App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Want to have the fighting edge when checking out Blood Brothers 2? Check out our beginner's guide!
To arms, brothers and sisters! Blood Brothers 2 is a strategy / role-playing game from DeNA that revolves around war and everything that makes it hellish.
Blood Brothers 2 is a relatively simple game that nevertheless manages to be satisfying - for a while. Before you even finish the first chapter, some pretty heavy free-to-play trappings step in and make your continued success an arduous task.
Blood Brothers 2 takes place in Arnashia, the same troubled fantasy world players visited in the original Blood Brothers. Its paper-rock-scissors battles are quite different from its predecessor's action-based attacks, however. It also opts for a more realistic art style over the previous game's cartoon-like visuals.
You assume control of several commanders, each of whom have differing levels of power. The more powerful a commander, the more hit points they bring onto the fray. In each chapter, your commanders move across a map infested with enemy troops. Moving onto an enemy general engages them on the battlefield.
The battlefield is where the magic (and death) happens. Each of your commanders - you can take up to five in a battle - specializes in an attack type: Swords, arrows, or mounted units. Your foes also have the same specialties. According to the game's weapons triangle, sword attacks trump mounted units, which have an advantage over archers, which have an advantage over swordsmen.
While units can still launch an attack if they're at a disadvantage (mounted units over swordsmen, for example), they can only inflict half damage, and they soak up twice as much hurt from a single attack.
Before a fight, you're allowed to preview what manner of fighters will be coming at you on the field. That way, you can organize your troops according to the weapon triangle without having to guess blindly.
But while Blood Brothers 2 is fair in that regard, it's unfair in others. It's a free-to-play game, and once you're done the first chapter, enemies start hitting very hard even if you organize your troops to your advantage. Coins are necessary to level up your troops, and summoning newer, stronger commanders is also a massive help - but coins accumulate slowly after battle, and summons require blood sigils. Blood sigils are sometimes given to you as a reward, but the game obviously wants you to pay up to buy them in bulk.
Worse, grinding for coins and sigils becomes quite difficult before long. You have an allotted amount of energy, as is typical for free-to-play games, but following the first few missions, the energy requirements jump from five units to fifteen. True, missions are quite long in Blood Brothers 2, but if you're trying to build up levels and / or coins, you can expect to move at a crawl.
Blood Brothers 2's core gameplay is fun enough, and its artwork and commander designs are fantastic. It's too bad DeNA isn't a little more fair about its free-to-play mechanics.