Dark Souls III is right around the corner and I just played something that might interest you and kill some of this horrible downtime you are experiencing right now as you wait for the game to release. The game I am talking about is a 2D... wait, where are you going? Hear me out! This game is a 2D Dark Souls and it is called Salt and Sanctuary and it is just as hard as any Dark Souls game, and the scary thing is that it is just as entertaining. This is the review for the Playstation 4 version of Salt and Sanctuary
If you have played a Souls game before you know the deal, manage your stamina well, never get surrounded by enemies, learn how each enemy move and pray to the sun that you don't get too cocky. This is Salt and Sanctuary, a 2D version of Dark Souls, and homage to the series in every positive way imaginable. But how about this, when you die, you only loose 10% of the gold you collect. You collect gold in this game to buy new weapons etc. Sounds good right? This is easy I hear you yell out to yourself, but wait. Whenever you get hit, your health bar takes a permanent hit, and if you get hit enough, the health potions you so desperately need will not replenish all your health, because if you take enough hits your health-bar will eventually be half of what it used to be. Now imagine playing a Souls game with half a health-bar. Still not scary enough for you?
As with any other Souls games, Salt and Sanctuary comes with, yes, sanctuaries. Each sanctuary you discover can be upgraded to include up to four different characters, such as blacksmiths or guides. But to do this you need to find the right offerings, because nothing is free in this game. The sanctuaries is also where you level up, and you do this by putting points into a skill tree and allows the player to customize freely the way they would like to play these kind of games.
So by now you might be thinking that since this is a 2D “arcade” game there really isn’t much depth in the overall experience, but my 20+ hours before I finally managed to finish it proves otherwise. With incredible beautiful surroundings and scenarios, and a beautifully crafted soundtrack this game packs enough entertainment and challenge that it truly deserves to be held accountable to games such as the Castlevania series. Even the bosses takes a few retries before you either conquer them or throw your controller out the window. The game also has a new game plus after you finish it.
Although, there is a part of the experience that frustrated me quite a bit, and it wasn't the difficulty level but the lack of a map as some levels include caves and scenarios that might have a common theme and this makes it somewhat easy to get lost at times, this is of course especially annoying if you are heading back to level up and you are scared to get killed and loose the progress only to having to backtrack for too long simply because you are unsure where the sanctuary is. This might be a something that only I felt should be added but then again, it was noticeable and therefore included in this review.
The replay value is here, the multiplayer is here and the length is here. Salt and Sanctuary had my attention from the first time it was shown and I am glad to say that it did not disappoint and is a game you should try out if you like one the games mentioned above. This game is a clear homage to both Dark Souls and the Castlevania series. If those classic titles had a baby it would be Salt and Sanctuary.