We skipped over Salt & Sanctuary when it was announced at a PlayStation event last year, but now I’ve seen a swish video demonstrating its 2D take on Dark Souls-y monster-mashing, I’ve gone back and noticed oh! It’s coming to PC too! That’s welcome news, as it seems to smoosh Souls ideas of careful combat, risk management, and needing to pay attention oh no that’s a trap you fool why didn’t you see it? into 2D platform-o-exploring quite nicely. Come see.
What brought this to my attention was a video of ‘VaatiVidya’, the Souls fan behind the ‘Prepare to Cry’ lore ’em up videos, playing Salt & Sanctuary. Seeing someone who likes Souls so much take such a shine to it, still with a critical eye, is pleasing. Here, watch:
I’m not saying it’s ‘a 2D Dark Souls’, mind, because I’d sooner cut off my fingers than make such a crude generalisation about a series that’s fascinating in so many ways. But I do like how it takes Souls-y bits into a different game and does its own thing with them. The idea of dying not only leaving a chunk of XP out in the world I need to find and regain, but actually infusing that power into an enemy who’ll be even tougher to bash it out of, is delightful and horrible.
Salt & Sanctuary is due on PlayThings this year; Ska have said the PC release will come afterwards, but are a bit vaguer on that. Ska are relatively unknown on PC, but you might’ve heard of their console 2D stab-o-games like the Dishwasher series and Charlie Murder or top-down shooter, ah, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1.