Soul Sacrifice (Vita) Hands-On Impression [Tokyo Game Show]

Soul Sacrifice is a dark, gritty action RPG worthy of attention from fans of the genre, fans of a game telling an interesting story, or just those who like multiplayer action games,.

The TGS demo sat four players (one of whom was the booth lady) down to cooperate in taking down some nasty monsters. The designs of both characters were great, even though there were only two available. They had a good variety of outfits for each, and even with the four of us picking things, we all ended up looking different from each other. With even more variety coming in the full version, obviously, the visual variety of the characters will only continue to impress.

Most of the available costumes had some tearing on them somewhere or a tattered edge, and most monsters had that grim, grotesque look about them. You know the one — saliva dripping from the mouth, big fangs, eyes or tongues in strange places on their bodies, maybe some scars or blood stains here and there.

The four of us were tasked with taking out a giant harpy who would gallop around the battlefield, fly for short bursts, whip with his tail, and if you weren’t careful, lick you up into his mouth and give you a few chomps. My character was a mage, though there was some confusion on that front. Everyone at the table had several magic spells, but she kept referring to me as a Witch, specifically. Maybe there were different types of each; the selection process went by very quickly. I used my lightning and fire-based ranged attacks primarily. Getting too carried away with offense and forgetting to evade landed me an all-expenses paid trip to the harpy’s mouth.

It was said that using powerful magic would come at a cost to our characters, but I didn’t see this happening in this battle. I was using basically any spell I wanted, when I wanted to use it. This part of the “sacrifice” system may have been subdued in the TGS demo, or perhaps we didn’t have long enough with it to see this system really take effect.

When the beast was defeated, a clearly exhausted human woman was on her hands and knees in front of us, and she asked us not to kill her. In a full game, I imagine this would sometimes be a touch decision, but in a brief demo, pfft, it was easy to choose “sacrifice.” Decisions like this, in the final product, will affect how the story goes for the player.

Soul Sacrifice has online play, but I can’t speak for how communication will be handled between players on the Vita, since but the concern didn’t really come up with the four of us within earshot of each other. Ad-hoc worked without any problems, though, even amid the chaos of the Tokyo Game Show. If you’ve got gamer friends, perhaps you’d do well to pick up Soul Sacrifice for the Vita. It comes out in 2013 in Japan, and does not yet have official localization plans. This seems like just the type of game Vita needs more of, though, so I’d put translation chances pretty good.