User Score
7.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 180 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 180

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  1. Jan 23, 2014
    9
    Blackguards is a turn-based fantasy, often dark and frequently humorous, RPG.

    While still a beta product it is polished and one of the best RPG's I have played in a while. It is a good feeling to catch myself laughing at the well voice acted humorous dialogue, which I haven't experienced to this degree since way back in games such as KOTOR and Jade Empire. Daedalic Entertainment might
    just be the new old pre-EA BioWare we all fondly remember.

    Probably the only frustrating thing I experienced was the questionable stated odds of a spell succeeding, but I am also not sure if that percentage was meant to take into account the defender's resistances.

    I give it a 9 because it is hard to me to envision a better RPG without my mind drifting back to old BioWare. So this is a real user score, not an artificially inflated rating meant to preemptively fend off the incoming 0's from reviewers that found fault in this product.

    I eagerly await the Chapter 5 release...
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  2. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    I've been playing the game from it's early access beginning, and I have logged more hours in it than I care to say. The graphics are well done, the voice acting is excellent, and assuming you like turn based combat you will be in heaven. There is a demo for those who need to try it first. I haven't had this much fun playing a game in quite a while.
  3. Jan 23, 2014
    4
    It's a solid turn-based game that's 15 years late. Battles are repetitive, only 8 out of 100 skills are actually useful. Gameplay is a series of (very similar) tactical battles. The RPG-part is clicking through dialogue. Game gets boring really fast.
  4. 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
    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.
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  5. 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 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
  6. 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
    luck. Play at your mental health's risk. Expand
  7. Jan 23, 2014
    8
    This game I've enjoyed since it went early access on Steam... the plot is good and has some unexpected twists. The game play is detailed and battlefields typically have features that can be turned to your advantage. The leveling process is detailed, but you have to plan your advancement carefully or it will be filled with regret. Quite a few skills are relatively useless, I suggest saving up some experience, save your progress, then test out the part you want to try.

    Overall it is a good hex based game, with many good features if you like turn based strategy in a fantasy setting (like Final Fantasy Tactics) then you will enjoy this game!

    Be warned without a varying story re-playability is limited.
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  8. 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???????
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  9. Jan 27, 2014
    8
    A welcome return to true turn based RPG combat that pushes you to carefully consider every skill point you spend and every move you make. Blackguards presents a good level of difficulty without going over the edge or resorting to obvious AI cheats in place of strategy. There is no "press the awesome button" to win. Battles are rarely won easy which makes clever or squeaked out victories quite satisfying. As with any turn based dice roll fighting system luck can play a role in the outcome which can frustrate gamers not used to turn based combat. The game does throw you a bone in that you can save anytime between battles and should things go completely wrong you can restart a battle at anytime. The overall story, writing, and characters are the pretty typical RPG fare...nothing exceptional but more than enough depth to avoid being bland. Combat is where Blackguards shines and is a game for those who enjoy the battles more than the story behind them. Expand
  10. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    Just finished the game and I really enjoyed it. The story is good, the skill system is fun (the person who said there were only a few useful skills clearly does not understand how useful some of the skills are), the battles are pretty varied and frantic with unique interactive maps (outside of the couple stealth ones which quite frankly sucked). The side quests tend to be quite fun as well. My only gripe (outside of the stealth maps) would be that there was no way to reset skill points spent. It would have been nice to have that feature. Expand
  11. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    awesome game. it has hex combat, tactical decisions, good story, lots of choices and fun groups with comments and influence. what more would one want really? probably not for everyone, but people who loved this kind of game will love this one too.
  12. Jan 24, 2014
    10
    Daedcalic is well knwon for his point and click adventure, this is their frist rpg following the dark eye rules, Its linear, documentation is obscure, but damnit its one of the best turn based rpg i played since ages. No filler fights, only hand made tactical fights, a good story with a setting a bit more mature than usual.

