Ska Studios makes no apologies about the inspiration behind its game, Salt and Sanctuary. In fact, it revels in it. This game is a 2D Dark Souls, and it’s proud of it. What sets it apart from the rest of those games trying to fill in this niche, though, is that it is the best at what it does.
Stumbling through the dark and atmospheric halls of Salt and Sanctuary leads to familiar experiences found in FromSoftware’s formula: brutal boss fights against towering monsters that reveal very little about their combat patterns, hacking and slashing to the place your character died to regain his salt, and saving at shining “shrines” throughout the darkened land.
Players can also inscribe messages on the floor, leaving them behind for other players to read. I mean, come on guys!
If it wasn’t so brazen about is motivations, and if it also wasn’t half as fun as it is, Salt and Sanctuary could be dismissed as a cheap knock-off riding in someone else’s wake. However, the craft and obvious homage here don’t trump the quality, and fans of the revolutionary Dark Souls franchise should really give this one a try. I’m only an hour into the darkness, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m here for the long haul.
Salt and Sanctuary is available now for the PlayStation 4, and a PS Vita and PC version will be released on a TBA date later this year.