Okay, so lately i’ve been in the mood to play some new games. I’ll often times find myself just browsing the web and i stumbled upon something very interesting. Its a game called Severance: Blade of Darkness. For those of you who dont know, here is some information on it, taken straight from the wiki:
Severance has an immediately recognizable fantasy premise with swords, sorcery, and the like. It features four playable characters: Tukaram, a barbarian; Naglfar, a dwarf; Sargon, a knight; and Zoe, an adventurer. Each character starts on a different map, has a different preferences and selection of weapons, and have different strengths and weaknesses in terms of power, agility, and defence and, most important, different sets of combos or moves. As your character progresses through the game, they earn experience points which enable them to increase in level and gain new special attacks and abilities which are executed via combinations of buttons and direction keys, much like a beat-em-up genre game. Some of these special attacks are weapon-specific and can deal out huge amounts of damage or hit multiple foes at one time."
I’ve had some time to play this game, but so far with just 1 of the characters, Naglfar, the dwarf, and from that i can tell you without a doubt that this is one of the best, if not THE best hack and slash dungeon type of game i’ve played yet. It may be old, 2001, but the graphics are good compared to the standard of that year. It looks something like a mix between morrowind and quake, but the real icing on the cake is its lighting and effects systems. Lights cast real stencil shadows, not just from the characters, but everything, characters, barrels, crates, even the level itself will stop light. It look simply amazing and fear envoking to see a menacing shadow of an unseen orc lurking around the turn in a cave, coming closer as the shadow gets bigger, and you can hear his grunts. Very cool. One of the other things that makes this game great, is its gore system. Swing your sword at an enemy, land the blow and watch as blood splatters onto the ground and walls and look as it drips down. Get his health low enough, swing again and watch that arm you just swung at fall to the ground, quick, before he falls over dead, take a swing at his head and look as it topples over and his body falls limp. Go ahead, pick up that head, or his arm even, and bash enemies with it, or even toss it at a lesser orc from a distance. Yep, you can do all of the super humiliating moves you’d expect to be able to do in a real one on one battle with an orc or two. Dont expect them to be any less rough with you though. More times than not, you’ll have your head, arm or leg removed, hell, you might get them all removed before finally keeling over. Yep, definitely not a game for kiddies. One more important feature, that i nearly forget about from time to time, is the underlying physics engine. This has by far the coolest looking physics of the era, excluding the physics from tresspasser which came out 4 years earlier. Pick up a stool and throw it a stair case and see how it bounces around, and tumbles down, finally coming to a rest at the bottom of the staircase after wobbling for a second. The only thing that could have made the physics even better, would be ragdoll death animations. I would be in heaven watching that monster troll toppling over and sliding down a slope, til falling off the ledge of a cliff, and banging against the walls like, well, a ragdoll. All these things, along with a few others such as the particle system, rippling reflective water effects, and the very cool looking glow your character has when they gain a level in experience, add to the overall greatness of the game.
Now, that’s not to say it doesnt have its down sides. One thing that really gets me, and has had me irrated since i first started playing it was the lack of strafing. I need my strafing in a game, sure i can get used to left and right turning instead, but when you play a game with mouse based turning, why add key based turning as well? The only time you can strafe is when you are locked on to a target, and then you need to use the keys to do it. Anyways, like i said, its irritating, but it doesnt hamper the gameplay, it just adds to the difficulty overall.
The other thing i think should be changed, is how the mouse movement is handled. Its not like regular mouse movement, where if you move the mouse a tiny bit to the right, he turns a tiny bit to the right, at the speed you move the mouse relative to the sensitivity. In Severence, mouse movement is set at a common speed, if you move the mouse a little bit, he moves a little bit, but he does it much faster than you actually move the mouse, and if you try and make your character spin around really quickly by jolting the mouse to the side, prepare to keep doing it over and over, since the speed is hampered as well. Overall, it makes movement more smooth, but much less accurate, and therefore irritating at times, and if you own a laser mouse like i do, you know they have a tendency to glitch and move about on their own, which can cause dire results in Severence if you are on a narrow bridge per se.
Bickering aside, this game is fantastic, the combat system is the most unique you may ever find, the effects are, for its time, top of the line and really add to the quality of the product. If you havent been convinced to try this game out yet, from reading all the positive remarks posted above, get off your butts and go do it.
And just for the Hell of it, here is a review posted by The Highlander, another extensive review, like the one i just did, lol. Wow, two times the review for only one time the post, lol.
Watch that, then download the demo, you know you want to.
Ps, here is the demo!