Soul Sacrifice throws you feet first into a dark world mysterious world, all you know is that you’re a prisoner to an evil Sorcerer, and you quickly acquire a talking book known as Libroom which claims to hold the secret to defeating him and earning your freedom, all you have to do is read the book and live out the stories contained.
Soul Sacrifice’ greatest strength is in it’s presentation. Not only is everything artistically unique and interesting. The places you go, the monsters you fight and even the other sorcerers you encounter has a reason for being there, all of it has it’s own story you can read before you partake in a mission, and I couldn’t recommend that more. Reading the lore of something and then immediately experiencing it in game, is a very surreal feeling.
As cool as all the lore and back story in the game can be. Soul Sacrifice’s presentation has a glaring issue. The English voice acting, sure this could be easily fixed by downloading the Japanese voice pack from PSN, (If you bought it digitally you were lucky enough to get it for free) but for someone who bought it retail, like me. Had to deal with and get used to, the English voice acting seeing as the voice pack wasn’t actually on PSN the time I have spent playing the game.
Corny voices, and long awkward pauses are pretty prevalent throughout the game. Matter of fact, there is such a big gap between lines of dialogue, that several times I thought my game had froze. It just feels rushed. Tip: If you intend on buying the game, get it digitally off the PSN, you may save some money on buying the optional languages.
Soul Sacrifice is rather simple on the surface, yet maintains the complexity you’re looking for in an RPG of it’s type. However don’t go expecting adventuring in an open world to hunt down your foes. The main brunt of the gameplay undergoes in small arena type maps to participate in various types of missions to exterminate the threat gaining giving you the chance to get XP in one of two areas depending on whether you sacrifice or save you’re enemy.
Once you finish the mission, depending on how well you did, you get rewarded in abilities called “Offerings” These can be equipped outside of missions in a loadout type system of six, they can be fused together, making new abilities all together or simply boosted. Giving you plenty to experiment with to find whats right for your play style and for what the mission demands. This only begins on the customization offered in the game. Self sacrificial super movies called black rights and, passive stat bonuses in a rune board type system called sigals are in the game and depending on you affiliation levels allows different sigals to be equipped.
While all this does give the combat some diversity, you should still expect to do the same thing over and over. Areas get re-used often, enemy re-skins quickly coming into play and at times it just feels just like a big grind to get from one section to the next, leaving it up to the boss encounters of the game to spice things up. While the boss battles do feel epic and they actually feel really rewarding when you finally take them down, the experience is just ruined by stupid AI.
Running head on into bosses, not healing themselves, and even their abilities sometimes send you flying around the map, More often then not into the boss. just to get smacked around and die shortly after, only to watch the AI try over and over to revive you next the boss until the mission fails.
Soul Sacrifice is a great game, the emphasis on trying diversify itself from typical RPG tropes and even the effort behind it’s story make it an experience any RPG fan should try out. Unfortunately it has really poor AI, small enemy variety and bad English voice acting that feels rushed to say the least. These things stop it from being something truly special.