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Joan of Arc

Score: 80%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Enlight Software
Developer: Enlight Software
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Though Joan of Arc combines three very distinct game genres, it is still able to find a nice middle ground on which to display them. The 3D graphics used in this game are good for each type of play, and the transition between each is pretty smooth. Though the attention to detail may not be as great as some people would like, the visual glitches are kept to a minimum, and there is little slowdown when the screen fills up with people.

To get a good feeling for the sounds in this game, think of movies like The Messenger or Braveheart, and imagine the chaotic battle noises. That's about 90 percent of the game since most of your time will be taken up with slaughtering English forces. The music matches the medieval setting, and also complements the large battle scenes that are prevalent throughout the game.


Joan of Arc brings you back to the early 15th century when the 100 Years War is raging in France. As Joan of Arc, with the help of her French captains, you will battle the English across the countryside using both brains and brawn. The game is a hybrid between third-person action/adventure and real time strategy, and battles can take place between a handful of soldiers or entire armies besieging castles.

On the one hand, you've got simple hack and slash. As Joan or one of the more important French officers, you run around the French countryside (very linearly most of the time) and take it to the British the best way you know how; with iron to the face. Despite being a simple button masher, this can get interesting at times when more of your troops enter the fray against seemingly impossible British numbers.

The RTS portion usually takes place when a town or castle is being attacked. This is where you get to really take it to the enemy, or have it taken to you. You're given a set number of units, whether attacking or defending, and you must use them wisely throughout the course of the battle in order to attain victory.

Joan of Arc also has another aspect of play that meets somewhere in the middle of the previous two genres. While in your hack-and-slash mode, if you are accompanied by troops, you can have them follow you around the field of battle. This helps when you're in the middle of the RTS portion and you need to move a squad around in a precise maneuver; and how better than to get down into the trenches and do it yourself? This feature is the key that links the two seemingly unrelated genres together.


Joan of Arc can become a bit harrowing at times, but fortunately when things get rough, button slamming hack-and-slash seems to work every time. Though you can pull off combos and use special moves, the most basic and easiest way to wage war is to just run into the mix and start wailing on your foes. Don't worry though, the game offers plenty of thinking space with the RTS element.

Game Mechanics:

Joan of Arc takes what worked with RTS and hack-and-slash games and implements them elegantly in one seamless adventure. Basically, the two genres have been boiled down to their simplest form and stuffed in the same box, with a few tweaks here and there to make them play nice together. The action part gets a slight dose of role playing elements, as you can level up and learn new combo attacks. The RTS mode also gets a bit of a facelift with Commander units that boost morale and act as elite combat troops.

Joan of Arc is a very intuitive game, despite consisting of a blend of different genres. However, things can become oversimplified at times, causing for long, dull moments that tend to leave a lingering not-so-good taste in your mouth. Also, the lack of any Multiplayer or Custom Mission modes is startling. However, if things go well with this title, there's always hope for an expansion in the future.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/XP, 800 MHz Processor, 256 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, 1.1 GB Hard Disk Space, 3D Video Card

Test System:

Windows XP, 1.4GHz AMD Athlon, GeForce FX 128 MB video card, 40 gig hard drive, 56x CD-ROM, 256MB DDR Ram, Sound Blaster Live! sound card, Cable Modem Internet connection

Windows Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius Windows Jumpgate

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated