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:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (19 reviews) - 78% of the 19 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (1,892 reviews) - 62% of the 1,892 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014

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Buy Blackguards - Standard Edition

Packages that include this game

Buy Blackguards - Deluxe Edition

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

Buy The Dark Eye Universe Bundle

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

Buy Daedalic - Gigantic Bundle

Includes 14 items: Anna's Quest, Blackguards, Blackguards 2, Cultures - 8th Wonder of the World, Cultures - Northland, Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today, Decay: The Mare, Gomo, Journey of a Roach, Munin, Randal's Monday, SKYHILL, The Last Tinker™: City of Colors, Zanzarah: The Hidden Portal

 

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:

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 Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 (32/64 bits versions)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600 GT, ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Positive (19 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (1,892 reviews)
Recently Posted
Dr. Nobody
87.8 hrs
Posted: August 18
This game is about the journey, not the destination (i.e. The ending kinda sucks). But as turn-based adventure games go... everything up till the end is pretty awesome. I kinda wished they hadn't ended it where they did.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bike123
20.2 hrs
Posted: August 9
Nice
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Daedalus
26.9 hrs
Posted: August 6
Great game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
omnigrotesque
2.2 hrs
Posted: August 2
Lost patience very early. The tactical aspect of the fights is extremely poor, just few possibilities to individualize characters and all in all little scope of action. Hearing some generic fantasy story, have a boring fight, buy items, repeat. It's like a really unexperienced dev team tried to create their first TBS. Can't recommend. Buy Divinity: Original Sin instead; this is worth your money.

Oh, and the mages suck. Failing their casting check all the time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
My_Monkey_Balls
47.5 hrs
Posted: July 29
6/10

PROS:
- Great soundtrack
-Combat has a puzlzish feeling
- Story is not great, but is cativating enough
- Graphics and style are neat.

CONS:
- The puzzlish combat I've mentioned made me repeat several beattles over and over
- General interface feels a little awkward.
- Character development takes some time to get used to. Should have the option to redistribute the points somehow.
- Quite straightfowrad and linear, sidequests don't feel like add much.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kardos
22.8 hrs
Posted: July 24
This game was part of a bundle I bought 1 year ago - together with Memoria and Dark eye: Chains of Satinav. I did not install it at the time because the looks of the game did not appeal to me at first. I even thought back then that this was a strategy game (its actually a turn based RPG :P)

One month ago, I decided to install the game in order to get the steam cards. Based on the reviews I was expecting a pretty aweful game. Nevertheless, I decided to play for an hour instead of idling.

The first screen I encountered was the character creation. I was pleasantly suprised by the depth and variety of choices and I found myself tinkering at the various options and builds for an hour!

Well, after an hour, I thought that the options did not really matter because I wasnt going to play the game given how bad it must be according to the reviews I had read. However, I was still waiting for those cards so I decided to have a look at the actual game.

Again, to my suprise, although it started slowly, the game captured my interest. Slowly, but steadily, I started enjoying the story and the battles gameplay. That was it, after some time I was hooked!

Here is what I think of the game:

+Give the game some time at the beginning. It starts slowly but it steadily builds a strong story! Same goes for the gameplay. It looks a bit strange at first but I grew to like it very much!
+The Graphs are really good.
+Full sound + Voice + Subtitles
+Dialogue options
+Decisions matter
+Challenging game
+Character creation system. There is no level up system - Using adventure points to create unique ways of fighting.
+Story twists.
+I havent encountered any in game bugs.

-Some may find the game TOO challenging. Its not a forgiving game. You have to think the consequences of your gameplay.
-Linear. Most of the times there is only one battle available.
-THE MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM AT THE MOMENT IS THAT THE GAME SEEMS TO HAVE SOME PROBLEM RUNNING IN WINDOWS 10. However, this issue can be solved with a little bit of tinkering. There are numerous solutions out there.

To sum up, I fully recommend this game at a discount and even at full price if you enjoy turn based RPGS. I dont understand whats going on with other reviews. Perhaps people were expecting a different kind of game? However, keep in mind that the game has some compatibility issues with Win 10.

