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E3 2014: Blood Bowl 2 developer hopes to pave way for single-player in sports games

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Posted by: Tate Steinlage

Sports games come in various forms. Some score with a slam-dunk, others net a hat trick. Then there are those that score touchdowns…with orcs and goblins.

Okay, so Blood Bowl 2 isn’t your traditional sports game, but it’s also not that far off. The sequel to 2009’s strategy title looks to improve upon many features that this year’s Madden is also addressing: team management, defensive coverage, and stadium appearance.

One thing Blood Bowl 2 is doing differently from other sports games, though, is giving players a full single-player adventure, which in this case tells the story of teams competing in the deadly team sport of true “fantasy football.”

Blood Bowl 2 screenshot

“There’s actually a full story (in Blood Bowl 2),” developer Cyanide Studio told us. “We worked a lot with a workshop writer, so (the game) is really story driven. There are lots of twists and there’s a real plot in the story. That’s why we chose the part of the human team that already has a background, (one which) was once a very successful team that is now a loosing team. Your goal will be to bring that team back to number one.

“It truly gives a nice twist to a solo campaign, because generally when you talk about solo campaigns, you want some story. You never have solo campaigns in a management game, so that’s something new we’re doing here and we’re actually quite proud of the way it helps players get into the game — not only new players, but players who know the game as well.”

The folks at Cyanide Studio will tell you their game is indeed just a “management game,” but that doesn’t mean they don’t pay attention to more traditional football games like Madden.

“We’ve been watching what they’re doing a lot. Lots of us are big fans of Madden, but we want to keep faithful to the spirit of Blood Bowl. For example, we have a system that allows you to trade players against other coaches between seasons, but since it’s Blood Bowl, you have some kind of permanent deaths so players don’t come back. They actually die at the end of the season. So though the features feel a bit like Madden or other strategy management games, we try to really keep everything close to the Blood Bowl spirit.”

Blood Bowl 2 screenshot 2

So maybe Blood Bowl 2 won’t get brought up in the same conversation as Madden when it comes to being a sports game, but its developer hopes that their title will help open the door for more traditional sports games stories.

“We hope so,” the developer said when asked about seeing true single-player in sports games. “We see more narrative in every game as of now. It’s narrative everywhere and that’s a good thing, we love narrative. We really hope we reopen a new era of narrative management games. It’s possible — everything’s possible.”

Blood Bowl 2 is set to launch at the end of 2014 on PC and PlayStation 4.

Tags: Blood Bowl, Blood Bowl 2, Cyanide Studios, Focus Home Interactive, gaming, video games, fantasy football, football, American football

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