Jhe fluttery action popularized in the early 2000s is something that countless action games since have taken inspiration from, if not flattened out, and you can’t really blame them at the end of the day. Despite all the advancements in game design and the insane amounts of in-depth action games they are now capable of, the classic foundation launched in the early 2000s still seems like a perfectly fine starting point for any good gaming game. action to build on as they blend in their own flavors to hopefully become one great game. I guess there’s just something about having a supernaturally powerful main character with a giant sword on their back that enhances their abilities from currency earned by fighting as dramatically as possible and continues to endure. Whereas soulstice is undoubtedly one of those types of games, I’d be lying to you if I said it ultimately didn’t win me over with its often superb blend of evolving old ideas and reinforcing them.
soulstice tells the somewhat tragic story of two sisters, Briar and Lute, who fight to close a tear in the veil; the cosmic membrane separating their world from a far more fierce and sinister one. It’s a situation that doesn’t particularly surprise our main characters, as dastardly wraiths on the other side have been known to attempt such things, but this time it’s on a much grander scale and presents an apocalyptic threat. Briar and Lute benefit from being “chimera” as in, a fusion of two souls. In their case, the sisters. Lute is now a powerful ghost or “shadow” who can use all sorts of magical abilities while Briar has reached supernatural levels of stamina and strength. Together they are an interdimensional force to be reckoned with, but so is the army of monsters that await them.
“There’s just something about having a supernaturally powerful main character with a giant sword on his back that enhances his abilities through currency earned by fighting as spectacularly as possible and continues to endure.” Whereas soulstice is undoubtedly one of those types of games, I’d be lying to you if I said it ultimately didn’t win me over with its often superb blend of evolving old ideas and reinforcing them. »
It’s a good, if predictable, tale in which our heroine duo meet several other characters and well-crafted areas in this dark, gothic world. Sometimes you even come across Echoes of the Past which provide context to the story by giving you a brief insight into what happened in a given area. These little cutscenes aren’t particularly expressive, but they’re heartbreaking enough, and do more than do the job of fleshing out the game’s world and breaking up the standard action game loop of ripping through enemies and exploring on your way to the next battle, and kind of remind me of talking to the fallen warriors in the Hall of Heroes of MediEvil. I wish Briar and Lute were a bit more interesting themselves, especially Briar, who despite being relentlessly cool and well-crafted, never really compelled me one way or another as a character.
The gameplay immediately shows that anyone who’s ever played an action game from the PS2 or Xbox 360 eras will be right at home. A control scheme centered around light attacks with the Ashen Vindicator – Briar’s standard sword, and heavier blows from the Ashen Enforcer – a massive scythe or other weapons form a familiar setup, and as the arsenal of Briar expands, you’ll have different ways to make monsters shorter work, but soulstice also adds passive and active abilities with Lute, which can block attacks, freeze enemies, and inflict pain of its own. Kind of like how Atreus works in god of war 2018. This is where the mix of old and new starts to show, a trend you’ll often notice in soulstice. For starters, the often fixed camera cedes control to the player, usually for larger fights, then it’s more like a modern action game, but then it reverts to panning and trucking during the platforming and shooting sections. exploration and even some battles for a more cinematic flair. This dual system creates a situation where the type of camera changes quite often. Both systems work fairly well, but the fixed angles can make the rig feel a bit wonky, and I can see how jarring the back and forth can feel for some players.
You will probably hear people compare Soulstice’s combat to early 2000s action games a lot, and that’s not wrong. With Briars’ oversized sword magically resting on his back when not in use, it’s a tempting comparison to draw. but in the end, individual strikes carry more weight than that. Where early 2000s action games let you unleash flurries of attacks and bombard enemies with hyperactive nonsense, soulstice is a bit more deliberate and precise than that. Every hit counts – not as much as they would in a Soulslike, mind you – but it still has a knack for punishing you for too much mindless button mashing, thus forcing you to learn the ins and outs of Briars a lot of weapons, Lute’s plethora of passive and active abilities, and the all-important banishment and evocation fields.
“You will probably hear people compare Soulstice’s combat to action games of the early 2000s, and that’s not wrong. »
These fields are used wisely and make soulstice stand out a bit from the crowd of hack and slash games. Controlling blue evocation and red banishment fields is a special ability that Lute can use to make corresponding enemies vulnerable, break down barriers, and even reveal platforms that lead to hidden areas and objects. Using them for too long will harm Lute though, making you less deadly without his abilities for a short time, so there’s strategy at play here.
Ultimately, the two-field mechanic isn’t all that different from the multi-color attack system of A heavenly swordbut it’s used much more holistically in other facets of the game here, like exploration and puzzle solving, which frankly feels like a more organic part of this game than he did in this game. Additionally, a unit meter that illustrates the connection between Briar and Lute can add to combat effectiveness and even lead to a devastating state of rapture where Briar can easily rip all enemies, fields be damned. so that’s something to watch out for as well. Overall, combat is fun to master and develop as new weapons and skills are added to your repertoire. All the weapons are fun to use and just different enough that they’re all worth tinkering with, although I have to admit I ended up favoring the Hand of Retribution probably more than I was supposed to. TO DO.
Defeating enemies with speed and determination leads to a higher score and the collection of more Crimson Tear Residue, at the end of a fight, which you can then spend on upgrading Briar’s weapons, the same for Lute with the cobalt-colored residue. I have to admit, I was surprised at how deep Lute’s moveset goes and how she can be turned into a full-fledged juggernaut in a number of different ways. Spend wisely, as you only have the option to purchase items and skills between levels or by chatting with Layton; a traveler and observer who helps flesh out the story a bit and also acts as the epitome of ‘whaddya buyin’? ” character.
“Of course, a certain pleasure in soulstice can be won or lost immediately depending on your personal experience with classic 3D action games. »
Admittedly, a certain pleasure in soulstice can be won or lost immediately depending on your personal experience with classic 3D action games. soulstice lives and dies proudly by the same sword. Someone who just got into the action genre in the last ten years or so might have a very different opinion of the game’s often fixed camera and very linear layout than someone who has fond memories of god of war 2. It’s also not helped much by average-to-decent voice acting and writing, and generic early 2000s video game music is also a pretty big missed opportunity. However, whatever type of action you are most comfortable with, soulstice gets more than enough success with modern and classic ideas to be worth pushing through its few hang-ups.
This game has been tested on PC.