I've already bought Blackguards 2.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
siliente
13.2 hrs
Posted: July 19
Here is the deal with Blackguards. If you liked the drakensang games, or the Blade of destiny remake, you will like this game. I happen to like TDE games, and so i recommend to you if you are into that. It doesnt have the free roaming of eather, but it has a less painful version of the Blade of destiny(remakes) combat. An interesting easter egg in the english naration are black library narrators (wh40k audiobooks) like toby longworth, and someone else that i dont recognize by name but by voice.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dont be silly Wrap your willy
10.7 hrs
Posted: July 16
This game is tedious and doesn't value your time as a player at all.

I love turn-based strategy rpg game thingies a lot but damn this game is boring mechanics wise. Battles take forever to be done with and tools at your disposal are so few. Sword , Bow , Fireball and few potions . And that is all you will be using for 10 or more hours. Few boring skills which are basically stronger version of just hitting something with sword as well. It's not like i want to be showered with items and skills with which i wouldnt have a clue what to do with but with so little every single battle is the same....long and boring.

And final nail to the coffin was damn crashing every so few loading screens. You are finally done with that 25minutes boring as hell battle arena? Don't worry! You can do it all over again because game crashed on loading screen and basically never autosaves! Also doesn't let you to save yourself in most situations.

Just.. i was really trying hard to get into this.. this is my thing , games like this one , but it's impossible to enjoy .

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Navii
2.2 hrs
Posted: July 16
For starters I would like to say this game isn't as terrible as reviews make it out to seem. Is it worth $40-45? Absolutely not. There is no reason why anyone should ever purchase this game for it's retail price. It's current sale price of $4.00-4.50 however is very reasonable. (I got it for $3.00 from a third party seller).

I'd say anything under $5-10 = Yes
Above $10 (Like $40) = Absolute not worth the money.

The beginning of the game is quite outrageous though. It's like David vs Goliath.. But David is a complete ♥♥♥♥ing ♥♥♥♥♥ and Goliath has used way too many steroids that his ♥♥♥♥ is non existent now. I ended up getting annoyed and closing the game and when I tried to re-open it again it just didn't even load up so I haven't gotten to play it at all since the first startup and exit.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
carlsniper2142
14.0 hrs
Posted: July 15
Absolute garbage. lmost right at the start of the game at the graves you are pitted against FAR superior enemies with no alternativesd or permutations to consider other than where on the field you will die. Far too much story telling and poor game play. Would not recommend this if they were giving it away.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
47.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
6/10

PROS:
- Great soundtrack
-Combat has a puzlzish feeling
- Story is not great, but is cativating enough
- Graphics and style are neat.

CONS:
- The puzzlish combat I've mentioned made me repeat several beattles over and over
- General interface feels a little awkward.
- Character development takes some time to get used to. Should have the option to redistribute the points somehow.
- Quite straightfowrad and linear, sidequests don't feel like add much.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Lost patience very early. The tactical aspect of the fights is extremely poor, just few possibilities to individualize characters and all in all little scope of action. Hearing some generic fantasy story, have a boring fight, buy items, repeat. It's like a really unexperienced dev team tried to create their first TBS. Can't recommend. Buy Divinity: Original Sin instead; this is worth your money.

Oh, and the mages suck. Failing their casting check all the time.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
598 of 728 people (82%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
62.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
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 resluting 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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470 of 565 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 10, 2014
Full Video Review here - http://youtu.be/G5S2mAGsoKA

As an avid RPG player, and one who is all about story, I hold any RPG story I play to a high standard. Daedalic have been great storytellers in the past and blackguards is no different. The game is dark and mature, just what I like. Often in RPG's the more morally grey characters are the most enjoyable, relate-able and overall liked characters of a given game. In Blackguards this the type of characters you play, instead of a group of moral paragons, you play a band of rogues, trying to get by in the world and dealing with events that have been thrust upon them.

