Blade of Darkness and Its Dark Souls Parallels

Following the recent re-release of Rebel Act Studios' cult-classic action-RPG Blade of Darkness, we get this Eurogamer article that examines the game as the progenitor of the popular these days Dark Souls formula.

Now, the whole thing falls apart at the end, where it somehow comes to the conclusion that despite all the similarities between the two, Blade of Darkness is not at all like Dark Souls. But it then manages to stick the landing with a timely Conan reference, so the article is basically a roller-coaster of emotions.

Here's a couple of sample paragraphs:

The similarities become evident the moment you swing your weapon at an enemy. Or more to the point, the moment they swing theirs at you. Blade of Darkness' combat is not merely violent, it's also highly treacherous. Indeed, it was infamous for its stern challenge upon its original release. The game has no difficulty settings, most enemies can kill you in a few hits, and there are only a handful of opportunities to heal yourself on every level.

Yet perhaps the biggest congruence between the two is their affinity for dodging. You can block enemy attacks, but both shields and weapons will shatter after a few blows. Consequently, the best way to avoid taking damage is with a canny sidestep, leaping away from enemy attacks, then using the opening to get in a hit or two. What's particularly interesting is that being familiar with the rhythms of Dark Souls also makes playing Blade of Darkness easier. Knowing how to time dodges, when to close and when to keep my distance, meant I could run rings around enemies that caused me serious grief back in 2001.