Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 11.12.2018

Review for Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption on Nintendo Switch

Dark Souls. Now that this has gotten out of the way, just take this name out of your mind. While Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption has a similarly bleak aesthetic and feel, which is clear evidence of the developing team's love for FromSoftware's legendary action-RPG, DarkStar didn't go the easy way of imitation, and instead crafted what is basically a boss battler; with zero exploration, or role-playing in it - in other words, it would be unwise to approach this as a SoulsBorne-like, despite the high level of challenge on offer. After a taste of the Xbox One version, time to give another look at this ode to masochism, this time on the Switch.

There's no class to choose, world to explore, mobs to slay, or levels to gain. The protagonist starts armed to the teeth, as if just outside the doorstep of the big bad of this dark realm. Surprisingly, everything from now on will be exactly that; a boss fight. The plot? The 'Nameless Wanderer' will have to battle seven deadly foes, which are basically avatars of the seven deadly sins, yet, aside for a few lines of poetry before entering the fray, this won't really scratch your itch for an actual, dark fantasy tale, and it's a shame, as this looks as if The Legend of Zelda went post-apocalyptic, with all areas having a beautifully oppressive, purgatory-esque aura. Oh, and, yes, it's hard to avoid mentioning that game for one last time as both look, and play, quite similarly.

Screenshot for Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption on Nintendo Switch

The Wanderer swings his one-handed or two-handed swords, parries with his shield, dodge-rolls, and has to always be mindful of his stamina - but that's where the similarities end, because, while a meatier world-building would be more than welcome, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption knows very well what it wants to be, and that's not another SoulsBorne, thus it should be judged on its merits and them alone. In other words, this is a selection of boss fights. A fun one? Hard to answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no,' as DarkStar's creation is very cult as a videogame, and was clearly made for a specific kind of gamers - especially since it's a very tough nut to crack.

Be prepared for something that will manage to challenge even veterans of likeminded titles. All bosses have some pretty easy to learn patterns, but that doesn't mean that it's as easy to escape getting pummelled by their attacks, not to mention finding an opening to actually hit them. Another niche aspect here is that, besides selecting which baddie to fight and in what order, there are no alternative things to do. This is very light on content, with the finale simply offering even more pain, mostly through a boss-rush mode (damn near impossible for pathetic yours truly), and nothing more than that. The most… dividing mechanic, though, is none other but the 'Sacrifice' one.

Screenshot for Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption on Nintendo Switch

The portal that leads to a boss opens by offering part of the Wanderer's strength, be it his skill with weapons, health, stamina, or items. The layer of strategy this adds is that players must find the "route" that best suits them, although, eventually, you'll have to face the final final boss with all negative perks. Unfortunately, while an interesting mechanic, this also turns out to be a lost opportunity to add some variety, and thus, replay value to the experience. You see, the sacrifices that one will have to make are predetermined, when it would be much better if one could choose what to leave behind, and, in doing so, select a "class." However, as this is a true masochist's game, and one where punishment is its own reward, what matters the most is whether this plays fair?

Screenshot for Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption on Nintendo Switch

This question, leads to where all of Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption's pros and cons shine and stink the most, which is the grandiose ballroom of its best boss: Levin Undok. This cute, towering lady has the most complex attack patterns, constantly swaps between her two forms, and is as enjoyable to battle with as she is tough... and then the annoying, fixed camera doesn't let you see what's up ahead, or, more importantly behind you (Sinner is full of pitfalls), the controls start to feel about half a second slower than needed, and, like with all bosses, Levin bullet, or, more accurately, sword-spongy armour gives some, tiring, endurance race vibes.

On the more technical side of things, there's a severe lack of audio feedback, with many attacks sounding more like distant, silenced farts, there's no ability to keymap the controls to your liking (which will piss off those used to specific schemes), and, when it comes to the visuals, while this is definitely good-looking, and, even beautiful at times, the Switch version has made some heavy, and, quite frankly, needless compromises, like the omission of shadows, depth of field, ambient occlusion, and decrease in level geometry. Does it matter so much? Well, only a little - but hey, at least you can now easily torture yourself in handheld mode!

Screenshot for Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Those who'd like to try a sadistically challenging boss battler, and one that actually gets even more so after the final encounter, will have an enjoyably painful time with this, despite its many, many flaws, and the strokes that it will possibly induce. Of course, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is not recommended to just anyone, and certainly not for those in search for a SoulsBourne fix, as this a totally different kind of deal - and that's what makes it so good.

Developer

DarkStar

Publisher

Another Indie

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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