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Soulstice review | PC Gamer

The original Devil May Cry is one of the stranger developments in games. It started life as a Resident Evil title, but morphed into a pseudo-fighting-game complete with combos and flashy aerial attacks—and yet it kept the horror setting and fixed camera angles. Recent entries take place in fully three-dimensional worlds, and have downplayed the horror element—but what if they hadn’t? Scrappy DMC-like Soulstice is here to answer that question.

Where Devil May Cry has become more OTT and comedic over the years, Soulstice is dark, door and drenched in a grim, medieval atmosphere. In terms of aesthetic (though certainly not world design) it resembles a less cheery Dark Souls, without even the fleeting glimpse of an onion knight, or an incandescent sun to offer moments of warmth and beauty. What’s left is a ruinous settlement—the towering city of Ilden—filled with transformed citizens and monsters from the void. Playing as Briar the Ashen Knight, and her spectral sister Lute, you have to enter the city and close the breach to save the world.

(Image credit: Modus Games)

Soulstice’s story lives in an awkward place, sprinkling moments of melodrama atop a thin, simple plot that never stretches beyond the city, or a handful of actors. We’re asked to care about the sisters, but both are drawn from uninteresting archetypes—the driven, po-faced warrior and the innocent little sister—and neither display elements of personality beyond that. The game is peppered with little exchanges that should in theory tell us something about them, but they’re rarely more than banal remarks—”I wish the killing could come to an end”—and, worse, they’re repeated endlessly as you progress.

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