Blood Bowl 3 review | Aaah Blood Bowl, the sport that started on a table and eventually got teleported into the digital realm. Ever since the first Blood Bowl was created all the way back in 1986, this game garnered a faithful and loyal amount of fans. With it growing and ever expanding it garnished enough fans that in 2009 Cyanide Studios came with it’s very first digital form of Blood Bowl. And the rest is, as they say, history. Gaining enough popularity, a sequel was released in 2015 by again Cyanide Studios. The fans were absolutely loving it and couldn’t get enough. With it still being really popular to this day, a third instalment was announced by Cyanide Studios in August of 2020. But alas we didn’t get the game on release date, rather it got pushed back. I thought it would’ve been for the best since we were met with a global pandemic, the likes this generation had never seen. But alas… Even the push-back didn’t do much it seems for the game since what we got was… A bright hot mess, to say the least! Curious why? Than… read on brave adventurer… But be wary, it’s not a pretty sight to behold… This is our review of, Blood Bowl 3.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Announcers | One of the main highlights that have always been great in the Blood Bowl games, are the sports announcers and commentators. And Blood Bowl 3 delivers us the same characters as we previously had. With witty comments and playful banter being ever-present, these fellows bring you back to the good old days of what made this franchise great. Sadly though, this is the only thing that does so, since the rest of the game? Is in its current state a wonderful trainwreck…
- Nothing | Honestly? There’s actually nothing in between that could give some redemption… Carry on sports enthusiasts, carry on.
What we Disliked
- Bugs | Let’s start off with the least problematic one of the bunch… Bugs, while I didn’t encounter much of bugs, the ones that I did get sent me spinning. There are a few synchronisation issues it seems when it comes down to scorekeeping. For instance, there was a match that I won with 3-0. Though when I ended the game, it gave me a score of 2-1 and deducted a few of my earnings due to receiving a touchdown. I was like, wait what? Hang on one gosh-darned moment! That’s not what really happened. Other bugs include the random name generator using the same name for multiple of my team’s players, having to deselect a player to then re-select them because it did not register that I selected him (go figure…),… The game in itself feels like it’s going through a rough phase at the moment with no clear end in sight.
- AI | They say that some things may have rough edges. They say that some tools aren’t the sharpest in the shed. But this AI clearly got none of those memos and even upped the ante. Let me introduce you to an AI system that makes you wait 30+ seconds for it to make a move. Makes moves one step at a time, most of the time just going from one step block to another, to then backtrack to the previous one. Heck, the AI doesn’t even have more than one strategy. It’s always the same re-hashed manoeuvre. Get the ball, make an X shape around the ball carrier, and then proceed to do… nothing. Yup, that’s right. When your opponent has got the ball, they proceed to just… Zone out. Yaay!
- Monetized | This one is simple. One of the goblins on the Orc team has escaped and his name was Greedy McGrubbyfingies. Because what else would you call ONETIMEONLY USE cosmetics? There must be a goblin out there behind this entire system, hasn’t it? And not only that, while it says that if your player would end up dying you’d get the cosmetics back… Unless your game is bugged, then if your player dies? So does its cosmetic. Hurray! Oh, and yes… I lost one of my cosmetics in this way. So yup… And don’t get me wrong, if they would’ve been worth it I’d say, okay, maybe one time… But nope! They all look horrid… And while you will be able to earn Warpstone (the in-game currency) for buying these cosmetics (included in the Blood Pass releasing later in the year), it’s still a bad policy!
- Barely anything new | While I was hoping for Blood Bowl 3 to bring us a lot of new stuff, it actually feels as if I’m going backwards in time instead of forward. Sure, they might’ve added some bits and bobs here and there. The fact that it is mostly re-used models from Blood Bowl 2 really strikes a nerve… Could’ve called it Blood Bowl 2: Enhanced Bloody edition then, at least you would’ve been building on a functioning and better-looking system than in the state the game released currently.
- No quick resume (yet) | Now this? This here my friends is what triggered me the most, and instantly made me delete the game after I had enough experience with the game. The quick-resume. Let’s say… you turn off your Xbox while in a Single-player offline match. You return, the game boots up and you are in the game. Great! You want to continue aaaand… “You have lost your connection with the server”. Booting you towards the login screen. Okay, sure. You log in and… The match hasn’t happened. Let’s say, you were in a 2-0 lead, and were only a few rounds away from the game ending. No big deal? Right? … Right..? Wrong. That means that you lost around 35 minutes of real-time during that one match. Okay sure. Let’s say, you are playing and suddenly you hear ‘dinner’s ready’ so, this time you put your controller aside not turning your Xbox off. You go to eat, return 20 minutes later, turn your controller back on aaaand… “You have lost your connection with the server”. Nope. I was done. I went out of the game, into my games folder and proceeded to remove the game from my HDD. If you can’t turn off your console or leave your controller for more than 5 minutes without it booting you out? Then I’m not going through the trouble of wasting another hour on a piss-poor job of a game. Release your game in a decent state, or don’t release at all. Though this will be an added feature that will be coming in the future? They lost me in the ‘now’.
- Visuals | Visually the game looks drab, boring and bland. With colours looking like they were run through some sort of greyscale and models looking actually a bit worse in comparison to its predecessor, I find it odd that they even mentioned updated graphics. Want a great-looking Blood Bowl game? Get Blood Bowl 2! Sure while they might’ve added a bit more detail to characters, that doesn’t mean they enhanced the experience.
- Audio | On the audio department the game flat-out fails as well. With the commentators repeating the same line over and over back to back and the crowd sounding more like my vacuum being powered on and off constantly I regret saying that this really isn’t a worthwhile experience for the ears. I’m not sure what went wrong there, but it feels as if they just shipped an early Beta version rather than the 1.0 version of the game. Effects and combat noises are just plain old re-used things from previous titles as well. So yeah… pity!
How long to beat the story | 20+ hours.
How long to achieve 1000G | 40+ hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Blood Bowl 2
Blood Bowl 3 is a must-skip game. If you are interested in the Blood Bowl series I would rather advise you to purchase Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition rather than this one. It’ll more than likely take another year before everything gets fleshed out or even worth playing. A shame, considering the game took so look developing, and was even postponed from launching on its original release date… I sincerely hope that this won’t be the proverbial final nail to seal the coffin.
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