15-Hour play time review of a Souls-like veteran

I’m going to put things in fast bullets for my 15-hour review/feedback, currently level 16 and spending a lot of time enjoying the game and trying to learn it as opposed to beat it. For context, I am a very experienced souls player with all achievements unlocked for DS1/2/3 and have beaten Elden Ring and Sekiro, I’m also a major Diablo fan and player.

The Good

+Art style is incredible.

+Combat is visceral, weighty, and has a good pace.

+Difficulty thus far is excellent, but I am starting to get to the point where it’s easy

+I’ve never played a game where I’ve had so much fun doing mundane tasks and enjoy exploring the world and gathering.

+Story thus far is interesting, gripping, the world feels alive, the city grows with you.

+Character build customization is unique and interesting, reminiscent of souls games but also stand alone enough to be whatever you want to be. (Right now I don’t have a “build,” I’m putting stats into every offensive attribute to try all the weapons, and I don’t feel underpowered at all. Runes and weapon level are the most important thing, whereas weapon scaling is simply a bonus.

+Overall, I would give this game an 8/10, I think it’s wonderful and well worth the purchase, and this company could easily make it a 10/10 with some slight changes.

The Bad and Things that need/should change.

+I think the trend of games to have “fat rolling” just needs to disappear. The threshold should be light roll>medium roll>heavy-step>encumbered (no rolling possible). The investment into equip load needed in this game to wear the most basic things is way too high. Equip load is currently my highest stat. The addition of barge like Monster Hunter and Now DD2 helps with heavy equip load but the stamina consumption for it is way too high. If you’re wearing full plate are you going to throw yourself to the ground? No. Just like parrying there should be diminishing returns with dodging. Heavy step should be implemented where it has the least iFrames, you travel the least distance, and takes the most stamina, as combat in the game requires rolling or parry god level skills. Every game in my opinion gets this wrong, as it is ALWAYS BETTER to completely reduce all damage taken by rolling than it is to mitigate it, because you’ll still need to refill that health somehow. This is why heavy armor is never used and is always a joke in every souls game. WHAT SHOULD CHANGE is that offensive attributes have sub-stats like the early Elden ring design. Because high strength weapons weigh a lot it should infer some bonus to equip load. Dexterity should improve stamina regen. Intellect should improve focus regen. Faith should improve health regen/reduce food consumption times. This would make builds feel better, unique, and more enjoyable.

+Will need a way to respec eventually implemented.

+Whisper fast travel obviously needs to be changed to any whisper location unlocked.

+Tooltips are desperately needed for what runes do.

+Tooltips are needed for status effects and ailments.

+This may be my own ignorance, but the beds at the inn aren’t healing me when I rest in them, and I’m receiving no bonus when I log out while resting in one.

+Inventory needs a major overhaul, or a way to fast travel in a one way portal to house then back to field. You acquire way too many items during later game time that you become overburdened. Stacks of 20 should just be stacks of 999.

+Chest inventory needs to be able to be fast sorted like on person inventory.

+Chest items should be considered “on hand” when interacting with Vendors, since the inventory design is currently very poor and the worst element of the game.

+New game plus or realm difficulty should be implemented. Ie higher difficulties increase gold/exp/rare drop rates.

+Need a way to select what items are within fast select when using Dpad. Having to scroll through 13+ items to find the one you want just isn’t possible and cumbersome while in combat, effectively making it “You get to pick one item going forward.” Which is a shame, alchemy is very cool, and if could select my top 5 things you could easily make an “Alchemist” build that uses bombs and potions.

+Bounty density needs to be improved and changed. Nothing makes me more frustrated that being told to kill 5 rats in the Orbon Glades and having them spread out all over that area, taking my 30-45min just to find the last one, or sometimes just give up because the time sink of scouring the area is so frustrating.

As it stands, I think this game is amazing and I can’t wait to see what moon studios implements going forward, but there are major QoL elements of the game needing to be addressed from inventory, to tool tips. At its core the game is solid, and I can see myself being a long-time player so long as the team continues to demonstrate a willingness to improve the game alongside player feedback.