Tag Archives: sport

Surf World Series review

Games about surfing are rare indeed, but it’s a sport that can be gamified to success, something Surf World Series proves wonderfully. It’s not the most feature rich experience but it captures the atmosphere and excitement of the real world sport and makes it fun and accessible.

Surf World Series begins with a comprehensive tutorial for its mechanics and controls, and it proves intuitive and well designed. Riding waves is easy, as are performing tricks, the difficulty comes into play with chaining these tricks together into combos and maintaining speed. Indeed, these two elements work in tandem; without good speed you’ll struggle to gain enough air at the top of the wave to perform a trick without wiping out, meanwhile, the window to chain together tricks to form combos is narrow enough to rush you. It means you can very easily make a mistake, and that very much plays into the risk/reward of combo making that makes Surf World Series so intense and exciting.

Figuring out how to ride the wave to best build up and maintain speed, all the while dodging less stable parts of the wave and the crashing water, is a key skill that can take some practice to master. When it does all come together it’s splendidly satisfying and encourages you to take greater risks for greater score rewards. This becomes the primary game loop, limited by how long you can resist wiping out on free surf and time limits in the challenge campaign.

Those two modes make up the entirety of the singleplayer content, with no career to speak of and only the timed challenges, at increasing difficulties and across a variety of different beaches, providing anything resembling a tracked objective. It’s fun either way; the free mode allows you to experiment with the controls and learn reading the waves better, and the challenges live up to their name and soon require mastery to be completed. It’s a bit of a harsh difficulty curve but the experience feels responsive and intuitive enough to inspire hope of overcoming it.

Online multiplayer is also available but the three modes essentially boil down to the same score competition. Like the singleplayer component, it’s an arcade set of physics set on a realistic competitive stage, so score beating is the order of the day and the height of a jump can be pretty gravity defying, alongside some generous landing angles that in the real sport would definitely cause a wipe out. It’s a good balance but more modes would be appreciated.

What is impressively comprehensive is the board and outfit customisation options. More shirts, shorts, wet suits and boards are unlocked as you play and you’re free to customise their patterns and colours to a great degree of freedom, and can even adding some beat lighting to your board. It’s a great feature that builds on the already terrific sense of immersion.

The excellent sound design of flowing and crashing water, well implemented slowdown when performing tricks, a strong camera setup and excellent water visuals all do a great job of selling the ocean environment. Moreover, each location has a very different aesthetic and lighting, making them feel unique. Meanwhile, appropriate music helps pull you in further. It’s not the most visually impressive title out there by a long shot, but it’s smartly designed to keep you focused on the best parts: the water and surfer animations, allowing the background elements to be largely ignored.

Surf World Series does a great job adapting surfing to video games. The feeling of pulling off tricks on the intractable waves of the ocean is a great sensation, thanks to strong controls and mechanics. It does get a little repetitive, something more modes could help alleviate, but there’s no question that this is a well-designed and highly enjoyable title.

Thanks to Xbox and Climax Studios for supporting TiX

WWE 2K18’s Universe Mode detailed

2K have released details about WWE 2K18’s Universe Mode.

In a blog post on the official WWE 2K18 site, Universe Mode’s designer, Cristo Kyriazis, talks about what’s new for this year, including new rivalry types, Intensity, Power Rankings, updated calendars and several other additions and improvements.

Check out the blog post to read all about it in detail: https://wwe.2k.com/news/entries/wwe-2k18-universe-mode

2K introduce WWE 2K18’s ROAD TO GLORY and MyPLAYER

WWE 2K18 will be released in a mere week’s time, and this year two new additions to the game will provide new experiences for your custom player, with MyPLAYER adding character classes of sorts and ROAD TO GLORY offering an experience that allows your wrestler to continue to grow and develop while fighting against other players online.

If the trailer intrigues you then 2K have outlined these changes thoroughly in a post on their official WWE 2K18 web site.

