First Blood Bowl 2 Gameplay Trailer Kicks Off

We’ve had a little chat with the makers of Blood Bowl II [official site] – and isn’t it nice to chat with people! – and peered at a few screenshots and swish trailers. With spring approaching, and therefore the turn-based tactical bloodsport’s release, we’re at the point in its marketing campaign where we get to see more of the game itself.

Today brings the first gameplay trailer, starting with a demonstration of those plain old humies.

Yup, that’ll be Blood Bowl all right. Prettier than Cyanide’s original adaptation of the Games Workshop tabletop game, too. I don’t know the first well enough to judge how the sequel is shaping up, so what do you spy, Blood Bowlers? Cyanide say they’ve improved the AI, but this trailer doesn’t show enough to get a sense of that.

My inquisitive ear does pick up on, and disagree with, one part: the crowd sounds like any big human football crowd. Where are the orcy grunts, the elven trill, the dwarven honking, the squealing goblins? Where are the crude songs and the jeers?

Blood Bowl II’s due to launch this spring. It’ll only come with 8 races – a stark contrast to the most recent expansion-packing version of the original, which has 24. Cyanide told us in our chat that “we wanted to improve a lot the quality of the races – much more detailed characters, and make sure we integrate more fully each skill for the races we have to add at some point.” They haven’t quite settled how they’ll sell additional races.

The game has a new website too with more deets and whatnot, if you want to get stuck in.


  1. sendmark says:

    For some reason I had a lot of problems connecting to multiplayer games in Blood Bowl 1 which killed it for me, as the single player was not challenging although the multiplayer was fun. I also really didn’t like the constant new versions adding more races, felt like a way of trying to extract more money than just via dlc or simple expansions.

    I’ll keep an eye on it, Blood Bowl is such a fun game to play against other humans.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      Yes, the first game has multiple problems, stability and connectivity being the more niggling ones. Yet the biggest player-run league, the Orca Cola Championship is in its 26th season with hundreds of coaches playing (I have a game tonight).

      We don’t care about the animated grass, what we all hope for more than anything is a STABLE game. A lot of people are cranky about having to fork out again, but if the game actually works, I think nearly everyone will come around.

  2. Janek says:

    Have they… have they made the UI worse?

    Pretty, though.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Wouldn’t say it’s worse. There’s the potential there for it to be a teensy bit better – clearer indication of intended paths and hazards along that path, on hover pop ups of potential receiver which could aid in assessment of chances.

      That said, pouring over this trailer I did notice that the trailer’s in-game footage is from console gameplay rather than PC (little d-pad and X/A icons etc), so I’d expect the UI to be a bit clunkier on anything not operated by mice. (bloodbowl playing mice)

      We can hope that the PC version takes advantage of the control advantages afforded the platform.

  3. iniudan says:

    Look good, bit sad to lose everything that was in Chaos Edition but hopefully this time around they don’t forget Star Player along the way, I want my secret weapon Dwarven star players.

  4. Morph says:

    Well I’m mildly optimistic as long as you don’t have to watch those animation every time you do something.

  5. Chris Cunningham says:

    Good to see RPS isn’t letting its breathless, months-long hyping of Space Hulk have any impact on its future coverage of Games Workshop licenses.

    As multiple people said in the previous thread, this is a game people have already paid the studio for three times over. In exchange for prettier character models (and I’ll admit they are very pretty indeed), said studio now wants people to fork out full price again for going back to square one with only eight playable teams, in what can only be blind hope that the previous versions eternally niggly bugs, awkward UI and league options, miserly customisation options and abysmal loading times have been addressed. Nope.

    • jonahcutter says:

      You left out the phenomenally stupid singleplayer AI.

      • Chris Cunningham says:

        I think it’s telling that they put up a big blog post about how the AI in the sequel was going to adapt to different team styles, weigh up risks and have some variety. One would think all of these things would have been integral to having an AI in the first place. That’s essentially an admission that despite having re-released the original multiple times with commentary to the effect of improving the single-player experience the AI was nothing but a placeholder throughout.

  6. BooleanBob says:

    Pay for the game.

    Pay for the expansion that adds more teams.

    Pay for the expansion that adds more teams.

    Pay for the sequel that takes teams away.


    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      ^^This… so much this… this sequence of events is so wrong, on a cellular level, it’s very identity is entwined with a sense of wrongness that pervades everything until Evil creeps in and slowly, ever so slowly, is accepted, is tolerated, is forgotten… and then…

      …DLC for fucking everything and people just assume the position, put $50’s in their own mouths and hand over the cricket bat.

      • MiniMatt says:

        Extra teams as DLC I wouldn’t necessarily have a problem with.

        If they go down the old route of three new editions of the same game to introduce new teams though, that’s when folks are liable to get grumpy/stabby.

    • Greg Wild says:

      I bought all the previous Blood Bowl games… they were rough around the edges, but I had a lot of fun with them.

      You can’t realistically expect them to support and improve the old games forever. Some games manage to do it, but sometimes the best way to make a better experience is just to accept that a previous product wasn’t as good as it can be and start again.

      If they’re feeling generous, then hopefully they’ll give owners of the previous games a discount. But I’ll probably still get it either way.

      • Rymdkejsaren says:

        You can expect them to fix game-breaking bugs though, especially bugs and issues that have existed since launch and were not fixed throughout the THREE different expansions/editions that were launched. To say that Cyanide’s support for the original game has been anything but shonky is misinformed.

        • Everblue says:

          The bugs are not “game breaking”. There’s a lot of people still having fun with this game six years after it was launched. The big online leagues are still going strong. I don’t mind paying out every few years for the fun of playing, but I won’t be switching over until there are more teams.

