Arriving on May 10th, the newest action role-playing game from Devoured and Ska Studios, Salt and Sacrifice. The 2D souls-like game will test players’ patience and temperament, offering a steep challenge. The game will arrive on select devices. So, how is the action RPG from Devoured and Ska Studios? Find out with our review of Salt and Sacrifice.
Story: Save the kingdom in this indie action role-playing game
You are a marked inquisitor, found guilty of crimes towards the Altarstone kingdom. Now you find yourself a part of this doomed force of hunters condemned to their task to stand against the existential threat of magic. Now you must pursue, hunt, and obliterate the mages that roam the land, causing havoc.
Players will find inspiration from other genre favorites like Dark Souls in Salt and Sacrifice. You won’t get a straightforward plot, but instead, like in the Dark Soul’s franchise, players will learn more about the world and what is happening as you explore and talk to NPCs. There are no cutscenes or long stretches of text to explain everything here. Instead, you’ll have to piece everything together as you go further.
In our review of Salt and Sacrifice, we found this storytelling style can be a hit or miss depending on the player. With no defined plot to propel the player forward, it becomes relatively easy to be lost and not know what you should be doing. This level of freedom to explore is a bit of a double-edged sword. Learning about the world is rewarding. But, much can be missed with no clear guide.
Gameplay: A 2D side scroller that offers a steep challenge
Starting in Salt and Sacrifice, you’ll be introduced to the character creation menu, allowing you to decide on some basic appearance options, class, and carried items based on the crime you’ve committed in the beginning. Then, they go through a short introduction, and you’ll be off to the races.
The player will start their adventure in the starting town. Here, gear can be crafted, upgraded, bought, sold, or otherwise. In addition, the starting town is where your character becomes more powerful, allowing you to spend gained experience. The starting town also has the arch, different from Ska Studios preceding release, Salt and Sanctuary.
The player will assemble runes that will allow them to travel to various areas throughout the game. Players can learn these rune words for teleportation by talking to NPCs and fighting mages, which is the primary mark of progression in the game.
Die, learn, repeat
Salt and Sacrifice, like its predecessor, pulls a lot of inspiration from the Dark Souls franchise with its gameplay. Players will need to practice patience and learn patterns, even when dealing with regular enemies. With the 2D side-scrolling nature of Salt and Sacrifice, enemies will ascend or descend floors to you. During fights, you may find yourself quickly outnumbered.
Salt and Sacrifice’s difficulty may not be for everyone. Exploring and battling enemies will pose great difficulty with dying to be something that is expected. Between fighting mages and the various door bosses that require mage hearts. You’ll find yourself fighting two to three bosses in a row at certain points, with some of their stages being way too small.
To make matters even more difficult for the player, attack patterns for some mages are broken to the point where their patterns are just spamming attacks. Constant barrages in s small contained space trapping the player into hours of madness where only luck or giving up will see you free.
But once you do defeat that pesky Mage, they may still come back to get you. The Mages operate on a different level once defeated, they become field enemies, and you can find yourself taking on multiple at once, along with minions and regular field enemies. These kinds of challenges are made for players who are fans of this kind of challenge. Players who are looking for a more forgiving game may find difficulty here.
Graphics/Audio: A beautifully dark depiction of a world on the brink
Leveraging a 2D side-scrolling style, the developers at Devoured and Ska Studio still managed the same dark and brooding inspiration that the Dark Souls franchise is also known for. Walking through fields of death or decaying caves filled with skeletons, the developers nailed that dark foreboding feeling.
Salt and Sacrifice’s map is a sprawling vertical world of exploration. Following a path can take you clear across an area, giving you even more places to unlock. Each location is also designed to be returned too. Gaining specific terrain tools will allow the player to access new paths in the area. Even in 2D, the team over at Devoured and Ska Studios still delivers a game with a large amount of depth in their world.
The audio in Salt and Sacrifice is decent, but nothing that will probably win any awards. But, it’s enjoyable and well done, with great highs during boss fights and a dark, mellow low during exploration. The team at Devoured and Ska Studios does a great job using the audio to add greater appeal to their game.
Conclusion: Definitely worth it for some, but not all
Devoured and Ska Studios game Salt and Sacrifice is another fantastic addition to this genre of games. Following their previous title, Salt and Sanctuary, they do a great job adding new ideas to their game, further evolving their franchise. Unfortunately, this title will probably only appeal to those who are fans of the genre. If you’re anything like me and your gaming tends to fall on the less challenging side, Salt and Sacrifice will probably not be your cup of tea.
But, if you’re a fan of the Dark Souls franchise and you’re looking for a new spin along with a challenge. With our review of the Devoured and Ska Studios Game Salt and Sacrifice, this will certainly be up your alley and worth checking out, but everyone else. You may want to skip this one and try to find something that isn’t going to want to make you pull your hair out.
If you want to find out more after reading our Salt and Sacrifice review. The game will be available on the Epic Games Store or PlayStation 4 & 5 Store for $19.99. Additionally, you can learn more about the developer’s Ska Studion on their website and Devoured Studios on their Twitter.
- Fantastic art and level design
- Rewarding exploration
- A good challenge
- Gameplay can be overwhelming
- Controls can feel strange
- Easy to get lost