Dovetail Games Euro Fishing Foundry Dock DLC review

I could literally write this review in one, perhaps harsh sentence. I won’t do that because that’s not very entertaining, is it? So I will endure writing this as I endured playing the game. Sounds fair. Fishing has never been something that I would go for in terms of entertainment. The smell, the overpriced equipment and also the length of time it takes to catch a fish is not appealing at all. In the interest of fairness though, I can completely appreciate why people do it and that some people actually find it therapeutic and a good escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. When I was asked to play a  fishing game I was a bit sceptical, but I’m a gamer and I’m open minded, so gave it a bash.

Just a very quick overview of Euro Fishing, if you’ve never heard or played it. All the tutorials are there to help you get started, there is a comprehensive guide to different casts, rods and bait to use for the best results. Also, there is a very handy simple mode for noobs like me. The game is typically British as most of the early settings are the sort of places you find little tents pitched up in with some old dude sat in his chair escaping life. Graphically it’ll do and the controls are relatively easy to get to grips of, which I like but they do take some practice to master. You can read our review of the vanilla version of Euro Fishing here.

Like any game nowadays, the DLC determines the lifespan; keep the DLC coming and the game stays alive, leave it and it’ll die. Euro Fishing have supplied some DLC for their creation and that is what we are going to look at here. Foundry Dock DLC offers players a brand new glorious setting which is a welcome change to the stock ones. Along with the new setting, you get a new boss fish to capture, yeah yeah I said it, boss fish. For some extra sprinkling, you get some new achievements too, which is a nice addition to any game. The only real beef I have with this is the DLC costs £8.99/$10.99/€10.99 respectively, and it just isn’t worth it. For what is already a bit of an acquired taste, the Foundry Dock DLC doesn’t really add much in terms of value. I’m a fair man so I’ll stay objective, at least Dovetail are doing DLC for those fans of the game, you have to respect that.

There are no new fish species to catch, which is a bit of a shame, but there are already lots to capture so you shouldn’t be too disappointed. You can, however, buy the full game and the DLC in the Urban Edition of the game which may work to be a bit cheaper and you won’t feel like you’ve been stung. I like the new setting though, it looks really nice and adds a bit of variety to what is quite a slow game, you’ll be looking at the surroundings a lot so it’s good that Dovetail has paid some attention to it.

Overall I’d say the Foundry Dock DLC adds another layer but to be perfectly honest they could have included it in the main game and not bothered, but they did bother so fair play. Euro Fishing is not something that I would push too much, the relaxed gameplay and the sometimes tense moments can be quite appealing and I did find myself getting into it after a little while. With that said though if you’re after something a bit different from the norm then you can’t get more different than this

Thank you to Dovetail and Microsoft for supporting TiX

Official Tour de France 2017 game announced

Focus Home Interactive have announced the official Tour de France 2017 video game will release June this year on Xbox One.

With Tour de France 2017, experience all the passion of Le Tour de France and conquer the coveted yellow jersey! Play as the greatest riders on the gorgeous roads of La Grande Boucle: attack, give orders to your teammates, choose the best trajectory, manage your stamina and make the decisions that will lead your team all the way to the top!

In this exciting Tour, race through time-trial stages at Düsseldorf and Marseille, before mythical mountains climbs such as le Galibier and l’Izoard, until the great finale on the Champs-Elysées. The pace of the race, stamina management, climbs and descents have been recalibrated to provide improved realism and immersion. Take advantage of key areas such as windy sections that can generate bordures. Play a full stage in real-time or accelerated x16, play the key-areas only, or even skip the stage entirely. An enhanced AI system means the challenge is also greater now, along with the risk of being disqualified if you finish a stage outside of time limit.

