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Parents' Guide to


By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Tough, bloody action tale shines spotlight on sisterly bond.

Soulstice box art

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Is It Any Good?

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Players in search of a linear action-RPG (role-playing game) with plenty of style and loads of difficulty and accessibility options will find it here. Soulstice doesn't aim to knock your socks off with innovative action, but is instead satisfied to deliver an enjoyable combat-oriented experience. Its dark, gothic environments are pretty and framed such that they feel much larger and more open than they really are, creating a cinematic atmosphere. Most of the story -- especially the details of Briar and Lute's history and sisterly relationship -- is efficiently revealed through emotive dialogue that pops up organically as the pair work their way through each level. And while the fighting isn't exactly original -- it's mostly just button combinations to attack and well timed taps to dodge and defend -- the controls are tight and the action is nicely animated, capable of getting a player's blood pumping.

What's really nifty is that players have an enormous range of options when it comes to tuning how they want to play and how challenging they want the experience to be. Finding it a bit too overwhelming to activate Lute's defensive abilities while fighting? You can set many of her actions -- such as blocking incoming attacks or throwing up magical fields -- to activate automatically. Having trouble landing some of Briar's more challenging combinations? Just enable auto-attack and she'll perform spectacularly when you get close enough to an enemy. And this is in addition to choosing from five separate generalized combat difficulty settings. What all this means is that players who like a challenge can experience the satisfaction of learning how to do everything manually while taking on relentless foes, while less experienced players can still succeed and view the action in all its glory without having to master more sophisticated mechanics. Soulstice's barrier to entry is low, and that's a welcome surprise for a genre typically known for its punishing difficulty.

Game Details

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