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Soulstice Review (XSX)

Welcome to the Holy Kingdom of Keidas. A Kingdom under siege from beyond the Veil by Wraiths, evil creatures with the ability to corrupt and possess the bodies of their victims. It is up to you to control the sisters, Briar and Lute, on a quest as newly anointed Chimera to stop this invasion. With Briar as the muscle and Lutes sacrifice to bond her to Briar as a Shade, a ghostly visage with immense mystical powers, you enter the city of Ilden to save humankind. Good Luck.

Soul Sisters.

Soulstice is game in the vein of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, and although not getting to the pinnacle of gaming as either of these classics, has some promise. Along with two major drawbacks. Unfortunately these failings are hard to ignore too. Firstly, the camera. Your view is fixed for the vast majority of the game and it is down right painful with many of the timed jumps needed to progress. You do get some camera control in combat but it isn’t that well implemented. At the end of the day it is the fixed exploration camera that will have you pulling your hair out.

Secondly, there is just no variation in the world you are in. I get that big stone cities can be a bit repetitive in real life. But this is a game. Mix it up a bit. When you traverse yet another vertical area that looks the same as the previous three, it can have you reaching for the power button. It is a shame, because Ilden is a well imagined, and designed city.

Red Vs. Blue.

The fight mechanics are pretty standard fare with various weapons skills to upgrade. Combos build allowing for some powerful team attacks. To mix it up you have different enemies, Wraiths, Possessed, and Corrupted. Different enemy types need you to have Lute’s corresponding Aura active to cause damage. This has you not only switching between weapons for combos and maximum damage but also switching between Auras. Thankfully enemies will have obvious visual tells to which colour Aura you need active. It comes together ok but the repetition of the same enemies in the same environments gets a bit tedious.

Solid As.

You may have noticed Briar has a pretty solid looking eye patch in these screenshots. To add to this both Briar and Lute are voiced by Stefanie Joosten who provided both the voice and likeness for Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Nice little Easter Egg there. Like the environments though, many of the vocals can get repetitive.

Improving both Briar and Lutes abilities is done by spending shards collected from slain enemies, again in two colours. The skill trees are suitably deep and allow for some decent customisation to you preferred fighting styles. A nice touch is being able to reverse choices and respec skills with no penalty. Which is good considering the amount of enemies you will have to defeat to unlock all the skills.

Closing Comments.

Soulstice is game I want to like but, mainly due to frustration with the camera, I just can’t get onboard. On the plus side, Soulstice is half the price of most new releases. I’d imagine you will be able to pick it up pretty cheap in the no too distant future. I have to admit to not being the biggest DMC/Bayonetta fan so definitely aren’t drawn to this game genre. But you can currently get the Bayonetta & Vanquish bundle for less than NZ$30. Go for that instead and wait until Soulstice gets a camera fix, or big price drop.