You start the game as your chosen character hovering above the corpse of princess Elenor who is being eaten by a wolf, after killing said wolf you are blamed for her death, but the strange thing is, you can't quite remember what exactly happened before you saw the wolf. After being tortured and being questioned for a name you know nothing about. Enter the fire loving, fight craving, elf hating dwarf Naurim and you’re soon on a prison break with the intention of finding out just what the hell is going on here.

The Battles in blackguards are very addictive, they tend to be relatively short but by no means easier. The great thing about blackguards combat is its difficulty, some battles require real thought and careful planning. The game is very challenging but by no means overly difficult and while it can be unforgiving at times, the game auto-saves after every battle and even if you die you have the option to start the battle over at any point from the pause menu. Fans of tactical turn based Rpgs will really get a kick out of the challenge blackguards provides. One of the star features of combat is the interactive environments. In certain levels you will have objects placed around that you can use. You can cut a rope causing the hanging chandelier to crush the enemies below it, ignite flammable swamp gas to burn opponents and more. There are over 190 beautifully crafted battlefields in blackguards, these are no mere random maps, these are hand drawn, carefully thought out maps that not only feel unique but really leave a lasting impression.

If your an RPG fan, a turn based strategy fan or you just love a bloody good story, I cannot recommend blackguards enough. It is one of those rare games that I literally lost track of time playing. The story telling is good and engaging. Battles while not lengthy have great solid mechanics and good depth to them. The world is fantastically immersive, Daedalic have envisioned southern Aventuria beautifully. Check out the full video review for a more in depth look.


http://youtu.be/G5S2mAGsoKA

Cosmic.
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215 of 244 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
71.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2014
Alright....Blackguards is definitely a game with no lack for content. In fact, there was enough for me to put in a solid 60 hours. Some of that time was redoing battles and such, but there were plenty of quests and plenty to do in general.

The game itself is a curious blend of your prototypical Daedalic adventure/point and click game (when you are in towns, albeit with the hidden object stuff removed of course) mixed with turn based hex battles that use random number generators ala XCOM and other luminous titles. The RNG aspect can make things interesting as occasionally, you will inexplicably miss when you show a 95% chance to hit (actually, it isn't inexplicable..you fell victim to that other 5% lol), but at other times, when your percentage is really low and you go for a desperation power move, and it connects, you totally feel excited and stoked for having taken that risk.

Graphically, it wont blow you away. It is reminiscent of other Daedalic games when in cities/towns/etc..., but when in battle, it's more of an isometric approach with movable cameras that can be adjusted to the cardinal directions as well as going from top down to more straight ahead angles. This definitely comes into play during battles as you get different vantage points to make decisions and set actions. Definitely pulls off that middle ages with mysticism look well. The cutscenes are more of the same. Nothing too spectacular, but still effective and definitely in line with the overall game presentation.

The story itself is interesting enough. You are framed for the murder of the princess, whom you and a few of your friends grew up with while under the care and apprenticeship of a powerful wizard. You are arrested, and escape with the help of two other prisoners, who become your stalwart companions. From there, you are at first trying to solve the murder and clear your name, but as things progress, you uncover a plot that can destroy the world. At that point, your goals become far more lofty. The story was engaging enough to keep me interested throughout. Which was necessary, as the pace of the game was not very fast. In fact, it took a while for me to get to the point where my characters were able to resolve the more difficult battles without copious retries.

The battle system itself was pretty stellar in my opinion. If you have played XCOM or other turn based hex battle system games, you will have a good grasp for this game fairly quickly as far as the combat is concerned. What they don't do is churn out the same basic layout over and over. Each battle gets it's own unique battle map, which was stellar in my opinion. You never get bored from seeing the same map over and over, which even XCOM as guilty of (I keep going back o XCOM as a reference due to its accessibility as a point of reference for this games combat systems). The geography of the battle is often as important as your positioning relative to your enemies. Often, there will be traps, mires/bogs, and other obstacles that will hinder or help you and your enemies. Cover is provided on many maps. Interactive objects also make there way into the battlefield. For example, there might be a stack of barrels that you can knock over to crush enemies underneath or simply block their path (and they might use those same stacks), a stand filled with rocks that can be knocked over, bookcases, oil filled barrels that explode, pools of oil, vats of poison, simple chairs and tables, etc....The battle maps were supremely well thought out in my opinion and kept things pretty fresh. In addition to all that, there might be goals other than simply destroying your enemy, such as trying to fight your way to a specific part of the map, free prisoners to help you fight, defend citizens as they try to flee the battle zone, escort missions, and so on. There was even two instances where complete stealth was necessary and one where you are fighting your way through a cavern while also trying to stay ahead of a poison cloud that creeps slowly forward behind you. So much variety. It was really quite impressive.

