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Blackguards 2

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2015

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'Blackguards 2' Unveils New Gameplay Features, Combat and Enemies - Screens & Trailer

by Rainier on Nov. 6, 2014 @ 4:46 p.m. PST

Blackguards 2 is a turn based strategy/RPG set only few years after the story of the first game, but will bring along many changes – for the well-known characters as well as for the players.

Blackguards  2  will  stay  an  SRPG  focusing  on  turn-based, strategic  battles  with  a  group  of  scoundrels  as  anti-heroes. Some  of  the  best-known  Blackguards  from  the  first  game  will be  part  of  the  team  again  –  unfortunately,  their lives  didn’t  go very  well  since  then.  Dwarf  Naurim,  for  example,  has  rest  on his  fame  as  a  successful  gladiator  and  defeater  of  the  Nine Hordes.  He  used  his  popularity  for  shady  businesses  and excessive  parties  and  got  quite  potbellied  –  not  a  very  good condition for battles, and so he hung up his axe and ditched his old gang, as long as they wouldn't yield any profit.

At the core of Blackguards 2 is the conflict between Cassia – who starts a military campaign against the tyrant Marwan. Marwan rules the country with an iron fist from his throne in the city of Mengbilla. The ultimate goal of the game’s many turn-based battles is to conquer as much territory as possible and free it from Marwan’s influence, so that Cassia can claim the Shark Throne of Mengbilla herself.

Blackguards 2 focuses, just like its predecessor, on turn based battles as its core gameplay, based on the popular Dark Eye Pen & Paper tabletop rule set.

At the start of each battle, you can now freely place your characters in a starting area as a first strategic decision. Additional starting areas can be unlocked by acquiring strategic intel from prisoners through interrogation between battles.

These additional starting areas offer the advantage of splitting up your troops, so they can navigate a map via different paths or even layers. For instance, one squad may have to pull a lever to deactivate traps that are blocking another squad’s way, or open doors or shortcuts for them.

Battles, no matter if fought by one or more squads, range across multiple screens, lead through dungeons, ruins, or bridges spiked with traps and are, of course, inhabited by dangerous creatures. The fiercest among these monsterous foes are the chimeras; magical beasts created by Marwan's chimerologists. Their unique abilities make them formidable opponents: Sandghosts, for example, can turn into a whirling sandstorm, passing through obstacles with ease, leaving devastation in their wake.

Another of the new monsters in Blackguards 2 are Jesperwoods - hulking constructs made of vine, flesh and steel, always surrounded by swarms of bees, which makes them seemingly impossible to engage in close combat. However, even ranged opponents can be incapacitated by their tangling roots breaking through the ground. Monsters like the Jesperwood and the Sandghost are just two of the creatures that will challenge your combat mettle in Blackguards 2.

The chimeras as a whole are constructs without will, held together by magic and controlled by circles of arcane power and so-called blood organs, instruments that are interactive objects on almost every map.

Both Marwan's and Cassia's troops can make use of those instruments. In side quests, Cassia can even acquire the corresponding melodies and summonings from Marwan's chimerologist causing these beasts to fight for her and maybe even turn the tide of battle.

Available to Cassia are not just the heroes of the first Blackguards, but also bands of mercenaries. Their leader is a bloodthirsty and ruthless man named Faramud. Up to ten mercenaries can join Cassia and her champions in battle. They have their very own classes and contribute unique abilities to the fray. From the classic sword-wielding front line grunt and the nimble archer, to the stealthy assassin, unrivaled in speed and deadliness: each mercenary can be directly deployed and controlled during battle.

But the support of Faramud and his men is a double edged blade, not only figuratively: blood and violence are their fuel. And the common people of conquered territory are most likely the ones who suffer under the sellswords' lust for pillage. It's on the player to decide if Cassia lets Faramud have his will, giving him permission to pillage, raze and murder. Or if she keeps the leash on him, jeopardizing her alliance with the mercenaries, but earning the support of the southern people.

Whatever the player decides, it will have an impact on the events to come, what side quests are available and how characters will react in camp and in conquered areas. In later battles that will mean that the people of the south will either stand up against Cassia's murderous troops, supporting Marwan, or stand with Cassia against the tyrant.

However, Marwan won't just sit by idly while Cassia marches towards Mengbilla. If she seems to advance successfully, Marwan will strike back to reclaim lost territory. If the player wants to hold conquered areas because of their strategic significance, those territories must be defended. Even though players can cleverly place traps and reinforce their position, Marwan now knows what he’s in for and will send his own troops in as a counter. As you can imagine, defending a position is much tougher than taking it.

Another increase in challenge becomes evident when the player is in the unfortunate position of re-conquering lost territory. Cassia and her men face traps and a well-prepared enemy who makes you pay for every inch you want to reclaim.

Whatever path she takes on her campaign to Mengbilla, whatever positions she takes and holds for her troops, and what parts of the story unfold for Cassia – it is completely in the player’s hands

The world map between battles offers important information about possible obstacles, advantages and resources of the different areas.  Via torture and interrogation you can always receive additional information as you play.

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