Polish one-man developer MGP Studios will be releasing their latest project in Early Access on November 1st. Sand is the Soul is a Gothic side-scrolling action RPG with what looks to be an interesting mix of 2D beat-em-up combat and RPG mechanics. MGP Studios is best known for Sinless, a cyberpunk point and click adventure with a stylish atmospheric presentation. It was praised for its striking music and visual style, and Sand is the Soul seems to be drawing from the same well in that respect.
If you like the oppressive dark Victorian vibe of games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sand is the Soul might just scratch that itch. It's no surprise that the MGP Studios lists Bloodborne as one of their inspirations, but the interesting additions to this melting pot are the choose your own adventure Fighting Fantasy games and the old-school beat-em-up Double Dragon. A morality and sanity meter are things you don't usually expect in a beat-em-up, but Sand is the Soul is going there. How exactly these will work is not yet clear, but they will probably interact with the choices you will make in the branching narrative.
Boasting 30 possible outcomes, MGP Studios want the player to consider even the mundane choices. Replayability is important in Sand is the Soul. A new game plus mode will also be available, letting you carry over stats, weapons, and other items.
The player will control a diplomatic courier with the most dramatic red scarf that perpetually whips horizontally in the (no doubt evil) wind. Judging by the truckload of things you kill in the trailer, "diplomacy" is just a slightly different way to say decapitate. Still, MGP Studios tells us that you are given the choice to avoid combat. How often this is the case isn't stated. You start out by delivering a vital document to the authorities of a town called Crosshill. From there on, things probably go straight to hell.
Quick TakeThe game does look unusual. From the combat to the insanity meter, it's a strange mix. Even the game's own steam page calls it an "unusual" adventure game. Nonetheless, Sand is the Soul's presentation drips with bloody Gothic goodness, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out! Also, according to gifs on their Twitter page, you can get on a subway at some point. So that's a thing, apparently.
What do you think of MGP Studios latest title? Are you familiar with their other works?