Players will now be able to form clans in order to join other members of the community to organize competitions, chat and compare achievements in-game. This edition features improved realism with regards to race tempo, rider speeds, sophisticated AI, as well as the management of stamina and preparation. Players also now have the ability to set riders in a paceline at anytime during the race, to protect and prepare them ahead of key-areas. A revamped progression system has been introduced in Pro Cyclist mode – fulfil the objectives given by your manager to progress within your team and beyond!

Ride 2 review

Back in April 2015, I was handed what was in all likelihood, the first motorbike racing game I’d played since Road Rash. I won’t beat about the bush, Ride was distinctly average. Now Milestone have updated and released the 2016 model, Ride 2. Can we hope for a more comfortable seat and grips to carry us along, or is it another old banger of a game?

If there was one thing that really rankled from the first edition of Ride, it was the loading times. You will spend roughly 40% of your gaming time staring at a pretty picture of a bike. In Ride 2, I was really hoping that this would be addressed, but the first thing that hits you is not one, but two separate loading screens. From a gaming aesthetic, it’s massively frustrating to be staring at a loading graphic when all you want is to stick leather on a seat and wheel-spin away.

The chances are then, you get fed up with looking at the screen shot below, but don’t abandon the game too quickly for this. Stick with the loading and there’ll be a fairly pleasant surprise on the horizon. Like finding out that the price of petrol at your local garage has dropped.

Ride 2

Tedious loading time aside then, once you’re into the meat of the game, you can expect some refreshing changes to the first title’s initial menus and there’s been a welcome introduction of daily and weekly challenges in case the rigors of a seasonal tour are getting a little too much. There are a huge number of tracks available to play from the outset, with multiple layout variations on racing mainstays like the Nurburgring.

You’ll also find a massive selection of bikes to ride. The game doesn’t seem to have any license restrictions, so whatever your preference from a two-wheeled terror standpoint, Ride 2 will be able to accommodate. From Nakeds to Supermoto scramblers to Superbikes, there will be something for even the most demanding biker. The proof of the gaming is in the play though, and this is where Milestone have been busy in the garage with the cowling off.

When you compare the two games, Ride 2 has obviously had some attention. Even though the scenery rushing by when on-track doesn’t look to have had enough detail shoe-horned in, if it means the loading times are slightly cut, I can deal with that. The biggest improvement comes in the AI, bike handling and collision detection. Now, ordinarily, this would be a good thing. Given the fact that Milestone also make Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP game, which handles and feels much better, I can’t help but wonder if both development camps ought to have a bit of a get-together for Ride 3, should it make it that far.

Ride 2

So, while the AI is better than the first release, it’s still wooden. There’s no extra movement from the riders, something you’d expect from other folk when racing on bikes. They don’t glance around and when tipping the bike round a corner, the knee doesn’t go down from your opposition. That’s not my only grumble with the AI.  To explain, I’ll need to give you a bit of background. The bikes use a Gran Turismo-type PP score to rank your bike in Ride 2. With this and the bike type, you can only enter the events that your bike and PP qualify for. Your AI are all mounted on similarly powered machines, but on-track initially, you wouldn’t have guessed. Power along the Nurburgring’s Döttinger Höhe straight and your fellow riders will cruise past you, even on lesser ranked bikes. It doesn’t seem fair and frankly, doesn’t seem possible.

If you’ve played the first game, you’ll notice that the biggest improvement is the bike handling and collision detection. There’s a definite improvement in the connection between you and the bike. It is much smoother, even if the controls are still a little twitchy. You have more confidence going into collisions. The first game would flip you totally off the bike, losing you crucial places, at the slightest hint of a touch. In Ride 2 you can go in with a little bit of confidence as the AI rigidly cuts across you, sticking religiously to the racing line.

I’ve not got the greatest amount of experience on the usual engine whine and other related sounds on a raceday. Needless to say that the bikes sound like bikes. There’s some funky electro-pop during the numerous loading screens, which gets fairly tiresome after hearing it for a while.

