Salt and Sanctuary is praised as being a 2D Dark Souls, but that’s not actually true. If anything this is more a Castlevania homage then anything.
Salt and Sanctuary is a really good looking game. Every area in the game has a distinct look to them and I never felt like I was running through the same area. The character models look good in my opinion. I appreciate the unique art style that’s been put in the game. The different armor, and weapon sets in the game look great and the bosses range from looking okay to badass.
The world of Salt and Sanctuary is a brutal one and the environments reflect that feeling unto the player perfectly in my opinion. I traveled a castle filled with invisible enemies that you can only see by using a certain potion to the end of the world that had rain falling up towards to the sky instead down from it. It was a magnificent view and one I probably won’t forget.
I mentioned that I thought this game was more of a Castlevania homage instead of a Dark Souls one. The majority of this game will have you jumping from ledge to ledge while fighting all sorts of enemies. Everything from the stage design to the combat reminds me of Symphony of The Night. The only things this game has in common with Dark Souls is when you die you lose all your salts and the only way to get them back is by slaying your killer.
The character creation screen is also Dark Souls like and the way the story is laid out is exactly like a Souls game. Another thing that’s exactly like the Souls games is claiming a Sanctuary when you come across them. They work like the Dark Soul’s bonfires do and allow you to level up, purchase items from npcs, and upgrade your gear.
If you like rocking new sets or armor, weapons, and crafting your own items you’ll be right at home with this game. There are many different armor sets in Salt and Sanctuary. Some of them look lame, but a lot of them look really cool in my opinion. My first playthrough I went through the whole game wearing heavy armor. I moved slow, but I could take a lot of damage and do a lot of damage too.
Lunaliah was a light armor character and she was the speedy rogue that was good for striking fast, but could only take two or three hits [one or two in new game plus] before she died.
The PC port isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. At least I see PC icons when I play with mouse and keyboard, but the controls are awkward to me. I wish I could aim my bow with the mouse, but I have to use the arrow keys to aim and it’s really annoying. Blocking is also mapped a little weird to me, but since I can remap the controls it’s no big deal. The overall PC port is good, but this game is meant to be played with a controller in my opinion.
At first I had no idea what the hell was going on in this game, but as I talked to npcs the story came together nicely. This game isn’t likely to win any awards in any category, but the story is good if you pay attention to everything and talk to everyone you meet multiple times. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into any details.
I wasn’t a fan of the soundtrack in this game. I ended up turning the music off and just listening to the ambient sounds and my sword smacking things. The ambient sounds were great in my opinion and I think playing this game without music playing in the background is the way it’s meant to be played.
The overall quality of the sounds in Salt and Sanctuary are pretty good, but they can also sound pretty cheap too which why I can’t place this in the great category.
Most bosses died in about a minute after I encountered them. I got my big ass sword, enchanted it with lightning, some times arcane, and hacked away at them until they died. The only boss that gave me a little trouble was the tree, and the end game boss. The only reason why I died from the tree was because I mistimed my jump and got smacked off the cliff which is where the majority of my deaths came from in this game.
I enjoyed fighting them, but I can’t say they were difficult because I went through them so quickly even in new game plus.
There are covenants in this game and they work in a similar way to Dark Souls, but the main difference is you can only join one at a time. Some times when you enter a new Sanctuary it’ll be different then the one you belong to. If you decide to pledge yourself to them you’ll get specific bonuses as you upgrade them. There’s a covenant that’s centered around poison and joining them will give you access to poison items that’s great for dispatching many enemies and bosses. There are a good variety of covenants in the game and each of them offer something different.
This is something I just noticed last night because I’m going through the game with my first ranged character, but the attack range of spears is insane. I can be standing five feet away from something and still get hit and die. At first I thought it was a glitch, but it happened every time I fought that enemy and it’s really distracting. I didn’t notice it during my first playthrough because I was always up close and personal with my warrior, but with a archer it’s a real problem because I can’t stay at a safe distance while I shoot my arrows.
There is little to no point in investing in ranged weapons. It’s not because they suck because they don’t. It’s the stupid control scheme that they have. It’s very difficult to aim them with mouse and keyboard and with a controller. The whole design is just stupid and by the time I lineup a shot I could have killed them already with my melee weapon.
Bob The Priest:
It’s bad enough that when I die I lose all my salt, but the Bob the friendly priest decides to rob me while he brings me back from the brink of death. Seriously dude just let me die and stop stealing my gold.
Salt and Sanctuary is great game that pays homage to both Dark Souls and the old Castlevania games. The platforming segments will test your skills while the nonstop action will undoubtedly remind you of the older Castlevania games. You will die in this game, but just like in Dark Souls you’ll learn from it and overcome with enough patience and skill.