Cyanide Studios and Nacon have announced the closed beta for the third of their Blood Bowl games and it starts on Thursday the 3rd of June!
The god Nuffle and Cabal Vision are proud to announce that a whole new bunch of teams are going to enter the field. Alongside old friends like the Dwarfs, Skaven and Chaos are new teams of Black Orcs and Imperial Nobles.
Black Orcs are big old bruisers with a penchant for stomping on faces and the Imperial Nobility are here to try and smarten up the whole thing. The other 10 teams to be featured in the game at release are due to be shown off between now and Early Access in August. The current closed Beta giving you the choice of these two or the Elven Union if you prefer a passing game with players that go squish if you look at them wrong.
The game itself is based on the Second Season Edition of the Games Workshop tabletop game Blood Bowl and anyone who preordered that got themselves a key for the closed beta as a bonus, which is nice.
Similar to the first and second games, Blood Bowl 3 brings the best of the tabletop game to PC, PS4, Xbox One and now to PS5, Xbox X|S and Switch as well, so everyone gets a chance to swear at the ref when he’s been bribed by the other team to smack your linebacker in the head in the middle of that vital play.
The biggest changes to the game are all visual, the menus are bigger and bolder, colours are brighter, and icons are upped in size too. Out on the pitch we’ve got new coloured tackle zones that go from yellow for a mere single-player worth of interference to dark red for three or more. This, along with the icons for player skills can be toggled on or off as you choose, but it is one of the changes that make even the uninitiated able to understand what is going on from turn to turn in the game.
In a nod to the controller usage of the console players, all the actions taken are now on a multichoice wheel in the middle of the screen with impossible things being greyed out. Blocks and blitzes are still represented by the same dice in the middle of the screen with the result appearing topmost and even with lots going on it’s easy enough to work out what is happening.
Although the second Blood Bowl was a close enough representation of the board game, it didn’t have the atmosphere that I had in my head back when I opened that box a classmate had grabbed for me from the Sheffield GW store back in 1986 (thanks Euan, yer a pal). This has changed in Blood Bowl 3 with pre match cutscenes that make you feel like the angry crowds are really about to leap onto the field and stomp the opposing players for daring to challenge their heroes to a game. All while drums thump and cheerleaders do their thing (Black Orc cheerleaders are mercifully lacking in skimpy uniforms and go for a Haka instead).
Being a closed beta it’s a right bugfest at the moment, the A.I has an IQ you could count with the fingers of one head, rerolls can be churned through on a single die until you get the result you want (or if you’ve got my luck, until the game gives you the finger because you just used them all), and there’s a few disconnection issues but even so it’s looking to be a damned fine addition to the franchise! The beta runs from the 3rd to the 13th of June and registration is via the website you can find by clicking here and after that, it’s Early Access via Steam in August and release in 2022.