Preview: Blackguards, Daedalic’s new tactics adventure

July 11, 2013


Blackguards, a turn-based RPG based on the Dark Eye role-playing license, is set in a suitably unsavory world. We got to check out the game with executive producer Kai Fiebig, and learn more about what makes it different from others in the genre.

What it is: Tactical RPG Blackguards is a departure from publisher Daedalic’s usual adventure game fare. It focuses on a world of criminals and dismal circumstances, and is heavily based on player choice. It’s not just dialogue trees, either. In one level, you’ll need to simply escape a prison area. You could try to slip by the guards with minimal casualties, or you could go around freeing the prisoners and get through in a bloody wave.


Why we’re excited: Tactical RPG combat can be fun, and the tried-and-true system from The Dark Eye, modified as little as possible in this electronic adaptation, is a solid one. Everyone, from your convicted murderer protagonist to the smallest of NPCs, is generally unsavory, and this makes for a dark but nuanced world. Who do you trust? You have to rely on people sometimes to get through, but it’s never an easy choice.

Also, it’s nice to have fresh takes on these mechanics, as an adventure-game mindset results in new ideas. Sure, you could fight these guys, but what if you lured them under a structure and knock it down on them instead? What if you cut down the chandelier? It’s a game in which its 190 unique battle maps are more than just grid formations. The enemies know these things exist, too, and while sometimes you can distract them and have them fall into your traps, other times they may use them on you.

What we’re wondering: This is Daedalic’s first foray into fully-3D titles, and that sometimes comes with first-time hiccups. There’s a lot about this that feels like a freshman effort, and all of the excitement that comes with that is accompanied by hesitation. Also, there’s the promise of lots of extra features, like minigames, multiplayer and a quest editor. These are all very hit-or-miss things, and while all seem easily-ignored if they don’t turn out particularly well, if any are compelling, it could make a good game great.


Currently set for a release in the third quarter of 2013, Blackguards could have you making some interesting decisions on multiple levels.