Black Knight Sword Of Rage – First Impressions
Black Knight Sword of Rage is the third in the Black Knight Pinball series following the Williams 1980 System 7 Black Knight and Williams 1989 System 11B Black Knight 2000. If they can follow up 1989’s Ghostbusters 2 with a new movie coming in 2020 – why not follow up a pinball machine from 1989 too. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Black Knight game without Steve Ritchie, and he is back, this time working with Stern to release Sword of Rage.
The game will come in 3 variants for the U.K market – the Pro Game is available £6,595, the Premium is available for £8,795 and the Limited Edition (of which is limited to 600 pieces worldwide) is £9,995. The flyers for each of the games types is shown below.
Whilst all models feature the magna-save, it is activated by the action button in the centre of the lockdown bar, as opposed to extra buttons on the side of the cabinet which is customary in the Black Knight series until now. Coming from a manufacturing environment, one would assume that this is to standardise the cabinet to something that Stern are accustomed to and can keep costs of tooling and stock down. I haven’t yet played the game, but I would have liked to have seen this feature in its usual guise, but I will formalise that opinion, or dismiss it once it has been played.
The big miss from the Pro model is the upper play-field, a huge feature of the series, in U.K. pricing terms that (along with other features sure) is going to cost a princely £2,200 to upgrade to. It is a big miss in a Black Knight pinball game, but one that Steve Ritchie obviously felt was doable as the Pro model is available to buy without it.
A real talking point for me is the graphics on the display, some of the graphics in games like Aerosmith and even Iron Maiden have felt a little wanting, but just look at the graphics on this game. Simply gorgeous!
The game also features an impressive playfield toy on all models of the Black Knight who has a swinging morningstar and shield which can block shots for the player depending on the timing of certain shots, this looks like a really cool toy.
Watching this really good video on Black Knight Sword of Rage you can see the game is mode based; the following modes are available:
- The Mud Bog – Fight a 5 Headed Hydra
- Molten Fire – Fight the Magma Beast (As Pictured)
- Burning Sands – Fight the Sandworm
- Wicked Cavern – Fight the Hell Hand
- Deep Freeze – Fight the Lich Lords
- Black Castle – Finally… Fight the Black Knight!
There’s also some multiballs to look out for, a standard 3 Knights Multiball but also the awesome looking retro mode multiball, which has an active multiplier based on the number of balls in play. This looks incredible, such an amazing feature of the game. You can see it in the Twitch Video posted earlier from 46:50 – listen to those sounds too… Gorgeous.
I am excited by this game, what is there not to love. Stern seem to be hitting their stride in making the large colour displays start to work for them. Not including Batman ’66 as that was technically manufactured under licence, Aerosmith and Star Wars have had hit and miss reviews, Guardians of the Galaxy started off poor with extremely rushed code (a lot like The Walking Dead Pinball too!) but has improved, then followed up by two heavy hitters in Deadpool and the incredible Iron Maiden. I love the Black Knight games, even if BK2000 can be a bit repetitive.
This game looks amazing, the layout is good, even on the Pro and the classic inserts look great lighted with those LED’s and the new playfield polish. I am certainly looking forward to getting my hands on this, I think it could be another absolute classic. I don’t seem to be the only one in the U.K. all aboard the hype train for Black Knight Sword of Rage either.
Oooh this looks very tasty! I haven’t been interested in any of the newest LCD Sterns yet, but VERY much fancy one of theseDavey D – Pinballinfo
Looks freakin awesomeStumblor – Pinballinfo
Although some people maybe aren’t so happy having to shell out on yet another new in box game.
FFS I will probably have to get this!Huggers – Pinballinfo
So what do you think? Will you be getting a Sword of Rage in the U.K? Or do you think that the money is better spent elsewhere?