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A game influenced by Kabuki, Monty Python and ... suicide?

Black Knight Sword hits PSN and XBLA later this year.

Black Knight Sword
Black Knight Sword

Black Knight Sword is a dark, visually complex game due out this year.

Part Kabuki theater, part Monty Python animation, Black Knight Sword opens on a dark tableau of death: Your suicide.

Silhouetted in the center of the screen, you dangle from a rope until, through player intervention, you manage to break free and have your body revived by the spirit of the Black Knight's sword.

The gameplay, developer Digital Reality's Balazs Horvath tells Polygon, is meant to be an old school platformer stretched out across five dark fantasy tales.

The art style is an arresting melange of visual components. There is the scrolling, theater backdrop deftly recreated from traditional Japanese Kabuki theater. As the character of the Black Knight slashes and runs the backdrop scrolls right to left, sometimes dropping down entirely new settings like a curtain in a play. Bits of the game's world and its enemies seem plucked from the imaginings of Monty Python's Terry Gilliam. There are bodiless heads, vomiting balls of fire at you. Crazed rabbit heads that serve as elevators. Microwaves packed with the beefy hearts that serve as the game's currency. The tone that runs throughout the game, from its suicide beginning to its mournful settings, seems more like the product of classic Czech animation then either anything Kabuki or Monty Python.

Horvath says many of the game's tales are inspired by classic Brothers Grimm stories. But it's also easy to detect the influence that co-developers Grasshopper Manufacturer, had on the project.

It's a dark, visually captivating game that's sure to be worth your time once it hits later this year on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.