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 (1,356 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Blackguards - Standard Edition

Packages that include this game

Buy The Dark Eye Universe Bundle

Includes 4 items: Blackguards, Blackguards: Untold Legends, The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, Memoria

WEEK LONG DEAL! Offer ends May 25

Buy Blackguards - Deluxe Edition

Includes Blackguards, PLUS Artbook with ~150 pages, Soundtrack, digital World Map, Developer Interview Videos and 6 Exclusive Wallpapers

Buy The Daedalic Hamburger Bundle

Includes 4 items: Blackguards, Chaos on Deponia, Journey of a Roach, Munin

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Recommended By Curators

"Tactical combat CRPG out of the Dark Eye universe - challenging and fun!"

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

More games from the Blackguards series!

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
52 of 66 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
61.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
7/10.
A solid turn-based combat Roleplay game, with interesting fights, varying win scenarios, and no game-changing +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% (incorrectly labelled ~ more accurately 50% chance) hits in a row > adapt by using weaker abilities with 95% hit chance. Win.
  • Use reasoning skills to work out the win condition, when the game doesn't spoonfeed you how to succeed > 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.


--------------* See last paragraph for a list of helpful hints **--------------------

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.
    Especially, when 2-star enemies start appearing.
  • 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, upgrades were very hard to come by, with the best gear in the game being only marginally better than the starting level gear.
  • The lack of gear-based character improvement makes Adventure Points essential for creating an effectively optimised end-game character. It's important to get it right on the Character Creation screen.
  • There's almost nothing worth buying, especially because main quests give you free full armor sets in Chapters 2 and 3. By the end of the game, I had over 1000gold and nothing to spend it on (the top level chest armor cost 50g) <- This was only exacurbated by the need to regularly clear your inventory of unnecessary weight
  • Around the second half of Chapter 3, 2-star enemies suddenly begun appearing - much stronger than 1-star enemies - receiving a huge buff to their stats and global buffs. (E.g. +8 attack, +2 dodge +20% Magic Resist buff for all enemies!!). their strength increased too much, too suddenly.
  • Melee Hit chances are too low. Even with maxed out Attack from stats, Weapon Skills, and weapons/shields.
  • By the end of the game, poorly scaled hit chance forced me to abandon my expensive big-hitting melee attacks (ie Hammer Blow - which I had spent over 3000 Adventure points in meeting these abilities' requirements). Was forced to use weak high hit chance abilities to even hit anything.
  • By the end of the game, the game forced me to abandon my dreams of a badass melee build; opting for 1Hander axe and sheild, instead.
  • Boss enemies in the 4th and 5th Chapters regularly potioned to full health when falling below ~30% health. Combined with the fact that I rarely hit melee attacks, it became frustratingly difficult to get through the last 10 or so damage in a single turn before they 100% healed.
  • 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.
  • There are a few spells 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. Even enemies that couldn't reach you due to blocked paths would run in this painfully time-consuming circle, in order to use up their movement points.
  • 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.

Helpful Hints:
- Probably wouldn't put points into Treat Wounds (talent). Instead, get 13 points on one of your party member's Healing (spell), because it heals all wounds as well as being much more convenient.
- Don't allow you characters to remain wounded. 3 wounds will severely weaken any character.
- 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 and ranged 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
36 of 47 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
60.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
Wow, what do you get when you combine an entertaining story, colorful characters, and turn based combat with absolutely BROKEN game mechanics? You get Blackguards!

Blackguards is another in a string of games recently that have such wonderful aspects about them and yet have some fatal flaw that sabotages every good experience you have with it. That flaw is that the game straight-up cheats. Now I'd normally be the first person to say "suck it up you sissy, it's meant to be challenging." But there's a big difference between something that is genuinely challenging, and something that cheats.

-I can't tell you how many times I laughed my butt off watching the number of ways the game abused my characters. Character killed before anyone can act in a battle. No problem, reload. Character recovers from knock down only to be knocked down once more with no apparent cause? No problem, reload. The game is full of this kind of stuff. Prepare to be "loved" in the most brutal way by this game. There's little else that you can do other than laugh about it...it's baked in.

