless these have been added to your belt, which, depending on the belt's quality, can only hold 1 to 4 of these items. You can't use anything that still happens to be in your backpack during a battle, so if you forgot to change the contents of your belt slots, tough luck. You have 3 different weapon sets you can change between during a battle, but it takes a whole action to change your weapon set, and if you want to switch to a weapon currently in your backpack instead, too bad.
    - The sheer stinginess of the game. It may improve later on, but most of the early part of the game, you find yourself using whatever you salvaged from the prison you escaped from as most other gear is way too expensive. Merchants only sell a handful of different (and expensive) items so it can be difficult to equip your characters with decent gear. Combats reward you usually with a small amount (25 or 50) adventure points which you use to improve your characters' skills and attributes. You get a piss-poor amount of treasure from a typical combat. For example, early in the game, you go off scavenging on some old battlefield for armour and weapons, and promptly get attacked by 4 or 5 bandits in leather armour, 2 of which are using bows. At the end of the fight, you get a bastard sword and a couple of other small items. Yippee. What happened to all the gear the bandits were carrying?
    - Exploration sucks. Your main map is an overland map which you use to travel to various towns and villages there. Each town has a single screen which shows the various people (blacksmith, healer, merchant, trainer, quest giver etc) which you can click on to access. That's it. Dungeons consist of a simple line map with a number of different locations which you can click on to go to instantly, and this takes you straight to a battle map where you slog through another (usually tedious) battle.

    In concluding, I'm giving this game 5/10 as it has its good moments, but is let down mainly by the utterly frustrating combat mechanics, overall difficulty level, lack of equipment, and general lack of any fun factor. Unless you're a hardcore Dark Eye RPG fan who doesn't mind constantly reloading saved games to get through some of the combats, I'd advise looking elsewhere for a decent CRPG in this price range.
    Expand
Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 48
  2. Negative: 2 out of 48
  1. May 11, 2014
    85
    Blackguards was a nice surprise: gaming system is solid and interesting, and the puzzle-like battles hold interest until the end. At times they are even challenging. Although patches might have changed that. [Feb 2014]
  2. Apr 13, 2014
    75
    Daedalic's first time in the world of RPG is one of those to remember. Blackguards is not a flawless game: it has a slow gameplay that after hours and hours can be boring, technically it is not that great and has an annoying problem of balancing the difficulty. Yet it remains a great role-playing game.
  3. 60
    Some drawbacks and glitches aside, this is hardcore fun for the turn-based enthusiast. The not so enthusiastic player needs to brace himself for a steep difficulty curve. [Issue #239]