Its that time of year, where we begin looking at releases that will come out early next year as we look ahead with anticipation. One of those games that is coming out early in the new year is Daedalic Entertainment's upcoming RPG Blackguards 2, the sequel to Blackguards 1.
We previously covered Blackguards 2 release date announcement back in November, but now Daedalic has released more information on what game play changes we can expect from the game in a 4 minute video. I'll provide the video here for you to listen to and then discuss what it says below.
In 4 minutes they cover a lot of ground though some is left up in the air as one might expect and it also tells us a lot about the type of game Blackguards 2 will be.
The first and biggest thing to check out, which is set over two parts is the strategic map. It uses the same graphics as the overworld map in Blackguards 1, and in some cases will serve the same purpose but it has been largely expanded in its importance in this type of game. As Blackguards 2 is apparently a war game with the player leading one side against the slaver Marywn and his cushy little empire. On the strategic map you choose where you are going to liberate/conquer/fight/word of your choosing, and can see the likely difficulty and rewards for doing so. You can move down the paths as you choose working around where you want to conquer... but Marwyn has the same freedom. That means that sometimes Marwyn will come and attack a place you've conquered, seeking to add it back to his empire.
Which brings us to the second new addition - in Blackguards 2, you will sometimes be on the defense. In this situation you'll get to set up the map with traps like the opponent has done to annoy you in the past - man traps, crates all set up in the way you think it should be. The troops who are there - not your main heroes who are off elsewhere - but the troops can take some basic orders to defend a location or such to help fight it off. If you do lose the fight though, this isn't a game over situation - Marwyn just reconquers it and you lose access to its quests, shops, and such. Of course, Marwyn is going to step up his defenses there - he knows you want it so its going to be harder for you to take back in the future.
As a game featuring war though, having only 4 characters would be an issue and that introduces mercenary's to the field. You can have 9 of them and can deploy them as you want in start zones at the beginning of a fight. Mercenaries are a varied lot with fighters, mages, assassins and more making up the ranks you can find. Nor are they just auto-replenished - you have to hire them on contracts or do special jobs rescuing or helping them to get them for your side.
You can spend more time with your core group though at your camp that you can set up in most places. There you can talk with them, hear what they have to say, look around, visit special merchants, and more. One of the other new bits is that information will play a role in the game so you can interrogate prisoners at camp or send spies out to particular areas. How that will be implemented really isn't known yet - it could either be a surface thing for just getting more information on the forces and reward or a lot more.
There are a lot of smaller changes that aren't talked about indepth in the video. Endurance, the physical counterpart to Astral Energy, is coming to stop you from spamming special attacks all the time as an additional stat. The UI is going to be improved and streamlined for the game, along with more dynamic combats. Misses when you are standing in front of a foe will be gone, though parry's can, and will still happen. Parts in the back end of the character segment that were shown in Dark Eye terms are being made a bit simpler - like the slider on attack/defense for weapon skills being made into percentages for those who didn't get it.
All in all, Blackguards 2 had a lot come out in this little video and will be coming out the 20th of January on PC. You can currently preorder it for $29.99.