Blade of Darkness First Impression

Codemasters gives us a look at its upcoming fantasy action-RPG.

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Codemasters recently secured the publishing rights to Spanish developer Rebel Act's new action-RPG, Blade of Darkness. The third-person game features full 3D graphics, dynamic lighting and shadows, and extremely graphic combat.

In the game, players choose to play as one of four warrior characters - the dwarf, the amazon, the barbarian, or the knight - that all have unique weapons. As characters advance through the game, they gain additional attack skills. The third-person perspective allows players to watch their characters perform a variety of attacks, which are controlled by using the attack button along with one of the arrow keys. More advanced characters can learn combination attacks as well.

The 3D graphics in the game are good, but the two things that make the game really stand out are the dynamic lighting and the gory combat. The game supports full dynamic lighting and shadows. Characters can pick up torches and carry them, causing accurate, flickering shadows to spread across the floors and walls. The torch can be thrown across the room, causing shadows to realistically dart and disappear as the light source leaves the area. In addition, torches can be used to set barrels and chests on fire.

In combat, enemies can be bludgeoned and slashed, causing increasing amounts of blood to spurt forth and pool on the ground. Limbs can be severed and picked up for use as a melee weapon or hurled across the room as a missile weapon. The player character suffers visible damage as well, gradually becoming more bruised and bloody as the combat takes its toll. Codemasters is currently considering either editing the gore or adding variable levels of violence for the US market.

Blade of Darkness will be released in January 2001.

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