Review: Soulstice – Movies Games and Tech

Review: Soulstice – Movies Games and Tech

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Hack ‘n slash adventure titles are low on my priority list. Why? Well, they’re usually repetitive and full of annoying soundbites. But every now and then I’m wrong, and a game from this genre stops me in my tracks. Soul acquisition was such an experience that surprised me. Without the usual mindless fighting and annoying noise, I was pleasantly surprised. Still, will it do enough to change how I feel about the genre?

Developed by Reply Game Studios and published by Game mode, this is a fantasy hack ‘n slash title. Also, it’s rich in history and has some phenomenal acting throughout. On top of this, the combat is fascinating, the action is balanced, and it’s perfect for newcomers and veterans alike.

The female protagonist wields a hammer while surrounded by monsters.
Use the hammer to annihilate your enemies.

Soul acquisition is captivating but familiar.

The gaming industry is fickle and players worldwide complain bitterly about the lack of originality. For the most part, this is a fair point of view, but sometimes I love to see a glimpse of top games in other developers’ work. Equivalent, Soul acquisition had a familiar edge to the visuals and gameplay. Although the plot was extremely linear, I was reminded of both devil may cry and NieR replicant. This is not a bad thing as both games are phenomenal. However, I don’t think this has enough going for it to be awarded such accolades.

The story focuses on 2 sisters, Briar and Lute. The first is alive but cursed, and the second was sacrificed to ensure the pair were reborn as The Chimera. These wicked beings are destined to share an intertwined existence, but they don’t care. Instead, they use their new powers to help The Order and help the sprawling city of Fire. A tear has appeared over the city and the Order must investigate the cause, fight the wraiths and rectify the situation. This is where the sisters come into play. Working together, The Chimera will dispel these evil forces and save the day.

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It’s all about the fight.

With a predominantly hack ‘n slash core, the game unsurprisingly focuses on the combat mechanics. Nevertheless, it still tells an incredible story thanks to the wonderful acting and attractive cinematography. The game is divided into chapters that include pockets of combat, some basic exploration, and the odd secret to find. The secrets transport you to a challenge arena where you must pit your skills against waves of beasts and creatures. These additional missions can be revisited at any time if you want to practice or improve your final score.

However, the body of the game concentrates on excellent combat mechanics. To begin with, the game gives you a gentle introduction that is particularly underwhelming. Nevertheless, after a few hours, the fight becomes intense, and each of the protagonists expands their vocabulary of attacks and their arsenal of weapons. Lute is an ethereal being and functions in a support role. In doing so, she is the guardian of her living sibling. By increasing her blocking ability or the range of her spectral powers, she is a useful ally to call upon.

Soulstice mixes magic and melee combat.
Use Lute’s powers to slay ghostly creatures.

What about Briar?

Briar, on the other hand, is a cold-blooded killer. Armed with a meaty sword, her skill tree focuses solely on her destructive powers. As the game unfolds, she wields a hammer, a bow, and a giant metal fist. The first allows you to take out swarms of enemies in one quick attack. Alternatively, the bow takes down your enemies from afar and the gauntlet decimates their armor. Each unique weapon is an essential tool for dealing with the swarms of beasts you will encounter.

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As the game progresses, you must combine your sister’s powers to succeed. Lute must use her spectral range to allow Briar to kill the gruesome apparitions. Alongside this, her ability to freeze and block attacks is an important combat mechanic. This is then perfectly balanced with the entropy meter. This special meter ensures that Lute uses his powers sparingly. If the meter maxes out, she disappears and Briar is left alone and exposed. Accordingly, you must balance each of the sisters to overcome each battle encounter.

Soul acquisition looks fantastic.

When a game is a blurry activity, you need it to look good and perform admirably. Luckily, Soul acquisition do just that. Its gloomy and oppressive color palette is complemented by the evocative dialogue and fascinating plot. Also, the combat animation is smooth, OTT, and has a wonderful fantasy edge. Consequently, it looks amazing and the backgrounds are exciting. My only frustration came whenever I wanted to explore the huge, sprawling city. Unfortunately, invisible walls and the linear approach prevent you from venturing off the designated path.

Alongside the magical visuals, there were some great audio moments. The plot is delivered perfectly thanks to the phenomenal acting. Furthermore, the aggressive soundtrack is supplemented with loud and unpleasant sound effects. In short, it’s loud, in your face, but boy, does it work well.

Use the bow to take out enemies from afar.
Grab the bow and take down your enemies.

The controls are the cherry on top of the cake.

Things get better when you consider the control layout. With many combos to perform and some meaty fights to tackle, it could be tough to play. Fortunately, the excellent layout, responsive inputs and thorough tutorials make it easy to play. As such, even when the new mechanics are dropped in, you never feel out of depth.

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The developers have done a good job with both longevity and replay value. The aforementioned secret arenas are more exciting and challenging. Also, each match is ranked to give each chapter an overall score. This was an excellent idea as perfectionists will return to get the best result. Alongside this, there are a number of difficulty settings to defeat along the way.

Soul acquisition is a great game.

Although it is not as good as NieR or devil may cry, Soul acquisition is a great game. However, I wasn’t a fan of the strict linear style or the occasionally repetitive plot. However, the amazing graphics, amazing sound and brilliant controls make up for this. That’s why I recommend you buy it here! Can you help The Order and save the day? Work as a team, master your skills and defeat each monster.

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