Bloody tactical sport at it's best.
I'm sure that if you are reading this review you probably know something about the game already so I won't go into too much detail about the races and specific mechanics of the game. I also won't talk about the real-time version as I don't really plan on playing it much and I don't think I'm qualified to talk about it yet.
I think they are good for what the game is trying to get across. The player models are well detailed and the sidelines have fans in some areas and cheerleaders is others which is a nice touch to give the game a larger feel and a more football like atmosphere. I wish there was more in the way of player animations as they get fairly repetitive. I also would have like more gore, really the only blood you see is when a player gets knocked out or injured and even then it's not much. Really though the graphics aren't a big reason to play this game, which brings me to the next section.
This is the meat of the game, tactical football. I have really only played the turn based version of this game as I am a fan of games workshop games (even though I had never played the table top version) and have always wanted to try Blood Bowl. I'm not going to go too much into the mechanics but in general dice rolls rule the game. Some people don't like this because the random number generator then controls most outcomes, but after playing table top games like Battlefleet Gothic and Warhammer 40k I've ok with it.
There are 16 turns in each game, 8 per half, and the goal is to score touchdowns. The key to doing this is to remember that goal as it is easy to get caught up in pounding the other team into the dirt. It isn't like a normal stratgey game where you move all your units and do actions like tackles and passes every turn. Instead as soon as the dice roll fails your turn is over. This causes you to prioritize easy moves first and risky moves last, you really have to think about what you will do and when you will do it.
If you play the campaign mode you will get to do most of the same things you do in a game like madden, hire players who will level up throughout the season (which is split into five periods where in each one you play a tournament), you can buy cheerleaders, re-rolls (remember the dice thing?), upgrade player equipment and more. This is probably the most fun aspect of the game.
Multiplayer is fun as well although I have only played hotseat with friends, but there is also internet play with team leader boards and league play.
Basically, the sound can get a little repetitive. The music seems the same throughout most of the game but does provide a good beat. The player sounds are everything you would expect from a football game and the sounds to denote events in the game are distinct and in my opinion well done. I was happy to hear that there were announcers in this game but after a while of listening to them it's turned into background noise. I like that they are there but it can get too repetitive very quickly.
If you like games like FF:T or other tactical games you will probably like Blood Bowl, if you like American football too then you are set. Really the game is like a regular tactical game with a different goal, getting the ball to the endzone. Definitely don't think that is easy though, most games I have played are very low scoreing, 3 points or less total. I plan to get the DS version whenever it comes out too so I can have bloody football on the go. I'm sure I'll be playing BB for a while....now back to my team of Dwarves....