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 (1,226 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

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

Recent updates View all (27)

August 21, 2014

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

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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
430 of 526 people (82%) found this review helpful
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 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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99 of 113 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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122 of 175 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
44.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
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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76 of 107 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
33.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
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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27 of 33 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
61.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
7/10.
A solid turn-based combat Roleplay game, with interesting fights, varying win scenarios, and no game-changing +50% damage trinkets.


The way the game played out for me.
  • First, customise your character with a wide variety of spells, talents, and stats. There are quite a few options, here.
  • Next, crawl through a vast variety of well-designed maps and interesting combat scenarios, in the turn-based strategy style.
  • Marvel at the lack of decent gear... even in the final chapters. :P
  • Get frustrated by missing 3x 90% (incorrectly labelled ~ more accurately 50% chance) hits in a row > adapt by using weaker abilities with 95% hit chance. Win.
  • Use reasoning skills to work out the win condition, when the game doesn't spoonfeed you how to succeed > Win.
  • Delve deeper into the well written storyline.
  • Contemplate right vs wrong, and the way human societies functions.
  • Watch a few thrown-together and anticlimactic final cutscenes.. (due credit to there being a few alternative endings).
  • Decide not to make another char and start again, because you're intimate knowledge of the skills/talents/stats would make you a God on 'normal'... and increasing the difficulty level would just cause the more annoying aspects of the game to become too much to be enjoyable.


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

The pro's and con's:

Pro's:
  • Interesting maps, and scenario's.
  • Great range of character stats to customise. These stats actually made a significant difference to how your character could be played.
  • Sometimes required me to stop - think about why I just lost - adapt. Rather than just steamrolling through every scenario.
    Especially, when 2-star enemies start appearing.
  • Sometimes required me to work out the puzzle of how to win the map. (Despite some other reviewers' comments, this rarely required chain-learning trap locations *but even when it did I could have put points into Traps (talent) to over come this* - see above point about actually strategising instead of gratuitous wins).
  • Well written story, and voice acting. Particularly, the wide range of accents.
  • The overarching theme of the dialogue was thought provoking, with concepts of anarchism, liberalism, and competing social values.
  • No "+50% damage trinkets."

Con's:
  • No "+50% damage trinkets;" in fact, upgrades were very hard to come by, with the best gear in the game being only marginally better than the starting level gear.
  • The lack of gear-based character improvement makes Adventure Points essential for creating an effectively optimised end-game character. It's important to get it right on the Character Creation screen.
  • There's almost nothing worth buying, especially because main quests give you free full armor sets in Chapters 2 and 3. By the end of the game, I had over 1000gold and nothing to spend it on (the top level chest armor cost 50g) <- This was only exacurbated by the need to regularly clear your inventory of unnecessary weight
  • Around the second half of Chapter 3, 2-star enemies suddenly begun appearing - much stronger than 1-star enemies - receiving a huge buff to their stats and global buffs. (E.g. +8 attack, +2 dodge +20% Magic Resist buff for all enemies!!). their strength increased too much, too suddenly.
  • Melee Hit chances are too low. Even with maxed out Attack from stats, Weapon Skills, and weapons/shields.
  • By the end of the game, poorly scaled hit chance forced me to abandon my expensive big-hitting melee attacks (ie Hammer Blow - which I had spent over 3000 Adventure points in meeting these abilities' requirements). Was forced to use weak high hit chance abilities to even hit anything.
  • By the end of the game, the game forced me to abandon my dreams of a badass melee build; opting for 1Hander axe and sheild, instead.
  • Boss enemies in the 4th and 5th Chapters regularly potioned to full health when falling below ~30% health. Combined with the fact that I rarely hit melee attacks, it became frustratingly difficult to get through the last 10 or so damage in a single turn before they 100% healed.
  • The game kept messing with my team synergies by taking away one of spell casters for long periods of time , and killing off my ranger.
  • There are a few spells pretty much beat any enemy (example: Karnifilo Frenzy - the insane rage spell that makes groups of enemies kill each other)
  • Maps with many enemies became very slow due to the inability to skip enemy movement and attack animations. Even enemies that couldn't reach you due to blocked paths would run in this painfully time-consuming circle, in order to use up their movement points.
  • Back-to-the-past missions took away your well synergised gang of fighters; instead, leaving you with a lone character that wasn't optimised for solo play. (I felt sorry for any spell-casters, here).
  • In-game decisions make minimal differences to the actual gameplay - mostly just affect the cutscenes.

