Salt and Sanctuary Out Today on PS4

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Salt and Sanctuary Out Today on PS4

A failed mission of peace and a shipwrecked sailor. An island, shrouded in fog, conceals the horrors that dwell below. A field of corpses crunch underneath the footsteps of a hulking goliath. Salt and Sanctuary launches today, and what a journey it has been.

Salt and Sanctuary began with a pretty simple idea: how would Dark Souls play if it was reimagined in our 2D hand-drawn action style? It’s not an uncommon idea. In fact, half a dozen other indie studios are working on their own visions for Indie Souls, and they all look fantastic (Shoutout to Eitr, Death’s Gambit, Darkmaus, and Ghost Song!).

Salt and Sanctuary on PS4

There’s just something about Dark Souls that triggers a special nerve in the indie dev brain — the delicious obscurity, the interplay between crunchy stats and unflinchingly precise action.

Coming from a background of 2D combat-heavy platforming, Salt and Sanctuary became an absolute joy to create. It also became an insane challenge. A roughly scrawled world map I made while trapped on a plane became the game’s world layout bible, but every bit of fleshing out required more details, more monsters, more bosses, more traps.

Every weapon moveset ballooned in content: light attacks, heavy attacks, airborne light and heavy attacks, chaining light to heavy to light, chaining attacks to offhand, and doing it all twice for 1- and 2-handed movesets. I had started with swords, tried out bows for ranged attacks, worked in staffs for spellcasting, then started chucking in everything in between: maces, great hammers, scythes, halberds, bardiches, whips, spears, greatswords, flintlocks, and a lot more.

Salt and Sanctuary on PS4Salt and Sanctuary on PS4

So what began as simple ideas sketched on paper became a massive world with more than 20 unique bosses, 100 enemies, 600 items, and a player model boasting nearly 5000 frames of animation, all meticulously done by hand. Every weapon and piece of armor needed a story. Every new area needed its own denizens, traps, lore, and bosses. And every new boss concept involved at least three main attacks, but those could be chained, variations could be added, chains and variations could be tied to heat up mechanics, and so on. And it was all a blast.

A core design challenge of Salt and Sanctuary was merging build diversity with action-centric gameplay. I’ve been a longtime fan of games that force nimble reaction over button mashing, as anyone who’s played our Dishwasher games can attest (ahem: i-frames). Combining precision combat with incredibly deep character build diversity is an interesting challenge.

I’ve played with tradeoffs of weapon ranges, attack speeds, and movesets in past games, but what about mobility? Pure spellcasting? How viable is a veritable wall of steel compared to a barely-armored, dagger-wielding trickster? Does peppering enemies at range using spells, arrows, and crossbow bolts feel as challenging and rewarding as getting up close with sword and board?

Salt and Sanctuary on PS4

Salt and Sanctuary is a story of your ascension through impossible danger. You embarked from humble beginnings. You might have been a soldier, sailor, or mercenary, or maybe even a cook. Brought on for a mission of diplomacy, you met horrible calamity and were wrecked on an uncharted island. And you will face certain death, but in time, you’ll drop your rusty spatha for a glimmering battleaxe, you’ll doff your salt-crusted mail for an enchanted cuirass, you’ll find powers beyond your understanding — both from the gods above and from the ethereal fabric of Fire and Sky all around. And you’ll parry, dodge, cast, and attack more masterfully than every sad soul that has succumbed to the island before you.

We wanted Salt and Sanctuary to tell your story of rising out of despair to overcome impossible odds. The island is a salt-sodden prison, every dark corner of it crafted to hold as much diabolical danger as we could imagine, but it is a prison that is yours to conquer.

Salt and Sanctuary
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  • I played last night at midnight and couldn’t get past the first boss (love souls style) before having to go to sleep. I love all the touches you guys have put in and can’t wait to play tonight :)

  • Watched AlaskanSavage play this for a few hours on twitch this morning. Looks like an awesome combination of Metroidvania and Dark Souls.

  • hope there’s a demo of this. might be interested.

