Blade Of Darkness
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Occasionally, a software house's pr person sits you down and shows you a game that has the potential to knock your socks off. The recent Formula One jobbie from Ubisoft was one, Starship Titanic from Zablac is another, and Blade, from Spanish developers Rebel Act Studios, is yet another. I know what you're thinking: "I bet it's just a plain old Quake clone." Well, you should be ashamed of yourself. Trust me when I say that Blade is stunning. Potentially. There isn't a lot to see at the moment, but what Gremlin's PR chap did bring round to our offices generated the kind of crowds not seen since Quake came in.
Even on a superficial 'Let's Judge It By The Graphics' front, we have never seen anything that looks this good. And there's still over a year of development time left! It supports just about every resolution level that your hardware carries, with or without 3D accelerator support (incidentally, all the images on this page are NON-3D card screenshots), and even at the highest levels there is virtually no slow down -at least there wasn't on our P200 machine.
It uses full 16bit colour palettes to keep up the incredible level of detail, and is enhanced by some of the grooviest lighting effects I have ever seen in a game of this type. Light bounces off any surface around, causing very realistic shadow effects (the assembled crowds nearly broke into applause when they saw a torch-carrying character walk along a corridor and round a corner - the effect was that good).
The action in Blade is much slower-paced than any of the various 'Quakers' that are popping up. It's more of a role-playing, story-driven sort of game. There's a plot - mystical swords, evil wizards, ancient prophecies etc, and character interaction, with four different races dotted around the land. Player characters have different fighting styles, and are able to run, jump, swim, climb, crouch and fly. The emphasis is also more on hand-to-hand combat, which means the action is more immediate (for me anyway. I never was any good with a rocket launcher). But, of course, all the usual networking and internet options are still being included anyway.
A release date of Winter 1998 means that a lot could happen to Blade between now and then, and people still remember all of the promises that were being made by the Quake team before it appeared. However, Spaniards are generally more reliable than Americans when it comes to long-term promises, aren't they? Except ones to do with fishing.
Download Blade Of Darkness
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP