Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War
by KOEI, 2007, $59.99.
Set during the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, Bladestorm casts you as a mercenary for hire, an interesting, accurately framed role from a neglected period in the historical war game genre. During this 116-year struggle (1337–1453) over rival claims to the French throne, armies commonly used mercenaries to replenish their battle losses. Taking on the role of a mercenary allows the player to ally with either nation, thus experiencing both sides of the story.
Once hired, you’ll participate in legendary battles and encounter a number of historical figures, such as the 1415 Battle of Agincourt with Henry V and 1429 Siege of Orléans with Joan of Arc. You’ll also control the actions of conscripted military units such as archers and cavalry. While overly complicated at times, game play is an innovative mix of hack-and-slash action with real-time strategy.
History buffs be forewarned: Bladestorm strives more to entertain than to administer a history lesson. Characters wear outlandish costumes and possess superhuman powers. Certainly, there is history amid the spandex and gore, but rather than bombarding a player with facts and statistics, game play centers on challenging action. In short, Bladestorm is a fun medieval war game.
Originally published in the June 2008 issue of Military History. To subscribe, click here.