What happens when the only hope of a threatened world lies not with heroes in shining armor, but in the hands of a band of misfits and criminals? Blackguards, a new turn-based strategy RPG, explores this very question. You will discover over 180 unique hex-based battlegrounds within a dark and mature story of crime, drugs, and murder.
User reviews: Mixed (1,024 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"An interesting combat-centric RPG in The Dark Eye setting. Great character build variety and handcrafted combat encounters - no generic rat murder here!"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (27)

August 21

Localization update & patch release



We’re happy to announce that our Blackguards are now ready to enter your PC & Mac in Turkish, too! Additionally, there have been some small technical corrections in the game that will fix the following issues:

Patch 1.5 changelog

- Fixed the loot in the last fight of the "Charyb'Yzz" Questline.
- Fixed crash when entering Lorfas.
- Fixed blackscreen in Cilliego's Questline.
- Fixed the Spell casting freeze
- Added Turkish localization.

Best,
Your Team Daedalic

12 comments Read more

June 25

Localization Update – 3 new language packages now available




Hi guys,

we’re happy that today we are finally releasing our big localization update for our Blackguards. The update contains the reworked Russian localization as well as the brand new Japanese and Korean language packages.

Have fun playing and don’t get lost in Aventuria!

PS: The patch will available in about 2 or 3 hours from now, so please don’t worry if it’s not starting immediately.

Best,
Your Daedalic-Team

34 comments Read more

Reviews

“Blackguards is a real gem.”
4/5 – The Guardian

“A thrilling story, mixed with a deep, tactical and engaging gameplay.”
8/10 – http://www.everyeye.it/pc/articoli/blackguards_recensione_21543

“Blackguards feels like the gift that keeps on giving. At the heart of its brilliance is an enormously engaging story.”
8.7/10 – Hooked Gamers

Blackguards Deluxe Edition Content

About This Game

What happens when the only hope of a threatened world lies not with heroes in shining armor, but in the hands of a band of misfits and criminals? Blackguards, a new turn-based strategy RPG, explores this very question. You will discover over 180 unique hex-based battlegrounds within a dark and mature story of crime, drugs, and murder.

Play as a warrior, mage or hunter and customize your character's skills as you see fit. The challenging campaign delivers a story of doubt, treason and loss. You decide the course of the story at key turning points and determine its outcome.

Key Features


  • More than 180 unique battlemaps provide ever-evolving and novel challenges.
  • Make sure you have plenty of snacks, as this dark fantasy adventure has 40+ hours of exciting play time.
  • Lead up to five characters in your party to glorious victory or devastating defeat.
  • Enjoy enchanting hand drawn backdrops. They're beautiful even when your party members get their asses handed to them.
  • Your choice of spells, skills and abilities determine your battlefield tactics. Aggressive? Defensive? Tactical? It's your call how to tackle each challenging encounter!
  • Use interactive objects like bee hives or barrels to your advantage in combat, or blow yourself up by carrying a torch into flammable swamp gas.
  • Dish out some serious damage with 40 special abilities and more than 90 spells... or find yourself on the other end and get obliterated.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP 32 Bit
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600 GT, ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 20 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card with Latest Drivers
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 (32/64 bits versions)
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Quad Core CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275, ATI Radeon 4770 Series or higher
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 20 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card with Latest Drivers
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X Version 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac oder Mac Pro release year 2010 or newer
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD4000, nVidia or AMD graphic card
    • Hard Drive: 20 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
58 of 68 people (85%) found this review helpful
62.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
Daedalic's Blackguards........Where to begin......I like so many others was rather excited by this title from the content shown here on steam. As a result i purchased this in the sale at 1/3 of its retail price for £10.99. So a turn based dungeon crawler with rpg character development. Right now the nitty gritty there are some details of gameplay but i shall not spoiler you on plot etc

Shortfalls in my opinion

1) The Overall story of the game is linear there are very few opertunities to drastically alter the outcome of the game, there are a bunch of side quests which are optional? (but not completing these for the extra loot, gold and items will make your playthrough a nightmare in its own right! as enemies will be VASTLTY superior to your party of characters. I completed all the side quests and optional dungeon choices.

2) Character Creation is shallow at best you have a choice of TWO classes! the game does suggest three but its a joke you have the choice between spellcasters and non spell casters! There are no merchants, no stealth options, just pick a close combat weapon or a ranged weapon, or spells if your the former mage class. oh and all chracters can basically become cookie cut clones if you want them to be exactly the same.

