Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption is the game you’d get if the bosses from the Soulsborne games had a baby with Mega Man and it aged in reverse like Benjamin Button. If that sounds like a wonky mashup, it is, but based on what I played at PAX West 2017, it’s a mashup that works on multiple levels.
First and foremost, the game feels very souls-y, from the tight controls, to the punishing difficulty, to the incredible amount of damage that you take from even the smaller boss attacks. Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption doesn’t hesitate to kill you. The boss that I squared off against insta-killed the dude who got on the demo after I did because he made the mistake of running into the center of the boss arena before the boss jumped down off of the ledge it had been perched on. Blam. Squish. Dead.
Even if you manage to avoid getting splatted straight-away, the bosses are challenging, and the difficulty ramps up as you take their health down, and they shift into ever more deadly attack patterns. So far so good if you like difficult boss fights, but Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption also throws a curve ball at the player in that you begin the game at the pinnacle of your power level, and in order to progress from boss to boss, you have to choose some aspect of your power to sacrifice (you see what they did there!??!) to proceed.
You get to choose the order that you will tackle the bosses in, so deciding what to give up and when can have a significant effect on your journey through the game. You might not be overly fond of your lighting imbued spears for example, but choosing to give them up before you fight a boss that is susceptible to the pointy, zappy sticks might mean that your trials and tribulations are all the more difficult because of your decision to get rid of them.
The game already looks great, with the visuals paying homage to the game’s obvious inspiration, and the controls feel tight and responsive, which is probably the most important thing to get right in a game like this. Hitboxes and i-frames were easy to judge in the demo that I played at PAX West, and the tells that the bosses gave off were easy to distinguish without feeling like the game was taking it easy on me. Because of the inherently souls-like quality to just about everything in the game, I don’t know if there is going to be much to offer in Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption to players who aren’t fond of that type of game, but for people who do enjoy the difficulty, look, and feel of those games, then this game is shaping up to be a must play when it hits in 2018.
Keep an eye out for Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption in 2018 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.