4 min read

Blade of Darkness, the classic fantasy action adventure by Rebel Act Studios, landed on Xbox and Playstation. This modern version will receive an HD treatment on PC and soon also on Nintendo Switch. Prepare for a classic game, pioneer of the Souls genre.

Blade of Darkness - Trailer HD Update

Severance: Blade of Darkness is an hardcore action adventure game developed by Rebel Act Studios and originally published by Codemasters in February 2001.

In October 2021 a remastered version was released on Steam and GOG, and one year later on Nintendo Switch. The game received high marks for its graphics. Honorable mention to dynamic lighting of real time shadows. Character animation was done via motion capture. The texturing was very good for 2001, although the game does not utilize larger texture sizes. In the game can be found sword and sorcery elements like Conan the Barbarian (movie), and fantasy literature such as The Lord of the Rings or D&D setting and monsters. Interesting fact: the game was developed by 20 people.

A Dark World

The Earth was in extreme danger, so Ianna casted a powerful spell that expels the gods from their dwelling place and keeps the Earth closed to them. The Spirit of the Light went to the Sun and from there protected the Earth during the day. Ianna went to the Moon to protect it during the night. Thus began the cycle of Day and Night, and a new age of balance was born over the Earth. 

Unfortunately the struggle continued until a young hero emerged to defeat the Darkness. Chosen by Ianna to wield the Sacred Sword and fight the Evil. The Darkness was defeated, but the hero was mortally wounded, and his friends buried him with his Sword in the Ianna’s Temple. Then they hid four magical gems, able to unlock the tomb, where the sword is kept.

But now the Darkness has returned once again. Orcs swarm the roads and strange beasts search for prey in the gloom. Hope lies in Ianna’s legend, mother of all living beings, once gave a mighty sword to a foregone hero to venture into the abyss and defeat evil. The world needs a new champion, who will wield the blade and destroy the enemy forever.

A True Pioneer

Nowadays we can consider Severance: Blade of Darkness a pioneer of the Souls genre. High difficulty, dark fantasy world, gameplay mechanics  and last but not least, the game was released 8 years before the well-known Demon’s Souls. In addition to this Severance has complex attacks and combos more like a beat-em-up game. Some of these are bound to specific weapons and can deal huge damage. Moreover an advanced body slash system, where you can pick up body parts from enemies and use them as weapons. If that wasn’t enough you can destroy in-game objects, solve puzzles and disarm traps. All combined with physics, hydraulic systems, and lethal traps!

Four Heroes

Every hero starts his adventure in different locations but the ultimate goal is to obtain Ianna’s Sword, kill the evil necromancer Dal Gurak and then descend into the Abyss for the final confrontation with the Chaos Child. Be careful: to achieve the final challenge you have to collect all of the runes from the previous levels so as to empower Ianna’s sword with her blessing.

You can choose between four playable characters.

Tukaram the Barbarian

Naglfar the Dwarf 

Sargon the Knight

Zoe the Amazon 

Each with unique strengths, weaknesses, and fighting skills.

What’s New

With the console release (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X) the game was re-engineered. Upscaled textures, improved anti-aliasing, HDR, bloom, motion blur, SSAO, camera rework and gamepad support. To make the game work on modern PC hardware was introduced widescreen support up to 4K resolution, new display settings, and improved overall stability.

At the same time, the gameplay, content, and the story are untouched, in order to feature all the game’s quirks and charm. 

Sharpen your weapons and prepare for battle!

Useful Links:

Blade of Darkness Trailer

I'm a musician (pianist), a nerd and a longtime manga lover. My gamer life started with a copy of Pitfall (1982) for Atari 2600, and so I grew up hand to hand with this medium until now. Later I started to look for what's behind the final product, its design and what happens behind the scenes of the video game world.