Review Salt and Sanctuary, ora anche su Xbox One

Salt and Sanctuary is a 2016 game that has been released on all platforms except Xbox One, at least until now. After 3 years, even the Microsoft console has recovered this pearl. Let's find out in this review!

Finally here we are, on February 6, Salt and Sanctuary also arrived on Xbox One. It's three years late, but we can finally play it on this console too. The release of this game was such an unexpected success and it originally happened on PS4. Then the various ports started, the first was the one for PC.

Salt and Sanctuary, we return from the sea | Review

3 years have passed since the release of the title, yet it seems that time has stopped. Even today Salt and Sanctuary is a fully playable game that looks as beautiful and fun as it was on the first day. For those of you who don't know it yet, Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D souls like that re-proposes the classic Dark Souls formula in a two-dimensional game. Making a good suls-like in 2D is a very complex operation that is fully successful in the case of this title.

Salt and Sanctuary is one of the timeless masterpieces, its level design is sublime, the soundtracks always spot on, the combat system very intelligent and, above all, fun. One of its historical flaws is the balance of weapons, some are much more effective than others, and this unfortunately has never really been solved: the Xbox One version is no exception. We will be, in the game world, a pawn in the hand of destiny, who will fight for their ideals (find the lost princess) and then find themselves in something greater that will be able to go and totally change our ideals and our destiny.

Salt and Sanctuary is a game that revolves around the concept of cycle, divinity and change, with a very engaging lore that leads us to make a journey that is in some ways also introspective. Moving in this small narrative universe we will understand how the world has gone downhill: there are so many mysteries hidden everywhere that represent clues to what happened. As we advance, we will accumulate more and more power, we will reveal more and more the secrets of the world and of the "gods", up to the point of having to make the final choice: to subvert the order of things or simply be part of it?

Salt and Sanctuary, non solo souls-like | Review

This journey takes place through well-designed maps full of enemies ready to go out of their way to destroy us. In the maps we will find sanctuaries, each of which is linked to a cult, which feeds an ideal followed by several individuals. This intriguing formula does not tire even today. Our character will gradually become stronger by accumulating salt and channeling it into sanctuaries. At each level up we will unlock the "black pearls" that will allow us to unlock the skills present within a tree that integrates them all.

Review Salt and Sanctuary, ora anche su Xbox One

The choice of the initial character will be only a starting point through which to move and then evolve into what we most want. The weapons are many, and are divided into categories and levels, to use them we will have to unlock the necessary skills in the tree. The same can be said for armors that follow the same type of classification. Magical abilities also go hand in hand, in a system that in its disarming simplicity manages to provide a wide range of choices.

Of course it will be possible to upgrade the equipment through the blacksmiths. If all this is not enough, Salt and Sanctuary also integrates a number of platforming and metroidvania components. Different skills can only be unlocked by advancing in the game world (talking to some characters), and these will allow us to reach places previously not accessible, opening the doors to a backtracking full of surprises.

Review Salt and Sanctuary, ora anche su Xbox One

Get used to this screen, it will become your best friend

In addition to that everything the level design of this title is based on platforms, you will have to move carefully so as not to miss a single drop. The souls-like component is therefore the icing on the cake of the mechanics of the title: the maps are full of enemies, dying will make us lose the accumulated experience (the salt), and there are many bosses. The latter are a very relevant part of the game, as they are numerous and, above all, difficult to break down without a precise strategy. Net of what has been said, Salt and Sanctuary turns out to be a very complex and difficult title that will make many happy.

Salt and Sanctuary, the best version on Xbox One? | Review

Coming to the Xbox One version, we were very amazed at how well it turns. And if on the one hand we already knew that Salt and Sanctuary is not a demanding title from a graphic point of view, on the other we could see an extreme optimization of the game in every component. Let's start with the controls, which have been expertly designed for the Xbox One pad. These turn out to be extremely comfortable and much more intuitive than the PC version. Of course, these on PC can be reconfigured, but having everything well set up from the start is certainly the best option.

We did not detect any frame rate drops in our sessions and no game crashes either (these occurred sporadically on PC and PS4). The game works very well on the Xbox One and does not show any problems or uncertainties at any time, it is very pleasant to play with an overall experience that is better than the other versions we have had the opportunity to try. However, the porting work did not improve the graphics of the title in any way, which remained faithful to the original release of the same. Which is not a bad thing: a restyling would have made him lose his magic and his style that has now become a cult in the world of souls-like. We expect to see a community around this title also for Xbox One. Till today the Xbox One version turns out to be the best option to play Salt and Sanctuary!

Salt and Sanctuary, ora anche su Xbox One | Review

We are really happy with the work done to bring this title to the Microsoft home console. We are in front of the best version of Salt and Sanctuary released so far. Salt and Sanctuary on Xbox One is truly a splendor and certainly the best opportunity, for those who have not played it, to recover what is an absolute pearl of video games. Not to be missed: now there are no more excuses.

8.5 Not to be missed

Points in favor

  • Optimized properly
  • Aged well
  • Very long-lived
  • Very challenging

Points against

  • Unbalanced weapons very well
  • Difficult to understand lore
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