    Its really impressive, highly advised for odlschool rpg fans.
  13. Jan 24, 2014
    10
    Best turn based combat game since The Temple of Elemental Evil. Story is really cool, map is beautiful, every combat map is great, and you can win in 1000 ways, its up to you. Right now im finishing chapter 2. Brilliant game!
  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. Fuz
    Feb 8, 2014
    8
    Would have been an amazing game, but suffers from the random chance combat and insane number (and duration) of loading screens, which make extremely painful to go from a place to another (for instance when you need to train your character or need an healer).
    There are lots of good things in this game: I liked the combat, the use of objects on maps which added to variety, the character
    development is interesting, the setting is nice, the town screens are great and I really, really LOVE the world map, it's really stilish and beautiful.
    A few more things that bothered me:
    The camera is fixed and can't be rotated sideways, only moved into a top-down view, so the map and unit positions are often confusing and difficult to read. Also you can't redefine your keys from the game (you can do it editing a text file under the savegame folder). Those are two major annoyances and, especially the keybinding issue, should not be present in a 2014 game.
    Now, about the RNG.
    It's not fun to miss an attack (or even healing spells) with a 85% chance for 3, 4 times in a row, leaving you to restart a battle in frustration many, many times. It is not acceptable to leave the combat resolution almost all to an RNG system and not to the players strategic skills.
    And it's a shame, because without the RNG, the combat would have been excellent. There is also a good use of maps and items on them that could have led to interesting strategic choices. Character development and itemization are interesting too.
    But the RNG and the incredibly annoying loading screens ruin most of the fun.
    Still pretty great.
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  16. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    A really good turn based RPG at its core, the skills system is complex and the story is actually interesting. Graphics and physics feel a little dated though. I feel the battles are actually challenging and make you try different strategies. Overall totally worth it, if it had a bit more polish could have been a solid 10.
  17. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    This Game is Perfect. Classic Turn-Based, a lot of Skills. Could quite Hard in the first Playtime. It has a great Character Progress if you spend some Time to understand the Game!
  18. Jan 26, 2014
    1
    Horrible! Do not waste your money.

    I had this game on my wish list for a long time. Then the Demo came out. I downloaded it and tried the game. The first few battle where ok, I did notice a bug or two, but nothing big. I got to town and went for the first dungeon. This is where the game really feel apart. It is almost impossible to beat any battle there. I tried killing the lice about
    20 times before I finally had to fireball them to death. Both my ranged attacks and attacks from the dwarf NEVER hit. It will often show 35% or 59% hit chance, but they still never hit. I must have made at least 50 attacks in all my attempts at the lice and only managed 4-5 actual hits. Thats less then 10% hit chance. How stupid is that! Especially since you have to close all the holes before you kill any of them. I tried the wolves but they seem unbeatable, as I have never managed to land hit on them. Oh and of course more then 50% of the time your spell fails. This simply a game of very poorly designed mechanics. Expand
  19. Jan 27, 2014
    4
    Blackguards is a poorly balanced turn-based RPG based on what seems to be a very limited and flawed rule system. Some battles can literally be impossible to win with your current party, especially if you lack certain must-have spells. Mages are strictly better than warriors, as you can fully customize both, except warriors don't have access to spells. And while it may look like you have a lot of options at first, the opposite is true: you're going to be using the same few skills over and over. You can't even plan your characters since you're reliant on the trainers that you have access to.

    Equipment-wise there is not much customization either. Items provide no fun mechanics, just minor stat improvements, that you won't even notice. The only difference in defense is whether you have a shield or not.

    All of this makes your characters very linear which deprives combat of any strategy. All you can do is pray for better RNG rolls.

