The basic concept of Lord of Darkness is simple. As a lord of darkness, you end up captured by another and must escape his 100-level tower. To do so, you’ll hack, bash, and run your way through each floor, buying new items and power-ups, and generally making a mess of the place.
Fans of old school coin-op games like Capcom’s old fantasy side-scrollers and similar Double Dragon-style games will feel right at home here. Lord of Darkness is pure classic hacking and slashing. Mindless enemies trudge toward you from the left and right, and you simply tap them into oblivion. It’s certainly not a complicated or innovative game.
I’m afraid I must be going.
The game uses colorful and cartoonish 3-D visuals to lay its action out. You can move up, down, left, and right along the corridor, which aids in aligning with the clumps of enemies and skirting attacks. The little armored fellow can quickly roll out of the way of attacks and unleash some special moves as well. Between levels, you can take the gold you’ve earned to upgrade any of the five available weapons as well.
Controls use the standard virtual D-pad and buttons, and work well overall. At times, the hit detection feels slightly off, especially since it’s imperative to line up with your enemies to hit them successfully. There are no surprises or major complaints with how the game plays though.
Yeah, but who has the bigger ax?
There’s not much in the way of real role-playing game-style stats, which is somewhat disappointing. As usual, Lord of Darkness has an in-game commerce system as well, which allows players to purchase gems that allow for easier access to wealth and power. The only thing really missing from the classic coin-op feel is multiplayer.
So, for players who like this sort of gameplay, Lord of Darkness is a decent purchase. Just the same, the game gets really repetitive really quickly. You’ll end up bashing away so many of the same monsters the same way that it becomes boring. While you can switch up weapons on the fly, there’s no real strategy to the action and it just feels old after a while.
A hundred levels is a lot of gameplay though, so some will find this a worthy purchase. The levels are short enough to be a solid choice for when you need to kill a few minutes, and the inclusion of the survival-style arena mode adds to the potential gameplay length. Lord of Darkness is fun in small doses, but beyond that, proves there’s a reason why this genre is considered so old school.