Ride 2

So, the AI is improved, the visuals are pretty much the same and the audio is fairly standard. The biggest issue is career progression. You need credits to upgrade your bike and become more competitive. This will allow you to win races and become more competitive. It’s a bit of a vicious circle and getting off the mark will mean that you will have to come back and play the same tracks against the same opposition a few times to get some podiums and wins under your belt. You can then start to upgrade your current bike. It’ll be a long time before you can expand your garage with the game’s current career progression set up, that’s for sure.

In the order of a season review for Ride 2 then, the game is vastly improved over the first release, which in truth, wouldn’t have been hard. You can now hustle opposing riders without the fear of flying off, although the controls are a little sketchy still. The AI is stiff, however, and feels very robotic. Sharing equal 2nd place on the podium of irks for Ride 2, though is the difficulty in career progression and our old favourite, the ridiculous loading times. Comparing it to the market of bike games that are out there already, grab yourself Valentino Rossi: The Game. Even though they’re both by Milestone, one streaks away as the superior title.

Thanks to Milestone and Xbox for supporting TiX

NBA 2K17 review

2K are back with another version of their visually impressive basketball sim, NBA 2K17, and whilst it doesn’t have any huge additions or new features, the few tweaks here and there help to further embed them as the dominant basketball game.

It’s no surprise at all that 2K17 looks and feels terrifically authentic. Much like it’s last few instalments, ball control is tight and intuitive, shooting and lay-ups are about timing and skill – with a little luck thrown in for good measure – and defending feels superbly balanced against attackers. The courts look real, the character animations are equally life-like, and the character models, well they’re mostly excellent but there’s a few odd-balls out there, including your created character if you use the smart phone app to scan your face.

Indeed, the presentation is still highly impressive. Stats appear throughout play but without being intrusive, and the commentators do a splendid job analysing the court and flow of play. Meanwhile, a talk show while your match is loading is a nice distraction, although the host’s facial animation is a bit hit-and-miss and some peculiar pauses in speech can pull you out of the experience a bit.

nba-2k17-1

The comprehensive tutorial, 2KU, does a great job in teaching you the mechanics and systems at work, and before long you’ll be ready for the flagship mode, MyCareer. Here you create your own character and take him from his high school novice roots to becoming potentially one of the NBA’s best. The new college segment allows for some more personality to be injected into your character, providing a better origin for his career before he’s drafted into the NBA. Meanwhile, shorter load times than in previous titles is a very welcome enhancement, but there’s still a fair bit of waiting around between games.

The storytelling experience of MyCareer is still a bit corny but undeniably clever and immersive. From your house, which acts as a HUD, you have multiple options available, such as playing on your own personal court, deciding your schedule for the day, and conversing with friends, coaches, and your mum. This is of course alongside the mandatory games and training sessions, but you also have the option to attend sponsor events, go out with fellow players, and hit the practice court in order to earn stat boosts. It’s a comprehensive and well-throughout mode that immerses you in your character’s career splendidly.

nba-2k17-2

Taking your created player online is the same as in previous instalments, with MyPark allowing you to play 3-on-3 games with other players. Meanwhile, 2K’s counterpart to FIFA Ultimate Team, MyTeam, is still an excellent fantasy basketball system, allowing you to build your own dream team of players, complete scenarios in order to earn VC, and challenge other players online. Furthermore, separate challenges within MyTeam, such as a mode in which you can draft a team of legends and try and win as many consecutive games as possible to earn rewards, is an excellent addition.

However, whilst the primary modes have been merely tweaked, MyGM and MyLeague have a couple of important new additions. This year both modes are more customisable and vast thanks to the ability to expand your league to 36 teams. These now include EuroLeague teams, classic teams, and even teams that you’ve made yourself, opening up a terrific options to really customise your season. Furthermore, you can choose to start during the offseason, allowing you to trade players before the season gets underway. You can also choose to only paly the Play-Offs, skipping the grind and enjoying the most exciting period of the season.

nba-2k17-3

Indeed, NBA 2K17 makes smart, minor adjustments to the winning formula of MyCareer and MyPark, maintaining the former’s immersive story and the latter’s compelling collection mechanics, and it enhances MyGM and MyLeague to breathe new life into the modes. And whilst overall there isn’t much new, the NBA 2K series doesn’t need any big changes yet, as its pretty excellent as it is.