  • Sounds pretty awesome, but I should probably commit to finishing Bloodborne before starting up another game that’s going to kick my ass. :D

  • When is the Vita version out? I’ll wait for that, would love the play this on the go.

    • Do we even know if they are going to release a Vita version? I mean it would be awesome but i dont think so…

    • @Baris: It’s coming to Vita.

    • For the Vita version James Silva said this:

      “The Vita version is definitely promised and planned, but we won’t be handling it ourselves. I too would like to be able to play our game on planes, buses, and difficult family gatherings.”

    • Yes, When is this coming out for Vita?? for me, this is the “souls” on the go :)

  • Played a few hours last night. It’s so damn good! I unlocked a few sanctuaries, leveled up, beat the first boss, fell into a bottomless pit and made several offerings.The complexity and depth is astounding and an absolute labor of love when you see that only 2 people made this, it’s somewhat unbelievable! Amazing job! Don’t stop. Make more amazing games like this. :D

  • Hats off, amazing job by such a small team. I couldn’t have asked for a better game in this price range. I just started, but I already see the potential for future playthroughs.

  • I’ve been a Souls guy since Demon’s Souls. I also love indie RPGs, so this was a no-brainer for me. Can’t wait to play later. Art style looks beautiful.

  • Can’t wait to play this later tonight. I miss the complexity of the Souls games, and this sounds awesome.

  • Dying to play this tonight. Loving what I’ve seen of the art style so far.

  • Bought it 3 hours before release… and still haven’t played it… or downloaded yet… my gf is staying with me for some weeks… my priorities are all messed up

  • I was planning on playing Salt & Sanctuary on Vita, but I don’t think I’ll be able to wait much longer >_<

    Since it will be cross-buy when it releases on Vita, I think I'll buy it already and save those 10%. If they can confirm a cross-save option and NG+, it will be PERFECT.

    Congrats guys for finally debuting the game!!

  • Played this for a few hours last night, and it has seeped into my consciousness at work today. Can’t wait to get back into it. What a gem of a game.

  • Game is very hard and fun. Would love to see online coop and invasions patched in however.

    Great game regardless, great job.

  • Friendly Warning: If you’re looking to enjoy this on your Vita via Remote Play, you won’t enjoy it.
    The Remote Play controls are some of the worst I’ve seen, sadly.
    Casting/Block and Rolling (stuff you use ALL the time) are in the upper touchscreen corners, item use and weapon switching on the shoulder buttons, nothing on the lower touch screen corners.
    Which makes it pretty much unplayable for me.
    And it’s hard to understand, seeing that they still say a Vita version is coming – unless, says the cynical part of me, it’s intentional to make people not want to play it on the Vita anymore…

    Game looks great, but for me it feels more at home on the Vita, but right now via Remote Play it’s just not possible (for me) to play it.

    • Thanks for feeding back on this – I mostly play through remote play and it is a real deal breaker for me. Guess I will have to wait for a vita version

    • Well, I posted on their forums with more workable suggestions, and tried a few tweets, but nothing yet.

      They did however respond to people asking for a way to remap the controls on the PS4, saying they will patch that in.

      Which would not help the Remote Play controls, as they would have to include an option to remap the L3 and R3 buttons (which are right now mapped to the convenient lower touch-screen corners). But since those buttons are not used in the PS4 version at all…

      Here’s to hoping.

  • Everything I want to say has been said, but dat first boss tho. Final 10 percent of his health, man does his moveset get interesting. Best game on PSN since transistor in my opinion.

    • I need to dig back into Transistor soon. I have such an ever increasing backlog of games to play through.

  • Waiting for the Vita version :( would of been a day one purchase… Here’s to hoping they follow through, who ever is publishing it, on the Vita version

  • A truly terrific game!

  • Does this have couch co-op? Would love to play with my wife.

  • I have very little interest in playing this on a big screen over Bloodborne again or Dark Souls II and III. The Vita version, however, sounds like a great fit and I’d definitely try that.

    Here’s to hoping that it isn’t canceled like so many recent games.

  • I would have picked this up for the Vita today. Oh well, looks like I wait until it is free now.

