I really wanted Confrontation to be a good game. I enjoyed Cyanide's adaptation of Blood Bowl, and though I'd never played the tabletop version of Confrontation, I figured having as many well-made adaptations of board games as we possibly can could only be a good thing. Unfortunately, Confrontation's poor presentation and technical flaws keep it far from satisfying.
Set in Aarklash, a world frought by war and on the eve of Rag'Narok, the game puts you in control of a small group of heroes from the holy armies of the Griffins of Akkylannie. Through the campaign, you fight against the Alchemists of Dirz, the Orcs of Bran-Ô-Kor, and the Wolfen of Yllia. This might all be very engaging and intuitive to someone more familiar with the setting the game is based in. I can't speak to that, however, and for a newcomer, it was somewhat confusing to be bombarded by so many made-up words so quickly.
When you get into the actual game, at least, things aren't quite so confusing. The single-player campaign tries to be a more tactical, slower-paced version of the Dawn of War 2 campaigns, where you control a cadre of heroes with their own unique abilities and move them across the map, solving encounters with enemies and slowly increasing their variety and potency of powers. It's definitely a formula that's worked well before, but Confrontation manages to slip up. While you're able to see enemies and prepare for them before they see you, this means that in order to have a solid idea of how to solve counters before they get started, you need to inch your troops ahead little by little.
When you do get into a fight, pathing is practically broken. Ranged attacks are barely usable when you need to position your ranged attacker to fire past your tank, and any movement stops as soon as they brush against another character or an obstacle in the world. While the ability to pause and queue up abilities is welcome, it's finer control doesn't help much when movement during a fight is such a chore and, honestly, the fights themselves aren't very exciting, and I wasn't eager to pause and prolong them.
The game doesn't present itself very well, either. For a non-budget game in 2012, it looks like something that came out in five years ago, but has the system requirements of a modern game. With blocky models and unappealing textures, Confrontation doesn't do any favors to its four main characters, or the gameplay that spends so much time focusing on skirmishes between small groups of enemies.
I'd heard that the multiplayer in Confrontation was where the game shines, and that might be true. But on the several occasions when I joined multiplayer, the lobby was empty, and trying to find a match popped up a blank timer. It could very well be true that Confrontation's multiplayer redeems the game, and if it does, I hope you have better luck than I did actually finding anyone to play against. The lack of an offline skirmish mode to practice against the computer is a gaping omission as well.
The game's offerings are rounded out by an army painter, so you can customize your troops for online play, if you can find anyone to play against, and a codex, if you want to immerse yourself in the game's lore. Spending some time in the codex might help you make more sense of what's happening. Of course, the codex doesn't work particularly well, either. The lore entries are only unlocked when you find something relevant in game, and, as far as I could find, you can't read the lore entries from within the campaign itself. There's no studying ahead, and if you want to know about things as you find them, you'll be quitting the game pretty often to check the codex.
At the end of the day, Confrontation just isn't a very good game. It might have had potential, if it was closer to its roots instead of aping a far better game. Unless you're a die-hard fan of the board game desperate for anything set in its world, I can't recommend it to anyone. With empty multiplayer servers, a clunky, ugly single player campaign, and an array of busted mechanics that drain away any fun the game might have, Confrontation rests solidly in the pile of games that might have been better, if only they were saved from themselves.