Soul Sacrifice Delta is one of those games that is a sequel but at the same time not; offering some familiar stories known to players who played the last game bundled with lots of new bits. It is not a DLC collection or even a special edition as it plays quite differently, almost like a version 2.0, improving things here, adding bits there, building on the first game and making an overall much better experience than the already impressive Soul Sacrifice that came out on Vita last year.
Soul Sacrifice Delta is an action adventure game based in a horrid and twisted world full of monsters and sorcerers. We start the game as an unknown captive, held prisoner by the evil sorcerer Magusar, witnessing his horrific powers being used on other prisoners, patiently awaiting your turn. That is until a strange book comes into your possession, a hideous tome bounded in flesh and blood; Librom as it calls itself is in fact the journal of a powerful sorcerer, tempting you to peruse the blood encrusted pages and learn its many secrets hoping to learn key skills and defeat Magusar by placing you in the shoes of the author of the journal, learning first-hand the trials and tribulations that ended in the creation of the world he now inhibits.
Having put a fair few hours in the first game I was quite surprised at how many differences have been made, some subtle like a tweak of the graphics making everything look even more gruesome or the gameplay itself, balancing out many of the offerings which in turn make the game a little easier to get to grips with.
As before there are a series of journal entries to play though called Phantom Quests, the majority unlocking after you have played though the first few requests of each faction. The game still has the previous factions Avalon, who believe that a sorcerer’s job is to exterminate all monsters and sacrifice them and Sanctuarium who believe they can still save the soul; Delta though has a new addition, the Grimm faction, where you are now able to let fate decide the outcome. Along with this new faction there are plenty of new monsters that lurk within the pages of Librom, each taking a fairy-tale approach to their look, like the abomination that is the three little pigs that really pushes the visuals to new warped boundaries.
The battles themselves take place on a large arena set in fantastical surroundings, each one littered with grunts and the main target. Whilst you have no specific powers of your own, the source of all of your powers comes from offerings, items that can be manipulated into weaponry, armour or other powers like bones that form into a giant arm, feathers that add quicker movement and aerial attacks or teeth that turn your arm into a flame thrower. As you carry out each Phantom Quest you earn even more offerings, combining similar items to make them more powerful and even fusing them with other offerings to create something new. For Soul Sacrifice Delta you are also able to create combos by linking offerings together, creating even more powerful moves than before. Another new addition is the Rumours Board; located in the Bazaar you are able to collect and utilize Rumours which are essentially pre-battle boosts to make certain areas easier or more bountiful like a boost of XP or brittle cursed parts on Archfiends, making them that little but easier to take down.
Being a rather dark game the offerings are not just obscure bits and bobs but also body parts. When taking a beating and in dire need of powerful attack you can also decide to offer your skin, eyes or any other body part unlocked, releasing a torrent of damage on your enemies but at the same time costing you, be it in defence or even sight. The same can be applies to downed colleagues, do you save them and keep them in the battle or sacrifice their soul for more power, but just remember the same can happen to you.
When it comes to actual content Soul Sacrifice Delta is bursting at the seams, jam packed with pacts, Phantom Quests and jobs to pay off your debts plus loads of offerings to unlock and tinker with and plenty of customisable items like changing your appearance to adding powerful sigils to your arm to amp the power of the offerings. On top of all that you also have an extensive online mode, allowing four sorcerers to take on some of the more dangerous foes.
Even with the original story and plot still in place from the first outing, Soul Sacrifice Delta has plenty of new content on offer here to tempt fans of the first game to pick this up again and for any new players out there considering this, it is yet another great title for the Vita.
Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version tested: PS Vita)
+ Plenty of improvements over the original
+ Even more monsters to either slay or save
+ New faction to follow
- Still a heavy reliance on repeating monsters