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Salt And Sanctuary Review:

 

Nothing is better for a passionate Souls saga than to find a video game of the style that makes him surprise again; That allows him to recover that fear of the unknown, to “what damn thing awaits me behind that door”. Salt and Sanctuary succeeds; With moreover too. We have fallen into their traps; We ended up getting to a boss without being as prepared as we should be. We have to learn to play again from the beginning and learn their own tactics. A wonder that after its successful passage through PlayStation 4, where it premiered in March of this same year, lands in PC without novelties beyond the pertinent technical improvements to put to test to the brave ones; To those willing to accept the challenge posed by this Dark Souls in 2D.

 

We define it so because it is impossible to speak of this work without mentioning the franchise of From Software. It’s part of their DNA and Ska Studios has no problem recognizing it. There are also inspirations to the Metroidvania , which encourages a little jumps and platforms, backtracking with new skills and that way to clear new paths thanks to them.

 

References do not end. The salt serves here as souls, how to level up. The sanctuaries and refuges is our bonfires and weight of the equipment and much energy determines our character type. But, no matter how much it resembles other things, Salt and Sanctuary retains some ingenuity and originality. Here we also have money as a way to differentiate the experience and the purchase of objects. The difference between sanctuaries and shelters means that in some we can invest our salt and in others only generate a new control point. The oath system differentiates each sanctuary, making it impossible for us to access some shopkeepers because they do not belong to the same god.

 

Birth of salt

But it is in combat and exploration that we find the most differences. It is not the same to face a three-dimensional environment than to do it in two. Tactics vary. The leap and agility on the stage is of paramount importance and, while this limits some confrontations and tactics, the result is more than satisfactory. You can face each opponent and each final boss in many different ways: rely on your speed to attack back repeatedly; Do it in force while you take refuge behind your shield ; Make good use of magic or prayer skills and even lean on the bow and fast daggers to move in the most agile way on the stage. All the tactics are very effective and will depend on our style of play to overcome the enormous mapping that presents Salt and Sanctuary.

 

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All connected to each other and in a very efficient way. There is the possibility of teleporting, although for this it is necessary to have the appropriate object or unlock the correct shopkeeper, giving the situation of being able to transport us to an area, but not being able to return. And when the game seems to be running out of ideas, it will unlock brands : unique skills that will allow us to walk on the roof, bounce off the wall or make solid certain previously inaccessible platforms.

 

It is impossible to talk about Salt and Sanctuary without mentioning the FromSoftware franchise

 

Thus, SKA Studios has managed to interpret this formula and create a solid 2D game . One that also benefits from the particular artistic style of the team, while visiting huge and labyrinthine scenarios. It is however a bit strange the abuse of color filters that seem to tarnish the image. Although darkness works in areas where we need torches, it shines much less in well-lit areas where you have opted for a black and white style that does not end up coming to story or other scenarios so saturated that seem to want to artificially hide their painted environments hand.

 

 

 

 

You already know the rule. Hard enemies and final bosses that will make you sweat the fat drop. There are more and there are less, but Salt and Sanctuary starts strong and you will suffer in the first few bars to adapt to your fighting style. In fact, its similarity with the Souls saga makes you take some “vices” of the works of Miyazaki and even wrong the buttons of attack and use of objects, for example. Luckily we can readjust the keys to suit our style. That said, all their bosses achieve that first impression huge, a challenge to the height and a strategy to develop while we investigate what their weaknesses and what blows leave them best sellers.

 

It is difficult not to continue the comparison. His story is intended to be told in the same way; His secondary characters appear and disappear under the same pattern; And the feeling of having lost a gigantic amount of salt by having run into a boss unexpectedly is too familiar. It helps, however, that the system of progression is very deep, original and well elaborated. By offering salt to our god, we will get black pearls, which we can exchange for points of strength, dexterity, will, endurance, magic … But they will also serve to unlock our own class skills. Thus, if we want to equip a level 4 armor, for example, we will have to get to that branch of the skills tree before to unlock them.

 

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It seems to have come out of nowhere, but Salt and Sanctuary has been one of the most enjoyable digital games of the year. Of course, he does not get it entirely because of his own merits, because he drinks from very clear and unceremonious sources. But be inspired, it helps a lot to do in some of the most successful formulas of recent times and mix them with others that have worked so well in the 2D style. If you know what you are going to, you will have much more than an appetizer. A long and well built title that will offer you the challenge you are looking for in an unsuspected way. And thanks to it, it will be like starting over. Blessed be the

 

 

Conclusion

 

You will find a title rather than solid, full of challenges, that moves the Souls formula to the two dimensions, mixing everything with the genre Metroidvania. A long title that is presented as one of the great surprises in terms of digital games so far this year.

 

 

 

POSITIVE

 

Deep and well-built progression system

Labyrinth and well connected levels design

Deep and challenging

 

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NEGATIVE

 

Some color filters blur the image too much

Spot problems when facing in combat and during platform jumps

On some occasions, the “inspiration” to the Souls is TOO evident

 

 

 

 

 

Duration: 20-25 hours

Players: 1

Language: English texts and voices in English

 

 

 

Name:
Salt and Sanctuary

Release Date:
May 17, 2016

Platform:
PC

Also available for: PS4 , Vita, PC

Genre: Action

 Number of players:1

Estimated duration:20-25 hours

Developer: Ska Studios

Distributor: Ska Studios

Language:
Texts: English
Voices: English

Recommended age (PEGI):14+

 

 

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