Thanks to Xbox and 2K Games for supporting TiX

Madden 17 review

Madden titles of late have been remarkably well-built. The improvements to the animations, control response, visuals, and features have made a significant jump in this generation compared with the last. Madden 17’s enhancements to the game are less significant but result in a title that feels familiar and wonderfully tweaked. Indeed this is the most accessible, realistic and impressive Madden so far.

This year’s Skill Trainer is superbly comprehensive, teaching precisely what you want to know about the complicated sport. Whether you’re a new comer or veteran, here you can learn as little or as much as you need. Basic controls to advanced tactics are thoroughly covered as so to prepare you for the savvy AI and players you’ll meet online. It’s a terrific jumping off point to start your Madden 17 experience.

Meanwhile, on lower difficulties you can activate a number of assists – ala Forza – to make your learning curve less steep. Skill moves can be set to automatically be performed depending on the situation, furthermore, a run path assist shows you which direction you’re heading. Additionally, the new Concept Counter reveals which play the offence is making, allowing you to counter more effectively. And of course, as your skills develop these assists can be turned off.

Madden 17 1

Franchise mode remains the go-to single player component – although Ultimate Team is arguably just as big a draw now. Whether you’re a player or owner, Franchise mode is more accessible than ever. The roster UI has been improved and now features recommendations on who to trade, cut, and sign, making it easier and faster to manage your team. Additionally, helping elevate the slog of Franchise mode is the new Play the Moments feature. Here, instead of having to play matches in their entirety, you only have to play the most crucial moments. Touchdown opportunities, field goals, third downs, etc. are played as normal, otherwise the jumbotron and a chart shows you how the rest of the game is coming along, allowing you to jump in and take control if you feel the AI is misrepresenting your team. It proves a handy time-saver if you’re looking to advance through the Franchise mode with more haste.

Player stats now play a bigger part in the ability to perform advanced maneuverers and use certain skills. Juking is a great example, with players with less the 80 in that skill struggling to perform them elegantly. It add the incentive to look at players’ stats more closely and use their power moves, adding deeper elements to the game overall. Meanwhile, defensive zone coverage has been improved and the ability to swat the ball has now been added, this is alongside improved ball physics makes fumbles, tips and turnovers more of a threat therefore injecting further realism into the game.

Madden 17 2

Madden 17 isn’t entirely without fault however. Long load times occur now and again, especially in the Ultimate Team solo challenges. Meanwhile, the old three click system is back for kicking the ball, which may feel like a step back, although it does eliminate any frustration the analogue stick flicking may have caused.

However, the tweaks to the game overshadow the aforementioned minor faults. Finally being able to skip cinematics and camera cutaways is a welcome addition that once again aids in the speed of the game. There’s great chemistry with the new Madden commentators, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, with the expected generalised comments and player histories accompanying some great play-by-play analysis that feels natural and realistic.

Madden 17 3

Indeed, Madden 17 takes the strengths of the last two iterations and enhances them with smart tweaks. The game feels more balanced than it ever has, thanks to a focus on realism and vast tactical options. Meanwhile, the handful of new animations are easy to appreciate as you dash up the field and suffer bone crunching tackles with splendid visual fidelity.

Thanks to Xbox and EA for supporting TiX

Rugby Challenge 3 review

It’s been such a long time since I played a Rugby game on a console, we’re talking as far back as Jonah Lomu rugby long time here. For the most part Rugby Challenge 3 has gone some way to restoring my enjoyment of rugby games, but there is still plenty of work to be done.

