Smoke and Sacrifice (PS4) – Review
Follow Genre: Survival RPG
Developer: Solar Sail Games
Publisher: Curve Digital
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Tested on: PS4

Smoke and Sacrifice (PS4) – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Impressive visuals and soundtrack, Great survival gameplay, Great variety of weapons, armor and monsters
Bad: Fixed camera, No bestiary, No quest markers
User Score
9.8
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)

This story-driven Survival RPG is developed by Solar Sail Games and published by Curve Digital. Smoke and Sacrifice was formerly only available on PC and Nintendo Switch, but is now also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Get ready to become the gatherer and the hunter in this beautiful eerie Survival RPG game. 

Story

In Smoke and Sacrifice, you play as Sachi, a single mother, living in a small farming town amidst a barren icy wasteland. By worshipping the mysterious Sun Tree, her town flourishes. The Sun Tree provides light and warmth to the town, but in return asks for a sacrifice. This mandatory ritual befalls Sachi who reluctantly has to sacrifice her first-born child. 

Seven years later, a mysterious stranger appears in town and not long after, the town is attacked by vicious monsters. Following the advice of the stranger, Sachi flees to the temple where the ritual took place. When she investigates the altar where her child had lain, she is instantly transported to another world. This dark and dangerous world resembles an underground cave. Here, she will have to learn how to survive the unforgiving environments, battle dangerous monsters and uncover horrible secrets, in search of her long lost child. 

Graphics

The graphics are excellent, with beautiful hand-painted characters and visuals. The world is created in a very atmospheric fashion. The game blends dark fantasy with steampunk perfectly. The monsters are all unique, with move-sets that require some learning, and (mini)bosses are sometimes enormous in comparison to normal monsters. The use of lighting is beautiful and very efficient in the dark world of Smoke and Sacrifice, where often dark purple smoke will try to overwhelm you. 

Sound

The music in Smoke and Sacrifice is gorgeously atmospheric. The eerie soundtrack fits the game perfectly and adds to the experience. From the sound of the winds blazing in the icy regions to the dreamy music in the forests, and so on. The soundtrack plays an important part in the game and is probably one of the best aspects the game has to offer. 

Gameplay

As a Survival RPG, Smoke and Sacrifice invites you to an open world experience where you will have to craft potions, weapons and equipment by scrounging for items, defeating enemies and completing quests. As you gather more and more items, and progress in your quests, you will gain access to more areas, grounds that are covered in ice, lava or electricity, that hold more powerful and unique weapons and armor. In the dangerous shadowy world of The Underground, you will come across unique characters that will aid you on your quest to find your child and offer unique craftables for completing their requests. This can be, for example, defeating a certain monster or acquiring rare items. By finding coins in the world, you can activate fast travel points which makes traversing the wasteland a lot easier, or you can use them in vending machines to acquire certain items more readily. Some items can only be crafted at a workbench, a cooking pot or the infamous Blasting Forge, so be sure to find them.  

The Underground switches from day to night, and this is when harmful purple smoke envelops the world, making your surroundings less visible. You will have to find a light source to wear off the smoke, otherwise Sachi will become drowsy and ultimately die from the poisonous smoke. Nighttime, or “smoke-time”, if you will, will also attract enemies that are more difficult the deal with and what makes matters worse, is that they are attracted to light sources like moths to a flame. Luckily, after an hour or so of gameplay, you will gain a unique light amulet, that not only lights your way during the smoke-time, but can also be used as a shield during fights. Just keep in mind that the amulet depletes with each use and will empty if not regularly refilled. 

As you will see often in survival games is that your edibles will decay over time and weapons and equipment will break when used frequently. Don’t forget to upgrade your equipment, repair it when need be, and store your edibles in chests to slow down the process of decay.  Keep all that in mind when you are vigorously attacking enemies and picking up whatever comes your way. There are many possibilities when it comes to crafting and dealing with enemies. You can craft different kinds of bombs and traps, and many other weapons, each one better equipped against certain types of enemies than others. You have four tabs in the HUB to choose from; your tomes with craftables, your items, your ongoing quests and your map. On the map, among other things, you will find all the characters you’ve met, fast travel points, saving stations and chests you’ve discovered, where you can not only find loot in, but can also store items in afterwards.

Possible gripes you could have with this game are the following. There isn’t a journal that keeps your story progress or a handy bestiary to look into. There are also no quest markers. This means that the game doesn’t feel very focused at times, and you can lose track of where to find something or what to do exactly. You can also lose a bit of vital information if you don’t pay attention or skip a conversation or two. The other thing is that you can’t change the direction of the camera, meaning if you walk towards the screen, you feel limited and it’s very awkward.

Conclusion

Smoke and Sacrifice is a great game. The sound and graphics are gorgeous and blend perfectly and make for a eerie dreamlike experience. The story takes you on a brave mother’s adventure and makes you want to uncover all Smoke and Sacrifice’s secrets. The survival aspect is challenging, always keeping you on the move. Battling enemies can become increasingly difficult and keeps you on your toes. There is a great variety of things you can gather and craft, which keeps the game interesting at all times. This game is perfect for people who enjoy a story-driven game, where you will have to gather a great variety of items to craft unique weapons and equipment to defeat many different monsters and big bosses. A must-play for lovers of Survival and RPG games. 

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Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Smoke and Sacrifice (PS4) - Review, 9.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
GlennVR
GlennVR


"I do not have the gospel of faith to share with you today. I have, and I offer.. the Gospel of Doubt." - G.O.D

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