The quests were pretty standard fare for the most part. Go find this missing person, please retrieve this item and possibly take it to somebody else, find out what this person or that person is hiding, intercept shipments, and so on. They were fun, and if you play RPG's, they are par for the course. However, they were much easier to finish and never dragged out. Short and to the point as it were. I had a lot of fun with them, and finished every quest the game had to offer.The main quest itself was pretty interesting, as I mentioned before, and kept you moving forward.

The pacing itself was pretty slow. In fact, the first few hours of gameplay might dissuade some people from continuing on. It takes a while for the game to start really sending you places, and it also takes a while for you to be able to upgrade your equipment and abilities. However, once you get past that initial stage, the game never stops moving forward, even if it is at a slower tan normal RPG pace. I wouldn't get discouraged by this. Once it really got going, I never looked back, although I did break up the gameplay by taking a day off in between sessions to play other types of games. I think that approach benefited the gameplay here, as it helped me to stay interested. The reason I mention this is because, on top of all that, this game is absolutely combat focused and is quite grind-ey. In fact, you will pretty much need to grind out every battle to level up enough to have a reasonable experience later in the game. Fortunately, even if you wrap up all te quests, there is the option to do gladiator fights whenever you want (after you become the champions of the gladiator ring), which will fill out any necessary experience and give you extra cash to spend on potions and such, which you will definitely need to do.

Healing and mana potions (they don't call it mana, but same thing) are an absolute necessity, and especially towards the end of the game, you will want to have as many as possible. You cant have too many, and they don't carry any inventory weight with them, so there is no reason not to keep yourself well stocked. The only other things I ever really spent my coins on were arrows and the occasional armor upgrade. You will find plenty of weapons, poisons, etc...throughout the game and shouldn't need to buy any after maybe your first couple upgrades. At a certain point, those all become more than plentiful via combat spoils. You do have party encumbrance, but I never really found it to be an issue, and went over several times, lol. As far as the inventory system goes, it's pretty simple...you have your various clothing slots (which equate to pants, shoes, gloves, shirt, and hat). You have three weapon loadout slots (during battle, you can switch between the three, but each switch counts as a turn). Each loadout has two hands available, so one loadout might be sword and shield, another might be bow and arrows, another might be a greatsword, etc...You also wear a belt which can have as many as 4 slots available (depending on the belt itself). Each slot will hold one disposable item (potion, poison, grenade (equivalent), or throwing weapon).

The RPG system is fairly deep in my opinion. There are several categories that all pull from the same pool of experience points you earn, so you need to be judicious in how you spend those points. There are plenty of guides on the topic although I just used what I thought would work well with a touch of common sense and an idea of how to build a party mixed in, lol. The breakdown is abilities (strength, courage, dexterity, charisma, etc...), talents (such as survival, warfare, traps, healing, willpower, and so on), weapon skills (specific weapon categories....bows, axes and maces, two handed swords, two handed axes and maces, staffs, ec...) *continued in comment section*
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
112 of 129 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
30.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
Blackguards is a flawed game. But one that I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with so far.

Let's go over the problems first.

