Having played the original back in the early days of Xbox 360 and PS3 I was very much looking forward to this title. From the same team that brought us the Dynasty Warriors and Samuari Warriors came a new game that focused on the Hundred Years War between France and England. The original was released back in 2007 and was a very fresh idea which played completely different to any Koei Tecmo game that I had played but 8 years on how will the game stand-up to the new generation in this Bladestorm Nightmare Review?

Story

Bladestorm: Nightmare is essentially two games in one with the first part being the original 100 years war storyline, with you playing as a custom character who is a mercenary able to fight for either France or England with a lot of the missions being specific to the nations and on whose side you favor more. A lot of historic figures feature in this game such as Joan of Arc and Edward the Black Prince, for those who have an interest in history it is great to see some of these famous warriors and lords re-imagined in the Bladestorm world.

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Nightmare is a new story mode where its more fantasy based featuring creatures such as Goblins in place of soldiers, for those who are familiar with Koei games think of Nightmare as being the Orochi Warriors of the Bladestorm series. This does add a new and original storyline that gamers who played the original would not have experienced.

There is something for gamers who are interested in historical and fantasy based games this game manages to combine the two.

Gameplay

Bladestorm is very much like a MMORPG in some ways but instead of taking control of one character in one set class you take control of many. Around the battlefield are many different units who vary in their attack style and weaponry for example Mounted, Sword, Club, Archers, Spears, etc…. each have their own strengths and weaknesses giving Bladestorm more of a strategy feel then the Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors games. If you are looking at Bladestorm too be similar to these then you could not be more wrong.

With each unit you hold down a button to perform a basic attack which will happen every second or so with your units special moves charging and delivering more impact then the basic moves. A well timed special attack could be the difference between a successful skirmish and a disastrous one. You also can not go off and do it alone, you are very vulnerable when you are by yourself so being within a unit is vital.

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Bladestorm is no walk in the park, it is very tough to play and at times the AI can also let you down so you end up charging into battle only to discover the your support is hanging back and not engaging the enemy. You have to be aware of your surroundings as well of one enemy unit that is effective against your own, this could wipe you out before you know it. This game is very unforgiving towards beginners also with healing and power ups being hard to come by and stay away from famous officers unless you really have upgraded your character, they will wipe the battlefield with you.

Levels are mainly about capturing certain points in the battlefield or defeating certain units, it very much reminds me of the Empire spin-off games you get with the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warrior series. It can become very repetitive at times but the time limit does help the game ever so slightly breaking up larger battles so you can re-group and re-heal.

Presentation

Bladestorm Nightmare is very dated in this department, the visuals and its audio resemble an early PS3 game… perhaps even a PS2 title at times. It does look nowhere near the standard of a game should be on the PS4, even in comparison to other remastered titles the game is plain to look at most of the time.

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The sound is even worse, with the voice acting some of the worst and unnatural to date, it really does seem like they did this on a budget back when they made the original and have not updated this in the re-release.

The amount of people and animations that happen on the screen is excellent however and apart from in the tutorial I came across no problems with the frame-rate.  Bladestorm is not a new gen game and the poor quality visuals will put off many gamers but this is not the main focus of the game.

Lifespan

There is so much to do within Bladestorm: Nightmare! Depending on which side you take during a certain mission can open up a load of new battles, plus with many different classes to master there is plenty here. Missions can be as long or as short as you want to make them. Their is a lot of freedom here and you are easily looking at 50 hours+ of gameplay including the new Nightmare mode.

With an Online mode also enabling multiplayer there is plenty to keep any gamer occupied for a few weeks.

Overall

Bladestorm Nightmare might be dated looking and hard game that fans of the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series will not be appealed by this games more slow and strategic gameplay But I do highly recommend this for strategy gamers who want something new and different to play.

The new Nightmare mode does offer something new to old fans of the original but if you did not like the original then you of course you wont like this. I would have preferred a whole new game to the series and more focus on the Nightmare mode but it didn’t really deliver. It very much is more of a spin off to the series with the original game thrown in.

If you appreciate the strategic nature of the game and the sheer amount of things to do then you’ll enjoy the game but at full retail price it’s not going to offer you true value for money as an overall package.

Bladestorm Nightmare Review Format: PS4

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