2D Dark Souls: Salt And Sanctuary Arrives On PC

I realise that Dark Souls comparisons are now overused to the point of near-meaninglessness but Salt and Sanctuary [official site] is, like, really Dark Souls-y. It’s a hand-drawn 2D side-on platformer, sure, but does so many Souls-y things from all its parrying and rolling down to needing to go reclaim your souls salt after you die. From what I’ve heard, it sounds great? Following its debut on PlayStation 4 in March, Salt and Sanctuary is now available on PC. Great!

Developers Ska Studios (the gang behind the Charlie Murder and the Dishwasher games on Xbox Live, and Survival Crisis Z on PC) had teased that they’d know a PC release date this month, and they sure do.

So! Salt and Sanctuary is Ska’s crack at a Dark Souls-y platformer. If borrows liberally, with everything from equipment and levelling through to combat and even the user interface being familiar. Ah, I’m doing it a disservice. Our pals at Eurogamer reviewed Salt and Sanctuary on PS4 and enjoyed what the difference made by a new perspective and Ska’s tweaks. I’m jolly glad to have it round our way so soon.

Salt and Sanctuary is £12.23 on Steam right now, including a 10% launch discount. VaatiVidya’s video preview from January 2015 gives a pretty great overview, though obviously it doesn’t reflect the game’s current state. Or hey, to set the mood, here’s last year’s E3 trailer:

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  1. Premium User Badge

    AutonomyLost says:

    I’ll be buying this when I get back to my computer. Looks intriguing, and I’m a recent Souls-convert. Glad they ported it for us so quickly!

  2. Procrastination Giant says:

    Huh, for some reason i wasn’t expecting this to come out until july or august, so that’s a pleasant surprise to say the least. Well, time to… uh… Praise the Salt? Salt the Sun…?

  3. Tacroy says:

    wasn’t there some drama during the early access launch of this game, where they claimed to be localized but actually had machine translations of everything?

    • SavageTech says:

      As far as I know they didn’t make false claims about localization, but they did say the game supported/was playable in several languages. The issue was that it was machine-translated garbage peppered with lots of English words that the machine couldn’t translate. Oh, and they locked the language to the system region so bilingual speakers couldn’t play in English instead of gibberish unless they knew the issue and how to fix it.

      That said, the permanent staff of Ska Studios is literally a married couple who do all the art and programming. The issue was unfortunate, but rough edges are expected when you buy from bedroom devs.

  4. anHorse says:

    Less inspired by, more total shameless ripoff of

    • Monggerel says:

      That accusation has been thrown the Souls series’ way more than once regarding Berserk.

    • LacSlyer says:

      You should at least play the game if you’re going to overgeneralize something so ignorant. The game is far more like Castlevania than any Souls game.

      • Nerdy Suit says:

        And thus (since we’re talking about “ripping off” games), more like Metroid?

      • jgthespy says:

        The gameplay is more like Castlevania. The art, sound effects, interface, atmosphere, and pretty much everything else is a direct ripoff of the Souls series. Not reminiscent of Souls or inspired by Souls, but almost identical to Souls with minor cosmetic changes like fonts or putting floor messages in bottles.

        In some cases Castlevania looks similar, but the primary inspiration here is unquestionably Dark Souls. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s silly to pretend otherwise.

    • timespike says:

      Just like every FPS since 1993 is a ripoff of Doom? ;)

      I think there’s a case to be made that From Software and Capcom (with the Monster Hunter series) have actually created a genre – there’s already Lords of the Fallen, for example that seeks to emulate that.

      But in much the same way that Terraria is 2D Minecraft (also plus MetroidVania elements) there’s a legitimate chance that this is good on its own merits.

      The genre has its originators, sure, but just like the ARPG genre has more good games than the Diablo series, I think the “timing-and-animation-based, punishingly-difficult melee combat game” has plenty of room in it for future development. Even if Salt and Sanctuary is highly-derivative, it may well still be very good. True innovation doesn’t come along all that often in the games biz. (And sometimes when it does (*cough*Gone Home*cough*) it generates backlash instead of praise.)

  5. Ansob says:

    Dark Souls was 3D (post-SotN) Castlevania, and now Salt & Sanctuary is 2D Dark SOuls, making it 2D 3D Castlevania.

    I’ve been playing it for a bit and it’s quite fun, and has a couple of neat changes to do with bonfires compared to the Souls games.

    • Premium User Badge

      AutonomyLost says:

      Is it (at least) 60 frames-per-second on PC? I believe it was locked to 30 on the PS4, and I’m wondering if the same is true here.

    • CaidKean says:

      I feel the Souls game share more in common with their own direct predecessors, the King’s Field and Shadow Tower series rather than post-SotN Castlevania.

      I do however agree that it’s more fair to compare Salt and Sanctuary to the post-SotN 2D Castlevania titles, even if the developer’s were inspired by the Souls titles.

  6. carewolf says:

    2D Dark Souls: So a 2D version of a 3D beat’m’up. In other word: A beat’m’up!

  7. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Yeah looks really great, just finishing up Doom and waiting for reviews to come in.

  8. sdfv says:

    “Soulslike” should become a genre. I really enjoyed this game on PS4, and I hope more like it come out. Really, it’s a metroidvania, and I’d like to see more good entries in that genre as well.

    • RickyButler says:

      Check out Momodora IV if you haven’t. That’s another 2D platformer that takes a decent amount of influence from Dark Souls — mostly in storytelling and atmosphere than gameplay (which veers even closer towards Metroidvania than S&S, making this a very confusing discussion based off of above responses), but it’s certainly a noticeable influence.

      It’s also better, IMO. Enjoyed S&S a lot, loved the hell out of Momo IV.

  9. Eponym says:

    I wish the hitbox/collision detection was as good as Dark Souls. Unfortunately rolling is very inconsistent in this game. It’s especially frustrating when rolling is required to defeat bosses. Half the time you won’t roll through the boss–like you should–and end up with a mouthful of cleaver. No fun!

    • Tinotoin says:

      Yeah I agree – but I blame my being overly used to rolling in the Souls games. Practice and all that… I never did persevere.

  10. Rostbiff says:

    Game is fun! Fun playing solo but I found it more enjoyable with a friend/brother/sister, makes the game pretty easy but loads of fun when someone makes an error and jump off a cliff. Took me and my brother about 15 hours to complete ;) Dark Souls with a touch of Metroid. Recommended!

  11. DantronLesotho says:

    “obviously the.” … huh?

  12. Bobtree says:

    It sounds like a very good Souls-esque Metroidvania game. I don’t like the art style or animation, but those aren’t showstoppers. The screen shaking effects will completely put me off however. If there’s an option or method to disable it, I will consider buying. Otherwise they need to add one.