-Ignore any percentages to succeed on anything you do. They're meaningless. You'll realize it's all BS after your 10th time of failing when it says you have a 100% chance of success. This will be driven home even harder when you see your character who has maxxed out stats in his chosen weapon, the champion of the arena, outfitted in the best gear, and still being unable to hit some highwayman in leather armor. And if you do, it will be a small percentage of the damage that guy can do to you. It's depressing, really.

-Forget tactics. They really have no place here. You'll find some style that works with your approach to games and work it over and over again (as best as the broken mechanics will let you of course). The game doesn't give you much reason to try anything else, and you won't want to because you're just trying desperately to win some battle.

It's like the designers were unable to find a way to make the game challenging besides giving the enemies a wholly unfair advantage. And that's what it feels like...cheap and dirty hits. That might be ok if it was built into the story and somehow made sense. But when it's the developers that are doing it, you really don't feel like supporting them again.

Which is a shame, because if they tweaked just that one thing...that one small thing...to play by the rules...it would be pretty enjoyable. There's a lot of content, some really funny breaking-the-4th-wall comedy, amazing production values in some areas (the world map), and combat with some moderate depth. But alas, it was not meant to be.

Frankly, as much as I want to I can't recommend this game. I got it super cheap as part of a Humble Bundle, and I still can't recommend it. I don't know if I'll ever return to the game again, but if the developers fix these problems, I'll certainly update my review.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 24 people (75%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
I like Daedalic games, especially adventures, but I cannot recommend this one. The game is not so bad per se, but there are much better games in the similar genre. Battle is too dependent on RNG, and the story is just fantasy cliche and is very linear. If you want to play interesting RPG/TBS combo, you better try Expeditions: Conquistador - it's cheaper and more interesting.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 23

BLACKGUARDS!
Wonderful features such as:
-EXCLUSIVE SUPPORT FOR 16:9 ratio screens, anything else has massive letterbox black bars that ruin immersion!
-Total lack of a 360 degree camera - the visuals might be 3d, but every battle-screen and town is locked to one camera angle!
-Really bad itemization! I made my character a 2-handed sword focused warrior. Turns out 2-handed swords don't exist in the loot tables until the second act (1-2 hours in), holy ♥♥♥♥!
-No exploration whatsoever, anywhere that isn't a 2d city is a 2d battle or a load screen. NOTHING IN-BETWEEN.


The only draw of this game is that you play as a group of misfits and bad guys. Except you don't really play as bad guys or misfits at all - in fact, it seems very standard for a fantasy RPG. You are thrown into the utterly predictable universe of The Dark Eye - a German sort of more boring, more cliche version of the already awful pastiche the English world knows as "Forgotten Realms." The entire concept of this game was that you play as the baddies, a somewhat refreshing idea on the extremely tired fantasy adventure. Except you don't - at all. Your character - get ready - wakes up in a prison cell after being tortured, and goes on a mission of revenge against the EVIL badguy with the EVIL artifact. Holy ♥♥♥♥, how original. You spend most of your time doing stupid quests like rescuing a damsel in distress and healing the sick. Sorry, what was the title of this game again? Oh, Blackguards? Wait really?

Prepare for a long adventure of boring RNG-decided battles, random and arbitrary interactable objects, and extremely slow loot progression! Repetitive cities, awful dialogue, poor voice acting, and the same 5 load screens 400 times a session. Prepare to reload your game over and over again as your sound strategy falls apart as your heroes miss consistently despite an 85% chance to hit and your mages fizzle their spells due to the ♥♥♥♥♥♥ standard build that the developers gave them!

I don't even know what else to say about this game. It's an embarassment and a total waste of money. Luckily I got it as part of an inexpensive humble bundle, otherwise I'd be a bit more frustrated. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥it just don't buy it. And probably don't buy the second one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 19 people (63%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
This game have too much variables that it's confusing.
It really is a hard game because of that. You have to consider every step carefully. One wrong move and you can end up GAME OVER. Always save your game after battles.
Characters attribute vary through Base Values, Weapon Talents, Talents, Spells, and Special Abilities.
The environment also play a huge role in the battlefield.

As for the story this game, it's a plain linear story, not like what I expected from Daedalic Entertainment.
They usually managed to pull out a great plot but not with this game.