    That said, the game is pretty well executed in the graphics, sound and story department, but has some weird camera control and the dialogue is far from "hilarious" as other are describing it.
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  20. Jan 28, 2014
    8
    Blackgaurds is one of the most addicting games I have played and has been a great game to start out 2014 for me. This game has some of the best voice acting and music I've heard and its gameplay feels like it actually melds with the story. Quite a few times you'll be presented with interesting alternatives in combat most wouldn’t think of in a turn based RPG. You could go the classic route and just beat the baddies in a one on one fight, or if you’re feeling creative lure them into hazards that you normally wouldn't think of. For instance lure them into a bush then set it on fire or release a group of prisoners to fight for you. Even some battles have great story elements. Need to collect some mushrooms while a giant troll is guarding them. Distract the troll and gather the mushrooms, then run. It’s these types of options that make you feel like you’re having an impact and cause you to think outside the box. The few problems I do have with the game mostly revolve around a few graphical glitches and sometimes the enemy AI can be a little too slow. Graphical glitches like people suddenly having mouths that stretch way too far when they speak or the amount of a silver currency you earned being blocked has happened to me. While the biggest flaw is probably the AI, I like how you can set traps for them but when an enemy chooses to continually get burned in a bush and not leave it that’s when I call stupid on the AI. These bugs can be annoying but they don't break the game and I recommend this game to any RPG or Turn-Based Strategy fan. Expand
  21. Jan 30, 2014
    8
    Really good turn based fantasy rpg. I liked it a lot. I don't understand why some critics complain about the story or game mechanics. I think it's not a easy game but after few restarts i played it through in 60 hours of solid entertainment.
  22. Feb 3, 2014
    8
    Fun turn based tactical RPG. While the array of abilities available to your heroes is not as big as in some other games, what makes this game unique is that each fight is different. It's hex tiles, but the shape, arrangement, interactive items and enemies are all different. I can't recall repetitive grinding of the same enemies. A couple maps and you are fighting something else.

    The
    character system is good, I like multiple stats, derived attributes and the ability to shift your weapon skill between attack and defense. What I don't like is that trainers, especially magic trainers are few and far between, and are frequently not accessible if you have advanced the story. This means that if you don't have 500AP saved for your magic characters, chances are you will never learn some of the cooler abilities, like magic regeneration.

    The equipment system is cool, but is somewhat confusing - too many different kinds of resistances, and it's kinda hard to see which item is better. The store inventory is also really limited. While I see some NPCs wear some really cool stuff, I haven't found anything better than leather exploring past the arena fight.

    Overall, a good game.
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  23. Jan 23, 2014
    9
    DSA ist zurück! Alte Spielmechaniken gemischt in neuem Gewand! Eine Vielzahl an rundenbasierenden, taktisch-anspruchsvollen Kämpfen mit Einsatz der Umgebung. Gut umgesetztes DSA-Regelwerk mit vielen Steigerungsmöglichkeiten der Charaktere. Geschichte wird von guten Sprechern in lustigen bis derben Gesprächen und Kommentaren vorgetragen. Klasse Leistung von Daedalic! Wenn man den Preis miteinrechnet.... 9 Punkte! Expand
  24. 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
    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.
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  25. Jan 31, 2014
    10
    another underestimated game. if you can spare the poor graphics, but are fond of turn based strategy with rpg, you might like this one. the story is interesting, with some twists - typical for the studio which is normally focused on creating some of the funniest adventures out there )deponia trilogy! yeah!) ..
  26. Jan 26, 2014
    9
    ~40 hours of gameplay, hand-made encounters, decent roleplay system, nice graphics, decent voice acting, memorable characters, the story is messy though. There were no such RPGs for years. Don't miss!
  27. Jan 28, 2014
    10
    Blackguards is one of those games that made me happy, does it do anything particularly innovative? No. Is it gorgeous graphically? Nothing to write home about. But it is exactly what it should be; a game taking the Dark Eye rules to the PC with a good story and solid turn-based gameplay. For once I am not disappointed in any way. It's simply what it says it is and does the tabletop rpg simulation thing well. Loads of fun, a good challenge even for those of us who love complex, turn-based gameplay and Blackguards' mechanics do the Dark Eye Roleplaying Game due justice. I hope you enjoy this game as much as I am! Expand
  28. Jan 28, 2014
    0
    Boring game, don't waste youre time. I can't think in 2014 doing such platonic game. Playing card games is more fun than that. I played for about 2 hours to realise that you have any control of the game than moving the caracters on the board an hope that the hit will strike.

    Next game please!
  29. 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,
    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.
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  30. Feb 12, 2014
    9
    1st of all Blackguards is part of Dark Eye series which is appealing only to D&D fans, and combat system is based on tabletop games which makes it a bit harder to understand if you never played any tabletop,drakensang or neverwinter. Storyline of the game is superb mostly coz you are not some hero who set off a farm to save the world, you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Gameplay itself is good if you are fan of turn based games, and if you are not, you should not even consider playing it unless you are rly into Dark Eye. Graphics are average but still had 5x more fun playing this then for example Banner Saga, I am fan of Vikings but I rly must ask myself a question why there were close to non viking games b4 2011.

