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Salt and Sanctuary: Extended Gameplay

(Image by Tim Bowman/Quarter Disorder)

(Image by Tim Bowman/Quarter Disorder)

Watch Ska Studios’ take on the Souls style of punishment.

Salt and Sanctuary, the latest from veteran indie developer Ska Studios, released on Tuesday for the PlayStation 4. The game features 2D, side-scrolling environments and combat mixed with “Souls”-type gameplay all in a challenging difficulty. It takes heavy inspiration from the Dark Souls franchise and similar games developed by FromSoftware.

The game costs $17.99 to download from the PlayStation Store.

The story is about a character lost on a dark island after their ship was overtaken and capsized. They have to somehow find and rescue a princess who was kidnapped from the ship. Before the ship was attacked the princess was being taken to a marriage offering that would bring peace between kingdoms.

Salt and Sanctuary’s art and player design is similar to other games from Ska Studios, with alternative-styled characters and enemies set against gritty backgrounds. Besides Dark Souls the game also feels a lot like Castlevania because of its 2D elements and combat.

The character’s look can be customized and be played as both genders. There are several different classes to choose from including a knight, mage, thief, cleric and even a chef. There are all types of weapons and items to collect to create a unique play style. In combat there’s a stamina bar that restricts how much actions you can do. Enemies can be killed with animated combos by quickly following up a defensive block.

Salt is collected by killing enemies, which is used to level up the character and upgrade equipment. Sanctuaries are the character’s home base. At sanctuaries the character can be leveled up and gain better attributes from a skill tree. The skill tree is similar in design to the one in Final Fantasy X (2001). The sanctuary can also be improved by finding statues around the world that add shops and other bonuses for the player.

The game features local co-op with two people. There’s also a local multiplayer mode of player versus player. After beating the story there’s a new game plus mode where the character’s level, stats and equipment transfer over to the next playthrough.

Salt and Sanctuary is also coming to the PC on Steam after the PS4-exclusivity window and the PlayStation Vita at a later time. The game will be Cross-Buy with the PS Vita version when it launches.

Salt and Sanctuary is the first game the studio has released on a PlayStation platform, who have mostly developed for the Xbox 360 over the years. Ska Studios first announced the game in August 2014. The game took around three years to create and uses the MonoGame development program for the PS4 version. The studio is just a two-person team of James and Michelle Silva. Their last game was Charlie Murder, a 2013 beat ’em up on the Xbox Live Arcade for Xbox 360. Ska Studios also made The Dishwasher franchise.

Watch Tim play the beginning of Salt and Sanctuary, creating a character, exploring some of the early areas and taking on the first boss:


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