Thursday, 18 April 2013

Soul Sacrifice Demo Impressions


Yesterday Sony added the substantial demo for the PSVita title Soul Sacrifice and it is pretty damn fun.  What is Soul Sacrifice?  Well it's a monster hunter style game where up to four players can team up to fight giant monsters of a more fantasy variety.  Expect to face giant versions of classic monsters such as Cerberus, Harpy, Jack o Lantern?  Yeah odd but there are more promised in the full game.

The basic premise is that you are a human sacrifice of the evil sorcerer Magnusar waiting your turn until a magic intelligent book ends up in your possession.  The book is Magnusars journal and allows you to relive the sorcerers past and gain his abilities with the hope of being able to face the sorcerer and escape your fate.

The journal is reminiscent of the necronomicon
Essentially the book acts as your menu allowing you to customise your character which can be male or female with several appearance options for each.  You can also make minor alterations to your grunts and also pick from a few clothing styles.  You also pick your quests from the book and either jump online for cooperative play or run through the campaign which essentially acts as a singleplayer training mode.

Unlike Monster Hunter your character doesn't wield massive over sized swords or hammers, instead you wield the power of the elements.  These come in many forms called offerings.  Each offering grants you access to a specific attack, buff, heal or defensive spell.  Activating your offerings alters your physical form so for example choosing the 'giants arm' arm turns your right arm into a massive fist capable of doing big damage, while 'dragons egg' allows you to fire mortar like projectiles.

There are plenty of spells to discover and most are found by completing missions either alone or online so the replayability is there even in this demo alone which grants you access to four missions of varying difficulty.  You can only use these offerings so many times before the spell is gone for that level so you have to play tactically and use your abilities only when you can be sure it will damage.

Other more powerful spells come at a price.  When low on health you can perform a dark art spell which sacrifices your skin in exchange for a massive fire attack while the ultimate damage dealing ability comes in the form of sacrifice.  When you are downed friendly players can choose to save you or sacrifice you.  Saving costs them health to do so but brings you back into the fight, while sacrificing will activate a massive damage spell on the target.  When you die though it's not over as you in spirit form can lower the enemy monsters defence while powering up your allies.

Not your average harpy, but still pretty disturbing
Post game everyone receives rewards whether they died or not and martyrs to the cause receive special bonuses also.  Overall the demo gives a great peek into a challenging but very fun online game that offers plenty of novel spells, monsters and tactics.  Keeping your save game and carrying it into the full game will grant you a special summon spell so don't delete the demo until you install the full title come May over here in PAL land.  In North America you can expect it a week earlier on the 23rd I believe.

Check it out now since the demo is pretty sizable and in my opinion is one of the first titles to really show off what the Vita can do given the right developer.

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