Blade of Darkness - Grim and Great

Blade of Darkness - Grim and Great

Rebel Studio's Blade of Darkness is filled to the brim with bloody medieval mayhem that sets the player to hacking, slashing their way through hordes of warriors and monsters on their way challenge an ancient evil and save the world.

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Ah yes, I love this game. Recently bought it on GOG when I couldn't find my DVD case anymore.

I really enjoyed the game's combo system, with each weapon having it's own special move, which is typically unlocked at a slightly higher level than you can find and use the weapon's regular attacks. Add to that the wide variety of the special moves, and I actually felt there was quite a bit of freedom in choosing your weapon. Sure, weapons will eventually become obsolete and you could just use whatever has the highest Attack rating at any time. But I usually found myself hanging on to certain weapons that happened to fill a useful tactical niche (I always keep the Barbarian's longsword, with it's incredibly fast special attack, until just before the endgame.)

Downsides: It's an early 3D game, so the character models and animation haven't always aged particularly well. And the story is crap. I can't even excuse it for being a generic fantasy plot, as Stew did. Ocarina of Time had a generic fantasy story, but it made it work. This game doesn't even try. I go some place that's overrun by Orcs. I kill everything that moves. The narrator tells me I now have a reason to go to some other place that's infested by skeletons and zombies. Rince, repeat. I've finished the game multiple times, and I can still barely comprehend what little story there is.

Oh, and the game has an evil save system: You can save whenever you want, in different slots, with no limits... BUT besides the save file is one-word rating of your playthrough, based on how little you save each level. When I see that rating drop from Awesome! to merely Heroic, I just get tempted to stop saving so much, go a little further before saving, just past this area and SHIT, RIPPED TO SHREDS BY THE SKELETONS 3-HIT COMBO, HALF AN HOUR OF PLAYTIME DOWN THE DRAIN, FUCK!!! And it's all self-inflicted: It's a single player game, there's no one but me to care if I save after every fight, but I just can't resist the lure of that Awesome! rating.

Ah, I bought this late last year and adored it. IMore games like this need dismemberment; makes bladed weapons so satisfying to use.

I love games like this that give you a list of moves and force you to throw together your own combos, and when you actually do manage to pull of a lengthy chain of sword strikes it feels incredibly satisfying.

One issue I have with BoD, though, is that there's a lack of variety to a lot of the encounters. You'll fight a couple goblins in one fight, some skeletons in another, some knights in another, but rarely is there any crossover, so you can stick with the same tactics for most every fight. It feels like an opportunity was missed to mix things up a bit and force players to think on their feet.

For instance, there are zombie enemies with a short range spitting attack that poisons you but beyond that they're pretty much defenseless, even in groups. The only time they become a threat is when there are other, faster enemy types around demanding your attention as well, but that almost never happens and they wind up being little more than practice dummies.

Oh, and I'm really really really looking forward to that next review.

This game looks weirdly like darksouls...

StewShearer:
Blade of Darkness - Grim and Great

Rebel Studio's Blade of Darkness is filled to the brim with bloody medieval mayhem that sets the player to hacking, slashing there way through hordes of warriors and monsters on their way challenge an ancient evil and save the world.

Read Full Article

Stew

Buddy, you've got a typo in the tagline good sir.

It's their, not There

Just a heads up

So this is the Dark Souls released 10 years before Dark Souls?

i gave a copy of this game to one of my brothers as a gift once but i dunno think he ever played it :S

cool game :) nice choice.

btw in the UK and afaik most of Europe its mostly called "Severance: Blade of Darkness" except in Spain were its apparently called "Blade: The Edge of Darkness".

Kyr Knightbane:

StewShearer:
Blade of Darkness - Grim and Great

Rebel Studio's Blade of Darkness is filled to the brim with bloody medieval mayhem that sets the player to hacking, slashing there way through hordes of warriors and monsters on their way challenge an ancient evil and save the world.

Read Full Article

Stew

Buddy, you've got a typo in the tagline good sir.

It's their, not There

Just a heads up

Thanks! The worst part is that I'm fairly certain I had "their" in there originally but then made some edits and popped the wrong word back in its place. :/

Oh, one of my favourites, and, in my opinion, possibly the best "realistic" sword combat system to date.

Funny thing about this game, back in the day it was kind of the Spanish "Duke Nukem Forever", it originally having been announced circa Quake 1, and undergoing many delays and engine changes.

The final product is very cool, but it is also very unfinished. You can glimpse lots of things throughout the game that clearly were meant to be expanded further. One of those, although it requires cheating, is the tutorial level, which has a fairly large section that goes completely unused, and somehow, to me, it screams "this was going to be the magic tutorial".

