This game expands greatly to the popular medieval "Run, kill, upgrade, repeat" design. What I particularly enjoy about this game is that it's not Dynasty or Samurai Warriors. It doesn't glorify every single battle by adding a major plot character to fight against. Not everybody is important. In pretty much every other game like this, every single playable character is a general or high ranking, powerful officer from the very beginning. In Bladestorm, you have to start out bottom of the barrel, commanding only basic troop, sitting on the sidelines able to do nothing but watch as the people in charge do everything important. Only upon proving your worth are you given an opinion. As you prove your prowess in battle, you're given more powerful items and units to do with as you please. It's really rather nice to see the reality of sword and shield combat in a game. This title doesn't throw the king himself at you just because you're on the 5th level, and it's exactly 8 minutes into the mission, etc. It's also great in that the enemy doesn't just sit there, waiting for you to make your move. That was one of the major hang ups of SW and DW. You could creep up just close enough to see the enemy mobs, and if you didn't get within a certain distance, they wouldn't do anything. You could stand there for 6 hours and watch them, and they don't move. In Bladestorm, the enemy will actively try to take you down. You can't just spend all day hunting enemy officers. Certain circumstances will require that occasionally, you have to sit in a base waiting so you can defend it. Having an enemy with an agenda all his own improves the tactical difficulty of this game greatly. Lastly, having an advantage system makes for combat more immersive than any other hack&slash so far has been able to give. You can't just rush up alone and kill every guy on the map. In fact, even the weakest, most basic units will take you down very quickly if you try to rogue the mission. That alone gives a sense of urgency to combat. You can't just run around the map doing whatever you want. You have to watch your back around every corner, or you could be overwhelmed and taken down in a matter of seconds. You never know what type of unit the enemy may be throwing at you. All in all, I'd rank this 1st among hack&slack titles, and would recommend it to anyone that, like me, got a somewhat lacking satisfaction from other games in the genre. If you can't quite pinpoint what it is that would've made your favorite H&S game the best, pick this game up. Whatever is missing in yours, this has it. PS. Don't buy this if you're a lunchbreak gamer. This title is a MAJOR time investment, with the storyline not even close to ending until around 120 hours of play!
yes: I recommend this product