When You Assume…

Bladestorm BoxBack to our favorite gaming pseudo-news site, Kotaku has posted the games being released this week. Oh yes we pick on them so, but none of you can tell me they don’t deserve it. One entry in particular caught our eye, and I’ll reproduce below for you:

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War (X360, PS3)
Think Dynasty Warriors in medieval Europe.

Well obviously, someone didn’t play the demo. I know the grisly sight of the barkeep is enough to turn even the most stout of hearts away, but even the two minutes spent in the tutorial can tell you this isn’t just another button mashing Dynasty Warriors clone.

Assumptions

So has the gaming media (or maybe just Kotaku) really come down to this type of laziness? Let’s lump every game from one publisher into the same category to save time playing through them. There’s so many games coming out now that nobody will notice if we cut corners, right?

Personally, I thought Koei did an excellent job distancing itself from the Dynasty Warriors series with Bladestorm. It was a very unique game that had both a sense of open-world freedom as well as a sense of accomplishment during missions. Gone are the heroes who rush into thousands of enemies and emerge victorious. Instead you command squads of units who each have strengths and weaknesses to other squads.

The story has you starting out as a mercenary hiring yourself out to both sides (English, French) of the war. You can take various contracts which have both a duration and objective. If either is met, the contract is concluded and a new one must be accepted. This gives you a little freedom to pillage the countryside or aid other defenders depending on your allegiance. When there are still days left in the contract, you may choose to wander away from your objective and pick up some extra prestige and loot from nearby towns. However, your prestige drops sharply if you do not manage to take your objective within the time alloted in the contract.

Overall, I thought Bladestorm was an excellent new game from Koei. I recall the many hours playing through the demo pillaging the French countryside (I hope they remove the infinite duration contracts in the actual game…) before finally taking the one last bastion of their hope and dreams. It does an excellent job of distinguishing itself from the flagship Dynasty Warriors games and may be the beginning of Koei’s venture into new IPs. I, for one, can’t wait for tomorrow when it’s released. Those Frenchies have had a full month of reprieve while I waited for the full game to stomp on them.

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