Posted: February 14, 2014
Honest and detailed review from a Warhammer Veteran:
I Love Warhammer, 40k, and all of the games I can find from the Warhammer universe. I have played everything from Warhammer: shadow of the horned rat and FireWarrior to Squad Command, Space Marine, and Blood Bowl (Xbox version). I am a hardcore table top gamer, with multiple armies, which is why writing this review is so very very hard for me.
I really wanted to love this game. It's blood bowl, a new spin (and a fix for my Warhammer edition) and best of all, Free so I can sink more money into my armies. I first thought that this would be game to mess around with and maybe sink a bunch of time Into.
The bottom line, and the reason for the negative review, is that this game, as it sits now, is UNPLAYABLE. The mechanics are a little touch and go, but seem to work okay. I haven't had the problem with the computer keeping my record like others do, I currently sit at 16W 3L 3T. Here are my issues for the game and why the game so so broken that, despite all I would be willing to forgive for a early access, I won't play anymore, and strongly recommend everyone against it.
1) The game has a serious system flaw. The game continuously crashes ... You get to challenge other coaches in the game from the league screen. You are allowed 5 challenges to start, this cap can be upgraded later, but they will regenerate given time. Herein lies the problem ... If you are still on the league screen when the challenge point regenerates, the game will instantly crash and disconnect you from the server. You will have about 30 seconds to one minute after you challenge someone else to exit the screen before the crash occurs. When this bug happens to me, the game freezes and my systems locks up. It might be an extra default with windows 8 - not sure - but my computer is only 4 months old, so it should not be a memory issue. It will refuse to close the game, refuse to minimize, and I can not pull up any windows since the game won't move. Even task manager won't allow me to bring it to front when this game locks up. This makes the game completely unplayable for me and other plays who mention they are having the same issues.
2) On top of this bug mentioned above, the even more foreboding issue is that the Devs know about it, but have essentially refused to correct it. This bug has been reported as long ago as July 2013 on the game forum, and reported numerous times on the steam forums. The Dev team even responded to the post in Nov 2013, but have taken no action to correct the issue. This leads me to question that if the Dev team does not fix debilitating known bugs, how are they going to handle other issues?
3) Trying to challenge other opponents is painstakingly in need of renovation. When you go to the league screen to challenge other coaches, you see them ... ALL of them. Every coach is listed, coaches the *might* be online, coaches that played yesterday but are offline, coaches that played a month ago and haven't logged in since. There is absolutely NO way to sort through this mess, except to go by their ranking. There is no option to sort through which race you want to face, or EVEN if the coach is online or offline. This is frustrating since the opposing coach has 2 hours to respond. Two hours of waiting for your teams to face off, hoping some of the opponents you picked log in. A good 90% of the coaches will be offline, so your team will just auto resolve against the other teams after two hours. I have never seen the actual match gameplay. ONCE AGAIN, the forums have requested a button to sort by online coaches so people can actually play matches against each other, but the Devs have ignored player advice. They also have ignored the request to shorten the 2 hour countdown.
4) When the tedious 2 hour countdown ends, there is a chance that you hit a common bug and it never resolves. The countdown will get stuck at 0.00.00 time remaining for Coach X to respond. I've had this bug happen to several of my challenges. One play has had this happen to 15 of his challenges. These don't go away, they don't resolve, they just clutter up your message box. Sadly, I have an old tune to sing; The Devs do know about this as well, but the bug is still occurring.
5) The game is a little confusing to start, and there is not a good tutorial or help system. This isn't a huge problem, you just need to play around a little to get a feel for it, and this request would just make starting a lot easier.
6) When you go to exit from the main menu, there is no close or exit button. You have to know to hit the ESC button on your keyboard to get out of it. Good thing I read the forum first; And it is on the forum, because once again, the request has been made to the Devs many times, but no action has been taken.
Okay, time for some good news. This is truly a F2P game, mainly because the Dev money (cyans) drop when you advance in rank, and you do not have the option to even Pay-to-win if you wanted to. The screen to buy cyans in the 'bank' is blank. There is nothing there; nothing at all.
The playbook is interesting, works well (if not a bit convoluted), and must be semi accurate. I've spent a bunch of time tweaking my plays from my knowledge of playing Blood Bowl, and they seem to be running well from my record.
Leveling up your team is easy and there are good skills to choose from (if not very generic across all players).
I really, really wish I could get into this game, being a huge Warhammer fan, and recommend it to all my Warhammer friends. However, due to the major debilitating bugs, the game is UNPLAYABLE as it stands, and the DevTeam has been unresponsive to the suggestions/bug reports.
The result - DO NOT PLAY - this game, unless the Dev Team will initiate a major overhaul and actually fix the bugs that were reported over 6 months ago. Wait to play IF it remains free when it launches out of beta, or a couple months after a *hopefully* new, better dev team takes the rights to the game over.
I would love to play this, so I will check in every couple months and report any progress. Great concept, 70% of the way there if they would fix the known issues.