Release Date: October 18th, 2018 (Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Genre: Action, Fighting
Publisher: Another Indie
Developer: Dark Star Game Studios
October is a time for the spooky and supernatural, it is also a time where some of the most interesting concepts for games see their release due to the emphasis on horror. This is where Dark Star Game Studios – which features a group of AAA veterans from the like of Ubisoft, Blizzard, and Konami – steps in. Dark Star will see their brand new game, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption, released later this week on the Nintendo Switch, among other consoles. This bold dark fantasy game is billed as a boss battler, but also features a heavy soulsborne influence, where the player plays from the point of view of a fallen soldier named Adam. He has lost his memory and will need to come face to face with the Seven Deadly Sins in order to regain it back. Have the AAA veterans given us an interesting new concept in the horror realm, or is it frightening in a whole different sense?
The character and scenery graphics creates quite an astonishingly vivid, dark, and detailed world for the player to immersive themselves into. The montages between each storyline are unbelievably beautiful, if not quite morbid, and assist the graphics in really setting an atmosphere that draws the player into the gameplay while getting lost into the story being told. To sweeten the pot, not only are multiple game modes available for new and exciting gameplay but multiple endings can be unlocked. Menus are gesture based with stats that are easy to read along with customizable controls. Which is helpful as the setup of the controller may be foreign to some players with some buttons having no function at all.
In this boss battler there is no rotation in the right joystick so it is harder to see around the player’s surroundings. The focus is on the bosses so the camera stays fixated on the sins which leads to them having an upper hand. To make matters worse, some of the equipment features disadvantages to using them in battle. For example, when using the flame sword your health decreases while using the bigger blade decreases the swinging speed of the player’s character. Of course in typical fashion the bigger sword has more damage per hit, so it is all about weighing the pros and cons of each weapon against the weakness of the enemy being fought at that time.
From the start of the game the player is walking through an underworld of dark realms that creates a twisted and lush nightmare world. Each realm is relatively difficult and provides you with little to go off of, adding to the idea of having no memory. This includes having the player’s health dwindled to only half when they reach the boss, one of the Seven Deadly Sins, of each level. There is also the fact that the player does not have much room to strategize an attack plan to defeat what awaits them. While each level needs patience and determination, this pushes the player to get creative and critically think about and consider their every move which creates an incredibly addictive gameplay that is akin to the Soulsborne genre of games.
Speaking of the bosses, each one is based off of one of the Seven Deadly Sins as mentioned above and each are stylized appropriately and with so much detail. Their appearance and feeling of darkness leads one to believe they have stepped into the land of horror, and makes this a perfect game to release in October when gamers are looking for spooky games to play. Take for example Gluttony, who by all accounts is what all nightmares are made of. His skin tone is akin to bomber gray while his huge belly is layered with teeth and that is before you take into account his realm’s icy design. Those details and the ice figures included in the realm are partly why he not only frightened me, but became my favorite designed boss. Right up there with Envy, whose design was so terrifyingly beautiful and yet it got taken to a whole new level when her body becomes struck and splits into two.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE: Check out the fantastic track-by-track feature that Seasonal wrote for us about their new EP.
While dark brooding graphics are not generally attributed to the switch, it lends itself quite nicely to the format and I am for one pleased to see more of these games coming to the platform. While most of the boss battles in this boss battler are fantastic, there were some misses that ultimately brought down the final score. Mainly the least challenging Pride and the fact that Sloth felt a bit like an afterthought even if it was a clever idea. In the end, though, these were just minor speed bumps for a great game with a just as fantastic atmosphere and concept around it. For anyone looking for a challenging, stark nightmare this October, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is the game for them. (Kelly Holt; Game Reviewer)
Review copy provided by Another Indie.