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 (1,135 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

15 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
193 of 218 people (89%) found this review helpful
71.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
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 sjhow a 95% chance to hit (actually, it isnt 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 defintiely 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 withut 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 dont 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 foirst 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 wouldnt 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 grnd 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 dont 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 dont 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 shouldnt 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 encumberance, 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, shrt, 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 dispoible 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 (strenght, courage, dexterity, charisma, etc...), talents (such as suvival, warfare, traps, healing, willpower, and so on), weapon skills (spefic weapon categories....bows, axes and maces, two handed swords, two handed axes and maces, staffs, ec...) *continued in comment section*
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312 of 384 people (81%) 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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72 of 81 people (89%) found this review helpful
30.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
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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114 of 159 people (72%) found this review helpful
44.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
The story is simple and not very inventive, but the gameplay is decent and a good adaptation of the classic P&P RPG system. The biggest problem is that the whole game only consists of fights, the world map and city screens. It gets repetitive fast and leaves the player with the feeling that something is missing. Most of the achievements are bugged, some of them just pop up for no reason and others are not even included in the game. Thus, I cannot recommend investing time and money in this product.
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46 of 56 people (82%) found this review helpful
91.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
First off, AMAZING design and detail on every battle map, no 2 battles ever look or feel the same, and there are plenty. Thats a huge factor for these type of games and its evident they invested alot of time and effort into that area of the game.

Also, Difficulty is so so critical for lasting entertainment in turn based rpgs and this one NAILS it. Without giving too much away, its not too difficult, not too easy, but theres a splash of both extremes at times which makes for genuine gaming fun. Dont know too many other TBRPG where each and every character in your party becomes and remains so vital to your strategy and success. Well thought out and well executed.

Voice acting, storyline and humor all get a solid A. All subjective but bottomline is that its detailed enough so you care, written well enough so you laugh, and it progresses well enough so you're always looking forward to more.

I see bad reviews based on bugs and price.
In all fairness, there was an early freezing bug, 5 second fix, 30 gameplay hours later. forgot all about it.
I got this for less than what I spend on a night at the movie theater.
2 entertainment hours vs 30+ and counting entertainment hours.
Guess it just depends on how you see it, right?
Not selling. just sharing.

Fully enjoying and recommending Blackguards and looking forward to hearing more about Blackguards 2!
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62 of 86 people (72%) found this review helpful
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Blackguards would be an overall very good game if it wasn't for a few but very impactfull flaws.

I wont indulge in the pros, you can read on for that, I'll just briefly explain why I abandoned a game that I mostly enjoyed at the beginning of the final chapter.

First it lacks an element that should be at the very core of a game of this genre: character/team customization.

You get a very limited number of characters which is 4, one of them will be swapped with another at a point in the story leaving you with an underpowered character as well. You don't really have a real choice on how to develop them, there is a few things you can decide but since mages are defined by their magic and one of the fighters comes in already half trained the tactical phisionomy of your team is pretty much decided before you start the game. You can customize your main character a bit more but you'll realize that the only role lacking in your team will be an archer which is also the stronger dps in the game...

Second and most important: everytime a loading screens appears cross your fingers because there's a good chance the game is gonna crash. This is most definetly something that can be fixed and it's also something that didn't affect every player, but given how frequent and long the loading screens generally are it really ruined my experience with this game.

Third: devs brag a lot a about the depth of the story, they also use it as an alibi to justify things like killing fresh characters for no reason and the impossibility to farm. But the truth is there is not much of a story at all, the most of the game is a barely engagefull hunt for clues to unveil the mistery of what happened at the beginning, very linear, not interactive at all, if you really dig powerfull story-driven stuff this will also strike you as trivial and stupid at some points.

Also given the price nowadays there's plenty more games of the same genre you might wanna give a shot to on steam that look much more promising.
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26 of 35 people (74%) 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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16 of 18 people (89%) 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.
    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). I didn't mind adjusting to the challenge, just that 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). 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. 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. 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.

A few hints for playing this game:
- 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.
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22 of 29 people (76%) found this review helpful
35.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
A solid strategy RPG that focuses on the combat and doesn't weigh you down with walking back and forth through the same areas. Cities, dungeons, and world are travelled by point and click and I enjoyed the simplicity of it.

Combat is done with an isometric view on hexes. Each combat area is unique. Melee combat is fairly straight forward. The magic combat really shines with up to 4 levels of each spell, each level unique, allowing you to pick any level you have unlocked. So later in the game, a mage can have quite the variation of spells to choose from.

I felt the game started a little slow, took off and didn't slow down until the anticlimactic ending. I was able to beat the game with over 30 hours which included the DLC. The DLC was integrated into the main campaign, which was nice. I like a game that doesn't overstay it's welcome.

Regarding difficulty, I felt many previous The Dark Eye games were much more difficult and appreciated the fact that I was able to get through this game with minimal issues. It is a strategy game, so if you pick poor weapon and spell combinations,you will hit a brick wall you can't pass. If you are having difficulty with the game, lower the difficulty. I like that difficulty can be changed.

Another bonus is the game starts up quick and you can skip the intro and get right to the menu. It is worth mentioning with so many games forcing you to wait through minutes of unskippable logos.
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30 of 45 people (67%) found this review helpful
36.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Really interesting story with many choices when it comes to weapons and spells, but that's also the biggest downside. All attacks and spells success rates are dependent on how many points you put into the spell. This makes you not want to spend any points on more than one spell unless you want poor hit rates.

You also can't grind in this game. I managed to finish the story first time without much thought into where I put my points, but I can see how someone can squander their upgrade points in a way where they are too weak to finish the story. I think a new game plus would be nice for those of us that would like to go back through the game choosing alternate story options and destroying enemies with new unused spells.

I only played the base version of the game so maybe the expansions add more than what I've experienced. I'd say it's worth playing but not for $40. Wait for it to be on sale. I wouldn't spend more than $20.
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22 of 31 people (71%) found this review helpful
11.5 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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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
37.5 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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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
I bought the game on sale last week because I never really played a turn-based RPG before and wanted to give this genre a try. As it wasn't too expensive it seemed like a choice without too many risks. I never heard of the game before and didn't read up on any tips to be able to start with a clear and unbiased spirit.

So far I have to admit I am really enjoying it. The story, characters and global setting don't appeal that much too me, although everything is more than correct. The story isn't that special, but forms the perfect background for the many fights I encountered so far.

And it's in this domain that the game really shines for me. Every fight (or almost every) I had so far really left some room for your own tactic. At the very start of the game I was a bit overwhelmed by the turn-based approach (as I never played it before), but after a while you really get the hang of it. I like the fact that you have to think about the placement of every character aswell as which attack to use. The fact that it's turn-based also allows you to really plan your next move. Some fights were challenging, but I never got the feeling that it isn't fair so far.

I also really appreciate the fact that you can upgrade and shape your characters as you like it. The game allows you to create your party like YOU want to play it.

I only spent about 6 hours in the game so far, but I am sure many more will follow.
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13 of 17 people (76%) 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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28 of 45 people (62%) found this review helpful
126.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Fun game if your into that whole hard start kind of game. The game was very fun, and whenever there was a boss fight, i felt like it was an actual boss and not some ♥♥♥♥♥. Everything worked well except for the constant crashing in one specific city, but, i ignored the city in the end. Buy this game and have fun <3
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33 of 55 people (60%) 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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28 of 46 people (61%) 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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15 of 25 people (60%) 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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
43.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 23
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.
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