Blade of Darkness

aka: Blade, Blade of Darkness: By Steel will the Flesh divide, Blade: The Edge of Darkness, Severance: Blade of Darkness
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(prices updated 9/24 9:41 AM )

Description official descriptions

Long time ago, the Lord created Light and Chaos. He gave them souls, and thus two gods were born, the Spirit of Light and the Prince of Darkness. But the latter, envious of his father's power, learned the language of creation and attempted to bring a new demonic race to life. However, the creatures disobeyed their master. In the ensuing chaos, a sorceress named Ianna called forth a hero, who banished the Darkness, but was slain himself. Now, the time has come for four new heroes to obtain an ancient powerful weapon and destroy the forces of Darkness once and for all.

Blade of Darkness is a third-person action game with an emphasis on melee battles and combo attacks, similar to those found in fighting games. The player can choose to control any of the four available characters: the barbarian Tukaram, the dwarf Naglfar, the knight Sargon, and the Amazon Zoe. Each character has his/her unique strengths, weaknesses, fighting skills. Starting locations are also different in the four scenarios.

Spellings

  • 黑暗之刃 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Screenshots

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Credits (Windows version)

146 People (58 developers, 88 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 37 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 42 ratings with 8 reviews)

One of the greatest action games to date!

The Good
This game presents an excellent gameplay based in combo-moves.As a result there are numerous moves for each of the 4 fighters.Graphics and audio are pretty good,and both create an appropriate epic atmosphere.

The Bad
The gameplay is a bit complicated for beginners.Blood and gore which may irritate some can be easily turned off.Generally,there's nothing bad in the game.

The Bottom Line
Blade Of Darkness is a really addictive action game which features many weapons,4 characters to choose from and loads of blood!It is also a quite big and hard game,so it promises many hours of gameplay.Graphics and audio of the game are pretty good and fortunately it will play good on low-end systems too.Highly recommended to action-lover's.

Windows · by Gabriel (116) · 2002

Entertaining, but a bit stale

The Good
The first and most striking thing about Blade is that its light and shadow effects are way ahead of its time; in fact, they evoke games such as Doom 3 released four years later, an eternity in gaming. Not only do the player character and his enemies cast realistic, detailed shadows that spread across every surface, but objects as small as fragments of wood and hunks of meat also do. This real-time shadowing is merged almost seamlessly with the lightmaps (pre-determined light and shadow), and at times the game looks almost as fancy as Doom 3 or Thief: Deadly Shadows.

Of course, 80% of the game is combat, and Blade could have visual effects decades ahead of its time but still fail if the combat wasn't entertaining. Luckily, it is; not so much because it's fluid or intuitive, but because it's so visceral. Blood sprays over surfaces when you strike an enemy in close combat or throw a weapon at them, splattering over walls and dripping on the floor, and whole limbs will fly off, spraying blood around them; if you strike right an enemy's head will topple from his body as he dies. Gratuitous? definitely. Entertaining? Hell yes. There are plenty of weapons to perform these attacks with, which can be used in conjunction with an assortment of shields. Also sprucing up the game's combat is a wide variety of combo moves and special attacks, although they don't play as large a role in the game as it seems the developers aimed at.

Another thing the game had ahead of its time was physics effects. In most games when you break a barrel apart it will splinter into little shards that will explode into the air, fall to the ground while clipping into each other, and slowly fade into nothing; in Blade, a barrel breaks into properly sized pieces which fall naturally to the ground, rolling and knocking into one another realistically. Modern games have far better physics, but Blade was definitely ahead of its time. This comes into play in combat when throwing weapons, where it's actually possible to bank shots and do other fun tricks once you're skilled enough.

Some other high points include a few rare colorful game environments, and some of the game's generally bland sound.

The Bad
Ironically Blade's two strongest points are also its two greatest failings. While it has great visual effects, it lacks great art to showcase it. The four player characters and the enemies you will face are mediocre, lacking in detail; and while the game world is filled with fairly detailed textures, the level designers failed to really show this off, keeping ninety percent of the game confined to close spaces and chains of identical rooms. The character animation was supposedly motion captured, and at times it seems to work, but generally character movement is jerky and uneven. Worst of all, the mediocre animations often impose upon the gameplay, as the sluggish movement of the player puts him at unnecessary vulnerability during a fight.

