Blade of Darkness
Genre Action -> Action
Today's Rank 16662
Homepage
USA
Date 2001-02-27
Publisher Codemasters
UK
Date 2001-02-23
Publisher Codemasters
North America Retail Box ArtSeverance has been five years in the making by its Spanish developers, Rebel Act, and so has ended up following Rune's Christmas release, the hitherto most recent explore-and-slash game set in medieval times. Things don't get off to a great start with a control system that you have to grow accustomed to (rather than master, unlike with Rune). Where Rune is left standing however, is with the graphics and combat--the models are larger, and there are 17 levels with rippling water-shadows and long, undulating background landscapes. Any extra power from stronger video cards would help by accentuating beauty and keeping the overall rendering process from slowing down. As a reward for mastering the controls, you are given multiple combat moves as if playing a console beat-em-up game. As is usual for class-based adventuring, some moves, and some weapons retrieving, work better or worse depending on the chosen character. You have 30 species out for your blood and the AI is excellent. Some come straight at you, others hunt in a more subtle fashion until you're surrounded. One precise sword blow will result in quick decapitation, so combat is as much of a slugfest as it is with Rune--with the added possibility of using "independent" limbs as weapons. The game is maturely rated due to the over-the-top gore. That's life in the publicity-grabbing games industry, but unlike Soldier Of Fortune, Severance has offers more hours of playtime. Just forget the system requirements: some slowdown could occur in heavy action on an Athlon/700, let alone PII/350 systems and the 128MB RAM quoted on the game specifications. You also need at least 800MB Hard Disk Space. Ultimately if you liked Rune then this is the game to graduate to. It's bigger, bloodier and longer, and like Rune, biased toward the single player. Set aside some serious time if going for this game--they took five years to make it, and you'll need to take a long while to get extract the full value. --Kenneth Henry
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