Well, I recommend this game if you're up to challenge.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
26.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
Neutral: There is certainly enough to love in the story and roleplaying of Blackguards, but the combats are pretty painful. Drawn out mercilessly in some cases and filled with the occasional newbie trap, the tactical combat system is slow, clunky, and makes the game feel like much more of a grind than it needs to. Nonetheless, a high-production game that is worth picking up on a sale if the slow pace and high micro on the combat isn't something that turns you off (or indeed, appeals to you).

Read the full review here.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
146.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
This is a great game. XCOM: Enemy Unknown meets Baldur's Gate.

Pro:
- Flexible character build
- Great story

Con:
- Some Steam achievements are broken
- To hit % is only that: to hit. After this come some additional defence rolls, which can negate your hit or nullify damage. A lot of people get frustrated after missing a lot of 90% to hit rolls.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
55.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
I thoroughly enjoy Daedalic Entertainment's point-and-click adventure games so when I heard that they would be making a turn-based RPG I was super pumped. I love the Dark Eye world and the gritty fantasy found therein and I feel that this game does not disappoint.

PROS

1) THE CHARACTERS! I adored the main characters and genuinely felt that each line of dialogue between them was solid gold. Every one of them had a great personality and contributed to the overall value of this game a great deal.

2) The Dialogue and Story: You can take it or leave it but I what I came across I enjoyed. While it is true that the story is linear and doing side-missions does nothing but help you grind this was never an issue for me. I liked the story and the direction it was taken. You're a bad guy doing bad things for the right reasons and it is not often to come across something that does this trope well. The game does a great job of putting you into the "antihero" mentality.

3) Combat: This game does not hold your hand. You WILL redo fights, you WILL get frustrated, and unless you know how to build your stats and abilities you WILL fall behind but as long as you play your hand correctly you will always be able to win the next fight. Similar to older iterations of D&D (which Die Schwarze Auge/The Dark Eye is the German equivalent of more or less) there are weapon AND damage types to consider. Knowing what kind of weapons and what kind of damage types to use are crucial against certain enemies. For example, DON'T USE PIERCING AGAINST THE UNDEAD! They are completely immune to anything that doesn't impart massive physical trauma to their skeleton like slashing or bashing weapons would. Some enemies are immune to poison, some to magic, and some to physical damage. It will be trial and error to figure this out but this is also why you can equip each character with three different weapon load-outs which you can cycle through in combat so as to avoid being harmless to a specific enemy. Other things to note about combat include the diversity of places you will fight in (it makes you feel like you're actually traveling from place to place), the importance of positioning, the use of environmental effects to your advantage, and bottlenecking. Combat is the meat and potatoes to this game and after 50+ hours of this game I, for one, can say that it does not get old.

4) Stat Systems and Leveling: DO NOT RAISE BASE STATS! At least not at first. This game offers a wide variety of upgrade paths with which you can take your party in a multitude of directions. Wanna be a crazy hefty tank? Upgrade Warcraft, Body Control, Willpower, Strength, Vitality, and the proficiency of two weapons of your choice. Wanna be everywhere and piercing armor? Upgrade Agility, Body Control, Spear proficiency, Dexterity, and Vitality for that damage you are most certainly going to take. Wanna mage it up? Take Bow proficiency, level your spells like crazy (a hefty investment), and make sure you have a tank or two between you and the enemy. While some might bemoan the lack of class options with there only being three, Warrior, Ranger, and Mage, it isn't that large of an issue. This is not a game about diplomacy or sneaking around (ignoring two or three AWFUL missions that can be solved with fighting), it's about slugging it out with the enemy. To play something that doesn't contribute to the fight directly is to take a difficult game and make it impossible.

5) Grittiness: I consider this a plus because I like games that force you to be aware of the number of arrows in your quiver, how absolutely vital healing can be, and how huge a difference is made when you finally buy that new axe that does ONE MORE DAMAGE. This is a game where all the small things add up over time to take your party from bandit npcs to gods on the battlefield. Throughout the game you can also learn special attacks which give you advantages in certain situations such as inflicting wounds (Wounds and HP Damage are totally separate things), knocking down enemies, or doing more damage from a distance with ranged weaponry. The larger and more valuable the effect the more costly the attack will be in terms of accuracy so a very effective trade-off between damage/utility and accuracy is established.