Helpful Hints:
- Probably wouldn't put points into Treat Wounds (talent). Instead, get 13 points on one of your party member's Healing (spell), because it heals all wounds as well as being much more convenient.
- Don't allow you characters to remain wounded. 3 wounds will severely weaken any character.
- Team buffing & enemy debuffing spells are game changers!
- Rangers are actully pretty decent in this game, so long as you have a tank or two to keep enemies 5 hexagons away.
- If melee, don't bother going for Hammer Blow (tier 3 Abilty), nor Death Blow (tier 3) as their hit chances are way too low to provide reliable damage in the second half of the game. Tier 1 melee abilities remain viable the whole game due to their high chance to hit.
- Minimum 8 points in Body control (talent) for every character is ESSENTIAL; 8+ points in Willpower (talent) are helpful for every character.
- 8 Points in Warfare (talents) and 8 points in Animal Lore (talents) are very useful for melee and ranged characters.
- Defensive characters & spell casters should have relevant Weapon Skills of at least 8 points, and set to full defensive mode (for example, Zurbaran with 8 points in staves, with the sliding bar all the way to the left).
- Gear is so hard to come by in this game, so you need Adventure Points in order to improve you characters. Didn't bother putting any points into Charisma as it seems counter-intuitive to effectively reduce your Adventure Points just for easy conversation options.
- Finally, using poisons on you weapons is a great way to get through some impressive damage.
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29 of 41 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
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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31 of 45 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
74.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
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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36 of 55 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2014
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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24 of 35 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
35.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
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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40 of 66 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
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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18 of 26 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
I like Daedalic games, especially adventures, but I cannot recommend this one. The game is not so bad per se, but there are much better games in the similar genre. Battle is too dependent on RNG, and the story is just fantasy cliche and is very linear. If you want to play interesting RPG/TBS combo, you better try Expeditions: Conquistador - it's cheaper and more interesting.
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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
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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16 of 24 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
52.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
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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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
This game have too much variables that it's confusing.
It really is a hard game because of that. You have to consider every step carefully. One wrong move and you can end up GAME OVER. Always save your game after battles.
Characters attribute vary through Base Values, Weapon Talents, Talents, Spells, and Special Abilities.
The environment also play a huge role in the battlefield.

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

Well, I recommend this game if you're up to challenge.
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30 of 52 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
34.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
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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14 of 23 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
114.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
This game has some good concepts, but unfortunately it simply balls it up. It commits every sin in the CRPG handbook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honestly do not waste your money.
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16 of 27 people (59%) found this review helpful
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
For all the hype this game received it truly is infuriantingly awful!
The story is trope-ridden and uncompelling, a flaw which is compounded by the lack of any sense of progression due to enemies quickly becoming ridiculously overpowered (don't even get me started on the Iribar lily).
Combining an AP system with the need to locate a highly specific trainer to attain certain special abilities really damages the game, if you save up your AP hoping to find a trainer for a particular you find the enemies outclassing you due to the lack of uninvested points. When even a single missed hit can cost you the battle (which are frequently overly long) it seems counter-productive to have such low hit chances even when the relevant weapon skill is maxed out and complimentary stats are high.
I'm sure if you are a veteran of The Dark Eye, the choice of character build could be optimised such that the battles are easier; on the other hand the highly repetitive battle sequences, lack of character placement pre-battle, dreadful story, and lacklustre town interface probably wouldn't make the game enjoyable.
I was genuinely looking forward to this game heralding a new wave of turn-based/tactical rpgs (of which i am a great fan), but now I am left sincerely hoping the publisher never curses the world with a sequel.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 23

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


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

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

I don't even know what else to say about this game. It's an embarassment and a total waste of money. Luckily I got it as part of an inexpensive humble bundle, otherwise I'd be a bit more frustrated. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥it just don't buy it. And probably don't buy the second one.
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
Blackguards is at first an interesting turn based RPG, with combat occuring on premade hex grid based maps. It is interesting because it does away with most of the filler that comes with most every RPG. You do not control your characters in any way outside of combat, you simply shift to a different spot in a city where you can talk to a couple of NPCs and that's it. Outside of towns you travel on the world map by clicking on a selectable point on the map and you are instantly transported to a town, or into combat if you have a quest going on outside of town.

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

So the game becomes tedious as you start clicking through all the dialogue to just pick up the quests and then you do the quests, almost always by going into combat and you soon realise that the primary things you do in the game are combat and clicking through the story, which I might add is very simple and not at all interesting.

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

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

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

5 / 10
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