Analysis of Soulstice, a game that is not what it seems

We are already finishing the year, as they say, a 2022 that is leaving us true jewels that we will remember for millennia. You got me, I’m talking about Elden Ring, again; but it has its why. During the summer months the occasional Souls-Like has been released, such as Thymesia or, more recently, Steelrising, which offered us a more or less interesting story combined with the combat so characteristic of the genre. Who would tell me, a souls with a real story! I have to admit that until a few days before starting the analysis of Soulstice, I thought it was just another souls, and I wanted to know if it would help the genre to grow, or if it would be another one of the bunch.

Nevertheless, It’s not a Souls-Like, nor is it the heap. As my old English teacher would say, we are facing a “false friends”, since the name does not mean what many of us imagined. For my surprise, Soulstice is a Hack and slash with a life of its own that, if it is not due to its low number of combos, the disaster of the camera and its excessive duration; We would be facing a round game. To give you an idea, Soulstice is a darker and more fanciful Devil May Cry. Although the comparisons are odious.


technical section

This time I have analyzed the game on Xbox Series S, the little sister of the family. In general, the study has achieved a solid technical section, neither absurd FPS drops, nor resolution losses, however; We found a bug that is not very serious, but it is annoying, and it occurs mainly in the cinematics. As in most games, the cinematics are created with the engine itself, they are not videos recorded and edited separately with a similar aesthetic, but rather it is the same “game”. Well, it turns out that the vast majority of them, if not all of them, the textures of Briar and Lute -protagonists of the game- it takes several seconds to load. This is almost systematic. In addition, the game does not have an Xbox Series version, and I think that in the middle of 2022 it is a serious mistake.

Soulstice review, a game that is not what it seems - We review Soulstice, a hack'n slash that moves away from everything Souls to offer you an experience more similar to Devil May Cry. The result? No man's land.

The problem with loading textures is reflected here.

On the other hand, we find its graphic and artistic section, both good, especially art; which will leave us precious prints to get our well treasured catches. The scenarios are well built and designed, but several of the areas can be repeated not once or twice, but many more. A consequence of the budget of the study and that we are facing a double A. If its duration were shorter -I’ll talk about it later-, it would go more unnoticed, and not the other way around.

As always, I like to comment a bit on its setting and sound section, here both fulfill perfectly, and its soundtrack will not leave anyone indifferent. Finally, say that Soulstice is translated and localized into Spanish, but only in dialogue and interface. The voices are in English.


gameplay

We are already entering all its juice. What is Soulstice capable of offering us with its gameplay? Much and little at the same time. It does not revolutionize anything, nor does it innovate in any way, this does not have to be bad. If it works, why change it? Your fight is frenetic, dynamic and entertaining, as it is. Basically we will have two predetermined weapons, we can improve these from time to time at certain points, usually at the end or in the middle of each chapter. In total we can acquire a total of 7 weaponsthese are “fixed”.

We are not facing an RPG that we are exchanging the equipment, only we can improve it and enable new combos, increase defense, damage and the like. In relation to the succession of attacks: they are scarce and not at the same time. That is, if you focus on only one or two weapons, you will end up getting bored; That is why you will have to exchange between all of them. So everything will be more fluid. And I highly recommend it.

Soulstice review, a game that is not what it seems - We review Soulstice, a hack'n slash that moves away from everything Souls to offer you an experience more similar to Devil May Cry. The result? No man's land.

All of the above mainly affects Briar, who is the character we embody, but we also have a sister who is a “spirit”, in turn with a series of abilities. These are essential to progress in the story. Lute, the sister, has two different fields: red (elimination) and blue (evocation), which we can activate and deactivate at will to destroy certain materials and make our way -later, also to kill a certain enemy- or, to make visible platforms and once again, invisible enemies that we will need to be close to them with the cambo to annihilate them.

The combination of both sisters is essential, we will also have various synergies between them that will increase our statistics and make the battle more enjoyable, since we are not talking about combats of one or two enemies, but dozens of them, except for the bosses. Briar masters melee attacks and combos, while Lute will control the battlefield with his supernatural powers; thus creating the perfect combination. You could say that Briar is the fighter and Lute is the support..


Duration

25 chapters are what make up the full story of Soulstice, which will take a few 18/20 hours to complete them without dying many times and following the common thread calmly. And this is a priori problem. These types of games do not usually last more than 10/12 hours, since they begin to be repetitive as they cannot be, and end up boring the player. Although it is true that the enemies and bosses are varied, everything ends up tiring. I think that a more contained story would have been a success, but it is not the path chosen by Reply Game Studios.

eye! This really does not mean anything, since you will be the one to decide if they are the right hours. It must also be said that Soulstice “justifies” those hours with an interesting story, which we will discover as the chapters go by and will hook us little by little, and I think that this will be the anchor that encourages us to continue with the. The Order of the Ashen Edge, the chimeras, Ilden’s plot or the dark and mysterious Layton will be some of the incentives that the game will give us to continue and that at some point we just want to advance in the plot and look for new bosses. By the way, there isn’t one in every chapter. Example, the first will be in the room.

Soulstice review, a game that is not what it seems - We review Soulstice, a hack'n slash that moves away from everything Souls to offer you an experience more similar to Devil May Cry. The result? No man's land.


conclusion

Reply Game Studios presents us with an interesting double A in combat and history, a bit excessive in duration, but what will it solve with new enemies and bosses to defeat with a wide range of weapons that we must exchange to create a more dynamic and fluid combat At least that is the intention of the title. A “false friends” that has little of Souls-Like, if not that it looks more like a Devil May Cry or Bayonetta instead. Let’s go a classic hack and slash. Some sisters on the verge of death due to their strange condition as chimeras, who both must join forces and combine their skills on the battlefield to survive.

A solid technical section, but we miss a version for Xbox Series, although artistically it is remarkable. However, visual errors are not lacking, especially related to the loading of textures; a problem that has an easy solution in future patches, quite the opposite of its camera, which will play tricks on us in exploration and battles.

John Jesus

The good:

  • The design of scenarios.
  • Entertaining and frenetic combat.
  • The connection that you can feel with the protagonists.
  • Its sound section in general.

The bad:

  • In the case of Series S, the textures do not always load well.
  • After the first few hours it can become repetitive, which does not help and lasts a long time.
  • The camera can be frustrating on many occasions.



Analysis of Soulstice, a game that is not what it seems