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Game Info:

Blackguards 2
Developed by: Daedalic Entertainment
Published by: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Available on: PC, Mac
Genre: Turn based strategy, RPG
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $34.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Daedalic Entertainment for sending us this game to review!

Blackguards 2 is the sequel to the first game which was released in 2014.  Both games are 3D turn based strategy games with RPG elements for upgrading your party's skills, abilities, and weapons.  Since I have not played the original game, I wasn't familiar with the characters brought over from the previous entry.

This sequel begins with Cassia being tossed into prison and waiting to be thrown into the coliseum for entertaining the Kyrios/King.   In this dungeon there are corapia spiders that bite Cassia sealing one of two fates: madness or death.  After surviving in the dungeon longer than expected, the spiders venom starts to mess with Cassia's mind and deforms her once beautiful face.  Eventually the spiders stop tormenting Cassia and fight alongside her and assist her in making an escape out of the catacombs.  This is where you learn the basics in combat and party management.

Once she's free she must assemble an army of mercenaries and war hero friends.  Before these war heroes join her, she must prove she's a capable warrior and leader.    Battles in this game are turn based and characters are limited by how many steps they can make and can only move so far before losing their ability to attack as well.

Blackguards 2
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun strategy/RPG  game with side quests and a good story
Weak Points: Even on the easiest difficulty this game is very challenging; the mage is over powered
Moral Warnings: Violence; strong language; magic use

While attacking is crucial, using the environment is just as important if not more so.  By pressing V in a battle you can see what objects you can manipulate in each level.  You can destroy bridges while bad guys are still using them, or knock over crates and ledges  filled with stones over your enemies.  Some levels have areas that can only be accessed by switching levers in the proper sequence.  

The levels have different terms for victory too.  Some require that you defeat all of the enemies while others have an objective that has to be completed and enemies will keep spawning until that happens.  You do not get experience for defeating each enemy, but after a level is beaten, the party earns loot, money, and points to train new abilities.

Ability points can be spent on weapon proficiency, attack maneuvers, and spells.   Money earned from battles can buy new weapons, armor, potions, and traps.  You can also pay informants in towns for secrets that can unlock new quests and provide information that can help with prisoner interrogations.  

 

Blackguards 2
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 65%
Violence - 4.5/10
Language - 5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Interrogating prisoners is a good way to get vital information and unlock side quests.  Before you begin an interrogation, save your game just in case you mess up.  You can have the mage lie to the prisoner, the dwarf threaten them, or Cassia can persuade them with an offer.  After you get what you need from the prisoner you can set them free or kill them.  There are Steam achievements available for freeing or killing them all.

If you choose to hang a prisoner,  you won't see the execution take place.  There is plenty of violence in the game's art and battle scenarios.  Magic is heavily used and the mages in this game are over powered in my opinion.  While you can leave the mage out and not train Cassia on how to use magic, you'll be hurting your chances for success if you don't use magic.  Some of the enemy mages/creators use necromancy to summon undead armies.  Last but not least, there's a lot of foul language and F bombs dropped in the dialogue.

The voice acting is well done and the characters are well developed and likable.  When you buy the game on Steam it comes with an art book, strategy guide, and sound track.  The soundtrack is playable in Steam's music player.  

You can find the art book and strategy guide in the game folder in your Steamapps\Common directory.  I highly recommend reading the strategy guide as this game is very challenging.  The artwork is well done and the levels are cleverly designed.  The monsters look intimidating and their movements are fluid.

Overall Blackguards 2 is a well polished, but tough strategy RPG.  I enjoyed the story and spent close to thirty hours playing this game before I beat it. It makes me curious about the original which is forty dollars compared to the thirty-five dollar asking price of the sequel.   Maybe I'll pick it up if it goes on sale.  

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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