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Blackguards Preview

Nick_Tan By:
GENRE Strategy 
PUBLISHER Daedalic Entertainment 
DEVELOPER Daedalic Entertainment 
RP What do these ratings mean?

Das Schwarze Auge: Abenteuer Basis-Spiel.
Heroes get all the glory, and video games nearly always feature heroes as the main protagonist. But sometimes the fate of the world isn't determined by white knights in shining armor, but in the hands of a ragtag group of criminals on a path of redemption or perhaps simply more murder. Their stories are far more interesting, anyway. This is the central twist underlying the upcoming single-player, hex-based, turn-based RPG by Daedalic Entertainment called Blackguards.
Based on the universe of The Dark Eye, a German role-playing game otherwise known as Das Schwarze Auge created in 1984 which essentially trumped Dungeons & Dragons as the foremost RPG in the country, the world of Blackguards suitably goes through numerous shades of gray. The plot of intrigue and allegiances begins with the protagonist witnessing a wolf mauling Princess Elanor in a gloomy patch of forest under the cover of night. He fends off the beast, but since no one believes that such a wolf could ever exist in the kingdom, they presume him guilty of murder, throwing him into prison and torturing him for a name that doesn't exist. Eventually, a dwarf inmate named Naurim rescues him, not out of pity, but out of aid in his escape.

But before you assume the protagonist's innocence, the story will take many twists and turns. Perhaps he does not remember the events of that fateful day correctly. Regardless, he plans on uncovering the truth, sometimes doing whatever necessary to succeed. Along the journey, he will need to make pivotal decisions that can impact his relationships with other NPCs, of which there are seven and can be arranged in your party of five on the battlefield, and can significantly sway the ending you will receive.
As for combat, you can choose an archetypal classfighter, rogue, or mageat the start of the game, but you'll be able to craft your character more or less how you see fit by distributing skills and stats as you please. The hex-based combat system is still in its rudimentary stages, but flanking enemies and interacting with the environment will be two core strategies. Depending on the level, certain switches can be pulled, tables can be broken to reveal loot, chandeliers can topple any foes underneath, and barrels can be thrown. Certain hex spaces will have hidden traps as well, though party members can learn passive skills that will reveal them and let you attempt to lure enemies into them.

Various side missions will be strewn throughout the journey on over 180 battle maps: a baroness who needs to be rescued in five turns, slavemasters that must be slain, and gladiatorial battles. Some will have the party explore dungeons, solving puzzles and killing giant lice (who deserve no sympathy whatsoever). Any quests you complete will earn your characters Adventure Points that can be freely spent on abilities and skills.
After almost two years in development, Blackguards is almost in its beta phase and will release some time in November 2013 for PC at around a $40-50 price point.
Tags:   PC

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