3) At Certain points your party composition will be radically altered i.e random members of your party will be unavailble to you for fights following the storyline (so all that time and effort spent developing a character for a specific niche, those skills to help your party become less brittle will be for nothing making certain fights hellish to complete.

4) The world map has a mere dozen locations for you to explore consisitng of the exact same format towns with the same vendors selling almost identical gear! Black guards is not like diablo where you can expect hoards of loot and mindlesss array of weapons, there are so few it makes you wonder if your ever going to have a badass looking character.

5) Most of my game time was spent on loading screens........ugh i cannot stress how mind numbing this was!
The Aquisition of items and gear is extremely tedious especially at the start of the game those life saving potions are almost unobtainable and forces you to either sacrifce weapon and armour or go to battle injured. Later those same items become useless which makes you wonder why you invested so much in the first place. The interface is clunky and at times often difficult to direct your actions.


6) The variety of enemies was also sparse to say the least the same foes cropping up again and again made killing them a real chore, I should also mention that there is NO level grinding in this game to improve your characters stats for that fight you are having trouble with.

7) THIS IS THE BIGGY The chance to hit modifier is The MOST ANNOYING PART OF THIS GAME!!! YOU WILLL NEVER BE MORE FRUSTRATED, NEVER MISS AS MANY ATTACKS OR FAILED CASTING ATTEMPTS AS YOU WILL ENCOUNTER IN THIS GAME, It has rusulted in me personally restarting hundreds of encounters because this game is COMPLETLY GOVERNED BY RANDOM CHANCE! it will try to break you!!!!!!

8) There are multiple battles linked together re♥♥♥♥ing in sometimes impossible to win situations as you have been thumped so bad due to unlucky attacks you've misseed ten times in a row or the enemy lads a whole slew of critical hits forcing you to use all your recovery items. (but....i hear you say what about your inventory?? yeah invent items can only be equiped outside of combat, also quicksaving is the same! only outside the dungeon!

Basically the ENTIRE game is fight, FAST TRAVEL to location, distribute stats, rinse, repeat, load, load, load, load, get lucky, Save.

Positives

The Dungeon maps are varied and are pretty to look at, there are interactive objects to help you, most maps have a stratagy behind them to make things a wee bit easier but a couple of crucial misses will send that plan right out the window.

There are moments of satisfaction when you drop that enemy who has forced you to load a dozen times and you complete the fight in no time flat.

The Dialogue can be entertainig at times and you do find your characters personalities are pretty unique.

Im Struggling to come up with more positive points! in all honesty i personally thought this was going to be a bit like a fantasy version of x-com enemy unknown (which is a fantastic game i do highly reocmmend) needless to say i was sorely dissapointed! only die hard fans will see any replay out of this title. even at £10.99 i felt robbed and yes i did pour 60 hours into it but most of this was due to the snails pace of the combat system.

Brutally Honest review Hope someone finds this useful?

Ryan :)
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24 of 35 people (69%) found this review helpful
34.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
Much like Baldur’s Gate II, Oblivion, Dishonored, The Witcher II, and countless other fantasy and action games before it, Blackguards begins with the player character sobering up in a dingy dungeon. Said dungeon is especially mildew-y and uninspired, packed with boring old barred cells and dirt floors.Then the player meets a wizard with a voice so melodramatic and overacted that some will likely be put off the game almost immediately.But to strike off the game due to its weak opening alone would be shame, as Blackguards grows gradually into its own strategic combat system, and presents colourful and fantastical confrontations that escalate nicely as the game progresses.Blackguards is a turn-based RPG at heart, based within the universe and roleplaying system of enduring German Dungeons & Dragons-alike The Dark Eye. The story is simple and functional: the player character has been convicted of the murder of a noble’s daughter, with whom he or she was a close friend.Towns consist of little more than painted landscapes populated with stationary NPCs that can be clicked to begin a sparse dialogue tree.There’s no overworld to navigate, merely a series of interconnected nodes on a map. Building a game on the back of a pre-existing RPG has pros and cons, and perhaps because of its hardcore tabletop roots, the levelling and character progression system in Blackguards is immediately intimidating.The combat is easy to understand on a basic level. A player can move and use an action, or cover a greater distance by sacrificing an action. The number of actions that can be performed, including spells and attacks, quickly broaden the combat system into a rich tapestry of decisions.That combat is absolutely the core of Blackguards, both in a gameplay and aesthetic sense.An early assault of brown and grey doesn’t do it any favours, but the presence of large numbers of well-animated on-screen characters later on certainly do. The spell effects are similarly excellent, and there are some creative and terrifying monster designs.There may not be an overworld, and the friendly towns found in most RPGs are absent, but Blackguards does possess an extremely well-developed core combat system, and for that it deserves to be commended.Overall 7/10.
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23 of 34 people (68%) found this review helpful
48.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
First, let me just say that (spoiler alert!) despite the title and hype, the game still ends up with a cliched save-the-world scenario. Which was a bit of a disappointment.

