SacriFire, we tried a promising new pixel art RPG

SacriFire, we tried a promising new pixel art RPG

Sandwiched between one trailer and the next during Summer Game Fest, SacriFire could be the little gem no one expected: we tried out the demo on Steam.

It was announced during Summer Game Fest with a new trailer and a 2024 release date, SacriFire demo went unnoticed. Almost no one talks about it, yet Pixelated Milk – a Warsaw and Regalia of Men title – has been in development for years and the problem is that we almost ignored it too, but that would have been a big mistake because, having tried it, it has… SacriFire has every potential to be one of the RPGs to keep an eye on in the coming months.

Pixel art flame burns

The SacriFire demo lets us play as the hero, Ezekiel Redan, New Bishop of the Church of Antioch Who worships the god Sheol. On Ascension Day, when he and his friend Zephaniah are to be promoted to rank, a storm occurs: a mysterious hooded figure at the head of a group of heretics breaks into the cathedral and steals the Melkor, an artifact said to guard a powerful evil. Ezekiel is immediately tasked with capturing the thief and that’s where we come in. Real taste of play Central SacriFire: Up until this point we’ve been able to move through several scenarios but Antioch Cathedral is a true introductory dungeon.

In the trailers, we get a look at Ezekiel’s comrades on the battlefield with him, but in the demo we can only play as the protagonist with marginal control over the features available in the full code: we can’t change weapons, for example, but we can Unlock some abilities by spending Divos Got higher at each level.

SacriFire’s advertising slogans reference Vagrant Story and Gameplay-wise, we’re closer to Enix’s Valkyrie profile.a semi-basic 2D platformer in which you jump dungeons and solve environmental puzzles and in which contact with on-screen enemies loads combat to a separate screen: We’ve just described the gameplay in SacriFire.

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SacriFire's dungeons are partly platforming as is Valkyrie's never-forgotten profile
SacriFire’s dungeons are part platformer as is the never-forgotten Valkyrie profile.

In the game, we move around 2D scenarios, sometimes moving across the background to points that allow for movement, while Some clips require minimal platform skills.but it is compensated by a double jump and excellent response to inputs. The game runs perfectly, without any slowdowns or doubts of any kind, which was not a given, despite the technical sector.

Next, let’s talk about this technical sector: the work done on combining 2D pixel art with 3D scenarios or effects is of extraordinary quality, with meticulous attention to detail and a large number of animated inscriptions on the screen, and an exceptional fluidity in the animation especially in combat and a The soundtrack was partly composed by Motoi Sakurabawhose contribution to the beautiful music we listened to was immediately recognizable.

Character design is perhaps SacriFire's only weak point
Character design is perhaps SacriFire’s only weak point

The character design leaves a little to be desired, being a general mix of Western and Japanese features, and Let’s hope for an Italian translation that works better on texts and dialogues, A bit crude if you look at the narrative: our enemies are, in fact, demons possessing unsuspecting humans. While the Church of Antioch controls information to prevent panic, those like Ezekiel are trained to fight using their supernatural powers: on the battlefield that means learning a hybrid system that mixes real time and turns.

Hybrid combat

The combat system is a bit complicated to explain: On the battlefield we can move freely In every direction, and only when we move does time pass. For example, if we stop, the projectiles fired by enemies also stop, allowing us to catch our breath and decide where to move to avoid them. While moving, we recover action points – which we can also recharge by standing still and holding down the button – which we can do physically attack or cast spells Along with enthusiasm points.

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SacriFire skill and consumable caster
SacriFire skill and consumable wheel

Attacking with the equipped weapon – which obviously deals different types of damage – consumes action points but by executing combos correctly, it is possible to score additional hits and recover Armor, practically extra life points. Of course, some opponents also have armor and can replenish it over time; Therefore, you must choose how and when to attack, and prefer unprotected targets. While all this is happening, we also have to deal with enemies, whose scope of action is not always visible: the idea is to stay away from them as long as possible, and try to defeat them before they reach us with a fatal blow. Can’t dodge.

This weird hybrid really works: the battles are exciting, especially against bosses that turn the battlefield into a real battlefield. bullet hell This forces us to do so. Not only do you make clever use of combos and skills, but you also use 3D space. Although they are pre-determined and non-random battles, SacriFire implements a clever system that allows us to destroy enemies on sight, accumulating 80% of the experience points that we would gain by winning a normal battle. We can only do this five times in a row, and then recover the accumulated additional experience in the next battle that is completed normally.

Could there be a little card game...and it's not cards?
Could there be a little card game…and it’s not cards?

Once we’ve completed the introductory dungeon after a fun boss fight and discovered more about the threat we face, the demo ends but leaves us with a fair amount of freedom to explore the city of Evanston, open chests, complete some secondary quests, and also try to A little game called Moligmania.which looks like a card game but is actually something different: the cards are like pawns or hats that we have to drag on the gaming table to flush out the opponent’s cards, and each of them has certain properties that can change the scenario.

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It is clear that the backbone of SacriFire is strong and behind it there is a careful study of not only the most famous old-school RPGs but also of games that are less well-known but still highly respected by the great fans of the genre with a few too many years behind them. Despite this interest in the past, The combat system seemed more innovative than usual.which is really very important in the period when the nostalgia effect began to be abused.

SacriFire is a title that we are now waiting for with some interest, not only because it is fun to see and listen to, but also because the demo really entertained us and filled us with curiosity. Now it will be up to Pixelated Milk to put the same care dedicated to the introduction into a full game that will have to show diversity and complexity not only in the gameplay but also in the narrative.

certainty

  • The combat system is very original
  • The pixel art is gorgeous and Sakuraba’s music is the bomb

doubts

  • The English dialogues seemed a bit rough to us.
  • Will it be able to maintain the same quality throughout the rest of the full game?

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