Purging Wickedness, One Sin At A Time
HIGH Stunning visuals, thematic level design, and clever boss fights.
LOW Mechanically, leaves something to be desired.
WTF A bee fused with an octopus is the embodiment of Lust?
Hi everyone! Eugene Sax here with another review from GameCritics.com.
The crusades were a dark time in man’s history, and Cecil, a cleric of Sinwell, has returned home to put that particular horror behind him. However, his home is a city rife with sin and plague — something just as terrible as what he tried to escape. In talking with Master Ulric of the local church, he’s told he must complete one final quest. In order to save the town he must purge all its sin, though not by preaching the good word, but instead by entering into people’s minds and physically removing it.
Saga of Sins is an action run-and-gun where players control Cecil as he dives into the minds of sinners to bring the town, and hopefully the world, back from the brink of hell. Players will run, jump, and dash their way to victory by shooting manifestations of sin within the minds of the townsfolk. When he jumps into someone’s psyche, Cecil is turned into a transforming creature (swapping between werewolf, griffin, or gargoyle) that gives him powers to fight. Cecil can switch between forms at will once they’re unlocked, and as players progress, they will earn money they can donate to the church to gain increased power, more health, or upgrades.
Each sin has its own style of world. Fury is dark and filled with fire and lava, but gluttony is filled with giant pigs eating more than their fill. Some common enemies populate all levels, but the level theming is also applied to many foes as well. The fury levels I mentioned have fiery abominations chasing the player, whereas peacocks shooting golden eggs can be found in Pride. Some worlds will also have special effects like Sloth levels slowing the player down, or losing gold when taking hits in Greed-themed places. Conceptually, everything is on point.
The boss fights, though, are where Saga of Sins really shines. In run-and-gun titles, bosses often amount to finding a weak point and learning how to dodge their attacks. That’s not the case here, though — each boss fight has its own unique flair. One may be a standard shoot-it-until-it’s-dead, but another may be a chase sequence where players have to merely survive. The best of them is one where I didn’t fight a boss, so much as fight the level itself to complete the fight.
While looking good and offering uniquely clever theming is all well and good, I will say that there’s not a lot of depth here. Saga of Sins doesn’t require the player to master the different creatures that Cecil can become, and I only switched between the monster forms when I absolutely needed a specific power.
For example, there are flammable obstacles that hide treasures, which can only be burnt by the gargoyle form. The Griffin form is only necessary to climb certain walls. Neither of these forms were as good as the basic werewolf form in combat, even though Saga of Sins wants players to spend resources and upgrade their abilities of the other forms. it just didn’t feel worth it, and despite a grand total of four creatures to choose from, I still wished there was a bit more to it. Also, the voice acting didn’t sit well too well with me — the dialogue feels forced and emotionless, and I have no idea what kind of accent Cecil’s voice actor was going for.
Overall, Saga of Sins ends up being a well-themed run-and-gun platformer, and it executes well enough. The difficulty curve is pretty forgiving, and the campaign doesn’t hang around any longer than it needs to, so getting stale is never an issue. While I wanted more mechanically, the visuals and concepts alone were enough to keep me interested enough to see it through to the end, and that’s not something I can say about every game.
For me, Saga of Sins gets 6.5 apples of sin out of 10
Disclosures: This game is developed by Bonus Level Entertainment and published by Just For Games. It is currently available on PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PS5. Approximately 7 hours of play were spent playing the game, and the game was completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E10+ and contains Fantasy Violence, Use of Alcohol, Mild Language, and Mild Blood. There are drunks in town that embody gluttony, and some bloody bodies that are rife with plague. Players will be controlling a character that shoots fireballs or literal fire onto demonic enemies, exploding them into shards of glass when defeated. There are some uses of D*** for the mild language.
Colorblind Modes: There are no color blind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There is text in game, but text is not resizable. Audio mostly serves aesthetic purposes and is not needed for gameplay. The game is fully accessible.
Remappable controls: Controls are not remappable.