Forgotten, perhaps bad, Action Games?

I happened to catch an episode of South Park that paid tribute to Heavy Metal the other day and it reminded me of a game called “Heavy Metal: FAKK2” from a developer called Ritualistic.

I’d forgotten about this game. In fact, I’d forgotten how much I liked it, despite the wild variance in reviews.

So it got me thinking. What other (linear) 3rd-person Action (mostly Melee) games, a genre that seemed to be quite popular and then suddenly slip into a sub-genre of sandbox, Metroidvania, or quasi-RPG orb collection games (Devil May Cry, God of War), had I forgotten?

Besides Heavy Metal: FAKK2, I came up with the following:

-Die by the Sword, a clumsily controlled early 3D game that featured 3D dismemberment for the first time (I think).

-Severance: Blade of Darkness (thanks for the correction, Naeblis!), a modern take on Die by the Sword that appeared in the bargain $9.99 CD-case only rack at Wal-Mart out of nowhere circa… 2003, maybe? It was actually released in 2001, but did awful at retail.

-Heretic II, a total departure from Heretic that got decent reviews and was promptly forgotten.

-Rune, a game everyone loved, everyone remembered, and everyone suddenly stopped mentioning in nostalgia threads.

-Drakan, a game where you play Lara Croft with fantasy weapons and fly around on a Dragon at points. I was reminded of this one from the recent Divinity 2 thread on these forums.

-That Wheel of Time game that used the UT2k engine. An attempt to make a modern Hexen boosted by the currently-popular Wheel of Time books. Despite a great multiplayer concept, it was too easy to cheat/exploit the mechanics, and the game died pretty quick.

Can anyone think of more?

Extreme Paintbrawl?

Frontlines: Fuel of War? Nothing earth-shattering, but the single-player was competent enough and the occasional drone and tank combat sections were kinda fun. Never got around to trying multiplayer, though the community seemed to be pretty dead by that point anyway.

Soldier of Fortune II
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Unreal Tournament 3

Kingpin: Life of Crime.

Ubersoldier 1 and 2.

… and damn, i thought of Drakan, Heretic II and Rune with the tittle of the thread! edit: damn, Kunikos was faster than me with Kingpin

Btw, i hope that “Sword of Darkness” wasn’t Blade: Edge of Darkness, from 2000, a third person fantasy action game (but without the Die by the sword system) which is the best game my country has done.

-Die by the Sword, a clumsily controlled early 3D game that featured 3D dismemberment for the first time (I think).

-Sword of Darkness(?) (I don’t remember the exact name), a modern take on Die by the Sword that appeared in the bargain $9.99 CD-case only rack at Wal-Mark out of nowhere circa… 2003, maybe?

Nice calls. Die by the sword had the really weird controls where the sword moved independently. It didn’t work very well in game but you could use it in the move editor for some cool stuff. I kind of wish someone would try to remake the game or at least use the ideas for something new.

Severance: Blade of Darkness is the other one (I think). Really good game. I wish GOG would pick it up. I remember trying to get it to work in Windows XP was a pain in the ass. I’m afraid to even try my copy in Windows 7.

You could make a whole new thread but for RPG games and come up with a pretty nice list there as well.

It is! It’s called Severance: Blade of Darkness in the states, though.

I haven’t heard anybody talk about Oni in a long time. I recall the hand-to-hand fighting in that was interesting.

Alan Pavlish wanted it to be called “beheaded.” He loved the dismemberment stuff.

I didn’t think much of the builds I saw because it was so hard to control. Mostly I felt like I was just flailing around at random. Treyarch had built a sophisticated-for-its-time physics engine, but didn’t really have much of a game built around it beyond basic arena combat. We had a SCA expert come in to talk to them about real medieval combat moves - I remember her talking about hooking your shield on your enemy’s and pulling it away - but I don’t think anything ever came of that.

Severance is like a Bushido Blade RPG. So awesome, but so unforgiving. Every time I tried to fire it up (I don’t think I tried it on my Win7 box, but it ran great on WinXP which I only upgraded from late last year) I got thoroughly intimidated by it!


I had a lot of fun with Die by the Sword. I remember you could also set up duels in the arenas, pitting ogres vs kobolds vs orcs, etc, and then sit back and watch the dismemberment. Great stuff!

No one really talks about Shogo or No One Lives Forever much anymore. :(

This description immediately made me think of The Bilestoad, that although clumsy, sadly was not 3D.


I couldn’t remember the title. The only thing I remember about that game was its assets were copied by the makers of Limbo of the Lost. I had to the check the wiki for LotL.

Crusader: No Remorse
Syndicate Wars

I love me some NOLF

I would really like a new, good Privateer game from EA with a proper big budget. It’ll never happen though, I don’t think they could figure out how to sell it to console users.

I’ve never heard of it but Home of the Underdogs thinks that Strife was a hidden gem.

I also had tons of fun with Descent II.

I love how these nostalgia threads inevitably degenerate to “my favorite abandonware games, let me show you them” despite the thread title. :)

my input: Chaser, which you can at least pick up from GoG now.

James Johnson, your thread title is horrible.