6) The World: Not much to say aside from how much I enjoyed it and all the people you come across. It is VERY uncommon for you to run across nice individuals so when you do you instantly grow attached to them. Even then most of the "nice" people you come across are still awful by today's standards due to their desires to brainwash, enslave, or kill off rivals for a plethora of reasons. Aventuria (the world) isn't a great place and it's heroes reflect that, but maybe, with a great deal of effort, you can change that.

CONS

1) The Probability System: IT LIESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Never in a game have I missed five consecutive instances of hitting with a 95% chance of my attack succeeding each time. It is without a doubt the single most irritating and detracting point to this whole game. Until you play Blackguards you will not understand how infuriating it can be. It doesn't just apply to physical attacks, though. Your spells will fizzle out and do nothing, your arrows can randomly vanish, you will fail body tests where you have a 99% chance of passing and fall down. This was a HUGE oversight on the part of the developers and if they would just release a patch that made these percentages more accurate I would have nothing against this RPG.

2) POISONS and Enemy Buffs! In the latter half of the campaign in an attempt to balance the gameplay the developers just decided to either give the enemies a flat magic stat buff or give all of their attacks the poison quality which will do continuous damage or give you a stat debuff for the rest of the fight. Not nearly as irritating as the percentage issue but it does somewhat cheapen the joy you get when your party goes into an encounter that you should faceroll only to discover that the enemy basically leveled up with you.

3) Stat Building: While I did mention this as a plus earlier you can very easily destroy your game by building poorly. Seeing as how there is no way to undo this it can prove to be game ruining.

Overall, I would give this experience a solid 8/10. Fun from beginning to end and if you see it on sale for less than 10 you should instantly snatch it up.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
I wanted to like this game. I really did. But the extremely clunky UI, the complete lack of explanation of gameplay, and the lackluster story made it very hard to do so. Not a complete waste, but there are much better games out there.

Played a few more hours, and it wasn't any better. The game is still wildly uneven in difficulty and very obtuse on how certain mechanics actually work. Everything out of combat is a complete joke; the "dialouge" which consists of clicking your way down the dialouge box until you're done, the fact that you'll most likely still be using starting equipment 5 hours in, the fact that all spells (no matter how trivial) have a failure chance, to the final point that Final Fantasy 1 had more freedom than this game does. Seriously, every single thing out of combat is a single screenshot where floating chat boxes tell you what's going on. Save your money, buy a better game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
Near the end of the game - chapter five caves of Mok Pan Tohal - the game became totally unplayable for me thanks to the poisonous mist that gets me every time because the way gets blocked by an absurd number of enemies that position themselves before the 1 or 2 squares that are available to pass through. I'm so frustrated and angry that its NO FUN anymore, uninstall and play Bulletstorm to wind down.
Good story, up until this point batlles are ok if your party is well rested and if you are prepared to replay some batlles to think out a good tactic. A bit too linear and repetitive. Only buy if like me you're a huge fan of turnbased RPG's and want to complete your collection. My advise buy it cheap if you can.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
90.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
TL/DR at the bottom.

Save Your Games Often. SYGO.

Lore: This games has a great story, or maybe just a good one, but with great soundtrack. Every time the action stops to give me some of the story, be it only with voice over or with a cinematic, it makes me feel like sitting back, dimming the light, lighting up a cigar (I don't smoke cigars, wtf) and just getting immersed in that world. It works. Oh and SYGO.

Graphics: Every graphics outside of the spells and backdrops are ok for a turn-based strategy game, cinematics or gameplay. The backdrops are nice. But the spells are one notch above that. They are cool. Let just say that after 80 hours, I'd gladly skip the crossbow animation in order to save 4 seconds every time, but I'd keep the spells any day of the week.

Gameplay: I recommend you name your character SYGO. I didn't. I should have. Now I need to restart from scratch. Don't just SYGO. Keep them. You'll need them. This game is unforgiving as it leads you to think that you'll need this skill and that skill in order to make it, yet it surprises you (too) many times with different tactics and resistance to particular damage. If you can finish this game without a single hint from the internet, a walkthrough or without ever needing to backtrack yourself once to change some skill points (let alone back track yourself 40 hours to change almost everything...) you are a God amongst humans.