Which leads us to the game's second great failing, its combat. While it is extremely fun at times, it's ridiculously frustrating at others - do to the aforementioned slow and stuttering animations, simply stepping forward at the wrong time can cost you your life in a fight. A third-person action game's combat should be smooth and focused on timing and combinations, but in Blade you end up thinking about your footwork and dumb luck more.

Finally, the game is just quite repetitive. Its major innovations, in the fields of lighting and physics, don't really affect the game at all. While the copious quantities of blood and guts keep the combat interesting enough for third-person combat fans, anyone looking for a complex or even fair gameplay experience will be disappointed.

The Bottom Line
Blade is worth playing for action-RPG and combat fans, especially those who like games in a fantasy environment. It's not really worth picking up for anyone else, despite its high points; the clunky combat and dull gameplay hold it back from being anything great.

Windows · by ShadowShrike (277) · 2005

Bloody and tough melee fighting for hardcore gamers

The Good
This game is full of content. The levels are huge and rather realistic castles, the musics are awesome and plentiful, there are over a hundred different weapons and several enemy types. The technology was also a few years ahead of the competition, with nice physics and realistic shadows years before Doom 3 or Max Payne 2. The gore effects are also very realistic. With good moves you can chop the enemy into pieces, painting the walls with dark red. Gore can also be turned off for the faint of the heart.

Blade of Darkness is also a very hard game, in fact one of the hardest I've played. Fights require precision and fast reflexes, and the rather good combat AI makes it a pleasure to boot. A couple of the boss monster fights were very memorable. There are also some puzzles, but none of them is so tough. They only make you more cautious, as a careless player can often run into an obvious trap and die at an instant.

Some RPG elements also are a big bonus. As you kill more, you gain experience, learn new moves and get more stamina. The set of moves becomes large by the end of the game, but as you've been learning them gradually, it's not so hard to master. This game made me feel that I really became a good swordsman by the end of the game, and that's an achievement! Even though it's set in a fantasy medieval world, there are no real magic users in the game. Well, those would've been a let-down in a melee combat game anyway.

The Bad
As much as I liked BoD, it has some problems. Sometimes the movement was awkward and you fell off a ledge too easily. Or some enemies were placed too cunningly, shooting arrows at you from a distance, so the situation was frustratingly hard to solve. A couple of monsters were so tough I had to load at least 20 times to make it. And the game starts as very hard, but gets a bit easier on the middle and latter parts of the game, which is a bit upside down from what I'd expect.

The story is also lame, but not very essential to an action game like this so I didn't care. Had it been more involving though, maybe I wouldn't have become bored at the middle part of the game. Yup, at times it feels like there's just too many ogres to be slain and the game feels like it'll never end. But towards the end it got more intense again and made me hooked to my seat until it was over.

The movement takes a while to master but it's pretty intuitive once you get it, allowing you to fight efficiently.



The Bottom Line
Blade of Darkness is a pleasant experience for players who enjoy melee combat games (even such games that have only duels, like Tekken or Mortal Combat), some adventure, and who think of themselves as good players. Many of my friends didn't like it because they couldn't get past the first few maps without dying all the time.

Overall I though this was game of the year material.

Windows · by Joku Ugo (5) · 2003

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Cancelled Xbox port

There was a Xbox port project directed by Carlos García Cordero planned, but Rebel Act went bankrupt before it was finished.

German index

On September 29, 2001, Blade of Darkness was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

Information also contributed by Dark Dante

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Related Sites +

  • 3D Gamers
    Blade downloads at 3D Gamers
  • Bigtruck's pages
    Fan made website (English and French)
  • Blade Forever
    A Spanish download page
  • Blade Mods
    Hosts many of the mods that have been created for the game as well as information on developing your own mods for Blade.
  • Blade Resources
    For those interested in designing levels for Blade
  • Blade Universe
    Contains resources and information about Blade of Darkness, although some of the links have been renamed and no longer work.
  • Blade of Darkness
    Publisher's Blade of Darkness page
  • IMDb
    IMDb website for the game
  • Severance D20
    Background for an adaptation of Blade to D20 RPG system

Identifiers +

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kasey Chang.

Additional contributors: Erwin Bergervoet, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, tarmo888, Xoleras, DarkDante, formercontrib, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger.

Game added February 23rd, 2001. Last modified August 30th, 2023.