All right, so there's some good points to this game: The combats are each well-designed (often frustrating, but that's part of the fun), and almost every combat has some interactive environment object you can use to either help or hurt you. This part of the game works great. I wish the rest of the game was better so I could take more advantage of it.

Further good news: The game isn't ridiculous easy, even on the easiest difficulty level. I had to switch down from Normal in order to make any progress past the first chapter.

Now for the bad news.

First, the combat system is incredibly complicated. The rules for combat are mostly invisible, but reading through them (on the help screen) made my eyes cross. This coming from a guy who plays tabletop D&D, HERO System, Shadowrun, Traveller, and Legend of the Five Rings. This might explain why the chance to hit an opponent is vastly different from the chance marked on your screen. Anything under an 80% chance to hit will miss at least 2/3 of the time. And there's one enemy in particular that you won't hit more than about 1/20 of the time, despite the fact that your hit % is shown as 60. Always. I'm not sure if the hit chance is failing to take into account about half the combat rules, or if (as some others have suggested) the random number generator is just broken. Either way, this drops my enjoyment of the game by quite a bit.

The other problem is that there's really no actual "role-playing" involved in the game. There's little to nothing you can do to direct the game, except in some of the sidequests. And most of that involves giving up a sidequest instead of finishing it. Sure, you have dialogue options, but they don't really *DO* anything.

Overall, I'd probably rate this something like 3/10. The combat scenes are great, but the combat itself fails, and everything else is boring as hell.
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
BLACKGUARDS is a turn-based strategy game with strong RPG elements. It is actually the closest thing to the JAGGED ALLIANCE games that has happened in years: Most strategy games will have you move nameless armies on maps, in BLACKGUARDS you will have to rely on a band of adventurers, all of whom have clear-cut personalities. This adds a lot of flavour to the game, as you will grow to like this bunch. Just like the mercenaries of the olden JAGGED ALLIANCE series, your BLACKGUARDS crew is a shady and shifty bunch. Daedalic, the German studio behind this game, used to specialize in point and click adventures and they certainly applied their writing skills here: All characters speak with characteristic voices and have oppinions and attitudes that never seem out of place or unexpected. BLACKGUARDS is not a bleak game, though - there are some goofy laughs to be had as well and the story soon develops into a fairly generic, yet highly enjoyable fantasy romp.

Gameplaywise, you will be moving up to four characters around the hexes of smallish arenas and duking it out with lizardmen, skeletons, dragons and the like. You have two areas of movement: One within which you are able to follow up with an action (like an attack or a spell) and a larger one that consumes your action. Anybody who played Firaxis' XCOM reboot should feel right at home here - it is pretty basic stuff. The fun part ist the RPG foundation that calculates pretty much all of your actions on the battlefield: BLACKGUARDS is a game situated in "The Dark Eye" universe, which is a pen and paper RPG system that is quite popular in Germany (it even originated from a failed attempt to license D&D stuff for Germany). You get the unadultered real deal: You will have to level stats, weapon skills, special talents, magic schools and spells for each and every of your characters and because "The Dark Eye" system allows for a lot of freedom in regards to development of characters, you might find yourselves a bit overwhelmed at first. Should you level your mage's staff fighting skills as well? Should you try to improve his skills with bows so he can keep on dishing out damage even when he runs low on mana? Should you ignore his weapon skill entirely and concentrate on beefing up his bread and butter stuff like fireballs and shockwaves? You could do either of these! My tip for you is to specialize your crew members during your first run and start experimenting on the second! There are some excellent guides on steam, too, so make sure to check those out as well.

