Blood Bowl III
Flawed, mature, bloody, but fun football fantasy sequel.
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Blood Bowl III
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blood Bowl III is an extreme action sports game on the PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. The game has some mature content as the creatures in this game (goblins, orcs, trolls, and one human team) can maim or kill opposing players with violent and sometimes gory moves on the field. You can punch, kick, hammer, impale and cut opponents, and see a pool of blood around their fallen bodies. There are some images of consuming beer, along with a fake brewery that sponsors commercials during play. Some female characters wear revealing bikini outfits whether they're playing or cheering, and the language has a mix of mild profanity and innuendo.
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What’s It About?
Fantasy football meets deathmatch gameplay in BLOOD BOWL III, the latest in the turn-based take on American football starring beasts from the Warhammer universe and Games Workshop tabletop games. As with its predecessors, Blood Bowl III pits teams against one another -- orcs, goblins, trolls, minotaurs, elves, humans, and 6 other races -- and each with unique characteristics. Taking place in the year 2499, players roll a 6-sided die and choose the move on the field, to offensively or defensively position your players, in the hopes of crushing opponents, while also stopping the rival team from advancing to the end zone. Basically, you'll choose from a list of actions during each off your turns, such as running, tackling, passing, or blitzing. Over time, you learn which players are better at certain actions. Depending on the solo or multiplayer mode (online or on the same PC or TV), you can create a new team and recruit players, customize their look (and armor and emblems), and perhaps enlist some cheerleaders for added morale. But it's all about scoring points and injuring opponents. The first competition, The Outsides, is a hands-on tutorial, where players are guided through the core mechanics of the game. While the turn-based game is played from a top-down perspective, plays on their field are often highlighted by dramatic and cinematic video replays of the often-brutal move.
Is It Any Good?
This has potential, and mostly delivers with deep and gratifying gameplay underneath the blood sport, but it doesn't feel finished. From few new modes (aside from a solo campaign open to all races) and sloppy menus and typos to technical bugs that hurt the overall experience, Blood Bowl III needs more time and polish before it's worth shelling out money for it. The graphics have been improved with higher resolution character models and slickly produced animated videos, but the core gameplay mostly remains the same. This isn't a bad thing, mind you, but since it's been several years since Blood Bowl II came out, it's a shame it feels like the same game, with a few new tweaks, like a beefed-up competitive mode with new coach and league management features, and extra customization options.Like before, much of your luck is tied to the dice outcome, but you'll make the best with what you rolled by applying strategy and tactics, based on the character, positioning, and other variables.
The interface takes some getting used to, and the menu system seem cluttered in between matches, too. Confusingly, some parts of the game are locked, but doesn't explain why. Games were played, contracts won, but didn't seem to open up additional competitions in the "Clash of the Sponsors" games. For multiplayer, it proved difficult to find people to play with online, and be aware it requires an account you need to create or log into. Otherwise, it's only a single-player, offline game (and none of your progress transfers over to online once you do sign in). Performance is mostly decent, but there were bugs that caused occasional and temporary freezing (sometimes when the AI was making a decision), and odd square misplacement on the field (indicating where you can move to) that didn't matchup with where it should be. The overall lack of polish is evident, between the "deja vu" gameplay, some spelling mistakes, UI issues and bugs. Blood Bowl III isn't a disaster, but curiously was released as an unfinished product.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Blood Bowl III affected by the fact that you're causing mayhem and destruction around fantasy creatures? Would the impact be intensified if the enemies were more realistic?
Is there a reason that Blood Bowl III includes a fake beer sponsorship, or does it seem like it fits given the fake football nature of the gameplay?
- Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
- Pricing structure: Paid ($29.99 to $49.99 (depending on the version and platform).)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Nacon
- Release date: March 3, 2023
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Mild Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence
- Last updated: March 13, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Blood Bowl II
Brutal fantasy-football sim has surprisingly deep gameplay.
Madden NFL 23
Solid on-field action anchored by FieldSense play.
Best basketball game ever marred by bugs, microtransactions.
For kids who love sports
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