“Move Aside Dante, Briar Is Here!”
- System: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X
- Developer: Modus Games
- Developer: Reply Game Studios
- Release Date: September 20, 2022
As much as we love Dark Souls or Elden Ring, we always have a fond desire for quick paced action games like Devil May Cry and God of War. The feeling of viscerally cutting into an enemy at hyper lightning speeds is so rewarding and satisfying that we just can’t get enough of fast action games. That’s why when we heard of Soulstice from developer Reply Game Studios, our eyes widened and we were praying we’d get a chance at this amazing-looking title. Clearly inspired by the Devil May Cry series and Bayonetta, Soulstice aims to show you respect for indie developers and realize they can match the greatness of triple-A developers. Is Soulstice the next Devil May Cry competitor or will Dante always rule the hack and slash action genre? Let’s find out in our review of Soulstice for the PC!
Upon the first several seconds of Soulstice you might think you’re about to enter a Dark Soul-like story when you hear about kingdoms falling to ruin and powerful warriors rising to reclaim the land. Then a hot girl—who has the face of Mileena from Mortal Kombat—jumps through a stained glass window and free fall into a bunch of floating debris. It will then hit you, nope this is akin to the openings found in both Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, and that our MC of Soulstice, Briar, is not messing around.
Soulstice plays a lot—and we mean A LOT—like Devil May Cry. As Briar, players have access to several moves that range from light/heavy attacks, the ability to dodge, a launcher move, and unlockable skills via a shady-looking “observer” using red orb-like collectibles. We absolutely loved the controls and fast-paced action that might echo Devil May Cry but equally does just enough to be its own entity and that we’re proud to see.
Briar isn’t alone in her battle against the “corrupted” as she has a strange spirit merged with her being in the form of Lute and luckily. Lute has some uses outside of being a very meek-sounding spirit, at least at first. Lute can attack enemies—outside of your own input—and even protect Briar using a counter system and special defensive moves. This is where Soulstice shows its originality. You’re going to quickly learn that enemies will not wait for you to look at them if they are behind you. More often than not, you will need to learn how to time counter-attacks and dodges to avoid a backstabbing enemy just waiting for you to not pay attention. Especially on harder difficulty levels—which there are several—where a single attack can almost deplete your health. We recommend starting on Knight difficulty if you’re accustomed to Devil May Cry-like titles.
Soulstice visually blew our minds when we saw the trailers but actually playing the game reveals an even more beautiful title! Every stage might have similar-looking backgrounds but there is a ton of detail in the stages and even character models. Soulstice looks like a triple-A game and we can’t deny that it shocked us a bit. We really give Reply Game Studio credit for showing us and hopefully the world, what an indie developer can do!
Again, like Devil May Cry, a game like Soulstice needs tough bosses that also are equally pretty cool. Luckily, there are a good handful of them and they aren’t a joke. These scary beasts will mess Briar/Lute up if you aren’t mastering the controls and like the other parts of the game, a quick—and creepy—game over will await for those not prepared. We wished there were even more bosses in Soulstice as we think their designs are not only pretty original but their fights break the occasional monotony of basic enemies.