BLACKGUARDS has received some rather harsh and negative reviews due to its complexity and difficulty. These two are closely related and once you start understanding the basic RPG mechanics, the battles will become significantly less challenging. The game has been thoroughly patched up and there is an excellent tutorial in place now. It will teach you 80% of the stuff you need to know - the rest can be found in guides or through experimentation.

To sum it up: This is a fairly complex and tough game but also an immensely rewarding one. If you consider yourself experienced with RPGs and turn based strategy, then chances are good that you will love BLACKGUARDS!
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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
74.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
I had a lot of fun playing this game. A lovely mix of turn based strategy and plain old rpg. --7/10
All pro´s and con´s are, ofcourse, from my viewpoint. (As an old school rpg player and fairly hardcore computer gamer.)

PRO´s:
* No over abundance of +5 Swords of the destroyer with bells, whistles and a blowtorch. A quite minimalistic level of "Magical" weapons and armor.

* Some great battlegrounds with nice scenery and interactive gadgets.

* Likable characters.


CON´s:
* Some dialouges seemed slapped together in a hurry with no "own" background and a lack of engageing content.

* Hexagon focus reacts to creatures. i.e. Animated inhabitants of said hexagons neighbour can interfer with what tile you click. Very frustrating ending up clicking the wrong tile while attacking. Forced me to rage quit 3-4 times. :) (Can be avoided by setting camera angle 90 degrees, but then the visual experience is lost.)

* Would have liked to be able to configure the apperance of my main character a lot more.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
34.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
A little difficult to get to grips with at the start but all in all a very enjoyable game (thus far). The game has managed to stay at a very good difficulty level so that it is challenging but not impossible which serves to keep it engaging. There are also lots of little quirks and a well written story which really adds to the experience and keeps things fresh. I feel like I'm part of a story when placing this game as opposed to just playing a game.

One small thing that annoys me is that there are no concequences of dying which I feel always takes away from the suspence of a game. Also comparing equipment with your current equipment or just reading the stats of things in general is a bit of pain. But apart from that it's a pretty darn good game.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
33.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Presupposition : I recommend preceding with extreme prejudice in regards to playing this game.

I want to tell you I really enjoyed this game. I want to tell you the story is fantastic. Filled with all the ups and downs of great storytelling. I want to tell you the mechanics are fun, challenging and rewarding. I want to, I really do.

What I will tell you though, is that music is very atmospheric and enjoyable. I found the characters likable and humorous with the exception of Aurelia. They all were perhaps a bit over the top in most aspects of their personality. However, that's what makes them a character isn't it?

Turn based strategy games are slow affairs to begin with for obvious reasons. This one however, in specific battles, has more enemies than can fit on the screen. Some examples, Slugs (Morfus) Zombies, skeletons, other dead things that move incredibly slowly. And you have to watch each one take their horrifically slow turns. Perhaps there was a way to skip this or have it resolve faster, however I was unable to find such amenities.

The tactics leave something to be desired as well. I don't really have a real complaint about them just that they don't feel rewarding. It doesn't feel you've out smarted anyone or overcome some great obstacle. It just feels like you've done your due diligence. So the game decides to let you win now.

I did experience “the feels” when Niam is killed for little to no reason. But I can't help but question the anti-drug undertone.

This is possibly one of my least favorite games I've ever completed. (Completed being defined as credits are rolling) I liked it enough to finish, yet I can only truly recommend if you absolutely love turn based games.
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11 of 17 people (65%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I have to admit that I bought this game blindly: Daedelic had such a good name with me that I didn't read any reviews. So maybe this is just a case of disappointed love. Anyway: I only played a few hours and then stopped, because:
- imho the dark eye rpg system is clumsy and makes for rather boring fights
- the game restricts you to fights on small hex fields without any exploring or experience of a world, to small towns (basically a static screen which allows you to click on merchants and trainers), and static travel screens.
- the story and the characters are stereotyped, especially strange from a company wellknown for its storytelling.
- the interface is very counterintuitive (fighting, selling etc.)
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
7/10.
A solid turn-based combat Roleplay game, with interesting fights, varying win scenarios, and no +50% damage trinkets.


