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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Severance: Blade of Darkness Revisited

Default Severance: Blade of Darkness Revisited

November 20th, 2006, 13:42
Just an FYI - I decided to reexperience the classic since even today no combat system comes even remotely close .

That and I never finished it!

Anyway - the game for me (and others) is incredibly unstable with DirectX these days, so if you decide to revisit the classic try the OpenGL patch:

http://www.3dgamers.com/games/severance/downloads/

The game has only crashed once on me since I applied it and I played for ~4 hours last night. One thing that is pretty funny - it used to take for ever to save and load this game but now it simply flies. That and the graphics, shadows and lighting are still incredibly effective today. The character models and animations are fantastic! At 1280x1024 its beautiful - although the journal is so small its completely unreadable but who needs it? Ahhh… the beheadings are still a blast!

"For Innos!"
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November 20th, 2006, 13:43
I don't have the game anymore, otherwise I would probably replay it since you quite made me remember the good time I had with it…
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November 20th, 2006, 13:51
I saw the jewel case at CompUSA in the bargian bin last year.

It is also available in Amazon marketplace.

I decided to play it because I'm worried that Vista will make quite a few older games unplayable.

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November 20th, 2006, 15:17
There will always be a workaround. I hate buying games I've already owned. I should better think when I decide what game to keep and what to get rid of.
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November 20th, 2006, 15:19
A few years ago I wrote a 'Game Comment' at another site comparing Rune and Blade of Darkness. Here is the Severence section:

Blade of Darkness:
In many ways this game is similar to Rune - third person, action-combat oriented, melee focus, good vs. evil leading to battle against ultimate evil. But Blade of Darkness is different in many ways. First, you get to choose between four characters - knight, barbarian, dwarf and amazon - each with their own opening act, their own combat focus and combos and weapon specialization. That adds some instant replayability that Rune lacks. Also, Blade of Darkness features a rudimentary levelling system - one that gives you more health, defense and combat energy, and unlocks combos for specific weapons. Another significant difference is the violence and gore factor - when you can sever a limb or head, then pick up that bloodied head and use it to beat the next enemy to death … you know you are no longer in T-rated-land.

I played as Sargon, the knight, who focuses on single handed weapons and uses a sword and shield mode. You begin in a prison cell, betrayed by a breakaway faction of knights led by a great warrior knight … who is in turn led by an evil warlord (and if you play the game to the fullest, you will be able to find out who *he* is working for as well). Once you have escaped, you enter the main storyline of the game which is common to all character classes. This story involves rescuing the leader of the good knights, piecing together a legend of how to destroy the evil warlord, attempting to secure fortresses and temples before they are captured, and ultimately facing the source of the evil threat. Like Rune, you will not be chatting up villagers - the only non-enemies you see are dead knights littering the captured fortresses. However, the enemies you face are more varied and interesting, and the puzzles more satisfying. I enjoyed the combat system very much - you can only swing your sword so much before you become fatigued, and need to wait a few seconds to 'catch your breath'. There are built-in combo attacks which can be very useful - such as the back attack (similar to the one from Jedi Knight II) which was particularly helpful keeping yourself alive against one foe who could teleport behind you and hit with a life-draining attack. The weapon-specific attacks, however, require a much more complex series of key combinations, timed correctly, which I found to be more a matter of trial and error than precision execution. There were only two weapon combos that would consistently execute - and that was a good thing, as one of those combos was pretty much required to complete the game.

After completing both games it is clear that they are both very enjoyable, if plot light, games. Personally, I was constantly waiting for Rune to transition from the beginning to the 'meat' of the game, yet by the end, I was fully engaged. Blade of Darkness gave me a better feeling of motivation to keep going and complete the game.
Wonderful game … I've only ever beaten it as Sargon, but want to get another full run as the Amazon.

— Mike
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November 20th, 2006, 17:02
i finished the game with the knight and barbarian over the years but never ended up finishing it as the dwarf or amazon. i like the fact that they all start on their own unique levels a huge bonus for replayability since the intro/begining of most games is often the most boring gameplay wise.

i can't believe i spent actual money, and the time to finish it, on rune way back when. its in the top 5 of worse games i have ever played. there really needs to be a good 'viking' game - especially since i'm half scandanavian.
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November 20th, 2006, 18:56
I kept playing Rune hoping it would "open up" level wise and allow me to fight vikings instead of zombies. Eventually it did - for about 5 minutes until it fell back on the same old levels again. Nevertheless I played it through - and almost completed it a second time.

For simple hack and slash WASD games there arent many. Conan the Dark Axe is pretty darn decent to for what its worth despite being a console port. Controls and graphics are very well done. Knights of the Temple is another one - it is based on the Conan engine as well. Both of these titles are FAR better than Rune.

