If you've ever played Bushido Blade - a classic PSone samurai sword-fighter, where skilled bladesmiths could perform one-slash kills - you'll know the kind of strategic, thoughtful violence to expect from Dark Messiah. You can almost feel the weight of the weapon in your hand, but this doesn't interfere with the high-action pace. Instead it encourages creative battling, instead of mindless sword-waving.
Face-to-face battles with the beastly hordes are always frenetic, but you could opt to sneak in and take them by surprise. Each weapon has different charge attacks, performed by tapping a direction while charging your attack - left or right trigger powerful slashes, while forwards sets you up for a lunging stab - and if you can get close while unnoticed you can unleash a stealthy instant-kill.
Or there's the magic route. This often brings the best laughs - use an icy-blast spell to freeze the path of a patrolling guard, and watch as he slips uncontrollably off the edge of the ledge, plummeting to a sticky doom. And hopefully bashing his skull on the lip of the platform as he goes, while you cackle in brutal satisfaction. The choice really is all yours.
Dark Messiah is set to emerge in September for PC, but call back soon for our first impressions of the game's exciting multiplayer action.