The way the game played out for me.
  • First, customise your character with a wide variety of spells, talents, and stats. There are quite a few options, here.
  • Next, crawl through a vast variety of well-designed maps and interesting combat scenarios, in the turn-based strategy style.
  • Marvel at the lack of decent gear... even in the final chapters. :P
  • Get frustrated by missing 3x 90% hits in a row > Learn your lesson; adapt. Win.
  • Use reasoning skills to work out the win condition, when the game doesn't tell you how > Win.
  • Delve deeper into the well written storyline.
  • Contemplate right vs wrong, and the way human societies functions.
  • Watch a few thrown-together and anticlimactic final cutscenes.. (due credit to there being a few alternative endings).
  • Decide not to make another char and start again, because you're intimate knowledge of the skills/talents/stats would make you a God on 'normal'... and increasing the difficulty level would just cause the more annoying aspects of the game to become too much to be enjoyable.

The pro's and con's:

Pro's:
  • Interesting maps, and scenario's.
  • Great range of character stats to customise. These stats actually made a significant difference to how your character could be played.
  • Sometimes required me to stop - think about why I just lost - adapt. Rather than just steamrolling through every scenario.
  • Sometimes required me to work out the puzzle of how to win the map. (Despite some other reviewers' comments, this rarely required chain-learning trap locations *but even when it did I could have put points into Traps (talent) to over come this* - see above point about actually strategising instead of gratuitous wins).
  • Well written story, and voice acting. Particularly, the wide range of accents.
  • The overarching theme of the dialogue was thought provoking, with concepts of anarchism, liberalism, and competing social values.
  • No "+50% damage trinkets."

Con's:
  • No "+50% damage trinkets;" in fact, noticable upgrades were very hard to come by.
  • Getting it right on the Character creation screen is very important.
  • There's almost nothing worth buying. By the end of the game, I had over 1000gold and nothing to spend it on (the top level chest armor cost 50g) <- Found very disappointing
  • Around the second half of Chapter 3, level 3 enemies, with their sudden, significant stat increases and global buffs, caused a few embarassing "try agains."
  • Melee Hit chances are too low. Even with maxed out Attack from stats, Weapon Skills, and weapons/shields.
  • By the end of the game, the game forced me to abandon my planned Cookie Cutter melee build; opting for 1Hander axe and sheild, instead.
  • By the end of the game, poorly scaled hit chance forced me to abandon my expensive big-hitting melee attacks (ie Hammer Blow and Fatal Shot - spent over 3000 Adventure points in meeting these abilities' requirements). Forced to use weak high hit chance abilities to even hit anything.
  • Boss enemies in the 4th and 5th Chapters regularly potioned to full health when falling below ~30% health. Thrown in the fact that I rarely hit melee attacks and it's frustratingly difficult to get through the last 10 or so damage in a single turn.
  • The game kept messing with my team synergies by taking away one of spell casters for long periods of time, and killing off my ranger.
  • You discover a few spells that pretty much beat any enemy (example: Karnifilo Frenzy - the insane rage spell that makes groups of enemies kill each other)
  • Maps with many enemies became very slow due to the inability to skip enemy movement and attack animations.
  • Back-to-the-past missions took away your well synergised gang of fighters; instead, leaving you with a lone character that wasn't optimised for solo play. (I felt sorry for any spell-casters, here).
  • In-game decisions make minimal differences to the actual gameplay - mostly just affect the cutscenes.

A few hints for playing this game:
- Probably wouldn't put points into Treat Wounds (talent).
- Team buffing & enemy debuffing spells are game changers!
- Rangers are actully pretty decent in this game, so long as you have a tank or two to keep enemies 5 hexagons away.
- If melee, don't bother going for Hammer Blow (tier 3 Abilty), nor Death Blow (tier 3) as their hit chances are way too low to provide reliable damage in the second half of the game. Tier 1 melee abilities remain viable the whole game due to their high chance to hit.
- Minimum 8 points in Body control (talent) for every character is ESSENTIAL; 8+ points in Willpower (talent) are helpful for every character.
- 8 Points in Warfare (talents) and 8 points in Animal Lore (talents) are very useful for melee characters.
- Defensive characters & spell casters should have relevant Weapon Skills of at least 8 points, and set to full defensive mode (for example, Zurbaran with 8 points in staves, with the sliding bar all the way to the left).
- Gear is so hard to come by in this game, so you need Adventure Points in order to improve you characters. Didn't bother putting any points into Charisma as it seems counter-intuitive to effectively reduce your Adventure Points just for easy conversation options.
- Finally, using poisons on you weapons is a great way to get through some impressive damage.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Blackguards is at first an interesting turn based RPG, with combat occuring on premade hex grid based maps. It is interesting because it does away with most of the filler that comes with most every RPG. You do not control your characters in any way outside of combat, you simply shift to a different spot in a city where you can talk to a couple of NPCs and that's it. Outside of towns you travel on the world map by clicking on a selectable point on the map and you are instantly transported to a town, or into combat if you have a quest going on outside of town.