TL/DR: One of the best turn-based game I've played, as enjoyable as your favorite HOMM or Civ. Poor DLC value, very good base value. If you don't want a good challenge (60 hours) that kinda forces you into restarting at least once the game from scratch (do I hear 120 hours?), then this might not be for you. Only negative thing is that I'm really dissapointed that the dev made a Blackguards 2 instead of adding more than one DLC to this game. Did I mentioned SYGO? Yeah, SYGO. Or cry. Like the people that wrote bad reviews for this game. They didn't SYGO. Clearly. But you will, right?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
40.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
I would first like to pre-face this review by saying that I bought this Deluxe version and Blackguards 2 as part of the Daedalic bundle for £9.99, making each game in effect worth £4.99 to me. Based on this price I think Blackguards is definitely worth it. The full price of £29.99 is however WAY off the mark for the amount of game you get (hint: not much)

Despite me finishing the game in 40 hours, it is a very combat focused where pretty much every event you’ll encounter will be a fight. Whilst this is fun to begin with, as a lot of battle maps are quite interesting, after 20 odd hours it just got tiresome. After every cut scene, conversation, exploration, etc I knew I would be fighting something. So you can imagine my utter delight when after defeating the final boss, the final cut-scene was just that a cut-scene!

Outside of combat there is unfortunately very little to the game, hence I only recommend it at a steep discount. There is no exploration to speak off, the town screens are static and the story kind of gets lots amongst 180 fight scenes you’ll have to slog through.

I also have a few gripes about the story, but these could just be personal preferences. For example, I don’t see how this is a “dark” story as it seems very much like any other RPG where you-are-our-only-hope-to-save-the-world story (spoiler: you save it). Also this games is called Blackguards and makes the point of your character being an outlaw. I was picturing more of a vagabond, a mercenary on the run, or some petty thief down and on his luck. What I wasn’t expecting however was for my character to be buddies with a PRINCES whilst chilling at a home of a COUNT in the first “memory” cutscene. Less of a BlackGuard, more of a Brodude! Also in this game you have no meaningful choice – it really just railroads you along the main story-line with some side-quests where you have a choice between killing guy A or guy B... with no impact on main story-line.

A lot of negative reviews about this game are regarding the dodgy RNG, and whilst I have encountered some odd miss on a 95% chance, I have never experienced a 3 in a row miss. If you read the manual and understand how the rules work. The % you see isn’t the % to inflict damage, but rather to do an action, then the enemy gets a couple of saving rolls – parry / dodge. So you might have successfully rolled an action, but then the enemy might have rolled a saving throw and so all you see is your guy missing or spell fizzing out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
42.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
It was one of my favorite games in recent years.
But i can't stand the massive amount of bugs still not fixed so long after release, including in game bugs like dozens achievements not working.
Blackguards 2 just released with day 1 patch fixing game breaking bugs. Seriously?
Adding to all that, that the devs are well known ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s i had no choice but to give this game a negative.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
60.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Good intro game to the Dark Eye universe.

Positives:
- fun tactical combat
- interesting characters and OK story.
- character customization according to the dark eye rules
- fast traveling from combat to combat, always in action no pointless roaming
- the best part of the game is probably early mid game when you are forced to fight in the arena. It's a nice change of pace.

On the negative side:
- RNG is sometimes really strong, like missing 95% hit chance 3 times in a row
- difficulty spikes, although end game boss was too easy
- low variety in armors for mages
- poisons everywhere
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
I don't get it why its size is 17 GB, cause the graphics are far from sophisticated. And I don't get it why its price is so high, cause its gameplay is mediocre at best.

There's one basic, huge condition that could "make or break" when it comes to turn-based combats: don't let the random factor be too important. That's the same hugely important condition this game failes completely to fulfill. It says 95% yet it feel like 50, and when it says 90%... well, you'd better skip it, you're screwed anyway. Using the "try again" button a couple of times after some lost battles proved nothing but the fact that random is all that matters. Only based on random I nearly won, I clearly won, or I badly lost the very same battles. Only based on randomness, and not on the decisions I made. And that's simply not Ok.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Tough but rewarding. This is (luckily in my eyes) a typical The Dark Eye game. If you do not know this RPG system: it's Germany's biggest and probably oldest Pen & Paper RPG system that is still maintained. And as many things from Germany it is deep and complex, but needs a certain degree of dedication.