    If you are fan of D&D, Dark eye, tabletops and turn based games you should play this, if you are not, you just wont understand it.
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  31. Mar 7, 2014
    9
    Truly amazing piece of TBS. Nothing like I ever seen before and therefore took me some time to get used to it but once I do... I pumped in more than 100 hours. This game shines in the way it allows you to use the environment to defeat the enemies in ways you have never seen in other TBS games. It is very battle focused, essentially tons of battles strung together on a fairly weak story with no exploration (which was initially a bad thing but like all RPGs, exploration becomes a chore when you just wish to go from shop to shop quickly... this game just do that right from the start with no time wasting animation). The only real flaw is its lack of equipment for the magic using class or magic users in general leading to gross dissatisfaction being magic users. The game is also too melee oriented with magic using a clear cut second class. Expand
  32. Mar 10, 2014
    10
    If you enjoy turn-based RPGs, this game is pure gold. I haven't enjoyed a game this much in a long time.

    The fights are fun, occasionally challenging and occasionally brutally difficult (if you attempt them too early). The story is interesting an plays out well (so far!). Love this game!
  33. Jan 29, 2014
    9
    Not a bad game. Fun character dialogues and at least there is a story to be told. Character progression is quite complex. Battles are a bit repetitive, but still there is tactical depth to some degree. Good RPG to pass the time.
  34. 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 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..
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  35. 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.
  36. Apr 19, 2014
    8
    First I would like to say I consider myself quite a veteran of RPG and strategic games. All reviews here miss a description and presentation of the game for experts in search of their next game and have never heard of this title before.
    There are two thing to consider before. The first is that the game's settings are those of the Dark Eye, the most successful pen&paper RPG in German
    speaking countries. It's a really interesting world with a set rules at first quite complex but that make sense after playing a while. And yes, this means that if you don't know how to spend your AP (Adventure points, like experience points to be used to increase attributes, talents, spells and weapons proficiencies) you will just see a sequence of Miss or Spell failed. Another important point is that every talent / spell uses three attributes (like strength, dexterity, intelligence, etc.) for their base value. So you can try to max a talent as much as you want, but if your strength is low you will simply not do so much damage, if not miss at all, with that big two handed mace.
    Second thing to consider is that the game is developed by Daedalic Entertainment, a software company more famous for their graphic adventure games.
    So back to this game. This is a strategic game with major attention on the fight component. It's possible to interact with the environment and the scope of the battle is not always to kill everything that breathes. Sometimes you can distract a troll while collecting mushrooms with the other team-mates or, like in the tutorial, block the guards with a magic wall and open the gates of all prisoners to send them against the guards.
    Yes the game evolves as a sequence of battles with beautiful interactive screens of cities where to restore your party, upgrade your gear or search for new quests. Is that bad? Well, big games like Vagrant Hearts or Final Fantasy Tactics, to cite a couple, used the same concept and I believe sometimes it's great. Quicker game, more focus on battles. And most important: no time lost to track back from the end of a dungeon to its entrance.
    The plot so far it's interesting, there are several side-quests, but even looking at spoilers they don't seem to have a great impact on the story if not for the extra loot. I didn't encounter any annoying bug so far (just finished the first chapter).
    In few words, if you are a fun of strategic games with customizable characters, NPCs with a background and personality and you loved games like Final Fantasy Tactics, there's a big chance you will like this game too. If you don't know the Dark Eye settings, have a look at it first. Drakensang, another RPG set in the same world, has a lot of guides and materials in Internet that will explain how the pen&paper game works, the rules are really similar (I didn't find too much material on the original rules, but I blame my no knowledge of German).
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  37. Apr 22, 2014
    10
    Extremely addictive and fun to play. In addition to that, the combination of western RPG and turn-based battles (featuring a party of heroes as opposed to one hero and an army) is quite unique. I wish there were more games like that!

    It does have a few bugs, but they are minor and no showstoppers at all.
  38. May 3, 2014
    10
    Great Strategy RPG...I wish they would make more games like this.
    The story is dark, brooding, and enjoyable.
    The character customization is amazing and truly in-depth.

    this turn-based RPG is truly a great experience for anyone who loved the old school greats like shining force, tactics ogre, ect. It's a shame developers don't make games like this very often anymore.
  39. Jul 17, 2014
    4
    This game could have been very good, and some parts of it are very good. As a fan of strategy/RPG games, this game should have been very enjoyable for me.

