It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the developers at DarkStar are paying their respects to the Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls franchises with their first Nintendo Switch release, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption. Inspired by the aforementioned titles, the game is presented in boss rush style, as it challenges players to overcome formidable enemies – each based on one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Defeating a boss is just one half of the challenge that awaits the player, as you must also make a sacrifice prior to each encounter. Does Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption have enough redeeming qualities to save it from Nintendo eShop hell?
The concept and narrative of Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is unique and quite captivating. It opens by introducing you to the main character – a warrior that committed many atrocities in their lifetime. Presented with a path to atonement, the warrior must defeat the seven bosses, each serving as the embodiment of a deadly sin. Each boss has their own backstory that relates to the sin they represent, thus affording the game additional lore while giving it a sense and feel similar to that of an epic poem.
During the quest for redemption, the player will be tasked to sacrifice a piece of themselves prior to confronting a boss. These sacrifices range from losing stamina and health to the removal of items or secondary weapons. The elimination of these skills or items makes engagement with the bosses all the more daunting. In return for defeating a boss, you will be awarded a portion of your sacrifice back. Some may feel the sacrifice aspect is unnecessary and only serves to create a more challenging experience; however, it’s relevant to the game’s lore and narrative as atonement and redemption are earned through demanding tasks and are only awarded to those willing to fight to earn them.
Something the player has to consider is the order in which they approach the bosses. Since the player is free to choose their own path and select which boss they wish to battle at any given time, the game has a bit of a Mega Man feel to it, as you may find that approaching the bosses in a certain order will benefit your long-term ambitions. There is no set pattern for guaranteed success. It largely comes down to the player and how you will play the game. More aggressive players may find that challenging more physical bosses early on is beneficial as you’ll have more health and stamina, or you may want to clear some of the easier bosses first. The journey is yours and you can approach it any way you see fit.
As mentioned prior, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is inspired by Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls and that inspiration isn’t strictly limited to the bosses, as it can also be found and felt in the game’s combat design. Equipped with a sword and shield, a two-handed broadsword, health potions and an array of secondary weapons, the player must make do with this restricted arsenal.
Much like the titles that inspired Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption, exploiting a weakness or performing a well-timed parry will do wonders during intense combat. It will take some time to gain a mastery of the combat system, but once you do, you’ll find that bosses that once took you twenty minutes to defeat can now be defeated in less than ten. That doesn’t mean the combat is perfect, though. It can feel clunky and slow – especially when it comes to dodging or while trying to perform a counter attack.
Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is a hellish ordeal that proves that patience is a virtue, as the game will test your persistence throughout this quest for atonement. Fans of Dark Souls or the structure of the early Mega Man titles will find a lot to enjoy with this Nintendo eShop release; however, the challenge may prove to be too much for those looking for a more casual affair.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Another Indie