You will not be able to simply start this game, kill some enemies and have fun. You really need to have a look at the rule system and how all the character values influence your fighting, casting and other skills. The same goes for spending your experience points, if you simply raise a stat here and there you will find the game very hard and probably quit. If you decide what role a character will have and raise the necessary stats and skills for this you will have a much easier time and will be able to enjoy the very complex fight options.

One definitive pro from my point of view are the really varied battle maps. Most maps have unique interactive features that you can use in the battle, like alchimistic tables that will poison bystanders when smashed. Or drawbridges that can be raised or lowered. Or cranes with crates that might smash your heroes from the docks - or the enemies if you position yourself smart enough.

Alltogether it is a clear recommendation for me if you like complex strategy games with RPG-like character development. Do not buy if you look for Diabloesque casual RPGs.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
the random number generator feels broken (it says 90% chance to hit and miss 50% of the time and anything under 90% is pretty much wasting your time), my attacks that do hit will pretty much always do less than their minimum damage.
your character attributes feel arbitrary and are very uninforamtive on what they actually do for you.
all not worth your time unless you are extremely devoted to the story.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
43.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
Let's address the elephant in the room. The game can be VERY punishing. An NPC in the tutorial village suggested I master many different weapon styles. Seeing as it was an NPC in the tutorial village I took its advice...BIG mistake. I got punished sooooo hard for making my warriors master 3 weapon styles. I think what the NPC meant to say was make sure your PARTY masters different weapon styles. For example, make sure everyone doesn't use piercing weapons because the undead are IMMUNE to spears and arrows!!! Rekt....

But once I changed the difficulty slider from normal to easy I managed to get through the game and beat it with still a challegning final boss fight...on easy...

The jist of it is, if you're going to play Blackguards have a clear plan of what you want your group to do. Warriors should be warriors not fighter/archer hybrids. Mages should max buff and debuff spells not staff and 1 handed swords...sigh (I WANTED A MAGE TANK)...didn't happen. Archers should BE archers. Don't teach your archers how to use 2 handed weapons you will get punished hard if you do.

Its a shame the game doesn't let the player do more hybrid, jack of all trade kind of builds, but it just doesn't. Think of your party as an old fashioned dungeon and dragons group. Dwarf uses axe, mage uses magic, elf uses bow. That's just how it is in this game.

I picked this game up on sale for $10 and got over 40 hours out of it (and I may play again sometime down the line....waaaaay down the line). So that's value. Its fun so long as you play with a party build goal and don't over reach where you allocate your party stats.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
A pretty dreadful experience.

Slow-paced and difficult, with too fine a stat/ ability granularity for how clunky and random the tactical combat actually is. The story was ok, just enough to give you a veneer of something to care about, but the beginning crisis was too cheesy and plot-holey, and everything that immediately followed felt really small, unimportant, and aimless. Game difficulty doesn't ramp well... as a starting player I felt always behind the curve, with crappy equipment and not enough gold to do much about it, and I spent more time redoing missions I lost than enjoying any sense of progression or accomplishment. The action wheel adds a lot of friction to the experience... it just took too long to do any action beyond the basic double-click weapon strike. Stores are weird... there's more stuff than I can afford to buy and more stuff available than I would even want, so it's an odd mix of too much/ not enough. As far as your character(s), there are too many skills/ abilities/ talents/ whatever and not enough information on what they are or do or what your starting levels indicate in terms of mastery... just too many knobs on one part of the game and not enough on all the others.

The VO was a nice touch and adds personality. The game looks good, if a bit stodgy.

But it's really just dreadful to play. The user experience just is not polished or satisfying. I like to have a good time, not a frustrating one.

Avoid, go play XCOM or Dragon Age or something else.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
The story is lame and ridiculous. I played for a few minutes and I just die all the time, not being even close to victory. This game really frustrated my expectacions.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny