Let’s get right down to it, the game basically looks like a watered-down version of Dark Souls. I understand that many of you may be sick and tired of the comparison, but it feels like that’s exactly what it’s trying to be. So how well does the game hold on its own? Honestly, not that much.
I would usually start by giving a descriptive summary of the plot, but there’s barely any here. All you have to know is that the kingdom of Cavanis is overrun with sin, and it’s your job as the nameless hero to atone for it all. I’m sure that there are people who like that it’s straight to the point, but it’s so simple to the point where it’s easily forgettable. There is a clear effort that the game is trying to build its lore, it’s just a shame that it’s highly unlikely that players are going to care as there’s no build-up to them.
Now, for the gameplay. Unlike Dark Souls, you’re only here to fight bosses and you get to choose who you fight straight away. No other enemies here, just you and some very tough opponents standing in your way. Since the entire plot focuses on sin, all bosses are based on the 7 deadliest ones: Wrath, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Pride, Lust, Greed. Before you take any of them on, you’re required to lose a portion of a particular aspect of your character. Each specific boss determines what you could lose. For example, the one which personifies Envy will forcefully reduce the number of items you can use before you take her on. If you beat the boss, you’ll gain a permanent health boost. That’s all you get.
What’s great here is that if you manage to beat one, you can choose to retrieve what you sacrificed. You can do this at any given point in time, just know that there is one consequence for doing so: you end up reviving the boss you’ve beaten and you’ll have to go through the battle all over again. You can choose when you want to take it on for the 2nd time, but the fact remains that it’s a fight that you’ll have to repeat.
This gives a layer of depth to the game as it actually gives you options. Do you think that the weaker bosses are the best options to go up against first? Or should you go for the ones that are harder, but has negligible reductions to your overall capabilities? Maybe you messed up and you’re thinking about taking back what you’ve lost from beating one boss, just so you can beat another that you can’t take down without it. If so, is it worth repeating the same fight a 2nd time?
It’s honestly a very cool concept, it’s just a shame that its execution was very poorly handled.
If there’s one word that can perfectly describe the gameplay, it would have to be “inconsistent”. There are at least 3 bosses that offer somewhat of a decent challenge, but then there are those that are way too hard for their own good. It’s as if the developers intentionally made them that way so that you’ll feel like you’re getting more than your money’s worth. It’s needless padding to increase your playtime, and it’s never a good thing if it just ends up with you being frustrated to the point where you don’t even want to play anymore.
As for character controls, they’re not that good. Again, I’m forced to use Dark Souls as a comparison as that’s exactly what the control scheme is trying to copy. You have light attacks, heavy attacks, along with different items you can use. You even have dodge rolling, blocking, and even sprinting here! Making it that much clearer as to what the game is trying to be.
The feel to how the character handles is just…off. There’s an unexplainable weight to how you move as there are times where you’re not going where you’re supposed to. Then there’s the problem of determining the hitboxes of your attacks. There will be times where you’ll think you hit the enemy, only to see your character swinging his weapon in the air and into the ground.
As for what you can use during battle bosses? Well, you start right away with a healing item, firebombs, javelins, and an item which buffs attack power. Don’t need to tell you as to what that reminds me of. What’s worse here is that you only have two main weapons: a great sword or a short sword. You can choose to switch between them at any given point in time, and the short sword is paired with a shield that you can use to block some attacks. There’s barely any diversity on what you wish to use to take on bosses, and since you won’t be getting any new weapons, it’s possible that you’ll develop an empty hole in your heart where the feeling of satisfaction should have been in.
I will say this, I enjoyed most of the art the game brings up right before you take on boss battles. The black and white art style really captures the depressing and malevolent tone that the intro cutscenes are going for. They look good and they also give you some sort of backstory for the boss you’re about to face. At least there was some effort there.
However, the same cannot be said with the game’s soundtrack. Maybe you’ll remember 1 or 2 pieces of music, but that’s highly unlikely as they all feel so generic. And it’s more understandable that you’ll only remember certain tracks because you’ve faced a single boss over and over due to the battle’s unfair difficulty.
What’s depressing is that the game has so much untapped potential. I have no doubt that it would have been something amazing if there was more time to polish or add to what it already has. Sadly, we’re stuck with what we’re given with.
If you still want to give it a shot, then get it for the PS4 and see if you can put up with something that feels frustratingly unfinished.
Disclosure: This review is based on a review code provided by Another Indie. Read our review policy to know how we go with our game reviews.