From SIFU to OlliOlli World, passing through Horizon: Forbidden West and the new expansion of Destiny 2, the month of February was dotted with productions of the highest quality, among which the new game by Hidetaka Miyazaki stood out in particular. Immense and complex, Elden Ring it is in fact the sum of the playful experience offered by the FromSoftware titles (as highlighted in the Elden Ring review), as well as a monstrous titan with which all upcoming soulslike releases will necessarily have to compete. Therefore, while players from all over the world wander aimlessly in the Interregnum, we have turned our gaze towards some of the most interesting soulslike products with which we will be able to try our hand in the immediate future, hoping that these too can in due time involve us in unforgettable journeys. .
Salt and Sacrifice
Developed by independent Ska Studios and Devoured Studios, the Salt and Sanctuary sequel will debut May 10 on PS4, PS5 and PC. Like its sublime predecessor (refresh your memory by re-reading our Salt and Sanctuary review), Salt and Sacrifice has caught our attention since the official announcement thanks to the suggestive two-dimensional aesthetics and the disturbing atmospheres that characterize the adventure with a retro taste.
Alterstone is a dark and mysterious realm, in which captured criminals are punctually confronted with a terrible choice: to voluntarily meet the cold embrace of death or atone for their sins through years of service. Although most outlaws tend to lean towards a quick execution, from time to time evildoers with courage and will to live instead take the path of penance and assume the role of Marked Inquisitors. The task of the armed wing of the condemned is to find and annihilate by any means possible the waves of magicians who, after invading the peaceful kingdom of Alterstone, have plunged it into chaos and even threaten to pulverize it using an ancient secret that has remained buried. for eons. Once in the shoes of the Marked Inquisitors, users must then travel to the western frontier and make their way through a labyrinthine world overflowing with opportunists, mighty guardians and traps of all kinds.
According to the information in our possession, in the opening bars of Salt and Sacrifice we will be given the opportunity to customize not only the look and crimes of our Marked Inquisitors, but we will be able tochoose one of the eight classes in which to specialize them (Highblade, Paladin, Assassin, Cleric, Dualist, Fighter, Ranger and Sage), and then take part in what promises to be a macabre initiation rite.
After having swallowed the sacred drink and pronounced the words foreseen by the ritual, our avatars will then free themselves of their respective mortal fears and will be ready to shed the blood of the cruel spellcasters.
In this regard, the developers have revealed that the Marked Inquisitors will have the ability to loot the remains of the various targets and transforming their bones and even their meats into equipment with runic limbs, which consequently will favor the acquisition of extraordinary talents and skills. With a bestiary of over 100 monsters and as many as 20 categories of different wizards (including the abominable “Corpumancers” and fiery Pyromancers), the above system should offer some level of variety.
Mixing a full brawler-style side-scrolling combat system with the typical RPG mechanics, Salt and Sacrifice will drag users into a gloomy, turbulent reality that is always ready to overwhelm them. Like most of the soulslike, the campaign can also be faced in company, in fact the multiplayer mode will allow you to summon an ally and live together a bloody adventure focused on the extermination of wizards. Alternatively, users interested in the PvP component will be given the opportunity to join the “Blueheart Runners”, a faction of arcane smugglers who invade and wreak havoc on worlds.
Announced in March 2021 by Team17, the soulslike “pestilential” developed by OverBorder Studio should have seen the light last year on PC, Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5, but the need to make the finishing touches and launch Thymesia in the best possible state has prompted the English publisher to postpone its release to a generic 2022.
Clearly inspired by Bloodborne both for what concerns the playful system and the artistic front (for all the details recovered our preview of Thymesia), the action RPG will put the players in the shoes of the mysterious Corvus, a plague doctor suffering from amnesia and intent on recovering their memories. In fact, among his lost memories seem to hide numerous secrets and above all the key to shed light on the calamity that befell a powerful empire: once prosperous thanks to the phenomenal power of alchemy, when the kingdom discovered the true price required by the use of the aforementioned discipline has tried to stop any use, failing miserably. As a result, within days the entire empire plunged into utter chaos and its streets were invaded by hordes of gruesome monsters. By retrieving the key items and memories of Corvus himself, players will also be confronted with important choices that will determine the ending of the adventureencouraging lovers of the genre to try various paths and discover the whole truth.
If the information in our possession about the plot of Thymesia is still limited, the various trailers published so far have instead offered us a good overview of its frenetic combat system. Stripped of a shield, the unlikely raven-looking hero will be endowed with extraordinary agilitythanks to which he will be able to use the sprint to avoid enemy assaults and immediately move to the counterattack, triggering almost lightning-fast combos.
The plague doctor, among other things, will be able to count on a vast armamentarium, which will include a whole series of conventional death instruments, such as short swords (also usable in dual wield), the saber or the broadsword, plus some special powers. quite interesting. By consuming mana and assuming the “raven form”, the protagonist can then make surprising leaps and swoop down on opponents to finish them off with deadly claws, or summon ghostly weapons – such as swords, sickles, spears or hammers – apparently linked to the various bosses.
Although the developers have not yet explained the procedure in detail, we know for sure that Corvus will have to take possession of the diseases of its enemies and “wield” them like real weapons, dramatically expanding the range of attack patterns at its disposal. By providing access to a huge arsenal, Thymesia will therefore encourage experimentation and the creation of countless builds, embracing the needs and preferences of soulslike enthusiasts.
Bleak Faith: Forsaken
Funded through a crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter platform, Bleak Faith: Forsaken is the horror-hued soulslike imagined by Miso Vukcevic and Mirko Stanic. Set in a gloomy and adrift world, Archangel Studio’s first feature tells the deeds of the Forsakenan order of hunters condemned to protect what remains of mankind from the abominable undead that lurk in the Omnistructure.
Hybridizing cyberpunk themes, dark fantasy and even a hint of science fiction, the plot aims to offer a completely new and fresh experience, as well as to let players discover “the true meaning of alienation, isolation and terror” (in this regard we suggest you re-read our preview of Bleak Faith: Forsaken). With a longevity of about 30 hours, the title will be able to count on a labyrinthine world full of lore and open world architecture, a deep system of classes and not least a procedural structure aimed at diversifying each playthrough. Without taking anything away from the insidious open world, which according to the team should push us to continually adapt in order to survive the unknown, the most interesting element of Bleak Faith: Forsaken is undoubtedly its brutal combat system. As promised by the Serbian studio, the dark action RPG will offer tight and adrenaline-pumping clashes, transmitting to users a palpable sense of danger: fast, reactive and ruthless, the combat system will in fact be supported by a rather high challenge rate and programmed to maximize satisfaction. proven after achieving a victory.
If at the moment we do not actually know how many classes we will have available to customize our Forsaken to perfection, the videos published by Archangel Studio have revealed that these will be able to add to the equipment a huge selection of weapons: if, for example, the hammers and broadswords combined with the inevitable reinforced shield will translate into a traditional and parry-based fighting style, the use of the scythe will allow you to perform lightning swipes and to stand up to entire groups of enemies, while the flaming darts fired with the bow will allow you to take a safer and more focused approach to ranged combat.
Also including classes based on the use of magic and even on the advancement in stealth, Bleak Faith: Forsaken will give players the tools necessary to express themselves in battle to the best of their abilities (and preferences) or in any case to avoid them altogether.
After all, direct combat will not always be the most desirable course of action, also because the conformation of the environment and the contractable diseases called “Puppet Plague” will greatly affect the odds in favor of our alter-ego and the outcome of his journey. Before attacking head down, it will therefore be preferable to devise a solid strategy and prepare the playing field to increase the chances of winning.