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Severence: Blade of Darkness

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Released: 2001

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: PC - Windows

Publisher: Codemasters

Submitted by: Elliot Davies

A game of which I will probably never tire. Graphics still beautiful – even by today's standards. Dig those real-time shadows! And atmospheric mist, great water effects – reflections! And that's not to mention the blood, which flows in a disturbing three dimensions.

Four characters to choose from. The Knight and The Barbarian place it in “easy” and “medium” respectively. Both rely upon brute force and offer a delightful little learning curve, though, lacking in armour and unable to carry shields, the barbarian offers a greater challenge. The Amazon and The Dwarf place the game into “hard” and “harder” territories. Their weapons don't pack nearly as much as a punch, so stealth and athletic prowess become the order of the day. Each has a different starting level and you can choose your own path through the game, so replay value is at a high. It's endless, for me.

The game captures and sustains a brilliantly broody atmosphere. The sound and music compliments perfectly. The combat is amazing. I could write pages about just how thrilling and engaging an experience is the combat in this game. Space is lacking, however, so I'll just say that there is nothing more engaging than a cleanly severed head after a twenty minute battle with a minotaur.

Huge, sprawling, immersive levels, a joy to explore. Well, it's perfect. Full of unforgettable moments. Quietly behead a prison guard and throw his head at his friends in order to provoke them. Beautifully cinematic, a true classic.