Soulstice

Preview: Soulstice

Last year’s digital-only E3 includes tons of new trailers, including one of Soulstice that had a showing at the PC Gaming Show. It’s been pretty quiet since then until this week when we were invited to try out the game for ourselves.  A few weeks ago, a video of around 10 minutes of gameplay also surfaced and showed a bit more about these Chimeras, living warriors with souls bonded to them, and Wraiths, creatures born from chaos.

I was able to meet the team of Reply Game Studios and Modus Games, the developer and publisher behind Soulstice, a week ago for some extra content including Q&A. After the meeting, we received a Steam Preview Code to get our hands on the game itself and learn the gameplay mechanics from our Chimeras, Briar and the soul of her sister, Lute.

Definitely, most people were speaking of Soulstice as being a tribute to Dante’s adventures in Devil May Cry and guess what? I’d say that they were right! I’d even say it’s a nice fusion between the old Devil May Cry games with the old-fashion God Of War games.

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Despite what its name might suggest, this isn’t a “Soulslike” game and is closely tied to the hack and slash genre. Soulstice had shown me that despite the rough-looking exterior, there’s a worthy action game hiding underneath.

Soulstice’s combat includes multiple weapons and techniques

Although you could see a lot of gameplay in Reply Game Studios’ previous gameplay trailer, let me be clear about something: the fights are great and seriously reminded me of the moments I had been enjoying when I played the Devil May Cry trilogy, but without guns. Instead of guns, you have Lute that can send energy balls to distant enemies as well as using auras to allow Briar to see ghostly foes to be able to hit corrupted monsters while venturing into the depts of the ruins of the city of Ilden.

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Combos are easy to do and the number of enemies surrounding you will definitely help get a huge combo count. That said, most lesser enemies are slow so it is easy to dodge most of their attacks while stronger foes will have more HP and will be able to hit you with strong attacks that will break your combos and lower your health quickly. Being able to switch between weapon types in mid-fight helps a lot in completing devastating combos with either weapon doing hard blunt damage or even having a sword that stretches to become a bladed whip that swirls around you.

Health is regenerated by killing monsters and grabbing green orbs while you can acquire red orbs that are used to level Briar’s skills and, with Lute’s auras, destroy blue crystals that will give you blue shards to level her skill tree as well.

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As I have to admit, the gameplay is very dynamic and clearly refers to the beat’em all of a decade ago. Combining weapon combos with Lute’s attacks while changing your weapon style and type mid-fight, brings often intense moments when you have your controller in hand.

Bosses that will put you on the edge of your seat

Last but not least, I have to say that the boss fights are going to be really intense! Having to confront a horde of hideous creatures while the boss tries to exterminate you from a distance and having Lute trying to deviate the boss’ attacks while you have to smash those monsters to smithereens, strafing and dodging any mortal blow, that’s what’s awaiting you in Soulstice.

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In a game with a lot of potential, some polish needed

As you may have noticed by reading this article, the couple of hours I spent playing the Soulstice demo really left me ecstatic for the full game. Soulstice has a lot of potential and while I’m warming up to the graphical style the studio is going with, the gameplay holds, with exciting combat and skill trees for both Briar and her weapons as well Lute’s magical abilities. I don’t know if it is because it’s a preview build but the graphics are rough. I’m hoping with the extra development time, the devs can polish Soulstice up to make it shine when it launches this Fall.