Darcy Selke “Editor in Chief”
We decided to do something a little different for the month of March. I wanted to talk about the worst games we’ve ever played.
Now “worst” game is subjective of course there are disappointing games, or games that miss their mark but Bladestorm The Hundred Years’ War was literally a game I played mouth open, aghast that anyone who calls themselves a gamer could have created this game.
I don’t know the history of the game or how it got developed so if I’m being an asshole and it turns out there’s a huge backstory behind this let me know because I’d actually be interested to know that but for now this game is the worst game I’ve ever played.
It’s a “historical” re-telling of events similar to what KOEI did with the Dynasty Warriors series, so it’s sort of an inflated account of historical events. The Black Prince is a larger than life figure, Joan of Arc is like almost magical, that sort of thing.
I won’t go in depth about the historical story because for the most part you can’t change it. The “story” of your character however is easily the most laughable part of this game. You’re a mercenary who is using the war to make your fortune. There’s barely any dialogue or back story to this, it’s very clear your character is as generic as they come.
So the weird thing about the story isn’t that you’re a mercenary, it’s that you literally can choose which side to fight for before each battle and all the characters act like this is both normal or even weirdly…celebrated?
It’s like they forgot these mercs are killing your friends for money and everyone acts like the Mercenary is like this amazing inspiration, instead of like a cutthroat, don’t mess with me kinda guy.
I think it’s just an issue with all of these KOEI games (like Dynasty Warriors) is that like characters in war don’t seem to realise they’re in a war and not playing a game. Maybe it’s the voice acting? I can’t put my finger on it, but it comes across like they all treat war like it’s fun.
There’s two mechanics that define Bladestorm for me. The first being the idea of swapping between different units by joining them and controlling them like a squad. It reminded me of playing Age of Empires but in Third Person. It’s super interesting running around finding the right squad to take over but it can also be super frustrating when your stuck in a squad that’s useless.
The other annoying feature with the squad mechanic is the attack animations. It seems like for a game like this it should of been a little more action heavy, like Dynasty Warriors but instead it almost feels like an RPG. You have attacks coded to your keys but once you use them you’re just stuck there waiting while they’re on cooldown. Once you figure out a good combo you end up just running around pushing those same buttons in the exact same pattern for every fight until you swap unit types.
The second mechanic is HP. Again, this is a KOEI staple, your character starts with a full hp bar and your job is to finish the level before he dies. There’s no way to get HP back, which is silly so if you have 10% of your hp left you end up doing almost nothing because you don’t want the last 40 minutes of your life to be a waste.
Graphics and Art Style
I am not an artist, I will say that upfront, so we all know the people who worked on this game are 10x more talented than me. That being said, I found this game ugly as shit. Each map looked really similar, strongholds seemed tiny and poorly designed. Like some of the “castles” were basically just a tower that you couldn’t even enter. Then like the trees are sparse and the water looks gross. I guess in a game like this the graphics aren’t a big draw but it just felt like the french country side was bleak and desolate.
Maybe I’m not a fan of the Japanese Anime looking art and that might be colouring my perspective of the game but it just feels weird to see a name like “Maurice” and the picture is a Japanese-style-anime-looking dude. The heroes are “pretty” I don’t know it just bothers me. Then later character models/weapons start getting way more cosmopolitan, like people running around using Chinese Hook Swords and I’m pretty sure camels show up at one point?
-The voice acting in these games is just brutal, I think you have to be under 16 to enjoy characters shouting this kind of crap.
-It feels like a game built around mechanics. Choosing what side you’re going to fight for, swapping between units etc. With like nothing tying this game together in any sort of narrative.
-There is something to be said for how cool it is charging or riding along with a full unit of Cavalry, I’ll give you that.
-I get that this is the time of Joan of Arc but if every battle has 6-7 female commanders in it, it makes what Joan of Arc did a little less special. Like…that’s sort of the WHOLE POINT OF HER STORY.
-I think since I’m somewhat of a European History buff I maybe take this game a little too seriously. It feels like this is an Asian game studio that made a game on a concept they knew nothing about. No disrespect, just how it feels.