This makes the game more fun at the beginning, because you always get to the important parts of the game instantly, that would be the combat and the story. However as you progress through the game the positive turns into a negative because you never start feeling a connection with any of your characters. The only time you control them is in combat and in combat they are simply damage dealing stats.

So the game becomes tedious as you start clicking through all the dialogue to just pick up the quests and then you do the quests, almost always by going into combat and you soon realise that the primary things you do in the game are combat and clicking through the story, which I might add is very simple and very interesting.

The combat at first is satisfying, especially for me since I am a fan of turn based, tile based combat. However you will probably start getting more and more annoyed with it because of its randomness (nearly every action has at least a small chance to fail and it seems to happen more often than it should). And also because of the lack of data while in combat, the battlelog is very nearly completely useless so you have to constantly pay attention to know what is happening, since the camera can jump around a bit if it's a larger map and you can lose track of the enemy actions. And there isn't enough contextual information with the game for when you move your characters. For example I'd like to know if one of my characters will pass through where an enemy can do an attack of opportunity on him, it's true that it isn't too hard to figure out for yourself if that will happen, but honestly you probably won't have the patience to do it after you are controlling 5 characters and have 5+ enemies each taking their own turn. The combat just becomes too slow at that point.

Outside of combat you also manage the equipment of each of your characters, which isn't really that interesting because there isn't much choice of weapons or armour and what little there is it's always a straight upgrade or not, so there isn't much thinking involved. Somewhat more involved is improving the skills of your characters, but even that becomes straightforward after a while, since you get an abundance of points to allocate throughout the game and you soon pick up the more desirable skills.

So to summarise my main points: no filler makes for a fun start, but it also destroys any potential character building, the story is very simple and not at all interesting, the combat is at first fun but it becomes tedious after a while, not much variety in equipment and finally not enough interesting skills which are worth putting points in. Definitely try the game if you are into turn based, tile based RPGs however be warned that the game can become tedious to play and it did so for me.

5 / 10
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
52.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
I enjoyed this game (hence the recommendation) but I really must caveat this, because this game is a cruel mistress.

Pros and cons as follows, because how much each point sways you will govern how much you get out of this game.

On the whole I enjoyed it.

Pros:
- Funny dialogue and interesting characters. Naurim might be the greatest character in Western RPG history
- Deep strategy. There are lots of environment effects, ways to optimise and spells to learn.
- Good voice acting. Genuinely good and a nice array of accents. Apart from the main characters female voice
- Dark, gritty artistic direction. Few games capture being and anti-hero so well, with murky non-binary decision making
- Challenge. Good god the challenge.

Cons
- It's a bit... broken. Little things that seem to have been left incomplete, or lack polish. This includes a few bugs with quests and achievements. A good example is that the combat controls list auto-save, but if you try to use it, the game says you can't.
- Not explaining things. Sometimes you will see environmental effects or objects, but have no idea what they are or do until they kill you. Sometimes it will drop you in a level with a special win condition, but it won't be clear what it is. This is fine once you work it out, but causes a bit of trial-and-error frustration
- The ending is, well, balls. Quite simply. There are apparently multiple endings, but to me the last chapter and ending felt a bit rushed.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
114.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
This game has some good concepts, but unfortunately it simply balls it up. It commits every sin in the CRPG handbook.

Ultimately this game is NOT an enjoyable experience. The first mistake the developers make is confusing complexity with challenge. The character system in this game is needlessly complex and completely opaque. The fights are incredibly unbalanced, and while it is possible to scrape your way through using tactics, it all comes down to luck.

The combat system is absurd. My archer has repeatedly missed 100% chance to hit shots. Not parries, mind you, just completely missed. When you miss 5 90% shots in a row, against an opponent that has no special buffs, and meanwhile the enemy are not just hitting you but criting away, leaving you wounded and dying.

