Blood Bowl 3 was originally a board game from Games Workshop, but is now a turn-based fantasy sports video game with more blood, violence and mean tricks than you can count. The characters are drawn from the Warhammer universe, so you have the familiar orcs, goblins, trolls, dwarves, elves and more competing against each other in teams of two. The game plays like American football but turn-based with the goal of getting that touchdown.
The game makes itself live by the exaggerated bit of violence involved. You are even encouraged to play vicious tricks, occasionally pushing around a fallen player and killing him directly without the referee sounding the alarm. Anything and everything is possible in Blood Bowl 3, so let yourself loose on the field and finish them off in our Blood Bowl 3 review.
Blood Bowl 3 may take some time to get used to, not only because of the design, but also because veterans of the franchise have had more time to master the strategies and approaches to the game’s rules. As a newcomer, it may take a few games to get the hang of it, and building a team can be even more challenging if you make mistakes.
Nevertheless, Blood Bowl 3 offers players a selection of NFL-like teams assembled from the Warhammer universe. Each team has unique stats and can be easy or difficult to use, and some may even be easier to read on screen than others. In addition, the game rules are all new for Season 2, providing a fresh experience for everyone.
To win a game, you must score more touchdowns than the opposing team while keeping track of moves, advantages, stats and bonuses. Fortunately, Blood Bowl 3 retains the authenticity of the franchise, making fans feel right at home.
It may seem confusing at first, but in fact your moves are determined by rolling a die. There are four types of moves: run, block/tackle, pass or blitz, with certain players being more adept at specific moves than others. This plays an important role in strategically planning your game, whether creating advantageous formations or managing your team, similar to soccer simulations, from hiring players and adjusting their attributes to managing the team budget.
After a brief tutorial at the beginning and playing three games to learn the basics, the rest is yours to discover. Sometimes it can be frustrating to plan in detail and then still make the wrong move and give control to the opponent. But in essence, Blood Bowl 3 is all about two things: scoring more touchdowns than your opponent and physically injuring as many opponents as possible in the process.
There are apparently new rules and new miniatures to explore in the new game. What is worth noting is the increased margin for error via what are called “rerolls. Previously, a wrong move resulted in a reversal to the opponent’s team. But this time, you get more leeway to make multiple rerolls in one turn, for strictly eight turns. So be careful not to run out of rerolls.
You’ll also notice a new passing skill that allows you to jump over an unconscious opponent. Overall, there are some new tactical options to consider, but not enough to generate as much excitement as an entirely new game warrants.
You also get a new user interface (UI), which has two sides. On one hand, players complained of headaches due to the more vibrant colors and the UI taking up too much screen space. So the developers opted for different look and an off-screen UI. Whichever way you prefer, either more colorful or less, I hope Blood Bowl 3 leans more toward your preference.
Readability is still an issue, with the numerous poses where you have to squint your eyes to read player roles or skills. It’s just unusual, given that games are usually races against the clock. If your favorite team is not among the 12 teams on offer, you’ll have to wait for upcoming seasons, which bring a major update and add a new team every three months. Be sure to gain 50 levels of Blood Pass to get the new faction for free.
Kudos for the slow-motion replays of bloody and brutal tackles. Whether it’s killing, disabling or setting off limbs of anyone, it feels satisfying and as if your efforts have been rewarded, no matter how brutal it is. You can also customize your team, cheerleaders and audience. But note that you customize the team as a whole, making them look pretty much the same and the stadium almost fades into the background. Every move you make depends on a dice roll, and overall it’s fun to play. Playing against the AI works, but Blood Bowl 3 feels more suited to multiplayer tournaments. Scoring touchdowns, especially after your carefully constructed moves are successfully executed, is indescribable. Gamers who like to sit back and contemplate situations will enjoy when the strategies pay off.