DescriptionBlackguards is a role-playing game which focuses on tactical combat. It leaves the high-fantasy parts of Aventuria which is usually found in The Dark Eye games and is set in the wild south (Mengbilla, Loch Harodrôl and The Green Hell). The player character has memory loss and is accused of murdering a princess. The next course of action is breaking out of prison, picking up some other criminals as party members and finding out what happened. Pat of the story are told in flashback.
The majority of the game is spent in the about 200 hex-based battlefields with turn-based combat. The statistics of each character on the battlefield influences the order they have their turns (although there is also the option to wait). Then the player or the AI gives orders to one character (moving, performing an attack, use a special ability which costs endurance or using a spell which costs mana) which is directly performed. Most battlefields have interactive elements, e.g. destroyable barricades (wood piles can be set to fire), a chandelier which can be dropped on enemies or traps. The maps have varied objectives like killing everyone, reaching a certain point within a turn limit, sneaking or using one of the interactive objects with an enemy.
The gameplay mechanics use the Dark Eye system and its specialties. Each character earns experience points (called adventure points) which are directly used to improve the main statistics or to learn spells, abilities and weapon proficiency from trainers - the character level only regulates the maximal value of categories. The success of battles is largely influenced by dice rolls and the equipped items (weapon/armor) which need to match with the character's statistics and the enemy weaknesses. The usage of potions and bandages (to heal wounds) is also important.
Everything besides the battles plays a smaller role: the story is told in static dialogue windows (sometimes there are decisions to make which have minor consequences) and there is no exploration as the next destination is chosen on a world map which usually directly leads to the next battle. The only exception are cities where players can visit merchants, tavern, trainers and save the game. However, those interactions only take place in menu screens which are opened up by clicking on the appropriate icon. The story is linear and only allows minor choices what to do next, e.g. the occasional side quest.
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Related Web Sites
- Blackguards (official website)