Twice now the game has committed the cardinal sin of CRPGs of taking away your progression for the sake of a gimmick. Too bad if you were trying to make an archer, here's a club, go knock things on the head for 2 damage. See, the thing is, unless you picked the fighter class you won't have power attack, which makes melee weapons as good as useless since you'll just be scratching the ticks of the enemies back.

You can play as skillfully as you want and you will still be screwed over by RNG and the absurd combat mechanics. Here's an example: My archer just missed 5 90% shots in a row on a target. Missed. Not parried. The target was not buffed with dodge enhancing stats. Now, in some games that would be okay, you'd curse your luck but recover and reorganize your strategy. In Xcom you might pull back and try to lure the enemy into an overwatch trap while you heal up your guys. In this game, every shot you miss, every hit you do not land sets you further and further behind and it is completely out of your hand due to the level up system and comparitive enemy strengths.

This is not fun. The game itself is boring enough without having to go back and redo every freaking fight over and over trying to find some way to have just one of your guys survive.

The loot drops are hilarious. Fifty pairs of hardened leather boots. Not one usable piece of armor. Boots. Boots all day. But don't think you can just buy armor for your party, the gold costs of the items mean that at best you will have one reasonably equipped and maybe leather pants on your other guys.

And why on earth do the combat percentages change every round? Why when nothing else has changed does my warrior go from 90% to 50% then back to 85% ... if anything, im hitting the enemy it should go up. None of this makes any sense, it makes tactics pointless. Nothing is every explained.

Honestly do not waste your money.
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9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
I really don't like this game.

Confusing for the sake of confusing doesn't make a game complex or interesting. The character stat screen tells you very little of the impact that your leveling decisions make. So much of the directional choices you make with characters appears to be hidden. The hit percentage system, how to recover health/mana efficiently and the effects of decisions are just a few examples of this.

I understand that a fair amount of people believe that this hidden veil makes the game more complex, and that they consequently are "more intelligent" because they "figured it out". I would argue that they wasted their time fiddling with a poorly designed game when they could have been playing a game that isn't a waste of time.

I should have played the friggin' demo first. So for that, I entirely blame myself.
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11 of 19 people (58%) found this review helpful
38.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
I don't even know how to explain the lackluster gameplay. Simple put, if you enjoy games where you have to lose battles a dozen times to memorize trap locations, constantly fight unbalanced matches and only like to stick with non-intuitive, cookie cutter builds, then this game is definitely for you.
If you want to experiment with unique builds, play melee or just want some fun battles and original gameplay, look elsewhere, this really isnt for you.

Not even a couple of hours into the game and I realised that the battle mechanics are absolutely one of the worst i've seen, in over a decade of playing turn based strategy games. It's another perfect example of developers compensating for horrible AI, by overpowering the player.

A few other problems: This isnt tactical, it's nearly impossible to be tactical in this game because the maps are way too simple, if you're looking for XCOM style tactics, this is nowhere close. Most of the obstacles can be shot through and they provide no additional defense(unless of course the enemy is behind them, in which case they will shoot from behind their obstacle and also through yours and still knock you down with an arrow, from the other end of the map), even with 90% hit chance you will constantly miss.

I've never once wanted to give up on a game so fast but I already see no incentive to continue with this game, it's just so boring and unrewarding for the difficulty. I regret buying it, even at the sale price of $15.

Please, for your sake, ignore the steam reviews and do some proper online research before buying this game.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
Most linear, scripted CRPG I've ever been compelled to spend way more time in than I should have. The game forces these ham fisted limitations in fights that severely hamper you from using your party members the way you want, which is the whole point of a CRPG.

"lol druggie archer party member got eaten by a giant louse xDD"

Niam's death was the last straw
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Blackguards is a game for all who are at home in the dark eye realm (pen and paper version 4). I personally played the pen and paper role game a lot and think Blackguards is very close to it, well sadly limited just to fighting. But the story is typical for DSA (German term for dark eye rolegame) and there is no unreasonable fighting. Everything is explained, if you (can) read the dialogues.
Resume: Good game for fans.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
I played through the entire thing, and let me tell you it's not really good. Sure the first couple of fights are cool but after a while it gets repetetive and boring. There are certain combination of spell which make you nearly invincible. Which is probably a good point because if you visit a new location you can be 90% sure there will be a fight. It's not as much a roll playing game as a fighting simulator with fancy spells.
The worst part is that the entire thing is just so freaking linear, and oh boy is the story predictable.
It's kinda fun but certainly not for 40€. at the moment of writing you can get it from humblebundle for around 6€ which is more appropriate.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
I am glad I only got this as part of the HumbleBundle (Side note, support Humble).
This is a turn based, hexgrid, dungeon crawler, rpg based on a not unheard of tabletop system.
It plays like a fan created mod to another game, in every way this game screams its lack of polish, it's terrible design and its aweful assets. This game makes NWN 1+2 look cutting edge

