KOEI Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War
- Variety of units and attacks, challenging missions
- Muddled storyline, battles can be too chaotic at points
Bladestorm is a fun medieval experience, and veterans of the tactical action games will enjoy it, though it may be a good jumping-on point for those new to the genre.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
Bladestorm takes the action/strategy combo of the popular Kessen series and sets it against the backdrop of Medieval Europe; England and France are in the midst of the Hundred Year's War and as a mercenary, you'll get to pick which side to fight with.
Bladestorm is the latest in the line of battlefield action/strategies games featuring equal parts planning and hacking. After you've chosen which side you wish to fight for, you'll head straight to the battlefield.
It's best not to get too invested in the plot, because it's inconsequential and difficult to follow; all you need to know is who to kill and what territories to capture. There are a few different units to choose from, and naturally, each has its own individual qualities. The cavalry unit is fun for a while, but tends to lose its novelty. Archers are also fun, but when fighting from a distance, you can feel detached from the action. The infantry, while not always the most powerful, puts you in the middle of all the action.
Gamers who like to charge into battle while wildly button-mashing (ie: some of Koei's other notable franchises) will not like this game. Gameplay skews toward the strategy side of the spectrum, and battles are not go-it-alone, one man against millions scenarios -- this method will get you killed pretty quickly. Using attacks depletes energy, and you have to wait for them to replenish before you can use them again. It can be easy, especially early in the game, to leave yourself open to attacks. That said, there are a variety of moves that can be used for various situations and just about all of them are cool; they're simple to perform and once you've gotten used using them it can be extremely effective.
Your goal is capture an enemy's fort while ensuring the protection of your own by coordinating attacks with allied armies. Whichever unit you choose will determine which units you will lead, and attacks and advances are at your command, so keep your unit's strengths and weaknesses in mind before taking action.
Initially, you will have few battles to choose from, but as you progress and gain a reputation you can afford to become picky -- you're a man without a country, so your only loyalty is to the highest bidder. The battlefield serves as centre stage in this epic and each battle takes place in beautifully designed landscapes, while sound effects rage around you in the midst of battle.
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