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Review by: Jim Richmond
Published: February 27, 2004
Nowadays if you told people that God talked to you and told you to attack the English you’d be fairly quick to find yourself in a white jacket with arms that tie in the back. In the 15th century, however, this admission led Joan of Arc to the front of the French army. Of course it also led her to the front of the Inquisition and eventually to be burned at the stake. Now she’s at the forefront of her own video game in Enlight Software’s Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc.
Joan of Arc takes place during the Hundred-Years War between France and England. In an effort to bring hostilities to an end, King Charles VI negotiated a treaty with England’s Henry V wherein Henry would marry Charles’ daughter and the heir of that union would be crowned king on Charles’ death. This treaty did not sit well with the French people as it placed them under English rule and supplanted the direct heir to the throne, Charles VII. After Charles VI’s death, hostilities between the English and French did not subside. France’s army was in dire shape and had all but lost its fighting will when a 16-year old maid named, Jehanne Darc (later to be known as Joan of Arc), came to Charles VII and told him of messages she’d received from the Archangel Michael and other saints that gave instructions on how to defeat the English. The piety and confidence of this young maid bolstered the French resistance and a renewed wave of battle commenced.
Joan of Arc blends 3rd person action, real-time strategy (RTS), and role-playing (RPG) elements as you wage war across France. In the 3rd person perspective, you directly assume the role of Joan and other French warriors, and battle through hordes of English infantrymen and archers. You have both a light and heavy attack that when used in different sequences deliver potent combination attacks to decimate the enemy. Ranged weapons can also be equipped to fire arrows from a safe distance. From mission to mission you gain the use of several additional main characters that can be used directly like Joan, and these generals can be coordinated with the legendary heroine to attack all over the map. Additionally, Joan and the other generals can recruit infantry and archers to your cause and they will follow them into battle.
As you wage war against the occupying English, you gain experience points. After you get enough experience, your character will level up, giving you a pool of points to assign to attributes like Strength, Dexterity, Defense, and Leadership. These points can also be used to bolster your maximum health level and the energy store used for heavy and special attacks. You can also collect different weapons, armor, and “enhancers” for your generals along the way to increase their effectiveness in battle. Enhancers take the form of gems, pendants, and rings that afford the wearer a bonus like increased power in their primary weapons or heightened defense.
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