In terms of presentation it’s clear from the off that there is plenty of work to be done. The music so pretty ropey and the UI is pretty forgetful. Player models are not too bad, you will recognise your favourite players pretty easily. Rugby Challenge has also managed to secure licenses for pretty much every team, league and major tournaments apart from the World Cup & Six Nations, for a small studio they have done a great job on that front.

On the pitch, the crowds react perfectly to game they are watching, the stadia and weather effects all look good too. But the player audio is dreadful, when players are in the scrum it sounds like they are all giving birth, when you add the fact that the commentary team of Grant Nisbett and Justin Marshall sound like they are eating the microphone it really doesn’t help. The commentary also lacks the fluidity of most sports games, you can easily pick up when the audio for a team name or certain player is mentioned as the tone of voice completely changes. Also when you have scored 4 times in the first half and they suggest your team isn’t doing very well doesn’t really help.

RugbyChallenge3-3The gameplay is thankfully pretty solid, though again there are plenty of oddities that need addressing, players occasionally ghost through tackles, or sometimes players don’t tackle at all!
The kicking game works well, though it is too easy when it comes to conversions, I haven’t missed a single one, though it seems much more difficult for the AI. There are other little things that annoyed me, when players score a try the ball just seems to stop dead but the player is still finishing the move to score and the camera can be hugely frustrating at times. If you manage to break free of the opposition the camera goes into glory mode, it zooms right in on the player, which is fine if you are really clear of defenders but if they are close you aren’t able to see any options for passing the ball. Passing is as simple as using the shoulder buttons to pass to your left or right, it’s great when you open up the opposition find that all important gap break through and score.

It feels like I’m giving the game a really hard time and you’d be right, but actually there is something rather addictive about it. Alongside the huge amount of competitions, there is a really good Be a Pro mode, where you get to create your own player and take them through their career in rugby. Before each game you are given objectives to meet, such as scoring a try or getting involved in a certain number of tackles, meeting these increases different attributes. As you play better and become more skilful you’ll get the chance to become your current team’s captain or even find yourself signing for a bigger team. It would be great if this mode taught you a bit more about positioning, a bit like when FIFA puts arrows under their Be a Pro’s to ensure you stick to your formation. It still stands up as a good mode and saw me put plenty of hours into it, I’m looking forward to getting capped by my country.

RugbyChallenge3-1Rugby Challenge 3 gives you the opportunity to also play some rugby sevens, it’s interesting to see how much more open the game is, if you are new to the game it might be worth starting with this match type before playing with fifteen players. There are plenty of tutorials to show you how to make use of the various controls available to you, with gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs in each scenario.

To give the game more of a community vibe there is a Fanhub section that allows you to upload and download created players and teams, you can rate other players work and also see how your uploads are also doing. The customise section is pretty extensive, allowing you to edit or create players, teams and competitions. The online mode let’s you play in sevens and fifteens matches, though you’ll struggle to find many other people to play, which is a shame.

Thanks to Premier and Xbox for supporting TiX

Blood Bowl 2 review

Competition is a compelling thing, and sports give us a safe, entertaining and regulated way to participate and spectate as two teams or individuals compete against one another. Games Workshop’s Blood Bowl is based on these same principles, minus the safe part, instead murder, loose refereeing and brutal violence – from both the teams and the crowd – allows Blood Bowl to truly earn its name. And with this ultra violent take on gridiron amongst a high-fantasy setting comes a fascinating and even more compelling competition, one where frustrations can be unleashed on opponents with bone crunching tackles and cerebral tactics and strategies for a highly satisfying challenge. Indeed the board game Blood Bowl is a superb game, and fortunately the digital version portrayed in Blood Bowl 2 is as well.

