Salt & Sanctuary was one of my favorite 2D games in a long time, so much so that I bought it again on the PS Vita and played through all the classes again after beating the game 12 times on the PS4 version. When the sequel Salt & Sacrifice was announced, I was ready to join the hype train until I watched the trailer, and then I commented, “Looks good, but hunting mages is kind of a big step down from fighting actual gods, isn’t it?”
When it finally arrived on the Epic Game Store, Salt & Sacrifice proved to have deviated wildly from being a Dark Souls inspired platformer to borrowing heavily from another genre. Most folks are comparing it to the Monster Hunter series, which I don’t know because I bounced hard off of two separate games. But the new formula is also a bit like the God Eater series, which I had a better time getting invested in. I’d also compare it to the free-to-play Suda51 slugfest Let It Die. Whether you can get into this mage hunting labyrinth will depend entirely on how willing you are to indulge the daily grind lifestyle.
The way it works is like this: first, you hunt a named mage with a specific set of themed skills. They start out with the elements you would expect, with a pyromancer and a cryomancer being your first options. Then the game adds a hydromancer and an electromancer before tossing in venomancer, aereomancer, necromancer, and so on and so forth. After you defeat the named mage one time, somewhere in their starting area will be a shrine to unlock a slightly stronger nameless mage hunt of the same kind, and finding a Tome of Fate in the area unlocks Fated Mage hunts, which are like randomly generated daily hunt lists.
“But why would I want to keep hunting the same mage over and over?” You ask. Well, killing each named boss unlocks a set of armor and weapons specific to their class. So you’ll want to harvest icky bits from each mage to make the equipment that strikes your fancy. Additionally, mages have the potential to drop Pyrstones or upgrade materials that take all equipment from “cute but useless” to “workable instrument of death.” There is, however a huge but on farming pyrstones coming later in the review, much bigger than mine and my hubby’s combined, and that’s a whole lotta but, let me tell you. But first, let’s cover the basics: story, setting, and controls. Continue reading