Salt and Sacrifice Reviews
Salt and Sacrifice is a riff on what came before, but not an entirely successful one. A tense, fraught combat system with gallons of customisation options carries Ska Studios’ sequel, and boss fights are entertaining if overly tough at times, but the storytelling and narrative designs of Salt and Sanctuary can’t hold up their end of the bargain.
Salt and Sacrifice is an ambitious sequel that attempts to integrate Monster Hunter mechanics into an already crowded Metroidvania/Soulslike formula. It's not a great mix, but the strength of its core combat, customization, and refreshing co-op still make it worth at least a look.
Another impressive attempt at a 2D Soulsborne but a less entertaining game than Salt And Sanctuary, with some frustrating combat that doesn't always feel entirely fair.
I want to like Salt and Sacrifice, and in some stretches, I do. I enjoyed exploring the world, concepts of hunting and crafting, and the moody atmosphere, which kept me continuing for dozens of hours. But its clunky progression systems and many maddening enemy encounters quickly make the fun times easy to forget.
Salt and Sacrifice imbues its Souls-like formula with elements from Monster Hunter, creating a peculiar mixture that falls just short of realizing its full potential.
Unfortunately, Salt and Sacrifice discarded way too much to place the focus on multiplayer. The aspects I do like, the exploration and combat, are carried over from the original game. The core Mage Hunt gameplay loop is tedious, and the lack of fast travel made me sick of seeing the same scenery repeatedly. You’ll probably find something to love here if you have a friend to place this game with and enjoy the original. However, as a solo adventure, it’s severely lacking.
Salt and Sacrifice does a lot of cool things on top of the Soulsborne 2D action-platforming system created for the first game. The focus on hunting mages is a cool twist and getting their components and making new gear was the stuff that’s made Monster Hunter a blast for decades. Even then, there’s plenty to explore in each biome between the mage hunts. I’m not fond of collecting berries for my healing flask and I feel it can get unfair when mages team up on me. However, getting stronger and coming back with enough might that not even multiple mages could stop me made Salt and Sacrifice’s 2D Soulsborne exploration and mage fights an intoxicating quest to wield the very power I was hunting.
Salt and Sacrifice may not be as exciting as the first part, but it's definitely worth the experience, especially for Souls fans.
Review in Arabic | Read full review
Rough, sometimes intriguing, sometimes frustrating: Salt and Sacrifice does its job, but it doesn't always go smoothly. The Mage hunting sequences are clever, but the pieces of the puzzle sometimes simply don't fit together.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Salt and Sacrifice may not be the best Metroidvania ever made, but as a 2D distillation of the Soulslike formula, this is pure gaming alchemy.
A sidescrolling metroidvania with beautiful art and rewarding exploration, kept just shy of greatness by some frustrating design decisions
Overall, Salt and Sacrifice still nails the core elements that make a 2D reimagining of Dark Souls a compelling idea thanks to its fundamental understanding of how character and level progression should flow and its expansive combat system. By adding in an extra layer of Metroidvania-style exploration and a unique approach to boss encounters with its Mage Hunt mechanic, Salt and Sacrifice sees Ska Studios carve out a space for itself as more than the studio that is good at making 2D Dark Souls games.
Despite my minor complaints, Salt and Sacrifice is an insanely fun Souls-like featuring brutal challenges, great level designs, beautiful hand drawn graphics, interesting enemies and boss fights, cool gear to find and upgrade, a fun leveling system, and one of the most enjoyable co-op experiences I've had in quite a while. The fact that this game was designed by so few people and is of such high quality for a relatively low MSRP of $19.99 is nothing short of astounding. While not perfect, Salt and Sacrifice kept me entertained for well over 20 hours and made me excited for the next entry in this incredible series.
With all of that said, it cannot be understated how compelling this game feels. It takes all the best things from its inspirations and blends them together in a way that works. It’s a game with the combat of a Soulslike, the gameplay loop of a Monster Hunter, and the exploration of a Metroidvania, all set against a beautiful backdrop - conflicting flavours that come together to form a delicious experience. It’s greater than the sum of its parts, and it’s a game I won’t be putting down for a very long time.
If Salt and Sacrifice is not inherently bad, it is not very exciting. Neophytes will certainly find their account, but we would still tend to advise them to go to Salt and Sanctuary, much better, even if the game is 6 years old now.
Review in French | Read full review
Salt and Sacrifice is a greatly ambitious title, melding a number of gameplay elements from other popular series but it comes at the cost of overall polish and focus, leaving a frustrating experience that feels like a step back from its predecessor.
Salt and Sacrifice is a good game that takes some ideas from FromSoftware games, as well as other popular projects, but does it very neatly, while offering an interesting visual design.
Review in Russian | Read full review
It's a shame, because so much of what's here is still so enjoyable. The combat is intense, challenging and varied, with a huge number of enemy types to battle against. You've got a ton of weapon options to tailor your build, and the capacity to level up seemingly hundreds of different stats in order to bring the fight to the Mages. It's just that those fights can be so unfair and one-sided due to the more random elements that can throw a spanner in the works. A brave attempt at something new, yes, but ultimately misguided.
Salt And Sacrifice is every bit the sequel I could have wanted for Salt And Sanctuary. Everything about the gameplay has been elevated a polished better than any previous title from Ska Studios. With excellent combat, and a flexible progression system that lets you alter your build and playstyle how you like, mixed with amazing art, creature design, and atmosphere, this is the latest must-buy indie title.
Salt and Sacrifice to Salt and Sanctuary is like Dark Souls 2 to Dark Souls 1. It diverges a lot from the original, with some ideas that work well and some that don't. All in all, it's still an excellent 2-D Souls-like Metroidvania that brilliantly infuses Monster Hunter elements with challenging combat. Despite some poor design choices and questionable difficulty spikes, it's still astonishing to think this game was created by a team of just two people.