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 (1,473 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014

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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

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

Recommended By Curators

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

Reviews

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

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

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

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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
137 of 156 people (88%) found this review helpful
29.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 29
So before you spend a lot of money on this game... and waste 40 to 60 hours playing it... here's what you need to know...

This is what made the game fun...
• Loved geeking out on the character sheet and building up stats and skills
• The combat system (dice rolls, stat modifiers, your character's skills) is smart and fun
• Combat frustratingly hard? Yes... but you feel you've earned your win
• Thank dog I got this game for 5 bucks, and not 40

This is what made me hate the game...
• After 20 hours of game play, you've seen it all
• Same level design... same enemy types... same combat tactics
• It felt more of a puzzle game than a tactical game
• Cliche story: you lose your memory, and gotta find clues.... zzzzzzzz
• You'll have to retry levels over and over and over and over again
• After 20 hours, combat becomes tedious, boring, frustrating, and no longer fun
• Combat is mostly based on chance, luck, and dice rolls – no matter what your stats are
• No wonder they got rid of dice rolls in BG2

If you look at the Global Achievement stats of this game, only 7% finshed the game half way. That's because it's fun at first. Then the game gets tedious, boring, and frustrating. I wanted to play to the end. But after 30 hours, it was no longer fun.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
75.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 26
★★★☆☆

Blackguards is a medieval fantasy turn-based tactical RPG based on the Dark Eye tabletop RPG. Framed and tortured by the one you called your friend, you make your escape with a few other prisonners, trying to find out the truth behind the accusations against you. This review takes into account the Untold Legends DLC.

Pros: Nice game with enough mechanical depth to offer a variety of gameplay styles: rather than level-based progression, you spend adventure points on anything from attributes, weapon skills, spells and perks and determine exactly how specialized you become with your various talents. The story isn't of a great hero, but of someone who won't leave a mark on history, making your way in shady towns and accepting questionable quests, especially in the multiple side quests added by the Untold Legend DLC where you must take stances on subjects such as slavery. Graphics are good enough for the genre, tactical maps are clean, most of which have interactive environment elements you might use against your foes if they don't use them against you. The game is sufficiently balanced, and even with the occasional difficulty spikes, you can jump right back in the last encounter to try things differently.

Cons: Many will find the depth to be a bit too much, scrolling through 5 pages of skills and perks will make it hard to figure the best way to optimize your character. There is a limited variety of equipment, especially armor. The story is pretty linear and not all that complexe. The odds of success aren't mushed, so 95% chance of success might still miss, multiple times, in a row, which will frustrate anyone who isn't used to rolling dices. The music is somber, and sucks life and excitement out of the game whenever you're not in a combat situation.

Verdict: This is an ok RPG. It is definitively ported directly from its tabletop RPG roots, which might feel very "meh" to the average gamer. I still recommand it, it has enough potential for me to give the sequel a try. Just make sure you get the Untold Legend DLC, or you'll feel the game is short on sidequests.
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40 of 66 people (61%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
I wanted to like this game. I really did. But the extremely clunky UI, the complete lack of explanation of gameplay, and the lackluster story made it very hard to do so. Not a complete waste, but there are much better games out there.

Played a few more hours, and it wasn't any better. The game is still wildly uneven in difficulty and very obtuse on how certain mechanics actually work. Everything out of combat is a complete joke; the "dialouge" which consists of clicking your way down the dialouge box until you're done, the fact that you'll most likely still be using starting equipment 5 hours in, the fact that all spells (no matter how trivial) have a failure chance, to the final point that Final Fantasy 1 had more freedom than this game does. Seriously, every single thing out of combat is a single screenshot where floating chat boxes tell you what's going on. Save your money, buy a better game.
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17 of 24 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
90.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
TL/DR at the bottom.

Save Your Games Often. SYGO.

