Soulstice aims to define a particular character-action style by blending the dark atmosphere of the Souls games with the fast-paced action of Devil May Cry.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, developer Reply Game Studios stated that “the character-action genre [always] sets a very high bar for graphics and performance.” Soulstice needed to hence not only look great, which it absolutely does, but also run smoothly.
Soulstice features a diverse combat system where players must manage two characters simultaneously: Briar, who can jump in to deliver vicious melee attacks and combos; and Lute, who can use her otherworldly abilities to control the battlefield. Ensuring high frame-rates with low input lag were hence a priority and why the developer decided to ditch previous-generation consoles.
“It [Soulstice] also has to run very smoothly to make sure that the FPS are high enough, and that input lag is as low as possible. Therefore, in this phase we have decided to focus on next-gen and PC, in order to make sure that we could strike a proper balance in this regard,” explained Reply Game Studios.
PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (and Xbox Series S) also made the development process easier. Reply Game Studios was all praise for the current-generation consoles, noting that their hardware not only provides better performance but also make it easier to deal with multiple platforms at the same time.
Soulstice looks visually stunning and as such will be supporting “several next-generation features” both at release and afterwards. However, ray tracing for immersive lighting will not be one of them even on PC.
Reply Game Studios did not explain why but did hint that it has “some nice ideas” in play which could possibly see the game support the new DualSense controller features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on PlayStation 5.
On the subject of combat, Reply Game Studios made it clear that Soulstice “is meant to be fast-paced and hectic, but not punishing for the sake of it,” which was a response to any comparisons being made with the Souls games. “Let it be clear though: those who are looking for a challenge will not be disappointed!”
Briar and Lute will both have their own progression paths. Briar can unlock multiple secondary weapons for new attacks and combos. Lute on the other hand serves as a “guardian angel of sorts” with a mixture of both player-inputs and AI-powered behaviors. “The general approach she takes can be customized, but the player’s performance will also have a major impact on what she does,” said the developer before promising more details in the near future.
Soulstice will be releasing somewhere in 2022 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and PC via Steam.