E3 2014: The Finer, Fake, Fantasy Football of Blood Bowl 2

Of quartermasters and quarterbacks.


Blood Bowl 2

Warhammer's most leisurely spin-off, the turn-based interpretation of American football known as the appropriately violent-sounding Blood Bowl, was missing some key features in its first PC adaptation. Namely, a deeper single-player campaign, as well as a robust multiplayer metagame. These two major features are making their way to Blood Bowl 2, the sequel that takes the fake fantasy football setting and runs with it. Over the goal line. For three points. See, I know about sports.

Blood Bowl 2 dives deeper into the management aspect of this strange fantasy football universe in its single-player campaign. There are the usual aspects such as signing players and firing players, but the game embraces its position in the Warhammer universe by also tasking you with killing players on opposing teams. The developer, Cyanide, hopes to never issue players with exactly the same objective twice, though how it plans to accomplish this was not elaborated upon. Objectives such as these need to be fulfilled within matches, in addition to winning the actual game of football itself.

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Cyanide sees the game as a parody of American football, as well as a turn-based interpretation of its ruleset, as filtered through Games Workshop's original tabletop game. A new card system allows you to deploy actions such as rerolling dice, healing injured players, or bribing the referee.

Not only will the AI adapt to your play, but it will have a character of its own.

The developer hopes the single-player campaign will not be as repetitive as that of the first game, with the introduction of multiple AI play styles that are tailored to represent each of the game's different races--dwarves, dark elves, skaven, and the like. So this time, not only will the AI adapt to your play, but it will have a character of its own that draws upon the lore of the race you're currently facing.

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The relatively recent, massive surge in esports popularity hasn't gone unnoticed by Cyanide either; the developer plans to include fully customisable leagues with support for up to 1,000 players (or AI) in each. The developer has seen what makes Dota 2 so interesting, and hopes to instil some of that persistence within Blood Bowl 2. If it means I'll have a better understanding of the rules of American football by the end of a 1,000-player tournament, then count me in.

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