  • I admit I didn’t think you could do a souls type game in 2d but I’ll be durned you did it. This thing is like olli olli is to tony hawk games which is to say, in no way a dumbing down or reducing in difficulty but more like a streamlining

  • It is a shame that the PS Vita version is not same day release as PS4. With cross-buy I will buy it without a second thought. Unfortunately I am moving and don’t have access to my console with exception to my handheld so no reason to get the game as of now. I am hoping for Steam release soon as well. I just hope that the devs don’t cancel Vita version like so many other companies have been lately.

  • I have been waiting for this game to be released but then I found out no news from PSN South East Asia region if they are even going to release the game here, they even have not responded to my emails! Does anybody here know any idea?

    Sony should support developers to have their product reach to people regardless of there region. But I think this is not happening and kind of the support is falls apart in separation of regions.

    I decided not to renew my PS Plus subscription in Asia region and switch to America region that way I will not experience this horrible service from my side of the world.

  • Alright guys! I have a major and serious problem! A NEEDS TO BE FIXED PROBLEM!

    When a character you make goes through a game with a friend in their world and they collect all the keys, all the items, everything… And when that said player decides that they want to play on their own, they CAN’T! No keys will spawn for them, no items of IMPORTANCE will spawn for progression of the game! Why is this? Can this be fixed? Can it be gotten around? I wouldn’t think so cause ever time I try it won’t work! Please producers of this fun and challenging game, fix this problem! No person should have to go through a game where they can’t get the brands, the keys, the important items for their character’s progression! PLEASE FIX THIS!!!

  • This game is amazing at first glance its hard but when you play it its way to forgiving please if you die twice regardless against a boss you should loose your souls other then that no tele’s with horns or bells during boss fights yes this is do-able great game hopefully you guys add in content like dlc with really unforgivng bosses that require atleast tier 4-5 Gears and alot of pro player experience iv’e beat demon souls dark soul 1-2 and blood bourne maybe im being picky but id like to feel over whelmed against a boss like the knight king judge at first i was like bullsh#t i loved that fight but other then that this game has alot of diversity for different gameplay styles i love your game and for a indie i’ll cherish it forever you guys did a demon-tastic job on this game and cloud character customization easter egg love it XD

  • I feel like I’ve been robbed of $17.99. This game is an unplayable p.o.s. don’t waste your money. It looks good but it plays like it was made by a 2yr old.

    • How is this game unplayable? I’m 4 bosses into NG+ with a level 118 character. The controls are tight. The hit/collision detection is excellent. Playing solo is a blast, and playing Co-op is even more fun. My 10 year old son and my wife are also playing it with me and they both are about halfway through the game. Salt and Sanctuary is an absolute steal for $17.99! I would’ve payed $50 for it because it is just that good of a game. If you are not a fan of Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls I & II, or Bloodborne then this may not be the game for you. If you are a fan of those games then you will absolutely love it. It’s a perfect 2D love letter to Souls fans, and will be amazing to play on PSVITA when it releases. I’m hopeful for some DLC and Multiplayer in the future! I will be playing this alongside Dark Souls III when it comes out!

  • Ok I don’t know what you guys did with this recent update but my next 2 spells after my healing prayer isn’t showing up right. I have rejuvenation on and my next 2 prayers i have equipped says ‘rejuvenation’… Same thing happens with mednding prayers, please fix this because it makes the game way too confusing to play. Also magic in pvp is wayyy too strong compared to these poopy attack moves you CAN’T DO WITH SWORDS like the lvl 5 holy sword… Why not give the sword up down combos like the others? It is a class 5 weapon, give it some benefits at least for how slow it is. Great game otherwise.

  • *Mending

    This is a guide to play CO-OP through share play off different accounts!!!!!

  • First off I love this game. It is sooo infuriating but also rewarding, it’s well balanced and hauntingly beautiful for a 2D indie.
    Been playing coop via share play but PSN is dog**** for this sort of thing. I know it must be difficult but proper online would be the only addition I would like to see brought to thid game.
    If I were rating it then I’d go for a solid 8.5/10

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