Developer Ska Studios has announced that its enormously enjoyable, Dark Souls-inspired 2D action-adventure Salt and Sanctuary is coming to Switch on August 2nd.
Salt and Sanctuary first released for PlayStation 4 and PC in 2016 (a Vita version followed a year later), and was a game I enjoyed immensely at the time. Those Dark Souls comparisons are well-earned too, if you're wondering: it's an explicit attempt to translate From Software's seminal fantasy series into two dimensions.
Salt and Sanctuary begins with our hero, the Saltborn, shipwrecked on the shores of a vast, mysterious kingdom. Inevitably, there's a strong exploratory aspect to the experience, but it also does a grand job of shifting Dark Souls' considered combat to the 2D plane.
It goes even further though, mimicking Dark Souls' broodily enigmatic ambience, its rich RPG elements (there are numerous weapon and armour types, along with skill upgrades and more), and even its soul retrieval death mechanic - although here, you're collecting the salt of the title.
Yet Salt and Sanctuary makes all these borrowed elements feel fresh, largely by virtue of it simply being a very good, well-designed game in its own right. As has been proven time and again, From's Souls formula is watertight - and it turns out that it's just as effective in two dimensions, especially when it's delivered by a capable team.
Salt and Sanctuary's wonderfully cohesive world is a particular highlight, and is beautifully realised through Ska's evocative - though undoubtedly divisive - art style. It's a surprisingly generous game too, with a lengthy main campaign (playable solo or in local co-op), a New Game+ mode, and a variety of additional challenges designed to offer a unique twist on the core experience - through the likes of no blocking rules and even a permadeath mode.
Salt and Sanctuary will cost $17.99 USD on the Switch eShop come August 2nd, and Ska says a physical version - called Salt and Sanctuary: Drowned Tome Edition - will launch "this holiday".