Blood Bowl 2 1

Blood Bowl 2 allows you to take a team to the field from a selection of eight races – a couple more if you pre-ordered – and play a facsimile of American football with a heavy dose of blood soaked mayhem. Each half is made up of eight turns, with each team moving characters around the pitch with the goal of retrieving the ball and scoring at the other team’s end zone. This is anything but simple, but thanks to the brilliant core mechanics from the board game paired with the visual and audio splendour of the videogame, it’s a wonderful challenge with some excellent humour and potential for emergent gameplay.

Your movement is limited by your character’s stats and a grid that lies on the field during a turn. Within this movement grid is a safe area you can run within or you can risk it and ‘go for it’ adding a square or three of movement to your run but having to face the possibility of a trip knocking your character down for a turn. Indeed the majority of actions you can take are determined by an element of chance, often dictated on the grid as percentages. A ‘go for it’ run often has a success rate in the 80s, meanwhile, if an opponent is opposite you at any point during movement then you also have to deal with dodging their attacks, which sit in the 60s. Positioning your players next to each other also boosts stats and lowers those of nearby opponents, and this all comes together to help you strategise on creating clears runs for the ball carrier or blocking them, which is the crux of the experience.

Blood Bowl 2 4

Positioning alone isn’t your only weapon though, a tackle, which essentially boils down to a fight between players, is another way to temporarily – and sometimes permanently – take a player out of action. When knocked down a player is no longer a threat, if you happen to stun them then they’ll miss a turn as well, meanwhile, an injury takes them off the pitch until they recover, and a death removes them permanently and hurts the team further along in the league.

Tackles once again play off chance, with your player’s stats and abilities modifying your odds. Dice are rolled on-screen to determine the result of a tackle, with more dice thrown in for larger discrepancies between the players’ strength stats. Abilities such as block can prevent your player being knocked down, encouraging you to think tactically about which players you use to attack and defend. Further strategies can be built on the other abilities and specific rolls your players have within your team, with some players more suited to catching a pass whilst others are better suited to blitzing opponents. Taking it all into consideration and the element of chance that seemed so prevalent can be minimised, yet enough of it remains to keep the game unpredictable and fun whether you’re winning or losing.

Blood Bowl 2 2

The crowd like to get in on the action occasionally and will cheer on teams, which improves their stats, or storm the pitch knocking out and stunning random players. Push a player out-of-bounds and the crowd will descend on them, injuring and sometimes killing them. Additionally, tackles you perform or suffer from can injure or kill you. Meanwhile, negative abilities like an ogres stupidity can strike and take out your powerhouse player for multiple turns. It’s terrifically intractable, and can turn a one-sided game on its head at the snap of a neck.

Figuring out how to form strategies and understand the rules and UI is aided by the single player campaign, which sees you coach a team from rags to riches in a Mighty Ducks kind of fashion. Each game gradually introduces new elements and shows you the ropes as far as team management goes off the pitch, with buying, selling and transferring players as well as improving stadiums. It’s a fairly lengthy campaign as well, largely due to matches tacking a long time to complete. 16 turns can run for a good 40 minutes or so, which, when playing against the AI, can get a little frustrating.

Blood Bowl 2 3

For the most part the AI is smart and aggressive but doesn’t seem to be concerned with the number of turns left, often setting up a touch down play that would come to fruition a turn or two beyond what’s available. Certainly human opponents offer a better experience, and thanks to leagues and persistent teams Blood Bowl 2 offers a superb multiplayer component, one that’s especially enjoyable amongst a small group of friends playing in a private league.

Indeed Blood Bowl 2 is a brilliant sports title, one that brings together cerebral strategy with mindless violence in a beautiful Warhammer themed package. It’s a fair few races short of the monstrous amount from the ultimate version of the previous game, the animations frequently repeat, and the commentary can get on the verge of insufferable, but the satisfaction of beating an opponent into the ground and running the ball into their end zone with a superbly formed strategy is utterly fantastic and can overcome the minor issues splendidly.

Thanks to Xbox and Cyanide for their support 

[rprogress value=87 text=”TiX Score 87%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi16″]