previews\ Nov 16, 2003 at 7:00 pm

Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc - PC - Preview

In 1429 the bubonic plague was ravaging Europe, and the door was open to armies of aggression. The English seemed intent on claiming the French throne for England. Political intrigue was rampant and the one who would lay claim to the French throne was battling for his birthright.


Into this maelstrom strode a young woman, blessed with a formidable presence and a divine vision of her country and the one who should sit upon its throne.


Now Enlight Software is bringing part of the tale to the PC in Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc. The game is not completely realistic. Joan was not a melee machine, and by all accounts seldom actually fought in the battles, but rather it was her presence that was a blessing beyond measure to the French forces. The PC version of this title is slated to release in January of 2004.


GameZone was offered a chance to ride along on the journey through the history.


The game does recreate some of the more incredible battles in the French war to remain independent. But the game also blends this with individual war and mission-driven levels, all played out from the third-person perspective.


The game does have a somewhat linear path through the missions, with main and secondary objectives. At the beginning of the opening scenario, Joan is afoot. Her goal is to reach the castle at the end of the twisting trail. Enemies pop up, and using sword combinations to rack up the experience points, Joan cuts a swath through the enemy. Along the way, she can put items into her inventory by moving over them. When she picks up arrows, she acquires a missile attack. Midway through the scenario, she finds a horse, and can knock down enemies while riding to the castle.


The camera is locked behind Joan the whole time. The controls use a mouse and keyboard combination to effect attacks. The strategic combat is set up much like other strategy games.


There are eight scenarios, beginning with Joan’s arrival in Orleans and moving through Tourelles, the Loire, Reims, and finally to her effort to free Paris.


The sound of the game is mostly relegated, at this stage in the development, to music, and some hard overdriven sounds linked to footsteps or the pounding of the horse’s hooves on the ground.


The graphical quality of this game is very good. The graphics are crisp, and lush. The environments are well done and the animation is solid.


Yes, the game plays loose and fast with the historical record, but after all, some of the battles that Joan participated in were amazing feats of strategy. To that end, this game does a good job of incorporating both elements of strategy and role play. Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc is not likely to be everyone’s idea of a RPG/strategy title, but those who do give it a chance will find a game that is very easy to jump into and enjoy, and one that looks very good.

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