Blood Bowl 3

More info »

Blood Bowl 3 review
Dan Lenois


Blood Bowl 3 fumbles the ball hard

A Busted Play

As a player of the two earlier Blood Bowl games, I had reasonably high hopes for what developer Cyanide Studio, with the backing of publisher Nacon, could pull off, especially given the advancements in game development and rendering technology in the nearly eight years it's been since Blood Bowl 2 released on September 22nd, 2015. However, while such advances are represented in nearly all visual aspects of Blood Bowl 3's design, the rest of the game, in most respects, never quite inches its way to the end zone. The gameplay formula of the Blood Bowl franchise has never been a particularly sophisticated one, at least, not to anyone with more than a passing familiarity with American football. The game's satirical take on the sport incorporates many of the standard rules and practices, albeit within the context of a fantasy setting.

Burying Bodies in the Dead Zone

There's something oddly charming about seeing orcs, dwarves, skaven, and dark elves, etc., take the field against one another in matches, or participate as NPC audience members cheering on, booing, or even coming together to hold down and murder a particular player. Players shouldn't expect referees to consistently call out such illegal activities either. In the world of Blood Bowl, almost anything is for sale, even favourable treatment from the referee. However, once you move past the general aesthetic, things tend to fall apart rather quickly.

For one, the input registration is incredibly frustrating and inaccurate. It's baffling to think that this game ever got past QA testing with this degree of shoddy responsiveness. There were many occasions where instead of moving to the designated spot, your players will either not respond, (which happens in the vast majority of cases,) or may instead move to the left or right of said position. Normally, if this happened only rarely, it might be easy to dismiss as potentially just a case of player error, where the player might have accidentally leaned their mouse too far in said direction. However, this occurred regularly, even in instances where the movement was already visibly locked in, according to the game's UI.

While the AI isn't terrible, neither will it go out of its way to give players a real challenge. If you know what you're doing, and don't find your luck with the dice during certain key instances to be too bad, odds are that you'll run circles around your maligned opposition. The AI here is about as competent as the average professional game journalist playing a Doom game.

A Blitz of Monetization

It's odd to have a game that feels over-monetized to hell and back, yet in reality, has very little in terms of meaningful paid customization to its players, and yet, this is exactly what Blood Bowl 3 does. Unless you're willing to dedicate ungodly amounts of time to grind Warpstone, the in-game premium currency, purchasing it outright in bundled amounts is the way to go. And even when you have currency to spend, the meager handful of customization options, none of which come across as particularly detailed or appealing, won't do much to entice you. There was so much in the vein of opportunity here, and yet, the developers and publisher never once managed to pull off a hail mary.

Final Thoughts

Blood Bowl 3, at its best, never manages to even equal the quality of its predecessors at their lowest, but it would also be wildly inaccurate to say that there is no hope whatsoever for some at least partial redemption moving forward, as Cyanide Studio desperately attempts to salvage both the game, and their unfortunately-marred reputation. Hopefully the hard lessons learned here will result in a more faithful, and less monetization-crazed, future sequel, whenever they get around to working on such. In the meantime, longtime fans and newcomers alike would do well to keep their distance from this particular bloody field.

As always, follow Hooked Gamers on Instagram for news updates, reviews, competitions and more.


fun score


Great visual art style, Well-written humour, High-quality animations


Awful controls, Terrible input registration, Rampant optimization issues