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November 20th, 2006, 20:18
i tried the knights of the temple demo a couple years ago. wasn't really for me. didn't a 2nd one come out as well? i'll have to look in to conan the dark axe, thanks. the conan game being created by the developers of the longest journey games looks interesting, but that is a mmorg right?
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November 20th, 2006, 20:29
Yes there is no connection. But if you didnt like Knights of the Temple you are unlikely to enjoy Conan the Dark Axe. Its "just" an action adventure hack and slash. Its fun as all hell if you ask me, but some people can't see beyond the lack of roll playing.

There is a demo for Conan out there though.

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November 20th, 2006, 21:45
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I kept playing Rune hoping it would "open up" level wise and allow me to fight vikings instead of zombies. Eventually it did - for about 5 minutes until it fell back on the same old levels again. Nevertheless I played it through - and almost completed it a second time.
It was a great intro … they just forgot the game

— Mike
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November 21st, 2006, 08:27
I tried the demo for Knights of the Temple, and was turned off by what I thought were some of the worse camera angles I've ever experienced in a game.

I actually played BOD fairly recently. Within the past year in fact. I played several levels with the knight(Sargon?), the Dwarf, and the Barbarian. I definitely plan on going back and finishing it with at least one of the characters.
I like how you can choose which areas you want to go to. I thought the combat was great, but the animation was pretty bad. The characters walk like they have a pipe stuck up their a**.
Last edited by JDR13; November 21st, 2006 at 08:35.
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November 21st, 2006, 11:51
I think the intent there is realism. My comments about great animations where for the combat though.

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November 21st, 2006, 12:47
Severance is still my favorite game when it comes to melee combat. Every game with just an ounce of combo based combat is instantly compared to Severance. I've completed it with the Knight and the Amazon and have completed all but the last level with the Barbarian and Dwarf as well (those 2 are the hardest to play due to the Dwarf's short range and the Barbarian's slow combos).

Even though it is now a long time since I've played it, I can still clearly picture my favorite move: the Amazon's "Axespear" special move (the end of the spear was shaped like the pendulum from the Edgar Allan Poe story). She does a sort of somersault and when she is coming upright again she rips the Axespear across horizontally and pop goes the weasel … erm, I mean head

Compared to Severance, Conan is no match but the rich combo system (with a choice of axe or sword focus) actually makes for some pretty entertaining hacking and slashing … and there is just something about the Conan universe that is appealing to me (which is why I'm not at all happy with the choice of making the new Conan game into an interactive messenger like all the other social nurseries called MMORPGs).

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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November 21st, 2006, 14:04
Don't forget the hilarious Cannibals Conan gets to fight:

"Oh tasty barbarian! Going to eat you!!! Yum Yum!!!"

I havent actually finished Conan yet - I still have another 2 hours of it or so. Its definately a fun game. Of course its no comparison to Severance but it is one of the few WASD melee games so its on my list.

Now I remember why I quit Severance the first time though - it can be a frustrating game. The poisoning is outrageous! I'm at level 6 now and I quit last time at level 13 - I was stuck in this impossible trap - a fight against 4 poison weilding 400 hp goblins that were ordered to leap down off a wall by one of the large orcish things.

I'll take the game as far as I can go this time though. The fact that some of you folks have completed it is encouraging. That amazon description sounds great - I'll have to try it!

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November 21st, 2006, 14:18
Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Severance is still my favorite game when it comes to melee combat. .
I prefer Jedi Knight II, but Blade of Darkness is 2nd. That is why when I read about Dungeon Lords … aw, y'know …

— Mike
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November 21st, 2006, 16:28
Oh so that's why you gave Dungeon Lords a positive review.

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November 21st, 2006, 16:56
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
Oh so that's why you gave Dungeon Lords a positive review.
That and the dungeons, yep.

— Mike
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November 21st, 2006, 19:33
I only made it into Fargrove. Does the action improve? You're not setting me up are you????

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November 21st, 2006, 19:45
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I only made it into Fargrove. Does the action improve? You're not setting me up are you????
I'd say if you didn't enjoy the sewers, you probably won't enjoy the rest of the game. Fargrove represents the more chore-like aspect of the game (i.e. lots of running around in a nicely done but very un-varied and unfinished environment interspersed with annoyance encounters like snakes and bats) while the sewers represent what's best about the game (i.e. varied and interesting dungeon design with lots of tactically challenging encounters… interspersed with annoyance encounters like snakes and bats ). The one big exception in Fargrove is Custard Mansion. That "dungeon" is a really good one, if you're playing the CE.

So, in summary, if you feel the payoff of dungeons like the sewers is worth the chore of the in-between parts like Fargrove, go for it. If not, don't bother.
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November 21st, 2006, 20:10
Hmmm… doesnt sound so promising… I've been trying to recoup my $39.99 for a while now. Sounds like playing it will only make matters worse! Of course I've payed for lousy dinners before and never thought much about it but Dungeon Lords just continues to rear its butt ugly head.

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