Initially Salt and Sanctuary plays much like a 2D version of any of the Soulsborne series. You start with having to learn to not over use your stamina and learning you combos. The first boss in the game has the specific move set to learn how to use these skills. Not long after learning these skills, the game adds different mechanics that are going to be used in future boss fights. Some of these mechanics include walking on the ceiling and being able to burn down certain walls.
These mechanics in the game are part of what makes it different than other games in this genre.
Leveling up in Salt and Sanctuary is a bit of a spectacle. When you first level up, you may not realize how immensity of the skill tree actually is. After leveling up once or twice, you’ll learn to zoom out on the skill tree. The skill tree has hundreds of different directions to move you character in. All weapons and armors have different classifications that have different levels up to level 5. To be able to use these items, you need to have gotten that far in the tree. To this extent, your first playthrough will be more of a learning experience to learn how you want your future characters to go.
The bosses of Salt and Sanctuary are all unique and very deadly. They have a good mix of ranged, melee, and magic bosses. Almost all of the bosses hit very hard and you quickly learn of diminishing returns on your health. To make the game more difficult and keep it interesting, every time you get hit, you can only heal to a smaller percent of your health until you rest. This mechanic makes boss fights more about learning the bosses move set and less about hack n’ slash. Although the bosses are all unique and different some of the boss fights come down to straight luck. A boss later in the game has a move that will instantly kill you unless you have a specific build. This fight comes down to whether or not this boss uses this attack, which they do a lot. Even with this downfall, there are a large amount of bosses packed into this game.
Salt and Sanctuary has the same type of PvP that other games in the genre have. You can invade other players and fight them to the death. Depending on your creed, the different groups you can join throughout the game, PvP can get you different items to level up in the creed. You can also call upon other people to help you in the game. What makes Salt and Sanctuary different is that it has local co-op. All that is necessary for local co-op is having your friend have an account on your PS4, and making them a quick character. The main player needs to go find an NPC and you can summon in your friend. When adding another character the enemies get tougher and makes for a good co-op experience.
Salt and Sanctuary is a great bang for your buck. At a cheaper price point, your first playthrough can last between 20-45 hours. The deep skill tree and different items can create for different games every playthrough. The different boss types keep you on your toes and bringing your friend along can make even enhance the experience.
+ A lot of gameplay for not a lot of money
+ Large amount of unique bosses
+ Deep skill tree
– Story is lacking and can be easily missed
– RGN plays a large role is some boss fights
Kevin Kapsiak is one of The Geekiverse’s original members. He is currently heading up preparation for The Geekiverse’s upcoming live streaming division. Follow him on Twitter.
Salt & Sanctuary was reviewed on a PC. It is also available for Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita.