What happened here guys? We’re looking to find even one “saving grace” for Blood Bowl 3 and honestly, we’re having a hard time. What a sad attempt to sue our beloved Bowl of Blood 2 it’s her; If you remember (don’t remember) the writer’s rave review 8 years ago and the genuine enthusiasm that oozed from the text, you might expect something similar for the current game. It is with great regret that we inform you that this is not the case. Cyanide managed to “deliver” a sequel that is in almost every way inferior to its predecessor.
Recall that the Blood Bowl franchise is a transfer of the corresponding board and, essentially, it is a turn-based tactical game of American football in a violent Warhammer context. To weed it out, it’s clear that the core of the game, when everything is working properly, remains 90% the same as Blood Bowl 2, and if that were the issue, we’d go for a standard sequel review, with the same rating. and more or less and known formalities.
But what happened this time and instead of writing about mythical battles between Skaven and Humans, are we ready to send the game to the outer fire? It’s simple, instead of having a title that will be, at least on par with the previous one, we found ourselves faced with a mixture of sloppiness and gluttony. Clumsiness in the technical field, because the AI is not as good as BB2, with completely absurd in-game choices that contradict or ignore the stats and the nature of the teams it manages.
Bugs, glitches, non-ending streaks and passing all the time make the single-player experience almost unbearable. And that’s a shame because in terms of presentation and cutscenes, the small single-player campaigns, which feature a few matches with the simultaneous introduction of well-known star players from previous games, had a lot going for them. User interface straight out of gamers’ worst nightmares, with menus that are difficult to navigate and struggle to convey the right information clearly to the user.
The circle of in-game actions options, concerned with being faithful to the original hardware and making controller owners comfortable, forgot how to be easy to use and fun to use, while we also detected a general insensitivity , which naturally causes missed clicks. This leads to errors, to instructions that are not carried out because they are not followed, to the clumsy method, which the game requires and which ends up killing the pleasure and exhausting the courage to play.
This is a game that by its very nature is designed to irritate and frustrate you. The randomness of the dice (everything we do depends on the dishonorable hex), is enough to annoy even the most casual player. Therefore, all other issues had to be resolved and geared towards the convenience of the player. It’s a title that sabotages itself at all levels, derailing the player at the same time.
At the same time, Cyanide’s choice to lock all cosmetics behind a microtransaction and payment system, requiring the player to pay for every piece of uniform, to every player on their team, is inconceivable. 6 pieces of equipment, for 15-16 players each team has, and it is easy to understand what level of greed the title has reached. You have to buy around 90 cosmetics to customize your team and we’re not even talking about how much you have to spend to “dress” all available teams.
A tragic decision, bordering on being unscrupulous, since certain stylistic improvements had to be unlocked as the user’s team progressed and rose in quality, and behind the payments of the special, separate and special parts should be “hidden”. Whoever advised the team to follow this aggressive for-profit model deserves a lot…kudos.
Even if we had a technically flawless title, this decision would (as it did) tarnish the title from the start. Public opinion, users and professional critics, are particularly sensitive to such practices and usually leave comments on the title and do not agree with anything. Truly such a tackle even Trent Williams wouldn’t be able to do. The situation has improved thanks to fixes, but we consider the mentality and bad logic of such a decision.
The choice of the creators to change certain rules in order to be in harmony with the “2020 rules” is above all a positive sign but will be judged in the long term by the community, which will melt the game. The main change is the introduction passing as a separate skill (thus throwing the elves off a bit), separate from agility, which adds another level of tactics.
Unlimited re-rolls per turn, which allow the player to cancel a doom roll (which persists) is a good move, while the ability to purchase higher tier skills (cheaper primary and more expensive secondary) is also a good thing. a positive feature, thus giving more freedom for coaches. Additionally, Agility, Passing, and Armor stats became roll-based, while end-game payoffs were proportional to player performance, preventing the D6 roll that plagued the previous title.
In terms of graphics, we’ve got a less cartoony style with lower color saturation display, nice animations (not on touchdowns though), more detailed models and pretty awesome fields, but that’s about it . Commentators Bob and Jim are still nice, but we got a lot of reuse of BB2 voice assets and overall it’s something that could have been more polished.
In the online part, there were complaints about disconnections, skills not working properly, exploits with mercenaries and elements that “break” games. The best thing is to play for an hour and a disconnection throws the time in the trash… The lack of administration tools for leagues and a myriad of other problems have completely “alienated” the community, despite efforts of the company to fix the situation with corrective measures, the image of negligence and dishonesty is unwarranted.
The launch of Blood Bowl 3 was a tragedy of epic proportions and the perfect recipe for destroying a franchise that had for so many years slowly but surely built a good and loyal base. If we had to suggest anything, it would be to stick with the previous title (despite the current 12 teams) and stay away from Blood Bowl 3 for a long time.
THE Bowl of Blood 3 released 2/23/23 for PS5, PS4, PC, Switch, Xbox Series and Xbox One. Our review was based on its PS5 version, with a review code we received from AVE.