|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Omega Force||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: KOEI||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: TEEN||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
To keep the player engaged, certain missions are signaled out with an "!". These story driven levels move the central campaign along and provide some cinematic cutscenes. Unfortunately, the cutscenes suffer from horrendous voice acting and sloppy dialogue. The voice actors have terrible cliché accents and spout cornball phrases. While these scenes do present an opportunity for character development, the potential is wasted. The characters are mainly concerned with either victory, nationality or money, and little else.
Even in the graphical department Bladestorm is a mixed bag. Omega Force has done a commendable job with the amount of troops rendered on the screen, but once the camera swoops in to show the detail you'll realize there's not much there. The character models are decent, but they leave much to be desired. Things can get hectic with hundreds of characters on screen and a little slowdown is the inevitable result. There is an option to install a cache file on the system which dramatically reduces the load times and number of slowdowns.
The gameplay quickly becomes a grind as missions revolve around capturing bases over and over again. Occasionally an extra contract is thrown in - such as escort mission - but this is the kind of variety you'll want to skip. This formula is rinsed and repeated so you can expect to get somewhere around 60 hours out of Bladestorm. The reason the word "around" is used is because the game could not be finished. There is a bug in a mission near the end of the game the might stop some players dead in their tracks. Whether it is isolated to the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 version is uncertain.
It is really hard to recommend this title, especially considering the next-gen price tag. The game is marred by technical problems and, if anything, is an exercise in mediocrity. Ambitious on so many fronts, Bladestorm ultimately never finds a satisfying home. Take heed: this blade is dull.
CCC Freelance Writer