SINNER: SACRIFICE FOR REDEMPTION Review: Exciting and Infuriating Combat

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Bringing a mixture of Dark Souls difficulty along with the boss selection of Mega-man while removing the adventure of both titles is Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption. This game by Dark Star Game Studios proves that just providing a nigh possible battle challenge is enough to keep a player entertained.

Story

A cryptically told story through short phrases and battle hints, you play as a soldier who found himself in a mysterious and dark cavern. Full of gloom around you, the only way to move is forward. Soon you will be in a room with seven temple-like structures that all open to strange and powerful foes with a dark past of their own. With each fight taking a sacrifice to begin, it’s up to this young soldier to decide if they will remain trapped within the cavern or find redemption through the required sacrifices.

Gameplay

When you first start up, the first thing players will want to do is learn the controls. While the pause menu shows the entire list of controls, note that this does not stop time in-game at all, leaving you vulnerable to attacks. There is a few guides you can talk to that will tell you of your main attack and defense options, as well as teach you about your extra items. There is also a few small, easy to beat enemies that show up to help you practice the controls before heading in to the boss battles.

Immediately following this short tutorial-like area you will find yourself in a temple room with seven shrines. Each shrine takes you to another boss and will require a sacrifice of some kind to enter. The sacrifices range from health depletion, item depletion, broken defense, weaker attack, and more. The hardest lesson was learning that after defeating the boss to a shrine, that sacrifice does NOT return and if you were to re-activate the shrine to get it back then it will take away your victory over that boss as well.

Each boss has their own openings for attacks and weaknesses that help give you the upper hand. While majority of the bosses are much larger than you, their attacks are also slower most of the time. The main thing is to find out what item hurts or affects them the most and then abusing it to keep the upper hand. Be careful though, their attacks are powerful and death comes easily!

Without wanting to spoil anything, I will just speak of one boss. For this I will choose the boss of gluttony, again leaving the name out to help refrain from spoiling anything. This boss didn’t seem to be affected by anything until I started using the javelins in a more repetitive manner. Then I realized that if I can land two javelin throws on him in a row, while he is open and not reading for an attack, this would cause him to stall for a moment and gave me an opening. Using this knowledge, and my environment to help block his attacks, I was able to defeat him with only a little bit of strife.

As for the items you will have available to use, there are a total of four options. The first option is a healing orb, which can be used either one at a time or as many as you wish consecutively. So don’t smash the button when you get yourself in a tense moment because the game will let you use them all up for no reason! The second and third options are two range weapons: lightning javelin and fire pot. Both of these will do a slight bit of damage to the boss, but can be more effective when used properly as explained above. The last option you have is a fire sword. This will ignite your weapon to be a flaming sword, allowing you to do more damage to the enemy for each hit, but be careful because it will slowly damage yourself while activated.

Graphics and Sounds

While the game had a slight cartoon-ish style to it, it didn’t hinder the fierce look of each boss. They could of gone with the somewhat realistic style of Dark Souls, but I think it is a fitting style to go with something more laid back as the enemies difficulty brings fear on its own.

The sound effects used were all very accurate and helped depict what was exactly going on throughout the fight. You could hear the stomping when the larger bosses were moving, the dragging when a sword is touching the ground while moving, the shield smash when you defend, and all of the above sound effects that separated when a boss was spitting acid or spitting fire.

Replayability

Other than wanting to defeat a boss again with your new knowledge of how to best defeat them or simply try to improve your skills by fighting the bosses you had trouble defeating the first go, there isn’t much reason to revisit this game.

What Could Be Better

The second weapon option they give is a two-handed long sword. While this is a good option to give players, they must have made it too long as simply wielding it caused the tip to constantly clip through the ground. It should have dragged behind the player with how long it was, but instead it just went through the floor.

A longer tutorial would have been a good touch. Perhaps a simpler, small boss to face off. While the few enemies gave me an idea of the control, the first few fights wasn’t enough for me to really understand the controls. I found myself having a lot of trouble on the first boss I faced because I didn’t even know how to play really, just how to smash one button and defeat some small guys.

This is more of a smaller issue, but when you start the game they give the option to have a free roam or a fixed camera. I chose fixed as I knew it would be easier for combat, but they should have just had that option in the pause menu so players could switch to having control of the camera at any time.

Conclusion

Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is a very challenging game that I thoroughly enjoyed playing. I would recommend this to any hardcore strategy fighting gamer looking for another game that brutally challenges their skills and patience. Some of the most fun I’ve had while being infuriated at the same time!

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