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Default Blackguards - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun

December 14th, 2013, 10:45
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a preview of the Early Access version of Blackguards, and they are not impressed by the game. Please send all the hateful comments to them not me.

In a way, I’m glad that early-2000s-style fantasy RPGs are still kicking about on PC – a game like Blackguards was bread and butter of my reviewing job a decade ago, and I tended to enjoy sitting down with something far too long and involved even if the writing and acting was inevitably terrible. Things are different now though, more so once the glut of Kickstarted ‘old school’ RPGs start to arrive, and we’ve extremely focused fare such as Avernum on one end and mega-glossy Biowarefare on the other, with assorted roguelikes/roguelikelikes lurking somewhere in the far reaches. I really do want a middleground, but not like this.

I know it’s early access, but it’s also just one month from full release. Despite an interesting and uncommonly elaborate combat system, Blackguards feels cheap, stodgy and uncertain of purpose, attempting to make do with one voice actor trying to do a dozen different accents, sloppy translations and a UI about as intuitive as a large hadron collider. It talks and talks and talks and talks and talks, woeful words with hokey, stilted performances, and like a dinner party guest who only has anecdotes about his time selling air compressors in 1974, it thinks if it just keeps talking we’ll somehow become interested.
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December 14th, 2013, 10:46
I prefer the Codex preview

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December 14th, 2013, 10:56
me too hiddenx. i am just not sure if i should play or wait some more for another patch or 2.
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December 14th, 2013, 14:11
I think the guy is remembering wrong or doesn't know what he is talking about since the only turn based rpgs that came out in the early 2000's were the games from Troika. The turn based rpg died when Diablo came out (for the most part) and that is one of the reasons why I hate Diablo.
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December 14th, 2013, 15:09
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I think the guy is remembering wrong or doesn't know what he is talking about since the only turn based rpgs that came out in the early 2000's were the games from Troika. The turn based rpg died when Diablo came out (for the most part) and that is one of the reasons why I hate Diablo.
Never thought of it that way. Maybe I should start hating Diablo too? Nah, we're getting kind of a renaissance of the turn based RPG's now with all the Kickstarter projects going on.
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December 14th, 2013, 15:24
I haven't played it but is it really an rpg? Sounds more like an adventure game with turn based fighting which would make sense given the developers.
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December 14th, 2013, 15:45
Originally Posted by BrianOConnell View Post
I haven't played it but is it really an rpg? Sounds more like an adventure game with turn based fighting which would make sense given the developers.
Old question - What is a CRPG?

IMHO you can compare Blackguards with Incubation and Jagged Alliance - Deadly Games.

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December 14th, 2013, 16:54
Bad voice acting? Bad voice acting is what they have in Jagged Alliance: Back in Action. This is pretty decent voice acting. My ears didn't start bleeding at all during that video. The combat looked pretty good, too, though I'd agree with the reviewer that the mouse wheel UI seems annoyingly busy. Anyway, I haven't tried it and haven't looked into it, either, but the video the reviewer so kindly provided as evidence doesn't seem to back up some of the claims the reviewer made, so I'll reserve judgment.
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December 14th, 2013, 17:37
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
"…but the video the reviewer so kindly provided as evidence doesn't seem to back up some of the claims the reviewer made, so I'll reserve judgment.
It does back up his claim that some of the mechanics used are just BAD. His archer just stands there getting clobbered to death because she is out of adventure points for 3 turns…
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December 14th, 2013, 19:11
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
It does back up his claim that some of the mechanics used are just BAD. His archer just stands there getting clobbered to death because she is out of adventure points for 3 turns…
In the Realms Of Arcania games you had a similar case : If the weight of what one character carried was too much, then the character had nothing more than 3 "action points" left … Not enough for fighting, only for fleeing just a tiny bit …

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December 14th, 2013, 19:45
Not sure if it's the same case Alrik. She was moving and using her bow until she got knocked down and than stomped on. Than, despite being able to stand up, she was unable to perform any further action.
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December 14th, 2013, 20:22
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I think the guy is remembering wrong or doesn't know what he is talking about since the only turn based rpgs that came out in the early 2000's were the games from Troika.
Also Wizardry 8, Fallout Tactics, Might & Magic 8 and 9, Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor, and Silent Storm.

But yeah, he probably really meant 90's.

Originally Posted by BrianOConnell View Post
I haven't played it but is it really an rpg? Sounds more like an adventure game with turn based fighting which would make sense given the developers.
Adventure game? If anything, it sounds more like a tactical RPG ala Jagged Alliance, Fallout Tactics, Silent Storm, etc.
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December 14th, 2013, 20:36
Originally Posted by BrianOConnell View Post
I haven't played it but is it really an rpg? Sounds more like an adventure game with turn based fighting which would make sense given the developers.
As Hx already mentioned, there is no clear widely accepted definition for "RPG".

Adventure and RPG are closely related though. Three things Daedalic borrowed from adventures are: traveling over the map, dialogs and the static town screens.
Character development is similar to Drakensang, combat is TB and pretty deep. A lot of diversity on the battle maps.

Blackguards doesn't feel like an ultra-hardcore TB RPG. More like an accessible 75%-hardcore game which avoids some time-consuming micromanagement. So purists might be slightly disappointed.
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December 14th, 2013, 21:24
People keep arguing that Diabolo isn't an RPG. OK Blackguards is TBwT but (AFAIK) about 90% (if not more) of it is just combat. So, why not call it a TB hack & slash with tactics?
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December 15th, 2013, 00:02
Because nobody gives a shit what you call your RPGs today.
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December 15th, 2013, 00:32
This is just as much an rpg as Knights of the chalice was I would say.

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December 15th, 2013, 01:07
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Also Wizardry 8, Fallout Tactics, Might & Magic 8 and 9, Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor, and Silent Storm.

But yeah, he probably really meant 90's.
I did say for the most part and I wasn't considering purely tactics games like Fallout Tactics and Silent Storm since they are cheaper to make and more easily get a publisher. So pretty much the only turn-based rpgs that came out after Diablo were from established series which eventually died.
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December 15th, 2013, 01:36
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I did say for the most part and I wasn't considering purely tactics games like Fallout Tactics and Silent Storm since they are cheaper to make and more easily get a publisher.
Normally I wouldn't include tactical RPGs either in this context, but since this game appears to basically be one of them, it seemed logical enough.
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December 15th, 2013, 01:41
Well it's a know fact I don't really care about genre definitions. So I leave that to other refined ladies, and gentlemen to decide. No one can come to an agreement anyway.

Blackguards reminds me of my PS 1&2 days with all the SRPG's that were abundant. Nowadays you mostly find them on handheld gaming devices.

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I prefer the Codex preview
I know you mention it on most of the Blackguard previews.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; December 15th, 2013 at 02:07.
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