*FLAWS*

1) Inconsistant Mechanics; in short, they're half baked. An early mechanic is terrain tiles (water is slippery, bushes are flammable etc) and in theory these could make for some more complex tactical play, but sometimes thats not the case, water may just be a watery looking tile, or it may cause you to fall on your ♥♥♥ and be prone for a turn. Enemies never use them either, they just move to attack range throw fire, ice and poison.

2) Incorrect RNG; this is a tabletop system adapted for the PC, so of course its simmulating (with a pretty bad generator I might add) die rolls under the hood. You get told a percentage chance to hit (and can level up enough to see other stats) but the percentage shown is WRONG. That's right, the game actively lies to you because its number generation system isn't implemented right. 100% chance is actualy 90%, 65% is actualy 40%. You will also see the same resualt consistantly for mid range %, every time I fire an arrow at a humanoid enemy with a 65% chance to hit I would miss without fail. same goes for 50% with melee, this makes me think the random generator isn't so random after all.

3) Atrocious Voice acting; Dear gods is it terrible, it's not even laughably bad, the actors are often re-used but its like no-one told them they were doing different characters so everyone they voice sounds identicle. They were also clearly recorded completly seperatly without any lead in or practice because they're all delivered with the same dry detatchment of people with a full frontal lobotomy.

4) Poor story telling; The plot may improve as time goes on, but from what I've experienced so far I can already tell you my version "And so it was that the brave ranger stabbed the annoying sidekicks while they slept and went to live away from the continent full of madmen". Honestly it started out bad enough with the giant wolf having killed (or having been eating) a random damsel, you kill the wolf and then get arrested for her murder. The wolf was right there, you kill it, its body is lying on the ground next to the corpse, yet they arrest you for her murder. The rest of the story was following a bread crumb story into a veriaty of linier dungeons, speaking of which.

5) Dull Dungeon Design; if you're making a dungeon crawler then you need decent dungeons, so far everything has been a straight line with preset encounters, no element of maze, mystery or surprise. You know you will need to enter each point on the dungeon map, you know that each point is going to have an encounter, and you know that you will want to save scum the hell out of it just to preserve your precious resources.

6) Cheap assets; It's ugly. Very Ugly. There is no sense of unifying aesthetic. Everything is the same blocky 3d models with dodgy shadowing, terrain detailing can actualy conflict with mechanics "is that shoreline tile a water tile or a land tile? You won't know till you step on it" the models are barely detailed, only slightly more complex than the 3d models used for CIV V (the ones designed to render quickly at distance and not be looked at too closely). Combine this with a lack luster muZak score and it just doesn't feel good to experience.

7) Poor Performance; for a PC game, its not offering much in the way of performance options. You can set nebulous graphics quality but get no fine choice, you can pick a resolution but theres no windowed mode. In game I've seen multiple graphics glitches caused by lighting effects, flickering textures and even the Hex Grid breaking and flashing at the bottom of the screen.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
17.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
Potential is there, but you can't play potential. Good concept, poor execution. Badly unbalanced fights, builds, etc. One of the worst RNGs I've ever seen. I estimate that 1 in 3 rolls fails. And on my machine it locks up and CTDs constantly. I currently have 14 other games on my desktop atm and not one problem from any of them, so it's not my rig - which is 3 months old anyway. So skip it or wait until it hits $5.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
RNG is godawful. There is no way to properly strategize, because you can miss a 90% chance to hit 3 times in row. It's all luck and restarting a battle hoping the next time it all works out better. I finally gave up on this game when, in the second chapter, after a long, long series of battles, I had finally defeated the boss and only had to kill off the trash mobs when a gamebreaking bug made me unable to move or act with one of my characters. I couldn't even have him wait or end his turn.

Even if you got this game for free, don't waste your time.
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