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

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

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

TL/DR: One of the best turn-based game I've played, as enjoyable as your favorite HOMM or Civ. Poor DLC value, very good base value. If you don't want a good challenge (60 hours) that kinda forces you into restarting at least once the game from scratch (do I hear 120 hours?), then this might not be for you. Only negative thing is that I'm really dissapointed that the dev made a Blackguards 2 instead of adding more than one DLC to this game. Did I mentioned SYGO? Yeah, SYGO. Or cry. Like the people that wrote bad reviews for this game. They didn't SYGO. Clearly. But you will, right?
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
74.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
How would you feel when you are unable to proceed because you do not have the required abilities to deal with the enemy?
You could say, tough luck, it is your own fault, because you made the wrong choices.
And I grant you that.

But how can I make the right choices when I do not know the strengths and weaknesses of these abilities? And how can I foresee that the story seriously impacts the functioning of my party? At two moments in the game you will be inflicted with a setback that unhinges your party's fighting power. Once, one of the party members gets killed because the story is written that way. And at another time her replacement, a magic user, gets robbed of her ability to do magic and so thousands of points sunk in developing her magic powers becomes nullified with one stroke.
So you might expect that the game takes this into account, but not at all: you cannot undo your choices nor does the game allow you to make up for the loss of a valuable party member.

This then, in a nutshell, is the problem with Blackguards..

This game is very much like searching for keys to doors, while you do not know which key opens which door, you do not know if a door leads to anything useful, you do not know when or if you will find the key or the door to which it belongs and you might find that the keys and doors disappeared before you actually could make use of them.
So what is left is to go back to an earlier point in the game and find the right keys to the right doors: make the right choices. And unfortunately you might have to go a long way back: perhaps all the way to the beginning.

And then another issue pops up.

Blackguards is basically a tactical battle simulator in which the battles are linked together by a thin storyline that gives the battles context. You will find that many of the common characteristics of a roleplay game are underdeveloped. For one, your party members are a given and so are their classes. Do not expect that you can build your own party.
Furthermore there are few choices in equipment so your party will be running around with the same armor and weapons for long stretches. And while many places have shops, you will only visit them to restock your supplies.
But the crucial issue is that the story is simply too linear. While at some point you can select what to do first, you will be unable to change the storyline in any significant way. And because the story isn't really special at all, redoing this game just so you can change your characters is not enough of an incentive to go through the game again..

Even as a tactical battle simulator the game leaves much to be desired. For instance you are unable to determine the setup of your party members. More often than not the game gleefully shoves your more vulnerable members, your magic users, in the front line. Hilarious is the ability to set traps. You have almost no time to set traps, let alone set the traps that actually make difference. The traps are expensive, the relevant skill requires a massive amount of points and you have only a very limited amount of traps.
In addition some battles confront you with a special setup that is pivotal to the battle, often without explaining to you the specifics. In one battle, for instance, you will be able to make use of automated flamethrowers. But the game doesn't explain this to you, nor do you know what the impact is until you have seen their effect and you figured out how to operate them. It therefore requires you to redo the battle at least once.
Some battles are practically unwinnable until you achieve a certain level, or develop a certain ability to a certain level.

Is it all bad then?

Actually no.
When I went through the game the first time I actually was entertained. The game uses what I call the fall out principle. The fall out principle is that you start out as a nobody and then gradually start to make a difference when the story unfolds. This is the reverse of what you might call the dragon age effect in which it is clear from the start that you are a special person destined to make a difference.
Personally I prefer the first angle to the last.
Also the characters are amusing, even though, or perhaps because, they are so cliche. The remarks of the Naurim, the grumpy dwarf, are pretty funny and in line of what you might expect from a dwarf: a fighter who distrusts magic users and elves.
The story, although linear, has a few twists and also there is some emotional connection as it involves a friend and later on a family member. It isn't also clearcut that the enemy is actually bad and it leaves things fuzzy for a long time.
So it seems to me that if you go once through the game(using a game guide to form your party) then you might probably be entertained.



Verdict:
Blackguard is a nice filler when you are in between better games. Pick it up when it is in the bargain bin and around five dollars or euros or less.

(Note: steam doesn't allow for a meh score at the time of writing this review. This game most certainly belongs to this category. I gave it a thumbs up just because, when choosing between the negative and the positive, i prefer the latter).
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