Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War is a real-time tactical game developed by Omega Force and published by Koei. Bladestorm was released in 2007 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 and subsequently, received mixed reviews. Metacritic rated Bladestorm a 58/100; however, fans rated the game a 7.9/10. A sequel was released for the Playstation 4 by Koei Tecmo called Bladestorm: Nightmare.

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War PS3 Vintage Review

Game Background

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War is partly based on the historical Hundred Years’ War between England and France. The French and British armies clash when two mercenaries lock swords. One is surprised however, to discover the other switched sides. The mercenary explains that it doesn’t matter who wins for hired swords. The player creates a mercenary who looks for fame and fortune by fighting in the war. The Bartender explains that mercenaries come to him for information and he gives the player information about the wars in Normandy.


Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War
Battle Your Way to Victory but hopefully it won’t take a hundred years!

GamePlay

Players choose who to fight for during each mission however, certain missions yield special items or rewards. Mercenaries gain status through accomplishing missions of varying difficulties, which moreover, yield more status the higher the difficulty. Gold and spoils are obtainable through missions. Special events occur that progress the story and lead to battles against special characters. Special events are the only way for the main character to progress in fame when maxed out from side missions.

The Bartender acts as an information hub to give out contracts for missions and to provide information to the players. By listening to gossip, players learn about special characters, get tips on fighting or to get special missions. Players can shop at the Tavern and moreover buy units to lead into battle. Items are available for both the main character and their units in battle. As the game progresses, stronger and more unique items will become available.

Battles take place after players have selected an area to challenge. Each area may have a time limit or special objectives. When battles start, the player can either summon one of their units to battle or join one already on the field. Each unit has weaknesses that balance out usefulness. Using multiple units together gives the advantage of protecting each others’ weaknesses. Each unit allows the main character to use different skills.

When attempting to take over a city, the player must face waves of enemies until the number zero appears. The unit leader appears thereafter, and is the last line of defense. After the leader is defeated the city turns the color of the side the main character fights on. Larger cities require multiple attacks or a battering ram to open up their gate.

Controls

The controls are not difficult due to the easiness of the PS3 controller. To move your character use the left analog stick. The right analog stick however, changes the view from behind to overhead. To join an allied squad, approach them and press the X button. Special abilities are designated with the triangle, square, and circle buttons. To complete a normal attack hold down the R1. Outside of these basic controls there is not much else to learn.

Graphics

The scenery is beautiful and the battlefields are unique to their locations. The character models are unique to special characters and units changing armor. The design of specific characters shows their importance and relevance in the game. However, those looking for realism to their historic counterparts will be disappointed.


Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War
Joan of Arc looking better than she has for a long time!

Sound

The music was composed by Jamie Christopherson, who has worked on numerous video games and movies. The character voices are realistic. However, NPCs in the tavern that are nameless don’t get voices. The battle music is intense and provides a feeling of life and death. The clashing of armies is dramatic and comes through well on the PS3.

Verdict

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War provides a fun tactical experience, but can suffer from repetitious battles a major spike in difficulty. This game however, will have some appeal to history buffs, as well as those gamers who enjoy strategy. Bladestorm gets a 7.5/10.

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