Soulstice is a solid title that maybe plays it a bit too safe
There is a huge selection of great action-adventure games, with many classic titles like Devil May Cry or God of War still going strong.Each of these early titles brought something new to the table, innovating the genre and setting a standard for the games that followed.Italian developers Reply Game Studios have taken what fans love about the action-adventure genre and poured it into their new title Soulstice.
Briar and Lute are two sisters who have been reborn as Chimera. Their transformation has granted Briar superhuman strength and resilience, while Lute, sacrificed to bind her soul to her sister’s, has become a Shade with mystical powers. They are both members of the Order of the Ashen Blade and are heroes of this world.
Invisible walls that funnel you down a specific route, the score screen that flashes up after every single fight, and the use of red and blue crystals to level up your skills deliberately evoke games like Devil May Cry, but in doing so highlight how Soulstice pales a little in comparison to the powerhouses it emulates. There’s not enough nuance or levity in its combat or story, and it comes off as just a little also-ran.
Players will find themselves in so many chaotic situations that require finesse to overcome them. There is also the Unity meter which will grant the duo extra abilities when it reaches a high level.
Soulstice will constantly keep players on their toes and punish players who think they can get through the game by button mashing forcing them to learn the different weapons and combos.
Most chapters, especially the early ones, are super long. They took me around 30-40 minutes per level, so this is definitely not a short but sweet game. You are in it for the long haul.
When it comes to the visuals, story and atmosphere in general, all of it is great. Whilst the game’s influences are obvious, it still maintains its own identity.
One of the major issues in Soulstice is the camera which can be erratic, especially during the platforming segments. This can get very frustrating as it can make all the fast pace action difficult to follow at times.
Soulstice is a competent brawler with a solid core concept and an interesting world history that remains somewhat under-explored. It borrows ideas from multiple sources, including other character action games and even Japanese anime where the character design is concerned, but the execution is somewhat flat. Soulstice may not always dazzle, but if you’re looking for a decent adventure to kill 10 or 12 hours there are certainly worse options.
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