GC2012; ‘Soul Sacrifice is born from my own personal experience as a game designer’, says Inafune
“Soul Sacrifice is born from my own personal experience as a game designer”, Keiji Inafune told PS3 Attitude following an intimate behind-the-curtain look at his upcoming PS Vita title, his first game since leaving Capcom.
He explains: “Every time I wanted to do something or go in a particular direction, I had to give up something else. The game reflects that struggle.”
These emotive statements are always good for raising excitement levels. However, that excitement often transforms into frustration once you spot the dissonance between what you were promised and what you actually get.
Soul Sacrifice could be the game that breaks that rule, because sacrifice really is at the heart of the gameplay. It’s the driving force behind your character’s development; it’s not just something that’s slipped into the dialogue of a CG cutscene between missions.
In the heat of the battle, you can harness the power of magic, but each use comes at a cost hence the sacrifice. In order to cast a spell, you must give up something of equal value. The more powerful the spell the greater sacrifice.
You could find something in nature – a rock, a branch, those will do. But to cast bigger spells, you need to give up your flesh – an arm, a leg; maybe your friend’s life or even your own. Powerful magic therefore brings with it this huge moral choice.
Inafune shared some details of Soul Sacrifice’s story. The player, in a small cell, held hostage by a savage sorcerer sees a book appear, chronicling fierce battles between sorcerers and monsters.
The book has a mysterious power. As you read through its chapters, you are drawn in to relive them as the sorcerer. Your objective in this game is to battle your way through to the end of the book as you try to break free from your captor.
The monsters you face along the way are not nameless beasts – they were all human once and each one has its own back story. They all overused magic to feed their greed.
Their names are drawn straight from Greek and other mythos – Minotaur, Cerebus, Harpy, Dullalan, Slime – but each one has an original design.
When you despatch a monster, you are given the choice between laying it to rest or sacrificing it. What you do determines the type of sorcerer you will become.
Soul Sacrifice is an arena battle game, not an RPG, and the demo clearly draws comparisons with DmC and God of War. Each stage is influenced by human greed. The decision to save or sacrifice the monster at the end also opens up different story paths, so a comparison could also be made with inFamous.
Soul Sacrifice is not expected on these shores until spring 2013, but it’s already looking extremely slick. The battles are truly epic, and the art style is beautiful. It really does look fantastic on PS Vita.