PS5 Review: Soulstice

More than just Devil May Soulstice?

The balance of the Holy Kingdom of Keidas is compromised when powerful, feral creatures known as “Wraiths” invade from the other side of the Veil, threatening to consume the living. The “Chimeras”, hybrid warriors born of the union of two souls, are the only ones who can protect humankind. Briar and Lute are two sisters who have been reborn as a Chimera. The transformation has granted Briar superhuman strength and resilience, while Lute, who was sacrificed in order to bind her soul to her sister’s, has become a ghost with mystical powers. Voiced by Stefanie Joosten (Metal Gear Solid 5), Briar and Lute are sent on a mission to reclaim a city in ruins that has been ravaged by the Wraiths, only to discover that the Order they belong to has a far more complex plan in mind. Explore a dark world brimming with hidden mysteries, master a diverse combat system, and inhabit the dual forces of two sisters in a coming-of-age fantasy story with fast-paced action, vicious enemies and breathtaking boss fights.

At a first glance, you’ll see a lot of comparisons to hack-n-slash games like Devil May Cry when you start playing Soulstice. It clearly takes a lot of inspiration from them and even has camera angles that are reminiscent of the original games. The combat is fast paced and fluid, while even giving you assists to let your ghost sister help out without you needing to press anything, but it can in turn ruin your flow so working out what works for you in terms of control during combat will need to be tested to find the right balance.

The story itself does well enough to push you forward to the end, even if it is on the generic side overall. Exploration between battles breaks up the action but does so well overall, though the camera feels like its working against you in this and especially in combat itself. I guess ultimately by trying to recapture the old-school feel of a game like Devil May Cry, they’ve also recaptured what was dated by today’s standards as a result. It’s a shame because there is a good game here, but ultimately it can feel very frustrating to play at times. Puzzles are also forgettable, and the general pacing is a bit over the place.

In terms of visuals though, Soulstice does stand out quite well and has 3 different modes for you to select whether you want 4K or 60 FPS or a balance between both. I tried each and found that the 60 FPS was definitely the best overall. The balanced option’s framerate did drop during combat, which isn’t ideal when you require maximum concentration. The character models are nicely designed, and the environments are all well detailed. The voice-acting from Stefanie Joosten is also well done and believable overall. The soundtrack is also impressive with some great tracks to fit the atmosphere of the game.

The Verdict

Soulstice may not add anything new to the mix, but it is a nice love letter to old-school Devil May Cry, warts and all. If you can overcome its camera and pacing issues, you’ll find a highly enjoyable action game.

Score: 7.0