Free-to-play hack n’ slasher SoulWorker enters open beta


While things have slowed down a bit since the Great MMO Glut of 200X, free-to-play Korean titles are still a fairly common sight. The latest to land on Steam and open itself up to a western audience is SoulWorker, an extremely Teen Anime co-op hack n’ slasher which may scratch any Devil May Cry/Dynasty Warriors itch you’ve been feeling.

The current beta seems to be of the ‘soft launch’ variety, with no planned server wipes before launch. To all intents and purposes, SoulWorker is out on Steam now, with a variety of European servers available.

Despite the arcadey-looking gameplay in the trailer, SoulWorker is a game built around mouse and keyboard control, with most special moves being mapped to the number keys, and the basic melee combo automatically cycling if you hold the left mouse button. That’s not to say it’s devoid of skill or involvement; the very first boss hits like a truck, capable of shaving off nearly a third of your health per attack, although rank-and-file grunt enemies seem to be almost as expendable as Dynasty Warriors’ faceless soldier hordes, and nearly as numerous.

Set in an overbearingly anime magical post-apocalypse, four teens (well, three and a literal child) find themselves imbued with magical powers that allow them to wield glowing oversized weapons with which they can smite the demons that have taken over most of the world. So far, so generic, but there’s still something to be said for wiping out a dozen monsters in one combo from a magic spirit-summoning guitar. Your dodge move also has a generous amount of invincibility frames, meaning that skilled players can avoid damage entirely.

While town hubs are dense with chattering players, this isn’t an MMO. Gameplay is for small groups of players or solo, all set in instanced environments. Effectively a single-player or co-op-with-buddies game, rather than some sprawling social sandbox like Black Desert or ArcheAge, and all you really need to concern yourself is how many monsters you can splatter, with each stage being ranked and scored in classic character-action style.

From the little bit that I’ve played so far, it’s a pleasant enough bit of co-op hack n’ slashery, although the localization isn’t quite complete. I’ve spotted chunks of Korean text here and there, and there’s the occasional bit of dialogue that isn’t fully subtitled yet. It feels a bit like a throwback to a simpler time when new online co-op games were ten a penny, although this one does look and sound a little more polished than others that have come and gone.  Some are reporting a nasty bug that prevents the game window from being resized from its default, although this seems like something that should be patched soon.

SoulWorker is available now via Steam. While microtransactions are undoubtedly going to follow before long, the game is free to play.


  1. haldolium says:

    Okay another idea Dominic if you’re not going to tune down on anime game news could you at least replace all of these teaser pictures with kittens? Or puppies if you hate kittens. Or both if you can’t decide. Even any kids drawing you could get your hands on would do. Please. Just stop the torture.

    • Xerophyte says:

      Hmm. I deem this a reasonable position if and only if you were at some point robbed by burly hoodlums in Hatsune Miku cosplay, belting out Gacharic Spin’s greatest hits while pelting you with life-size body pillows of Alex Armstrong.

      If so I am sincerely sorry for your anime trauma and hope that you can live a full and happy life somewhere away from modern civilization and its scourge of saucer eyes and cell shading. Have you considered becoming a hermit? I hear they have some nice, isolated mountain cottages in Austria that need manning, potentially open even to the anime averse.

      If not, please look forward to RPS’s slow ascent into covering nothing but doujin Touhou games 24/7.

    • Baines says:

      It isn’t like the teaser picture is particularly appealing from an anime fan perspective. It is just kind of generically bland.

      Which isn’t helped by the game’s name itself being a knock-off of Soul Eater. And look at those characters. Let’s see. On the far right, we have a brown-haired version of Maka (girl, twin tails, scythe). Second from the left we have a white-haired version of Death the Kid (male, twin guns).

      It’s been a long time since I’ve read Soul Eater, so I cannot say if the other designs are similarly inspired, or if they are just regular popular generic designs (girl with giant sword, person that fights with music/guitar).

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        Like I said, it’s Extremely Teen Anime.

      • Travistech says:

        I think it’s just tropes at this point, though Soul Eater might have help propagated some of them. It’s certainly one of the more visible works to contain those archetypes, but these character styles all have a common ancestor in our boy Dante. Scythe, dual pistols, overly elaborate fantasy sword straight out of a K-Bud catalog, and a guitar. In all fairness, the guitar was also the scythe, but whatever.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Or deepfake everyone’s head with Duke Nukem’s, that might help.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      It has been the work of something like two decades to get Asian developers to regularly port their work to the PC and release it in English. Could you kindly shove off with the knee-jerk racism, please?

  2. Couchfighter says:

    Is this a bit like the now-gone-from-Steam online F2P brawler game ‘Rusty Hearts’ ?

    If so I am in like Bob on this game.

    • Travistech says:

      I was told by an overseas acquaintance I trust that if I missed Rusty Hearts’ DMC-inspired combat, that SoulWorker would likely scratch that itch nicely. I’m definitely going to pull it down as soon as I get home and give it a crack, since I miss Rusty Hearts dearly, and still hold a strong distaste for PWI for killing it off.

  3. OmNomNom says:

    Jesus christ this looks so awful. Like we need more epileptic Japanese, child idolising, soft porn fetish games.

    Typical steam review of this trash:
    link to

    “Loli ✓
    Visible Pantsu ✓
    Seifukus ✓
    Interesting plot ✓”

  4. milligna says:

    This just looks hateful, really.

  5. peterako1989 says:

    Kinda impossible to make me stop warframe for this.

  6. ElkiLG says:

    Well, the game has an energy system stopping you from playing too much of it every day. I guess I’m not wasting my artificially limited time on it then.