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Soulstice Review

Soulstice Review

With so many releases in the videogame industry lately, Soulstice very nearly flew under my radar. This dark fantasy action-adventure from developer Replay Game Studios came as a bit of a surprise; there hadn’t been much advertising and few people were talking about it. But is this a game worth hyping up, or is it destined to be yet another forgettable title?

The game starts off with some backstory to set the scene: an ancient evil known as Chaos was sealed away long ago and, unsurprisingly, has now broken free of its prison to wreak havoc by unleashing hordes of demons on the world. You take control of duo protagonists Briar and Lute, two sisters bound to one another by their souls to be reborn as Chimera. Chimera are powerful members of the Order of the Ashen Blade, tasked to put a stop to the monsters terrorising the city of Ilden. Both main characters are rather likeable with a good dynamic between them; the stoic warrior, Briar (who reminded me a little bit of Lightning from FINAL FANTASY XIII) and the meek and softly spoken “Shade” (she’s a ghost, basically), Lute. The narrative isn’t incredibly engaging, although that isn’t to say it isn’t a good one, just not the most original tale ever told. Having said that, it at least tells a coherent story with lots of additional pieces of lore found in the menu to have a read, should you feel like learning more about the world and those that inhabit it.

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Soulstice doesn’t claim to have the best graphics on the market, with some low-quality textures, almost non-existent lip synching, and overall just missing out on that final layer of polish that could have really made the title stand out. Fortunately, the environments, enemies, and characters are far from bland, featuring some unique designs, and the consistently steady 60 frames-per-second was worth much more than high-quality graphics during the more manic combat encounters. The overall presentation is adequate then, and whilst some may be put off by the dark and dingy look of the game, it certainly helps set the scene of being in the middle of a city in turmoil with an army of otherworldly creatures on the loose.

It was tough to know how to feel about the audio; on the one hand the slow, haunting melodies that set the tone whilst exploring, before being ramped up to the heavy techno-rock beats during combat, really added to the games atmosphere. On the other hand, the voice acting is decent at best, with Briar especially having some noticeable poor line deliveries. Lute however, was a character that became more likeable simply because of how she was voiced. Her nervous disposition really shone through thanks to her voice actress, and let’s face it, if you were tasked with taking on a city full of beasts, you’d probably be a little spooked as well.


Soulstice is very reminiscent of other hack and slash series’ such as the Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Combat is slick, very fast-paced, and each encounter will offer up dozens of enemies for you to take out. What makes it stand out from others in the genre is how Lute comes into play. Although you only control Briar in combat situations, Lute has a variety of ethereal abilities to aid her sister in battle that act as defensive skills, which will become absolutely essential, especially if you like to play on higher difficulty levels.

On the opposite end of the scale, Briar is the damage dealer of the team, able to dish out punishment using light and heavy attacks, as well as juggle her opponents in the air with some lethal combos. Her arsenal of seven weapons each have their own uses, and I was surprised at how flexible the combat system was to allow players to focus on their preferred weapons and allocate skills related to them. You’ll quickly find which ones suit your playstyle, with each having their own strengths and weaknesses.

Using both characters effectively will increase their Unity level. Once this is at its highest point a powerful move known as a Synergy attack will be executed, devastating any demons close by. Not only are these attacks useful when facing hordes of monsters, but they look great too! It ties in nicely with the scoring system, and when each encounter is complete, you’ll be shown a grading system to tell you how well you fared in that particular battle. Pull off quick combos and evade attacks, and you’ll quickly build up points and be constantly launching Synergy attacks. Each aspect of the combat system works great, and staying on the offensive is the best way to generate a high score.

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Whilst the paths you take through the game's levels are fairly linear, they do offer the occasional hidden path that leads to secrets or useful items. Navigating the world feels fine, with the fixed camera angle — that unlocks during combat — being positioned well enough that it was never an issue during the few platforming sections. These portions of the game mainly serve as respite between the frenetic battles, whilst cluing the player in on some backstory of the heroes, or furthering the plot in some way.

To conclude, Soulstice is a great action game that will be sure to satisfy fans of the genre. Don’t let the subpar graphics and voice acting deter you from this over-the-top action spectacle. The interesting mechanics and top-notch combat combine to create a frantically fun title that I would absolutely recommend to anyone looking for some mindless fun. Having said that, those looking for more of a challenge will certainly find it here, with enough difficulty options and potential to customise Briar and Lute’s abilities that will be sure to satisfy the more seasoned genre veterans amongst you.

8.50/10 8½

Soulstice (Reviewed on PlayStation 5)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Full of style and substance, Soulstice is a joy to play, with tight, fast-paced combat and slick controls that make this an easy recommendation to anyone interested in a new hack and slash title.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe

Staff Writer

Bought a PS5 and won't stop talking about it

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