    The graphics are nice, and the game has a good variety of interesting monsters for you to fight. Battle maps are custom designed, which I prefer to random maps. There isn't any grinding, which normally would be a positive for me, but
    given how stingy the game is doling out experience (action points), this is a negative.

    However, the game balance is terrible, many battles are boring because they are so easy, but then you will get battles that are very frustrating.

    The character development is also extremely poor. It's very hard to know which skills/attributes work and which ones are next to useless. Even if you are careful you could end up with characters that aren't very effective because you choose the wrong things to upgrade.

    The developers pretty much abandoned the game a few months after release to start development of Blackguards 2. I use to be a fan of Daedalic games but their last few games, including Blackguards have not been very good.
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  40. Jan 28, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is supposed to be a turn-based tactical RPG... only there's very little RPG, and the random number generation masquerading as combat mechanics destroy any illusion of tactics having meaning.

    Case and point: at the first hub, after escaping the dungeon, your character's suggest purchasing some goods from the local merchants... "Hey, good idea! I think I will"... ONLY, I have very little money. I realise that if I sell all my characters' torches, I'll be able to afford a couple daggers... thinking I'm equipping them with better weapons than torches. Nope. The next battle I face involves skeletons who don't take ANY damage from piercing weapons. ROFL Needless to say, my Mage certainly wasn't going to be able to take them all on himself...

    The ENTIRE game is a series of events similar to that.

    Upgrade the wrong character stats? Start over/reload. Buy the wrong equipment? Start over/reload. Run into set of rules the game neglected to even hint were possible? Too bad, start over/reload.

    No, thank you.

    Most of the character upgrades are useless and will ultimately lead to death. Most of the equipment drops are useless. Most attempts at hitting an enemy are useless. The story is poor and the game is on rails.

    Like others have previously stated: there are more tactics involved in Rock, Paper, Scissors than Blackguard. And what kills the game for me, as I can overlook most of the rest, is the realisation that there is little to NO skill involved in this game at all... and very little player control over battle outcomes.

    ..What you CAN control, however, is whether you choose to play it or not... and I won't.
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  41. 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 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.
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  42. Feb 5, 2014
    4
    The Miss chance just drag the combat forever. I'm not a fan of the turn based combat, but after Banner Saga i thought i could try Blackguards, and that got me disappointed.
  43. Feb 5, 2014
    4
    Blackguards is full of great ideas, but fails to really deliver on that potential. The story is okay but generic. Combat is so random that strategy is largely irrelevant, as even basic spells like Heal and Cure Poison have a random chance to do nothing. There are plenty of options for character customization in theory, but since each ability requires a specific trainer that you can't access until you've completed a certain set of quests, you have little choice but to simply learn what's available and every character ends up identical

    It's one of those games that makes you want to overlook its flaws because it could have been a great game, but in all honestly it's just not fun to play as it doesn't feel like your choices ever make any difference. Not during quest dialog, not in character customization and definitely not in combat.
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  44. Feb 7, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The good- decent visuals, interesting characters, the story is enthralling at times. A few of the skills and spells feel satisfying to use.

    The bad- A lot of quests are badly designed, badly written and badly scripted. Apparently an alchemist is willing to hire you to guard a well from the "greedy villagers" but not pay them instead. Or bring water from another town. Or even wait a couple of days. Don't want to refuse a pregnant woman a single bucket of water? Quest failed.
    A lot of fights are absurdly over or under-tuned. Don't have any archers for the Iribaar lilly fight? Too bad, that fight is IMPOSSIBLE with only melee characters. There is no warning or suggestion to specialize some of your characters for ranged combat and all of the NPCs at that point are melee (4 out of 4).

    The ugly- the game has been marketed as an RPG, in other words- it's supposed to be about making choices. Blackguards is not an RPG. There is no "choice" when assigning skills- 75% are garbage, 10% are decent, 15% are must-have. There is exactly one way to do your assigned quests and attempting any deviation will swiftly reward you with a "Quest Failed"- message.
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  45. 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 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.
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  46. Feb 16, 2014
    1
    This Game ist a pice of Crap. Why ?

