Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War is a 2007 PS3/ Xbox 360 title created by Omega Force, the developer behind Koei's prolific Musou franchise. The game is set during the titular war between England and France. As an independent mercenary, the player is given the freedom to choose which battles to participate in and is freely allowed to switch between fighting for the English and French forces from battle to battle. The ultimate goal of the game is to earn the reputation of a legendary mercenary by being a part of key victories over the course of the war.
The game is set during the turbulent Hundred Years' War, in which England invaded and sought to conquer France. Because of the heavy toll that the ongoing war has on both armies, each seeks out the aid of mercenaries. These warriors for hire have no set allegiance to either nation and fight for their own reasons, whether it be coin or reputation.
As the player character's own fame increases, the plot will progress with the major battles of the war. The protagonist will cross paths with famous figures of the era such as Edward, the Black Prince of England and Joan of Arc of France. Depending on what contracts the player takes, the protagonist will fight on either the English or French side of battles for money, and in major battles such as The Battle of Orleans.
The plot starts from when Edward, the Black Prince arrives in France and ends when Joan of Arc is burned at the stake. However, like similar historical games from Koei such as the Kessen and Samurai Warriors series, liberties with historical fact are taken for the sake of the narrative. For example, it is possible to stop Joan of Arc's execution and save her life.
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War is an action-strategy game in which the player, as a mercenary, selects a contract to complete before entering the field of battle. Once a contract is selected, the player has a set time limit in days in order to complete it. The player's character can be customized with equipment bought from a merchant or found on the battlefield which affect both the character's appearance and stats.
Once on the battlefield, the player character can take control of any friendly military unit of a type that the character owns a manual for. For example, with the Swords manual, the player can take control of sword-wielding foot soldiers. Once under the player character's control, the unit will follow the player until they are either dismissed or all of its members are killed.
Each unit type has a unique set of combat skills. These skills may be powerful attacks, defensive maneuvers or other special traits. Most unit types also have a basic attack which is performed by pressing and holding the attack button. While held, the soldiers under the player's control will hunt down nearby enemies and engage them in battle. However, the player must pay attention to to the unit types they are engaging, as each unit type has opposing types to which they are strong or weak against. The player can upgrade the weapons for each unit type by purchasing stronger gear from the merchant in the tavern. Units that the player takes control of immediately become outfitted with whatever equipment that the player has assigned to that unit type. Skill points earned by using specific unit types in battle can be spent to upgrade traits such as the unit's attack, defense, and endurance, as well as the strength of the unit's special skills.
Each battle lasts a set number of days, with each day featuring a set time limit. When the time limit expires, night falls, and battle is halted until the following day. The player's goal is to fulfill the battle's contract conditions within the number of days allotted. These objectives include capturing a specific base, preventing the enemy from taking a base or other key tasks. Secondary contract objectives are also attached to certain battles in which the player must typically assist other mercenaries or engage them in battle or contest.
If the player completes the objectives successfully, the full contract is paid an the player's reputation will increase. If the player is either knocked out or chooses to retreat, they will be paid a meager allowance and their reputation will not grow as much. However, this does not prevent the player from entering other battles. When the player has garnered enough reputation, major historical battles of the war become available and advance the storyline. These battles have no set day limit and will continue until the primary objective for one side or the other is completed.
Bladestorm: The Hundred Year's War received a 60% Overall Rating from GameRankings. Critics praised the game for being very original and well done for its genre, while criticized for being very repetitive in a nature similar to Dynasty Warriors.