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Default Blackguards - Review @ GameBanshee

March 24th, 2014, 16:10
GameBanshee has finally managed to post their review of Daedalic Entertainment's SRPG Blackguards. The reviewer comes to the conclusion he can't recommend it.

From my experience, turn-based games have always been pretty good, and I always figured it was because developers knew they were going to have an uphill battle convincing publishers to take their product seriously, and so they worked extra hard to make the game impressive. But these days, with online retailers and Kickstarter campaigns, publishers aren't as necessary, and developers don't have to deal with as much interference — which is good, usually, but not in the case of Blackguards, which is about as sloppy and frustrating a game as you're ever likely to encounter.

The premise behind Blackguards works pretty well. You're presented with an intriguing murder mystery, and you're put in command of a disreputable band of outlaws to figure out what happened, which is different and fun. Blackguards also has everything you'd like to see in a strategy-RPG hybrid, including well-written dialogue, lots of character options, and a big battle at the end, but there are just so many problems in so many areas (including stuff that never should have made it through QA testing) that the game is more irritating than fun. I always came away from my sessions with Blackguards in a foul mood, and so it's not a game I can recommend, no matter how it's priced, but certainly not at the $40 mark where it is now. Maybe in about a year when the price drops in half and the patches have come out it will be a better idea.
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March 24th, 2014, 16:10
What I liked about the game:
-Turn Based Combat
-The difficulty
-character build options

What I didn't
-story (predictable and dull)
-The main character is a mere spectator (even your companions make choices over you)
-companions (few, uninteresting)
-not rewarding at all (little reward for winning a difficult combat)
-lack of content between combats (call it story, NPCs, dialogs, side activities, etc.)

Honestly I finished it because of the "difficulty factor" but really this game deserves a 6 (if you don't like difficult games maybe a 5).
I saw they (Daedalic) are publishing D:OS on Europe, so they know what a good RPG is. I think their first try on making a RPG was rushed/ poorly planned (maybe they weren't trying too hard?).
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March 24th, 2014, 17:34
I enjoyed it right up until I didn't, which was early Act II. Can't face going back there without some serious patching.
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March 24th, 2014, 18:02
Originally Posted by hairyscotsman2 View Post
I enjoyed it right up until I didn't, which was early Act II. Can't face going back there without some serious patching.
I don't think patch will resolve anything. I mean, I finished at the time it was released on Steam, I got 3 or 4 'Hangs' (opponents refusing to finish their turn), but nothing else. You mean patches with added content?
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March 24th, 2014, 18:29
I loved the demo, but the game is getting worse instead of better after that unfortunately. Also didn't get past the ACT II boredom as of yet.
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March 24th, 2014, 18:51
Not a very good review at all imo. Blackguards is a lot better than he makes it sound.
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March 24th, 2014, 20:43
Originally Posted by hairyscotsman2 View Post
I enjoyed it right up until I didn't, which was early Act II. Can't face going back there without some serious patching.
For me it was midway through act 3. The story was dragging, my party finally hit that point where they couldn't grow anymore, and I didn't feel motivation to go forward. Which was a shame, since I was to review it for the website I write for and had to give it a score in the 70s. Fun, but seriously lacking in substance.

I figure we won't be getting review copies of their games anymore.
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March 24th, 2014, 21:42


Blackguards - Review @ GameBanshee
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For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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March 24th, 2014, 21:55
I put 105 hours in to it and beat it once while playing chapters 1,2 and 3 several times during early access.

I thought the beginning of the game was better than the end. It started to get repetitive. My biggest complaint was balance issues. The numbers they let you see often didn't seem to match the results I'd get. Like having a 96% chance of success but failing 3 times in a row. Towards the end where I pretty much played the last quarter of the game poisoned ( before they patched it out) was very annoying as well.

Overall I though it was good though maybe a 7/10. If they would have kept expanding on using the environment for battles, improved the story and made me care about my companions it would have been much better.

I will buy a sequel if they make one. Not interested in the dlc they made though as it focuses on a character I cared nothing about.
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March 24th, 2014, 22:07
Well I liked it more than the reviewer, who seemed to experience more bugs and problems than I did. And I played early access, so something doesn't ring true.

I don't mind spikes in difficulty, unless I can't get past them, which wasn't the case for Blackguards. Not sure I understand the repetitiveness complaint. Almost all the battles offered some variety, either in map layout or inventive environmental puzzles or obstacles.
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March 24th, 2014, 22:59
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Well I liked it more than the reviewer, who seemed to experience more bugs and problems than I did. And I played early access, so something doesn't ring true.

I don't mind spikes in difficulty, unless I can't get past them, which wasn't the case for Blackguards. Not sure I understand the repetitiveness complaint. Almost all the battles offered some variety, either in map layout or inventive environmental puzzles or obstacles.
+1 -> I agree.

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March 24th, 2014, 23:02
Compared to Heroes and King's Bounty, the battles were much less repetitive, so that criticism seems lacking.
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March 25th, 2014, 01:11
Bugs? What bugs? I've played another game then…

Blackguards is a pretty hard game even on the lowest difficulty (at least upon the release, I know there was some balancing in later patches). But the refreshing thing is that being hard is not because of unstoppable respawning hostiles. And I love that game for that. It didn't need an annoying filler nor grinding on every single turn. It uses many different "arenas" instead. Of course, there are players who don't like when every area is different and where you can't grind your way to the victory. This game is not for those people.

While very good, it's not a masterpiece. To be that, it needs an integration of TDE social (and antisocial) skills, a better story implementation and nonstatic towns. Hopefully those things will be included in it's sequel.

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March 25th, 2014, 05:30
I didn't like it at all, so I agree with the reviewer!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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March 25th, 2014, 05:37
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
I didn't like it at all, so I agree with the reviewer!!
You have to be suicidal to admit you hate the game on these forums.

As for me I don't hate the game. I just never finished it as I got bored very easily. In the end I decided to play a different game in my backlog instead.

I may go back and finish it one day in the future.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; March 25th, 2014 at 06:26.
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March 25th, 2014, 05:39
I'm honest about what I like and don't like, so I always say what I think!! I chose not to finish and therefore not to review the game as THAT would have caused some backlash!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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March 25th, 2014, 08:29
I think it was a very decent first attempt and a good game for those interested mainly for combat (*). Decent character customization and a very good variety of maps enemies and challenges.

(* Definitely not me, games I love are usually experiences that are more than the sum of their parts, especially the more technical bits. Combat to the exclusion of everything else bores me alas)

Its just that it started overstaying its welcome after the middle of chapter 4 or there about, and while I am always very enthusiastically pro for very large games, this one may have been favored a bit by trimming some of the endgame content. Some repetition of ideas, concepts and enemies (poison overuse, tentacles from the deep, some ideas for map challenges, some maps starting to look too familiar towards the end etc.) could have been avoided.

Definitely buying their next. This is a decent outfit. I need to get an equally excellent price for it though (pre-access + Steam sale I payed less than 13 euros for it) this kind of limited combat only SRPG not being my main fare.

6/10 is very harsh imo…
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