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Soul Sacrifice Review

Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
SCE Japan Studio/Comcept
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
April 30, 2013

Soul Sacrifice is aptly named. The implications of that title, from a literal standpoint, encompass darkness and feelings of tension and foreboding. Indeed, the game embraces freedom of choice and exploration, while continually providing the player with a highly immersive yet oddly oppressive atmosphere. With some really fantastic and unique artistry, a solid gameplay mechanic and an engaging environment, the newest big title for the PlayStation Vita has a lot going for it. Will you save or sacrifice?

If you’re looking for an original visual presentation with lots of style and charisma, you will appreciate the graphical palette. It’s dark but still very well designed; although I think the excellent enemy design overshadows the backgrounds, which aren’t as meticulously detailed. The special effects are pretty impressive, though, and the general world construction is great. And I don’t know about anyone else, but certain aspects of the graphical display remind me of Nier . Is it just me or is anyone else sensing that? A sort of understated, almost muted (i.e., not CGI-level quality) atmosphere that still sucks you in…?

Much like the gameplay, the sound has the tendency to seem somewhat repetitive. But that doesn’t mean the quality suffers. The score stands out as a definite highlight, as the carefully selected tracks infuse each quest with significant flavor and attitude. The audio effects are good, too, and the Vita easily handles the occasionally complex mix of music and effects. I am a big advocate of music and background effects that constantly enhance the experience, and Soul Sacrifice does a good job on all fronts. The voice performances are also better than anticipated; it’s hard not to grin at some of Librom’s sarcastic, snarky quips.

At the start of your harrowing journey, you’re imprisoned in a cage. Your future isn’t exactly bright, as you’re about to be sacrificed by the master sorcerer, Magusar. But thankfully, you’re granted an odd, fantastical ally: It’s the aforementioned Librom, a mysterious book that has emerged from the remains of a recent sacrifice victim. He ushers you into the past and you see the rise of Magusar first-hand. Essentially, Librom acts as the game’s main hub, which is a little difficult to get accustomed to. Those expecting an overworld of some kind will be disappointed and at first, I admittedly found it a little disconcerting. To some extent, anyway.