1. Difficulty. Particularly early on, the difficulty of each encounter can be horribly inconsistent. There's a reason why there is a "try again" button during fights - you're going to use it. Quite a lot. A lot of the more difficult fights have some kind of trick to them that might a try or two to figure out, and a lot of the time said fights require an element of luck too. One or two bad rolls or a few fizzled spells and it's time to try again. Anyone familiar with D&D probably knows that it's hard to create a balanced party with only three characters, which is all you start off with in this game: A mage, a fighter, and your main character who you can build as you wish. After a few hours you pick up a ranger too, who happens to be pretty good with traps, but until I acquired her, any map with hidden traps was a real pain to deal with. There was one fight where I had to memorise the location of the traps through multiple attempts before I could succeed. Additionally, sometimes quests force you through multiple fights with no escapes, and no warning beforehand, which can catch you off-guard if unprepared. In summary: Save often, and be prepared to try again.

2. The interface. The combat system is excellent, but the controls are a little clunky. There's some oddity to the character models which can make it hard to target enemies at times, and the camera is rather awkward at times too. It can get quite frustrating, but it's not so bad that I find myself making accidental moves or anything like that.

3. Information. The game can be very unclear about things. If you're not familiar with the RPG system the game is based on, trying to figure out how it all works is awkward, and the game basically only tells you things once. Being able to mouse over raw stats to see how they affect things would be nice. I have a parry rating of 7 on a character, what sort of parry chance does that actually equate to? How are these stats modifying dice rolls? You can get a rough idea of how things work over time, but I'd like to be able to see exactly what's going on. Contrast with, say, the original neverwinter nights, where if you wanted you could see every single roll being made.

So those are the negatives.

And the positives? Well, the combat system is fantastic, the RPG system, while incredibly deep and unclear, is also very flexible, you have a lot of freedom to let your characters grow in any way you want them to. The quests are enjoyable, the story is simple but engaging, the characters have some actual personality to them.

If you're willing to get over the initial hurdles of an incredibly complex system and some very frustrating battles, there is a deep and enjoyable game with a wealth of content available for you. The world itself is pretty unique, it does a good job of avoiding a lot of fantasy tropes and creating something a little more engaging, and there's something rather refreshing about having a party that aren't a bunch of do-gooders.

You're blackguards. My party consists of a wrongfully imprisoned warrior, a dwarf arsonist obsessed with dragons, a pompous upper-class noble from the south, and an elf who got high on drugs and owes everyone money. You're not evil, but you're certainly not good either. You're labelled scum by the people around you and hunted across a kingdom, adding to your list of crimes on the way.

I've completed chapter 1 and am partway through chapter 2. I'm eager to see how the game develops from here. If you can handle some difficulty and frustration at the start, this game is well worth it.
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278 of 368 people (76%) found this review helpful
Recommended
95.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2013
I mentioned that I would edit my review once I had played more of the game, and I've finished most of Chapter 3 at this point, and wanted to weigh in again, now that there is more content available. Once again, I really enjoy the gameplay. X-Com fans will appreciate the turn based strategy. My earlier concerns regarding the limitations of the trainer system which inhibited true freedom in character development have been lessened however. I still would prefer true freedom to spend my experience points, but the additional content gives you plenty of fights and quests with which to expand your characters, as well as more trainers with the important abilities available to train for. If you are looking for cool loots though, prepare to be disappointed. The emphasis is really more on the characters themselves. As you progress through the story, upgrades of weapons that are marginally better are available, but using merchants to upgrade your characters gear doesn't really feel as fun as beating some monsters or bad guys and finding a cool weapon or magic item.

Overall, I feel the additional content pushes this game from 'not recommended' to 'recommended'. I am particularly excited for when they add more depth to character creation, as this will allow me to pick some starting skills that will more coincide with how I want to build my character. For example, warriors start with the skill that improves your attack when using a shield. If you want to build a 2-Hand sword wielding warrior, this skill is just a waste. But with the new system, hopefully you can skip that in favor of another cool skill.
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100 of 116 people (86%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
68.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 12, 2014
For Blackguards, the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

I wanted to wait until I beat the game to review it. I felt obligated to do this. If you’re like me you bought in to all the good reviews this game had on Steam. A mature, turn-based rpg, starring anti-heroes? How could it be bad?