          • JimboDeany says:

            UKBBL RULES!

          • Rymdkejsaren says:

            I play in the OCC myself. The game breaking I refer to are issues of stability and connectivity that interrupt games without the chance of re-connecting. There are also some looped bugs with shadowing and chain pushes (among other things) that can freeze the game up completely forcing you to quit. This is a pretty big deal when you are playing a league game, and it happens often enough to be a big issue. It has affected me personally twice in OCC games (and I’m only on my 5th season, so about 40 games total).

            Then there’s , and .

          • Rymdkejsaren says:

            My HTML is not strong. link to and link to were the links I meant to post.

    • drinniol says:

      Nothing that Dawn of War didn’t do first, jeeze.

      • Dave L. says:

        DoWII had the benefit of actually being a totally different game than DoW+Expansions. Blood Bowl II is just Blood Bowl again, with a new coat of paint.

        • Loyal_Viggo says:

          Exactly. They have already developed the entire team roster for 28 teams or whatever, all they need to do is tart up the graphics/models which they can do obviously. They are not reinventing the wheel or using an entirely new engine, are they?

  7. PlanetTimmy says:

    Am I the only person who found the cheerleaders section incredibly creepy?

  8. DanMan says:

    Hmm, I was expecting something in real time, like Fifa. This looks pretty stale.

    • VitalMoss says:

      If that’s how you feel, then this game wasn’t meant for you.

    • MiniMatt says:

      The last version (or, at least one of the last versions – the Legendary edition for sure, probably the others too) had a vaguely realtime-ish mode sitting alongside the “classic” turn based. It was pretty much universally ignored as being a bit poo.

      That said, that could have been down entirely to fans of the previous release(s) coming from, or appreciative of, the original boardgame and looking for a fairly pure implementation of that. It’s possible that those approaching with fresh eyes, unencumbered by affection of the original will see value in the variant. It’s more likely that it was just a bit poo though.

      I’d encourage you to give it a chance though, it remains one of RPS’ forums most popular multiplayer games. A delightful mix of strategy, viciously cruel dice rolls, and cathartic violence.

      • Graerth says:

        That dice roll viciousness can’t be stressed enough.

        Having your 2 best players (by significant margin to other players) die and get KO’d on your first turns due to critical fumbles with them may feel somewhat bullshit.

        Fun game, once in a while. Then you get that “wtf is this shit??” roll streak and just decide to forget the game, again.

    • Greg Wild says:

      The first game had real-time. It was terrible.

    • Immobile Piper says:

      It’s less like a sports game and more like chess with funny pieces and some dice rolling.

    • Rymdkejsaren says:

      They decided to ditch the real-time mode and focus on the turn-based strategy, which makes sense because it is based on a board-game. If they made it real-time only they would basically ditch their entire existing consumer base. I am quite convinced that not a single person out of the current active Blood Bowl player base would buy it. Not one.

      The idea of a similarly themed real-time game would definitely be interesting, but should probably be a different franchise, or named something like Blood Bowl: Except Not At All.

      • PoLLeNSKi says:

        Reminds me of this Amiga classic that thoroughly entertained the 10yr old me link to

        • Doganpc says:

          Nice… Mutant League Football is what I think of every time I see blood bowl.
          link to

          Quite frankly, that is what I want. The visuals on this are gorgeous, but I want something more like EA Sports and lest like board game on PC. Possibly because I could play board game with humans and beer.

  9. Aetylus says:

    While the animation department has clearly done a lovely job, all I wanted from Blood Bowls was:
    – Fix the absolutely incompetent AI.
    – Not ask me to pay again for the game I’ve already paid for, and for, and for.

    • Moraven says:

      How EA Sports game works! And we saw with the latest NHL was not feature complete, but more of a test of the new engine.

  10. Immobile Piper says:

    If it works better than Chaos Edition with more varied teams than Chaos Edition, I will have no problems paying money for it. Sure it has less teams at launch, but if work goes into those teams then… shouldn’t it be ok to pay for them? This is all assuming of course that the quote at the end of the article is more than just marketing drivel.

    We’ll see.

  11. wyrm4701 says:

    I love Blood Bowl, but there’s no way I’m paying for this until there’s a definitive, all-teams version on sale. Learned my lesson the first time by buying the Original edition and then the Legendary one. I’m told they still hadn’t fixed basic player-positioning bugs by the third Chaos edition, either.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Maybe in four years’ time, perhaps? With any luck, they’ll have fixed most of the bugs and added all the starplayers by that time. How long (since the release of the first edition) did it take for the last edition of Bloodbowl to come out? Must have been a few years at least, but I can’t exactly recall.

  12. Ace Rimmer says:

    No Halflings, no sale. The Bree Cheesemongers Shall Rise Again.

    • AngusPrune says:

      No Astrogranite(TM), no sale. Who ever heard of Blood Bowl being played on grass?

      • iniudan says:

        Well I would guess Elf, but at the same time Wood Elf must be dying inside for each strand of grass they trample, while the High Elf just consider the grass unsuitable for them to rest their feet on and the Dark Elf wonder how to exploit it as to cause friction burn injury.

      • Callyste says:

        Good news, Astrogranite(TM) pitch is one of the possible upgrades for your Stadiums!

  13. coppernaut says:

    This game engine would be great for fantasy/cyberpunk TBS games… Do eeet.

    • Gothnak says:

      That does sound good.. And add a more detailed management aspect to the between matches, a new IP would mean it doesn’t have to adhere to Blood Bowls particular ruleset, so the basic game could also be improved for those of us that like stats :).