    You have EXACTLY Skill your Toons like its given from the Devs. Any Hints about that ? ROFL !
    You have to play this Game to learn it by yourself. and start over and over and ......

    Dadalic make Point and Click for Germans please. No More RPG, please !
  47. Mar 19, 2014
    2
    Unplayable due to a bug. The game has some promise, but it hangs up for me when the mage character's turn is over. I can't make it past the first 30 minutes of the game. I've restarted multiple times and it always hangs in the same way at the end of the mage character's turn.
  48. Apr 14, 2014
    8
    Pretty fun game so far - really enjoying it. If you are a fan of turn based strategy rpgs, this is a good one to pick up. I'm waiting eagerly for the wii u to come out with the next fire emblem - until then - this is a nice appetizer!
  49. Apr 26, 2014
    0
    Avoid. Ridiculous game. It starts out well enough - actually quite enjoyably. But then the game turns into some demented killer DM fantasy. Things started going sideways in the Gladiator fights - I should have realized I was wasting my time when I was outracing killer crocodiles who are trying to eat food off a plate…where if they eat all the food the prisoner you're trying to protect dies and you lose. I finally quit when I went into an encounter that was supposed to be in a warehouse that turned out to be trapped in 27 different ways. This game is so un-immersive. So retarded. Is there more than 1/20 players who actually enjoy games that are to a *huge* extent about avoiding traps and getting poisoned? Well if that's you, then this is your game. If you want a real great RPG there are plenty of great ones. Dragon Age/NWN this isn't. Expand
  50. 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
    released this incomplete.
    Too bad that the graphics is enough to post pretty game-pictures online and sell game, kids pre order it.
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  51. Jun 3, 2014
    3
    It occurs to me after now the 4th negative score I have given a game on Metacritic I am quite possibly hard to please when it comes to computer games. I am not quite sure when this trait started in my gaming life but I have a feeling it is here to stay. For that I do not apologise. Considering that there are simply SO many genres and countless titles in each, I do not ever feel the need to waste time or money on games that are simply not good enough.

    I have found this game is simply not good enough (although better than some) and once again I find myself writing things like, it had potential, a fairly good start, interesting turn based tactics etc but after a short amount of time, it end up boring and even frustrating.

    I really don't understand why there are SO many games that have good concepts but are actually really poor in game play and this, for me, is one of them.
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  52. Jun 8, 2014
    8
    Since I'm a huge fan of turn based strategies like this, I'm giving it an eight. There aren't many games of this genre on PC, or anywhere.
    I really liked the darky atmosphere of the game, as well as its soundtrack.
    Some battles were really tricky and hard to win, and even if the game consists of battle after battle, it was never boring.
    If the character development system wasn't so
    complex and consisted of many meaningless skills, I'd give it a nine without second thought.
    I'd recommend this game to all Final fantasy tactics fans because since that time no game was even close to it.
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  53. 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
    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.
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  54. Jul 10, 2014
    9
    This is my game of the year. I love the story, the subtle humor, the characters but definitely most of all: The level design. The vast majority of the levels are based on an important puzzle. If you try to brute-force yourself through the level - the game will be really difficult. If you understand how to use the environment to your advantage - the game is challenging but doable.

    The
    level design makes the game quite hard (That's why there are so many frustrated negative reviews) but also very rewarding, fun and non-repetitive. Personally I have never seen this good level design in any TBS game. I simply LOVE it.

    The only things that I don't like is the voice acting for some very specific NPCs which is kind of a bummer because all main characters are really great, and the game is very linear. There are also some graphical issues on my graphical card (HD Graphics 4600) that makes it hard to see your inventory.
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  55. 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
    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.
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  56. 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
    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.
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  57. Aug 25, 2014
    0
    .... im so sad... i realy wanted another great turn based game like xcom or something there are so less of ths kind of games and i dont play other genres , but i get the demo of this and the game feels so poor the ui so bad the german voice acting sucks******* . this "professional" speakers are not worth to get paid. The game is okay on english and thats the only good thing about it.

    come make a good tactical turn based rpg with large ui on 1920 1080 and im happy but not this ****
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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]