A musou game set in the Hundred years’ war admit it, you’re a bit interested. the amalgamation of half-forgotten secondary school history lessons and magical anime warriors is a rock-solid foundation for a videogame in my book, and as someone who struggles to maintain more than a passing interest in the Dynasty warriors games, I’m surprised by how engaged I am with bladestorm nightmare’s many complicated screens and systems.


Rather than take to the battlefield as one superhuman capable of culling entire armies, here you control squads of swordsmen, cavalry, archers, pikemen and the like in real-time, the end result feeling akin to a hack ‘n’ slash total war game. there’s a broader strategic element at play too, in which you can position other squads and switch between them at will (in theory allowing you to tee up a flanking manoeuvre, say), but the chaotic in-game battles neither reward tactical forethought nor require it.

Production values are laughably bad here. between fights you’ll return to a tavern to recruit troops, level up and the like, which is staffed by a barkeep who can’t decide if he’s Spanish or Irish. Combat itself is a stuttering fit of clipping, incorrigible aI and dropped frames, and the musou genre’s curse of repetitive gameplay certainly isn’t broken by this effort. and yet… I still rather like it. maybe that’s because the unexpectedly malleable character creator lets me conduct my battles as a three-foot tall blue person, or maybe it’s the tsunami of levelling up and earning obscene amounts of cash that’s made me inclined to look on it favourably. Don’t judge me.

6/10