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Blade of Darkness reviews in Action for PC-Personal Computer Reviews Section
 
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     Blade of Darkness in Action for PC

Blade of Darkness in Action for PC
Title: Blade of Darkness
Release Date: 19-Febuary-2001
Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Rebel Act Studios
Genre: Action
Platform: PC-Personal Computer (PC)
Rating: 0/5 (0 Votes)
   

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     Reviews for Blade of Darkness in Action for PC-Personal Computer ( PC ) :

General/Summary:

A great hack&slash 3rd person fighter! I have had many hours of fun and delight playing this game, unlike 'Rune' which I found to be lacking in every respect. The gore level is quite high, with arms, legs, heads and even a torso or two flying off in a spray of blood! The levels are designed to be challenging, you must be careful not to waste too many hit points on beating an enemy for you may find health potions are well hidden and cannot be used without thought to the future. Along the way you will be given choices on a map as to where you will travel to next, some characters will need to visit an area, where another may not need to since all special items are designed for a different player (armor& weapons are player specific).
In any good game there are those moments you never forget, and BOD contains more than a few...for me it was the Orc battle in the sealed courtyard, where the Orc leader perched high on the wall sends his best fighters against you one or two at a time until he finally comes down to deal with you himself!
I would suggest this game for those who liked 'Die By The Sword' and enjoy a fresh look at an old genre; oh yes, and plenty of blood!


Gameplay:

Upon first loading and entering Blade of Darkness's main menu one finds it to be very bland compared to today's standards. But you'll soon forget all that once your presented with a small level where you can move the directional keys to select between characters you wish to play. This I feel adds a nice touch to the beginnings of the game, because it shows off the lighting, and character animations, which are fantastic!

Speaking of the character animations, the Barbarian and Dwarf all move in kind of an
awkward hindered step. Although the Knight and Amazon seem un-affected by hobbling of the other two, I would guess this was to add realism to the heavy weapons the Dwarf and Barbarian must carry around.

Other than that, the character animations of swinging swords or the graphic detail in them is great, as are the enemies! The game is all in 3-rd person, but you can select to 1st person, which is nice. But I found it easier to fight when you can see the whole picture.

When starting combat you have an option to target your enemies which lets you freely move in a circle around them whilst attacking. When doing so you can easily make attack combos or other devastating moves. Which are a great, and a comfortable setup to adjust to.

Speaking of attack combos, there are many you can perform, and use once you gain a certain level. The menu system keeps track of all that you can perform and have learned throughout your adventure.
Blade also includes a tutorial level where you can learn all the basics to this.

When you first start learning to play, the enemies are all new, and challenging! But after a few hours they become somewhat predictable in their attack patterns that leave them open for you to strike, which is disappointing compared to today's AI.

Your character can also be equipped with a wide variety of weaponry and shields if you're a Knight or Dwarf. But the shields break all to easily which can be discouraging to use them, yet fun to have happen to you in the heat of battle, or so they say... I on the other hand feel a bit differently :) This however is remedied after you acquire higher level shields which have more of a strength threshold. But after so many hours of play, your shield becomes a "How well you can dodge your opponents attacks" kind of shield, or in other words YOU become your own shield in learning how NOT to use your shield, and just dodge your attackers attacks.

I could go on for another paragraph or two describing the basics of combat, and the intricacies of gameplay. But it should be known that anything else is just miniscule in comparison to the over all appeal to this little title!

There is a story included, but it's your basic save the world from an ultimate evil through the acquisition of a great (fill in the blank) sword. All pretty much ho-hum, to your story driven RPG's, but that’s not why we bought this title is it? Action, sword play, gore...


Graphics:

If there were two things this game could be noted for in graphics, the lighting, and detail to the levels would be! I have not seen another game where shadows and lighting have been so accurately shown! The major appeal to the lighting I find is very humorous at times! Because you could be turning a dark dungeon corridor, and find that a torch is causing a shadow of an orc or other enemy to appear larger than they really are! Which makes it sometimes nerve racking to discover it wasn't a boss or major character you fight. Basically, the shadows are really an art form in this game, because they have so many emotion generating abilities which is a nice addition other games could learn from.

The levels you hack n' slash in are very nice, but are sometimes a blur in the heat of battle!

On one particular level you are placed in a typical castle, and on the outside there is this dragon like creature flying around observing the area. It's things like this that add to a level's appeal. It was good to see attention to detail in all the levels because it's important in the category the game is placed in. Because, how fun would it be level after level of the same area?

Gore is also important in a hack n' slash title because you can't go around with a battle axe swinging at your enemy to find them seconds later to fall over seamlessly un-harmed.
You can be on the receiving and dealing end of the blade in certain places that all have their gore animations. Needless to say, arms and legs, including heads all come off in this one.
There is a parental lock to the gore by the way.


Boxes and chests can all be shattered to expose contents inside after the dust and debris has settled.

Cathedrals, Castles and Dungeons all look as they should, with that detail greatness we all like.


Sound:

The sound in this game is certaily serviceable. Hearing the grumbling noises of the creatures in the next room tends to enhance the overall mood of the game. The swhish of a fast flying arrow can also be satisfying.

Some sound samples can be redundant, and somewhat distracting. In particular, the female amazon warrior will issue a shrill cry each time she swings her weapon that will make you want to turn your speakers down.

The other characters, however, do not share this problem.
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