I wouldn't compare it to Dark Souls though. Once you get used to the controls and combat system, it is nowhere as punishing, plus you can save at any point (although the game will mock you if you use lots of saves).

Another thing I loved, by the way, is that Sargon (the Knight), who is the character you play in the demo, is not the typical fantasy 20-something, but a mature experienced man who looks great in full armour.

Oh! And the dynamic shadows are outdated today, but back then they were probably the first fully dynamic shadows I ever saw in a 3d game, and they give a great atmosphere. I personally think those hard-edge shadows still hold up today.

I just remembered that you can pick pretty much any item and throw it, including severed body parts... And when I decided to throw the magical sword you get at the end, was pleasantly surprised to find out it teleports back to your hand! Yes, you get the Zelda "sword blast"!

Sleekit:

btw in the UK and afaik most of Europe its mostly called "Severance: Blade of Darkness" except in Spain were its apparently called "Blade: The Edge of Darkness".

Because "Blade: The Edge of Darkness" is the actual original title, but out of Spain it was changed due to copyright issues.

What happened to putting a link to the comments on the article page? Now I have to hunt for the comments page in articles I read here, and it is very annoying.

Anyways, ill be checking this game out, all you had to say was "like demons souls" and you had me. Lol

I don't understand how someone could review Severance without mentioning that you can dismember a zombie and then beat it to death with its own arm. And then throw its head at the next one.

harrisonmcgiggins:
What happened to putting a link to the comments on the article page? Now I have to hunt for the comments page in articles I read here, and it is very annoying.

There's a link at the top of the article and another one at the bottom.

Kahani:
I don't understand how someone could review Severance without mentioning that you can dismember a zombie and then beat it to death with its own arm. And then throw its head at the next one.

harrisonmcgiggins:
What happened to putting a link to the comments on the article page? Now I have to hunt for the comments page in articles I read here, and it is very annoying.

There's a link at the top of the article and another one at the bottom.

Yeah, the at the bottom has been gone for awhile for me. (Maybe cause tablet?) The little chat bubble at the top works though, thank you

I remember having trouble in a few portions of the game where I just couldn't get past certain enemies. That's when I'd save right before seeing them and use all the cheap tricks I could think of. My favorite trick was to try setting enemies on fire by throwing torches at them. I also carried around this really heavy sword that my character could only swing once before getting our of breath. I'd use this sword by instead throwing it at enemies in the hope that they'd block it (and break their shield) or take some damage. I might have reloaded if they side-stepped it instead...

This is one of my all-time favorite games. I've played through it about seven or eight times. Great brutal combat, tons of weapons, atmospheric level designs, and some of the technology (dynamic lighting and shadows, reflective water, physics system) was very advanced for its time.

I wish some things could have been better though. There are four characters, but only two (knight and barbarian) are worth playing. The Amazon could have been fun due to her speed and great weapons, but she only had one special attack (Whirlwind) that could be spammed over and over. The dwarf was even less useful; he was basically a midget version of the knight with lame-looking attacks. I guess they were running out of time, so the characters got short-changed.

There's also no story. There's lore, but no real plot. It's basically "Go here and fight these guys, then go fight this guy and get the key." Definitely some room for improvement.

I still love this game though. I even bought FRAPS just so I could make gameplay videos of it. My secret wish is that Mercury Steam (which is made up of former Rebel Act developers) acquires the license and makes a reboot or sequel.

Great, well, now I have to boot up my old portable hard drive and see if I can't track down my old install of this game. I was thinking about it on-and-off for a month now, but after reading the review and the posts in this thread . . .

Another note; the game files are easily editable. You can tweak the game to be much easier, or insanely punishing! I do recommend making back-ups first, as my first time mucking about with the files caused the game to become unplayable and I had to reinstall. Have fun!

You can also, through editing and cheat codes, apply an effect to a weapon so you wield a lightsaber.

The scripting language it uses is rather flexible, but yes, it can easily crash the game if you don't know what you're doing.

I mainly used it to switch around the character skins for more variety (the multiplayer mode had more character skins that were no usable in single player).

As for the amazon being simplistic. I suspect they intended for her to play more like a Tomb Raider-esque platforming character, but probably ran out of time/money.

I didn't dislike the Amazon; she was actually fun to play because she was so quick and could dodge really well. Enemies couldn't touch her. She just didn't have enough variety in her attacks when compared to the knight and barbarian.

I wonder if there's a way to make a fan-patch that would hijack some of the other attack animations, and use them to add more combo moves for the Amazon and Dwarf . . .
INTERNET! See if you can't pull that off?

 

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