Converting the Dark Souls formula into the fabulous world of 2D is Salt and Sanctuary a title for both console and PC gamers to challenge themselves within its dark setting. With several classes to master which includes unique challenges like the chef class you’ll have plenty of tools to dispose of the darkness before you that also comes with reasonable replay opportunities.
The world of Salt and Sanctuary that players find themselves in has been at war for a long time but now finds itself nearing a peace deal thanks to a marriage alliance across the seas. As a stowaway in the ship convoy that is transporting the princess across the seas players witness first hand the marauder attack that results in a shipwreck and players cast onto the shores of a nearby unknown island.
Thankfully the island is inhabited with players rescued by a mysterious old man who helps the player to begin his journey of finding the princess lost at sea. Meeting various NPCs along the way the players slowly begin to unravel the dark truth of the island as they find themselves battling through the darkest and dangerous locations from across the game world that can be accessed from the strange island. Ultimately players will face off against the final challenge, the Nameless God that rules over the island and have the opportunity to end the cycle of war or claim the dark power for themselves.
Throughout this journey Salt and Sanctuary has players progressing in a rags to riches fashion similar to the Dark Souls series. Starting as weak and frail after you land on the island’s shore players will struggle for every piece of strength they can gain to ultimately reach a power level high enough for the final battle.
Your character for this journey of struggle is your own in Salt and Sanctuary though with players able to select their own origin location that alters the cosmetic traits of their character for the entire story. For example players can select a relatively normal human being if their selected location is Askaria, Markdor and the Citadel while players that opt for Jinderen will play as a character with demonic fangs.
Other options go far beyond cosmetic though with players selecting an appropriate class from knight, mage, paladin, thief, chef, cleric, pauper and hunter. Each has their own starting skills, stats and equipment which will inform the recommended build you’ll want to create for success in the brutal world of Salt and Sanctuary. The knight for example begins with a reliable set of melee equipment, the heavy armour skill, the swordfighter skill and high strength and endurance that make them a durable fighter. While these classes do provide a beginning framework and drive where you’ll be placing your initial skill points on the expansive skill tree players are free to invest their stat points across strength, endurance, dexterity, willpower, magic and wisdom that impact various other game statistics in traditional RPG design.
With hundreds of items on top of these mechanics its an abundance of choice that Salt and Sanctuary offers for players to craft their own story, challenge and path to sweet victory. In terms of other Dark Souls inspired systems players will find that Salt and Sanctuary includes a dual currency system of gold and salt, sanctuaries, healing flasks and the aforementioned expansive skill tree which lets you build a customisable character by spending your acquired black pearls within the skill web.
While all of these have a familiar feeling to them given the popularity of the Dark Souls franchise Salt and Sanctuary has included these mechanics in its own way. Ultimately they all designed to ensure that players are placed in difficult decisions where you’ll regularly make trade-offs with your limited and vital resources. For future playthroughs players can also activate imposed challenges with things like hardcore mode, no healing, no blocking and other difficult settings if the initial experience isn’t difficult enough.
- A dark 2D adventure revolving around salt and sanctuaries on a mysterious island with even stranger origins.
- Master one of the 8 available classes as you build your customised character from origins, stats, skills and hundreds of items for the challenges ahead.
- Tackle over two dozen difficult boss battles as you practice your strategy and slowly improve your overall power level.
- Souls like mechanics littered throughout the game to create a title that challenges players to master mechanics with limited resources.
- Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
- Buy Salt and Sanctuary (Humble Store)
- Buy Salt and Sanctuary (Nintendo Store)
- Buy Salt and Sanctuary (PlayStation Store)
Review Platform: PC