Soulstice sets itself apart from other action RPGs with its unique world, dual protagonists, and fast battles. Briar and Lute each bring unique supernatural powers to the table, and they’ll need all of them if they’re going to be successful in their fight against the Wraiths now plaguing the Holy Kingdom of Keidas.
There’s a lot going on in Soulstice, in battle as well as in the story, and it can take a while to learn the proper application for the characters’ various powers, weapons, and resources. Though fights can be difficult at times, Soulstice isn’t the most punishing game around, so there’s nothing keeping the player from just jumping in and seeing what happens. Having a few tips going in can make things much easier and more fun for new players, however. Here are some top tips that every Soulstice beginner should know.
6 Adapt To The Camera
Whether in one of the game’s best areas or its worst, the camera in Soulstice can take some getting used to. When exploring the world, it functions much like the camera in the old Resident Evil games: changing to a different angle when the player moves out of frame. For platforming segments, meanwhile, it shifts to a more traditional two-dimensional view, mercifully making jumps easier to identify and time.
In battle the camera changes yet again, giving the player more control over it. This makes it easier to track the action, dodge enemy attacks, and otherwise do battle. Though having such variety in camera mechanics sounds complicated on paper, it doesn’t take long to get used to it in practice. It’s easier if the player knows what to expect from the camera in any given situation, however, since abrupt changes aren’t so jarring then.
5 Soulstice Isn’t A Soulslike
Looking at the game (not to mention its name), one can easily be fooled into thinking that Soulstice is a member of the ultra punishing Soulslike genre. That isn’t the case, however, and understanding the differences between this game and Soulslikes goes a long way towards getting the player ready for combat in Soulstice.
Combat here is quicker, more fluid, and more arcadey than most Soulslike games. The player can air juggle enemies, chain together light and heavy attack combos, air dash, and otherwise engage in much more mobile and reckless gameplay than one normally could in that genre. Though the gameplay is melee-focused, Lute’s abilities can be used to disrupt enemy attacks and moments, lending an element of strategy to combat.
4 Unity Matters
Attacking enemies increases Unity (tracked by the icon in the upper-right corner). Unity allows Lute to fire additional energy blasts as well as use Briar’s Synergy attacks. These abilities allow the player to make quick work of most enemies, so keeping the pressure on enemies and filling up Unity quickly are important parts of battle.
Unity isn’t a one-way street, however, since Soulstice takes a cue from other great action RPGs by adding some complexity to its mechanics. If the player is knocked back or damaged by an attack, their Unity will decrease. It’s therefore just as important to avoid getting hit as it is to land hits of one’s own. Most of the time the player will be able to play aggressively and build Unity quickly, but there will be moments when the wiser decision is to slow down and concentrate on defense and evasion to preserve the Unity that the player already has. Knowing when to press the attack and when to fall back is a lesson that only experience can teach.
3 Know Your Fields
Soulstice contains two types of Fields: Evocation and Banishment. During the player’s journey they will come across Cobalt Veins (blue) and Crystal Overgrowths (red) which must be destroyed using Evocation and Banishment Fields to destroy. Using a field generates an energy dome of the appropriate color, and to be destroyed, Cobalt Veins and Crystal Overgrowths must remain within the dome’s confines.
Using Fields generates Entropy, and when Entropy is full, Lute will vanish briefly. Evocation and Banishment fields are also necessary when combating blue and red enemies, as these enemies can only be damaged when they are within a Field of the same color. Fields are also used in certain platforming sequences, though this mechanic seems primarily to exist just to switch things up and give them a bit of a break from the usual routine, so understanding the Fields’ usage in these platforming sequences isn’t as important as understanding their usage in combat.
There’s more to winning battles in Soulstice than just making the most of one’s weapons. Rapture acts as a kind of Rage mechanic, even allowing Briar to damage enemies that normally must be within an Evocation or Banishment Field to harm. Activating Rapture a second time executes a flashy special ability to dish out some additional damage, treating the player to a cool cinematic as well.
There is a significant downside to Rapture, however. Triggering Rapture causes a significant decrease to Unity. Regaining Unity isn’t normally a huge problem, but this drawback is one that the player should be aware of before using Rapture, as accidentally shedding a large amount of Unity at the wrong time can make fights unnecessarily difficult.
1 Master The Arsenal
Briar has two weapons available to her at the beginning of the game: the Ashen Vindicator and the Ashen Enforcer. The Vindicator is the quicker but weaker of the two, while the Enforcer is slower but deals more damage. Later in the game, Briar will also be able to use the Hand of Retribution, a gauntlet that can be used to parry as well as uppercut enemies.
Different weapons are strong against different enemy types. The Ashen Enforcer excels at taking down flying enemies, while the Hand of Retribution is best for punching through the defenses of heavily armored enemies. Each weapon also has its own unique abilities that can make fights significantly easier once the player knows how to best use them. The Ashen Vindicator is equipped at all times, but the player can only use one of their other two weapons at any given time. Thankfully, the player can swap between those weapons on the fly, so if the player is wielding the Hand of Retribution only to discover they need the Enforcer more, they can quickly grab what they need.
Soulstice is available now for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.