Every game launches with some glitches. Whether it’s intentional design decisions, crazy bugs, or decisions made that leave the player base wondering why. This is often associated with larger games, because the bigger the game, the more things have to work together and the more systems can go wrong. And there are few games that are bigger than RPGs.
Salt and Sacrifice has several quirks, but you’d be hard pressed to blame bugs or tweak. Instead, Salt and Sacrifice has several questionable design decisions. The game works as expected, but as an audience you wonder why they did some of the things they did.
ten Telegraphed traps Where?
Traps aren’t unique to RPGs, especially in the Soulslike genre. Traps aren’t even new to Salt and Sacrifice, as they were a big feature in the game’s predecessor, Salt and Sanctuary.
The decision to put traps in the game shouldn’t be questioned, really. What makes no sense, however, is how hidden and instantaneous they are. Traps deal almost unavoidable damage unless your reaction speed is unmatched, and most of the time you won’t know there’s a trap somewhere unless you’ve already experienced its painful end .
9 Where’s the map ?
Souls-type games have long eschewed cards. FromSoftware games didn’t even use cards until Elden Ring. These games rely heavily on rewarding players with knowing where they are and being incredibly interconnected through unlocked shortcuts.
However, Salt and Sacrifice also has roots in the Metroidvania genre, which uses shortcuts and previously locked areas while providing the player with a map. Excluding a card feels weird and doesn’t work as well as it does in other souls-type games, mainly due to the 2D side-scrolling aspect of the game.
8 Wait, is this Monster Hunter?
Salt and Sacrifice also attempts to combine its Soulslike and Metroidvania roots with new inspiration. Monster hunter. Find the traces of a mage they left behind, then travel the map to hunt them down, eventually ending up in a boss arena at a designated point in the level.
While the mechanic itself isn’t bad, on its own it feels bad. Reusing so many boss arenas, having to reach a mage only for them to teleport, having to fight through tons of small enemies throughout the level – it all adds up to less experience.
7 So. A lot. Skills.
RPGs have become synonymous with large skill trees at this point. From a design perspective, it seems developers often think that more skills are better. You need look no further than Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile to see proof of this.
Salt and sacrifice are no different. There are hundreds of potential skills available to you, all of which create this interconnected web of confusion. The result is not more skills to make you more powerful. It’s the same amount of power only divided into almost imperceptible incremental upgrades.
6 Can I get some advice please?
Craft. You might like the experience of accumulating crafting materials across the world and using them to craft new gear. You can not. In Salt and Sacrifice, crafting isn’t just a system added to the game thoughtlessly, it serves its purpose.
What doesn’t make sense is the amount of guesswork in crafting. Find a new weapon or armor that you want to craft only for not knowing the basic information without browsing other sources. Even being able to easily compare your current item and an item you’re looking to craft isn’t easy. Why make things so complicated and force players to look elsewhere or scroll through menus over and over again to find the information they are looking for?
5 Safe areas are not always safe
In Dark Souls games, bonfires are almost like safe havens where you can sit and prepare for what’s to come. You can rest assured that as long as you are near the bonfire after getting up, you will be safe. No enemy will sprint towards you from nowhere.
Salt and Sanctuary does not always do this. What are meant to be moments of respite and calm can often be wandering with enemies waiting to pounce on you the second you get up. Worse still is respawning at one of these sites after a death only to be swarmed and killed again, losing all your salt.
In fighting games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, when someone combines their moves to stun the opposing player in the air, it’s called juggling. In games that rely on player versus player skill, juggling makes at least some sense. After all, you need to time your attacks perfectly.
In Salt and Sanctuary, however, you can get knocked through the air by an enemy, a mage, a trap, anything really. If more than one attack hits you, you will be juggled in the air, unable to do anything. Why?
Salt and Sanctuary takes away a bit of health and stamina at the top of your maximums when you die. This effect can be removed by using a consumable, but why does it exist in the first place?
The only other Soulslike game in recent memory to do this was Dark Souls 2, and the playerbase didn’t like it either. It’s because it doesn’t make sense. In a game genre where death is not only inevitable but almost encouraged, why punish players further with a mechanic like this?
2 Do not regenerate stamina when stunned
Do you remember when we talked about juggling? There’s another piece of information that makes this mechanic even more infuriating that happens whenever your character is stunned. Does not regenerate stamina.
It’s one thing to have attacks and stun mechanics in games. In Soul Tastes, it’s usually the result of an enemy breaking your temper or blocking you as you run out of stamina and stagger back. Salt and Sacrifice has them, sure, but you also can’t get over them with a dodge or follow block if they come your way.
1 Access control
Shortcuts and hidden passages are all good. At best, they’re clever level design elements that make you appreciate the level’s interconnectedness. At worst, they serve as insurmountable roadblocks that simply block off areas. Salt and Sacrifice has both.
You will come across door after door after door throughout a level that are otherwise locked behind you by defeating a mage. While normally this is fine, it discourages a lot of incentive for players to explore, especially when seemingly every major tower is locked behind one of these doors.
NEXT: Salt And Sacrifice Full Walkthrough
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