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Bladestorm: Nightmare Review

Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have long been creating famous battles from history and bringing them to our home consoles, each new generation offering similar gameplay but on an even larger scale with their main series, Dynasty Warriors covering China and its many offshoots like Samurai Warriors detailing some of Japan's more well known battles. But why stop there as there are so many other great (or not so great) wars that occurred all over the world, with Bladestorm: Nightmare focusing on the Hundred Years War, a series of ferocious battles that waged between England and France through the 14th century.

Rather than going for an all out swords and shields, hack and slash approach similar to the Warriors games Bladestorm: Nightmare plays slightly differently; it still has grand battles across huge maps, your warriors running across fields and hilltops as they cut a swath through enemy troops to take siege on castles or combat a well armed boss but this time rather than a button bashing solo affair you take control of a group of troops and command them directly in battle.

In Bladestorm: Nightmare you play as a mercenary, a well skilled fighter who's only loyalty is to coin rather than country, which in turn allows you to battle for both sides of this struggle, one minute fighting side by side with English soldiers, the next running them through. Starting off with little experience you are only able to command smaller groups of troops, mainly swords or arrows but there are multiple ways to level up, either via the troops themselves which allows you to improve areas like increasing troop ranks or speeding up special move recovery, or improving your own character which in turn greatly improves the battlefield, adding even more troop classes as possible brothers in arms.

Even though you are controlling a battalion of troops it never really feels a challenge thanks to some simple controls with the trigger acting as a basic attack and then a selection of three special moves to execute that recharge after each use, making their use a lot more tactical. As with any battle, choice of unit is essential and the game makes it easy to decide by highlighting quite clearly if your current troops are able to effectively fight against the enemy; if not it is then simple enough for you to run up to another unit and take control, swapping from cavalry to mounted knights, arrows to swords and shields and pikes to axes with ease. There are a few issues though as due to the size of some of the maps, traversing areas can at times feel like a right slog, sapping any enjoyment as you work out on the map where to go next as you try and find a more suitable unit and with no map hopping quick controls it happens often. However as you progress you are able to take other mercenaries onto the field with you, either hot swapping with them or linking together to make an even larger battalion to perform some extra special moves.

During the game most of the battles that take place will involve a single final goal, be it slaying a boss or capturing/protecting a castle, but to gain the most attention and from that, reputation, it is not just winning the battle that is priority but doing it in style. Maximizing the allotted timescale of each battle by assisting commanders and ransacking even more than necessary will grant you access to even larger, more bountiful jobs.

Bladestorm: Nightmare comes with two different modes, the Hundred Years War campaign is the same as the previous Bladestorm that was released on the PS3 (albeit with some improvements) whereas Nightmare adds a whole new fantasy element, populating the world with magical monsters to attack and control as Joan of Arc unleashes her monster army against the previously warring English and French nations.

Bladestorm: Nightmare could have been another direct spinoff of Dynasty Warriors but with the larger tactical elements, this game is an all together different kind of beat em up and even though half of this game is a re-release there is so much more content included, so it's well worth a look.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Take control of a wide range of army units
+ Two campaigns, The Hundred Years War and Nightmare


- Maps can be hard to decipher
- No quick travel can make battles drag at times
- Graphics are looking a bit dated

Edited On 18 Mar, 2015

( 2 )
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
there is a kind of quick travel :) when the day passes, you can spawn in any keep you have taken over so far. so the closer you get, the further you can spawn on then next go :) - Can't wait for this to arrive. Will be playing through the hundred years war again then the new mode.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
You should link to your bladestorm twitch in the review :) can't wait until tonight. I'll be streaming this til Monday night. In the demo my character was about 2 ft tall and blue, he was practically a smurf! Haha. I hope you can still get the elephant riders in the 100yrs war part! They were awesome. Plus the addition of having 4 commanders you can jump between will help you cover the map more :)

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