Well, for starters, the “Key Features” that Blackguards lauds itself on are deeply flawed. Character choice and combat tactics are undermined by balancing issues - certain abilities and spells are clearly better than others to the point where your characters will be at a severe disadvantage if specced the wrong way and beating some of the harder fights will be near impossible if you don’t have one or two specific spells.

Additionally, the game suffers from sudden spikes in difficulty that leave the game almost unplayable. Battles go from challenging and needing strategy to just plain unfair and needing luck to win out.

Outside of combat, Blackguards doesn’t fair much better. The story is piecemeal and uneven - with the whole second chapter being nothing but a combat-only reenactment of “Gladiator” that only seems to be put in place to fill time. The rest of the main quest is further hampered by a multitude of random side quests that hold no weight in the game world and only serve to distract you from your objective. Narrative elements and choices are frequently brought up only to never be talked about again. And finally, when the story actually manages to come together, it’s a rushed case of too little too late - leaving you with an ending that is worse than Mass Effect 3. Because despite what the game says, you don’t decide the course of the story at key points - nothing you do matters.

Characters are also largely underdeveloped and remain that way. Although, the voice acting, for the most part, is passable aside from one annoying companion. However, the male protagonist is the clear winner between the two gender choices (think the opposite of Mass Effect).

When the game asks, “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?”. It turns out the exact same thing that would happen if it were heroes in shining armor - because for a game starring “criminals”, you spend most of your time helping people and doing the right thing.

Blackguards has so much potential. It’s just like that really cool looking kid that has tattoos and fashionable clothes but when they open their mouth you realize that looking cool doesn’t mean you have substance. And as much as I wanted to like Blackguards, I can only recommend it to someone if it were deeply on sale.
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162 of 209 people (78%) found this review helpful
34 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
61.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2015
Well.. you know when you watch TV and see the that really Juicy Burger in the commercial? Well. They actually use plastic burger with special lighting and a lot photo editing to create such an effect. When you actually go to that fast food and order the same burger it's quite different and the taste is no where near as good as you imaginged when you see it on TV.

This game is like that burger in the TV commercial..
Graphic is great, Sound is great and packaging and concept is awesome.

But when you actually play it it's like a Plastic burger that you will have a lot problem to chew on and it taste bad.

First.. The Story is Linear with supposed plot twist but it's quite badly rewriten with a lot things unexplained.
Second.. The Game combat mecanism is following a old DND3 type dice/board game. Which they did a good job translate into a PC game but it just doesn't work out.. Repetitive and uninteresting.
Third.. each battle map suppose give you options on how to finish the each map solution seems very linear and easy to guess. Each battle may have different enemy but they don't feell unique when i see a different one.
Fourth.. The Game difficulty is super hard. I am a DND vetern and studied quite abit of that dice game before i started and I have a tons of difficulty finish the game.
Fifth.. the game interface is not well designed and hard to operate.
Six:.. there are about 7 Achievements broken at the moment and from what i heard in the forum the developer is not gonna fix them.

Unless you are a die hard Dice game fan i wouldn't recommend anyone trying this.
4.5/10.
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264 of 365 people (72%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 25, 2014
I was intrigued when I saw the game. So much so that I plunked down my cash for early access. But I realized very quickly that youre basically expected to run the game once completely blindfolded before you will ever know how to build the party or what theyre capable of. Mistakes will dog your every step during your first run. Its very tedious and frustrating. But the killer for me, the straw that breaks the camels back, is the ridiculous spike in difficulty from one fight to another. It would be one thing if there was some sort of difficulty precursor before a fight. But there isnt . You step from one fairly mild fight to, suddenly, be faced with a large force led by a high level mage and youre expected to kill everything on the map. IN SEVEN TURNS. Did I mention all the mobs have healing potions? And the leader is on the other side of the hex map? And there are spike traps and tripwires everywhere. So you need to kill 6 mobs, in 7 turns, while they use heal pots, while missing on roughly 30-40% of your attacks. This game is dead to me. I would say it isnt worth the 22 bucks i plunked down for early access. Its a ridiculous waste of cash at the durrent $35 price tag.
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