Souldiers review for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Developer: Dear Villagers
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Souldiers has a unique problem: it?s a solid game, but literally the only things memorable about it are its flaws.

As Metroidvanias go, it?s a decent one. The levels are enormous, combat is enjoyable, and between easy-to-understand maps and an easy way to fast travel between save points, it?s very easy to figure out where you need to go and what you still need to do. It?s a little lacking in terms of having a distinctive personality, but even then, it looks very nice.

Unfortunately, it?s easy to overlook those positives because of the Souldiers? technical performance. Freezing and slowdown happen constantly: if you?re in a room with more than 3 enemies, suddenly things will move a lot more slowly. Likewise, if you hit a checkpoint, you?ll get frozen in time for a moment while the game processes that. Saving your game feels like it takes forever ? or, if you want to be exact, it takes 15 seconds every time (and I know the exact number because after awhile, I started counting). It?s also a good thing that the maps are so big, because every time you enter a new location, you?ll spend about a minute watching a loading screen. None of these issues are game-breaking, to be sure, but they certainly have a way of breaking your immersion.

One other potential issue that I?ll raise only because I?ve seen others mention it: Souldiers allows you to pick from a couple of different classes right at the beginning of the game, and once you pick your class you?re locked in for the rest of your playthrough. While this didn?t both me at all ? I went with a warrior, which seemed like the most compatible class for someone who plays the way I do (that is, running at everything with a sword) ? apparently it can cause the game to become much more challenging in places where ranged or magic attacks don?t work as well. Again, it didn?t impact how I enjoyed the game, but I?ve seen that complaint elsewhere.

Despite these issues, it?s worth noting that Souldiers is still a decent game. It doesn?t do anything that will stick with you or stand out, but as Metroidvanias go, it?s still a cut above a lot of its competition by virtue of the fact that when it works ? which, admittedly, isn?t as much as you?d like ? it?s pretty fun.

Plug In Digital provided us with a Souldiers Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B