Quest for Danger

This is something I made for the weekend contest, or I tried to. (The deadline passed before I entered my picture.) How can this be improved?

It’s way too dark. It might be that your monitor settings are not typical, so maybe it doesn’t look too dark to you, but I can barely see it on mine.

Aside from the darkness, the modeling could be better. The handles on the sword look incredibly flat, maybe the lack of light makes them look more flat than they actually are but still too flat. Overall they don’t look based on any reference image, try picking some images of swords you like and model against them, it’ll help a lot.

The materials need work too, the handles are way glossy (especially being in the dark!) for example. Again reference images will help.

Keep at it!