The controls may not, though. Blade of Darkness
follows in the hack-and-slash vein of Rune
or the venerable Die By The Sword
, and while it's entertaining, its has its own share of problems that can take away from the fun.
At the start of the game, you pick one of four warriors to play as. There's the hulking barbarian who is the master of two-handed weapons, a chivalrous knight as the sword-swinger of the bunch, a stocky dwarf playing the part of the axeman, and a lithe amazon who wails on enemies with spears. All of the characters can use bows as well, although finding them can be something of a challenge.
There's a storyline somewhere, but it's never really given much of a treatment. The real point of the game is mindless hacking-and-slashing, along with the occasional switch-flipping and button-pushing. It's nothing you haven't seen before, to be honest, and while it presents some nice things, it's been done before better.
For example, there are a whole lot of weapons that you can use in Blade of Darkness, ranging from clubs and swords to massive bludgeoning tools. Your character gains levels as they fight, and along with the requisite boost in health, offensive power and defensive power, they gain new abilities to fight with. Indeed, you learn combos as you play, which can be used to great effect against your enemies. Weapons that are slow and unwieldy at the beginning of the game become trivial to use as it progresses.
But the combat system leaves something to be desired. You have to 'lock on' to an opponent before you can start to strafe around them, making battles with more than one enemy an exercise in frustration. Proper timing is essential if you want to cause enough damage to defeat your opponent, but getting the timing right is often an exercise in futility. Combos that worked before won't any more, depending on the mood of the game. It's more than a little frustrating.
Of course, when you pull off a head-removing slice, or dismember an opponent, there's a certain amount of charm that you cannot deny. And watching the surprisingly realistic physics engine simulate a sword spinning, or a shield coming to rest, is decidedly impressive. One just wishes that it would be simpler to get there and see those effects.
And as a game whose main purpose is combat, Blade of Darkness could definitely use some fine-tuning in that department.