Battle Brothers - Review @ RPGFan
RPGFan reviewed the tactical RPG Battle Brothers:
Battle Brothers is the story of a merry band of ugly, illiterate mercenaries who do grunt work for rich people. Set in a decrepit fantasy world where living to thirty with all of one's teeth might be considered an accomplishment, the gritty landscapes are littered with seemingly countless brigands, orcs, undead, and really, really big dogs. Your company's primary concern, though? Gain reputation and money so that you can gain more reputation and money. It's like life, except with less ability to employ basic academic skills and more sudden death.
Battle Brothers offers little in the way of story or dialogue. Banter between your company and your employers occurs only when taking a job, and it's brief at that. What's more, exchanges are regurgitated with shocking frequency, leaving any immersion surface-level, at best. When traveling around, rare scenarios occur in which someone in your band wants a raise, a civilian needs help, or an injury is mended. These occur maybe once per hour and, again, are often regurgitated. Like most roguelikes, the story isn't secondary or even tertiary. The disappointment here lies in that the writing is decent, and with a little more work, the world building could truly enhance the experience.
Battle Brothers knows what it is and doesn't try to be more than it should be, and that makes it so much better than other titles that strive for an epic or storied feel. What's accomplished here is a solid, honest package of thrills and strategic depth, though not oppressively so. In truth, the world can get monotonous and drags at times, but I also found myself losing track of time on several occasions as I told myself, "Just one more job." I dabbled in Veteran a bit before writing this review and couldn't get back into it — I just couldn't find the heart to jump right back in after I had developed such an incredible group of fighters who I got to know by name. One day I will likely pick the banner back up and I may just fall on the battlefield twenty hours in. And that's okay.
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