Soul Sacrifice - New Game of the Day #58
- SCE Japan Studio
- PlayStation Vita
- Keiji Inafune
SOUL SACRIFICE – NEW GAME OF THE DAY #58
What? A “true fantasy” action RPG dripping with gore and style
When? Winter 2012 (Japan), early 2013 (the rest of us)
Where? Playstation Vita
Anyone who’s been worried that the Playstation Vita is all about remakes of PS3 games and casual titles should pay attention to the development of Soul Sacrifice, the new game from Sony’s Japan Studio and legendary producer Keiji Inafune.
Describing the game as a “true fantasy” initially led to some head-scratching, until Inafune himself cleared up the translation and explained that the “true” part is to do with the price paid for using magic. In the case of Soul Sacrifice, that price is anything from a splash of the caster’s blood to outright suicide.
From what we can gather so far, the story centres on an ancient grimoire, the pages of which are filled with tales of bloody combat and sacrifice. By reading the passages inscribed within the tome, your imprisoned sorcerer transports him or herself directly into the described events – making for an interesting, original quest system.
Once inside you’ll face off against various horrific, mutated monster who themselves were once human – but who became corrupted due to overuse and abuse of magical power. Judging from these early screenshots, some of them are terrifying, but what’s even more disturbing is how you’ll fight them.
As we said, magic has a cost in the world of Soul Sacrifice, and larger, more devastating spells require bigger, bloodier forfeits. For example, in order to cast the “Excalibur” spell, a sorcerer reaches into his mouth and tears his own spine out to use as a sword – then drops down dead once his task is done. Other spells will require chopping off your fingers, gouging out your eyes, setting yourself alight or even sacrificing other players or NPCs.
Up to six magical attacks can be mapped to the controller at any time, and defeating enemies will allow you to either sacrifice or absolve them for varying rewards, though none have yet been disclosed. Also, it’s unclear how the suicide system will work in the full game – after all, we expect it’s much harder to fight off legions of twisted monstrosities with no spine and a severe case of death.
The inclusion of four-player ad-hoc co-op hints at combining magic with other sorcerers (in the trailers we’ve seen, some sorcerers are using magic exclusively while another jets around the screen with a bloody great sword in his hand) – the respawn system may rely on the actions of others during multiplayer games. Perhaps it will borrow a leaf from Dark Souls book and have death return you to the beginning of an area – but the bosses killed by your sacrificial magic will remain dead. At this point, we simply don’t know.
Promising selectable, customisable classes and loot-scavenging, and with artwork that evokes From Software’s despair-shrouded fantasy world, there’s every reason to be excited about Soul Sacrifice. If only we knew what the Hell it was all about.
Developer Legacy: Keiji Inafune is the creator of the Mega Man franchise way back when. Former head of R&D and Production at Capcom, he was behind the Onimusha and Dead Rising series and worked on Resident Evil 2. Sony’s internal developers Japan Studio previously worked with From Software on Demon’s Souls, developed Bleach and are working with Team Siren on upcoming Vita-exclusive Gravity Rush. They are collaborating with smaller development outfit Marvelous AQL on Soul Sacrifice.
They Say: "Concept is the most important part of a game. If the concept is good, 80% of games are good. That's how important the concept is." – Keiji Inafune explains why he’s so confident about Soul Sacrifice.
We Say: We have to admit to being a bit gutted that it’s nothing to do with From Software’s “Souls” series (Dark Souls being among our favourite games here at Made2Game), but it still has the potential to be great – and continues to separate the Vita from other handhelds by the maturity of its software.
Can’t Wait? Play This: If you want a hardcore fantasy RPG challenge, check out Dark Souls; but don’t expect anything as fast-paced as Soul Sacrifice.
Check out the trailer:
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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