If you did not think we had enough video games out there to take into the depths of Hell as of late, then let me bring Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption back up for you. This would be the latest title from Dark Star that does that in the way of a Souls-inspired boss battler game. Only this one has a twist where the character we are playing gets weaker as he progresses instead of stronger. Something that feels like it wanted to turn the genre on its head and Another Indie opted to help bring it to market. But does it truly do just that? This question is why we sat down and gave Sinner a solid play. All so we can give you our honest review right now.
Our lone warrior has awakened and finds himself in a dark and Hellish land. He knows that he is a Sinner and is looking for redemption from it all. It does not help that his homelands are in the same state, but all be damned as he is going to reach his goal. To do so, Adam will have to take on a defeat each of the seven deadly sins while sacrificing part of himself to keep them banished or redeemed. Not the easiest of tasks but a man can move mountains with the proper motivation.
On the surface, the story of Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption, felt like it was going to be something much grander from the basic description. Sadly, this is about what we get outside of small little bits about how each sin came to be the way that they are. I found little more than that along the way that actually drove the reasons to fight and escape the Hell we were in. If you were looking for some kind of story to Sinner you will be mostly let down as it does not even fully explain why this character is doing what he is doing outside of it be for the video game. It is just that on the surface it felt like there was something bigger going on and then never truly showed up along the way.
Ignoring that I was hoping that the combat in a boss battler game would at least pick up the slack of the story in Sinner. You know, something that this style of game should have on lock. It all boiled down to light and heavy attacks while trying to dodge and use basic items to take down these bosses. It was extremely basic and more complicated than it truly should have been. At least in terms of doing more than moving and swinging. To cycle through the extra items you had to use the D-Pad and still worry about moving. Not the easiest of schemes to work with while also trying to manage an ever-dwindling stamina bar to actually take your actions. They were aiming to make Sinner hard, sure, but this made it almost unnecessarily hard to actually do anything.
Lastly, when it comes to games like Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption, one thing that should be mixed in on a basic level should be some form of "tell" on these bosses. Make them hard to spot and/or defeat but also make it that we as a player can see what we are doing wrong to try to get better at the game. This was something I had great difficulty within the game to the point where I wanted to stop playing. There were no true indicators to see how we should alter tactics and approach in the fight. This does not make for a fun experience and leans more to the discarded side of things. At least for me.
The bosses in the game are some of the most amazing that I have seen in some time. Not only in terms of appearance, but in terms of animation and movement in Sinner. They actually felt like true beings that inhabited the game and I could watch them do their actions many times over. The art and animation teams did an amazing job with them down to the minutest detail on the models. Even the AI used for them kept them reacting and acting in realistic ways even if they never truly aided the gameplay of it all. I would fully watch an animated show of Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption if the team just opted to do that with what they had as it was all that amazing to me.
Another great aspect of Sinner all comes down to the core mechanic that caught everyone's eye when it was announced. The sacrifice mechanic that is. When you take on each of the sins here, you have to offer up a sacrifice. Be it your health, stamina, extra items, or just other actions that happen during gameplay. You could always reclaim them after the fight, but you then be required to face off with the sin again. Sometimes it would be needed if you could not take on one of the bosses in the line you went with. The idea of making yourself weaker instead of boosting worked out so well here that it is a concept I would love to see in other video games past Sinner here.
Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption is going to be a game you love or hate depending on your personal preferences. You may also love to hate it as well. When it is said that Dark Star was inspired by Dark Souls and Shadow Of The Colossus, you can see and feel it. Note that mixture and you will get an idea on how you will feel about Sinner before diving in. This is not a game for everyone but those who enjoy the difficulty with lack of story will revel in it. Those looking for a good balance may want to leave this one behind. That is the basics of how I am going to recommend it here as you can get the story of it all without playing the game. You just miss out on the achievement of being able to say you made it all the way through…
I give Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption 5 Health Potions on the Health Potion scale.
Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption — Launch Trailer
Sinner: Sacrifice For Redemption was developed by Dark Star Game Studios and published by Another Indie for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 16th, 2018. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.