I have a tremendous respect for side-scrolling platformers that try to do things differently. Recently, both Limbo and Fez became two of my more favorite modern side-scrollers; Limbo was one of my favorite creepfests ever and Fez actually made me use my brain and after completing levels, I felt pretty good about myself. I accidentally stumbled about Black Knight Sword a few months back and was deeply bummed at the lack of attention that was brought to a game with, in my opinion, one of the best presentations of 2D gaming in recent years.
Black Knight Sword presents itself in the fashion of a play unfolding at the hands of the player controlling a recently reanimated corpse donning some sinister black armor. The player controls the Black Knight through levels of demented and bizarre enemies, bringing platforming back to its roots in the form of psychologically tasking imagery and platforming that may often have players gritting their teeth and cursing the genre. The dark atmosphere is disturbingly well executed, and when paired with the gorey deaths of the Black Knight’s nightmarish foes, the game rewards its players with excellent, creative storytelling.
As far as platformers go, Black Knight Sword requires players’ undying patience because you will die, and you will die often(imagine a Mario version of Dark Souls). The game takes the most basic of gaming traditions and makes gamers execute their play to a T. The gameplay doesn’t deviate any farther than traditional platforming and that might be a frustrating part of the experience; finding difficulty in the simplicity of the game made me loathe myself for not being able to breeze through the levels.
If you’re looking for a bare-bones platforming game that’s as fun to watch as it is difficult to play, then this game is for you. It is an absolute miscarriage of justice that Black Knight Sword flew under the radar the way it did, but sometimes those things can’t be helped. I highly recommend at least checking out the trial version of Black Knight Sword in the waning twilight of this generation of game consoles. If you’re looking for a challenge as well as a hypnotizing story, don’t miss out on this experience.