Our Score: 8/10
In Soulstice a coming-of-age fantasy adventure with frantic action, ferocious adversaries, and magnificent boss fights, you may explore a dark world packed with hidden mysteries, learn a diversified fighting system, and inhabit the opposing forces of two sisters.
Piercing the Veil
When strong, untamed animals known as “Wraiths” arrive from the other side of the Veil and pose a danger to consume the living, the stability of the Holy Kingdom of Keidas is jeopardised. Wraiths transform their victims into uncontrollable creatures who prey on ordinary people and can even take possession of their bodies. Only the “Chimeras,” warrior hybrids created by the fusion of two souls, are capable of defending humanity.
Sisters Briar and Lute are two Chimeras that have undergone rebirth. Briar now possesses extraordinary strength and fortitude thanks to the metamorphosis, while Lute, whose soul was sacrificed to unite it with her sister’s, has changed into a shadow with supernatural abilities. Stefanie Joosten (Metal Gear Solid 5) provides the voice for Briar and Lute, who are assigned to retake a destroyed city that the Wraiths had destroyed. However, they soon learn that the Order they belong to has a far more complicated strategy in mind.
With several cutscenes to view inside each chapter, the pacing is good and allows for the development of the city’s surrounding events. The narrative doesn’t feel overly drawn out because there is enough time between scenes for the characters to interact and engage in some exploration and battle before moving on to the next scene. Given all that is going on in the city, it would be intriguing to see side sections filled with survivors that would let players delve a little further into the city’s past.
Players in Soulstice will be leaping, chopping, and slicing their way through foes in a style reminiscent of Devil May Cry. controlling two characters simultaneously: Briar and Lute, two sisters. While Lute, Briar’s sister and a spirit connected to her, plays a supporting role by using her otherworldly talents to influence the battlefield, you control Briar the most of the time, employing her potent melee attacks and abilities. By enhancing Briar’s powers with delaying effects, shielding, and reflection, Lute makes her a more adaptable character in battle. Briar can interact with things and adversaries of the same hue by using the red banishment field and the blue evocation field that Lute may summon. However, if Lute maintains a field for too long, she will overcharge and become inactive for a brief period of time, leaving Briar entirely unprotected.
Players will still be able to discover a game with robust mechanics and a great challenge. Be careful, more casual players. The game contains several challenge gateways that are dispersed all across. While the difficulties are initially very realistic, as the game goes on, they get increasingly difficult and can even make players angry. It won’t harm to ignore them if you’re not searching for that type of challenge.
Looking at the World
When it comes to the aesthetics of the game, Soulstice definitely shines. It is pleasing to the sight. The devs have such a beautiful universe that the lack of additional exploration was almost regrettable. Players will explore a wonderfully drawn world of devastation and sorrow with attractive individuals, using the city of Ilden as its background. The players will also be spending a lot of time engaging with this environment. By jumping off of falling platforms, resetting bridges, and navigating a metropolis that is disintegrating in front of their eyes.
The game does take a retro approach by employing a fixed camera. Allowing for the creation of stunningly dark and grimy set pieces but also limiting user control of the camera. In order to see a room’s corner or ceiling or to gain a better perspective of the enemy during combat, I occasionally had to wrestle for control of the camera. Sometimes the camera might provide stunning set pieces for viewing. But it would also obstruct play or provide insufficient support.
Soulstice offers a dark and gritty world with a beautiful art style. The world and enemies and really good-looking. And the hack’n’slash combat is quite fun and can be quite challenging. Can’t wait to play the full game at release.