Everyone knows about Dark Souls, correct? Just in case, Dark Souls is a series of action RPGs with gothic flavoring that are known for amazing and drawn out fights with boss monsters of gigantic proportions, and also has a reputation for being somewhat challenging. Because of the ridiculous level of difficulty infused with quality game design, this series of games can be frustrating but at the same time equally rewarding when a powerful nemesis has been bested. Someone saw these well thought out and extremely punishing boss battles and must have said to themselves what if we cut out all that exploration nonsense and just focused on boss fights like this? Also, let’s not level up the character when they beat a boss, let’s make them level down. This cruel and sadistic train of thought is what led to Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption which is just as brutal of a gaming experience as it sounds, but like the series it just got compared to, it can be equally rewarding.
Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption focuses on the story of Adam, a lad who has committed a great sin for which he must atone. In order for this sinner to gain redemption, Adam has to complete eight trials, and by complete eight trials we mean defeat eight gigantic scary boss monsters in mortal combat. Each of the first seven of these adversaries represent one of the seven deadly sins, so essentially we are taking on the role of a sinner to go wage war against sin itself. Typically warring against abstract concepts doesn’t yield the best results, though since these sins have a physical manifestation Adam might fair a bit better, though let’s hope there is no horrible laughing scene like in that other game where Sin was the main antagonist.
Having to tackle eight Dark Souls style bosses is scary in itself, but as stated above this game has a level down mechanic, which is basically an RPG character progression done in reverse. Before Adam fights any of these sinful opponents, he needs to prove he is serious in his repentance by making a sacrifice which can be done in the form of dulling his blade, softening his armor or shortening his health bar. Each sacrifice is cumulative, so he may begin the game as a well equipped strapping young lad and enter into the final confrontation weak, feeble, and with equipment barely suited for anything beyond horseplay.
The visual style of Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is quite nice to look at, it combines the gothic atmosphere and enemy design aesthetic of the Dark Souls games and mixes that with cel shaded anime. The opponents do have interesting designs which is a definite plus since players will be looking at them a lot. Since the bulk of the game is essentially boss fights, these enemies are designed to be fought in long, drawn out battles even if the player doesn’t ever die. And they will die. Repeatedly. What makes this title good is despite the extreme difficulty, the fights are fair if once the player learns how to respond to the enemy’s behavior and develops the quick reflex responses victory becomes obtainable.
Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is not a game for the easily frustrated, but for anyone who thought the boss fights in Dark Souls were the best part of the franchise or just likes a good challenge in general Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption has potential to turn into an essential title. Multiple endings, unique weapons and items and different game modes are promised to increase replay value though no concrete information is currently available at this time regarding the specifics. Currently Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is being developed from the ground up by Chinese studio Dark Star and will be published by Another Indie sometime in 2018.