Saga of Sins Review | Sinwell, a once beautifully peaceful village, has become infested with the plague and you must fight the seven deadly sins to free the village from this monstrosity. Saga of Sins is an action-adventure title that features an interesting storyline and arcade gameplay to accompany it. It will have you entering people’s minds, transforming into demonic creatures, and combating the enemies within with your deadly power dash. Each being possesses unique skills and abilities which can be upgraded as you progress, making you stronger and even more ferocious. Saga of Sins has been developed by Bonus Level Entertainment and published by Just For Games to bring us a unique experience, especially when considering the eye-catching appearance. Playing as cleric Cecil, you will experience a world like no other. Let’s get into exactly what I thought of Saga of Sins.
|Developer||Bonus Level Entertainment|
|Publisher||Just For Games|
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Stained-glass effect | I’m an absolute sucker when it comes to stained glass because I think it’s wonderfully unique and gorgeous, whichever way you look at it. Saga of Sins uses this design throughout the game and its levels, which I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed in a video game. Inspired by Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, the glass is said to have been stained by sins as you are tasked with fixing them with broken glass pieces to unlock new playable beasts. It’s certainly a solid feature that I’m grateful to have experienced as it captures the story and period of time within its appearance.
- Character variety | As you progress through the game, you will gradually unlock new playable characters which consist of a Wolf, Gargoyle, Griffin, and a final transformation which can only be described as a dragon-like creature. These all provide variety in the game mechanics and allow you to interact with specific parts in the levels if you look closely enough but also attack in different ways, making it crucial to switch between them to defeat various enemies along your quest for peace and tranquillity. It should also be noted that you can change at a moment’s notice and upgrade skills for specific transformations as you accumulate coins. Learning what each beast excels in can hugely benefit you in combat and enhance your chances of survivability.
- Platforming and combat | Saga of Sins is all about delving into different sinners’ minds and riding them of their sins by engaging in combat with the many demons found inside and collecting the apple found at the end. To do this, not only must you successfully fight your way past the monstrosities in your way but you have to use the platforms and ledges to reach your destination, being mindful of the dangers that await you should you fail to make that all-important jump. The combat was a little too simplistic and the platforming could be frustrating, to say the least. Having said that combining them together made the gameplay a far better experience as there was more than one thing to consider while venturing through these treacherous minds. I think most people know that fighting platformers often make a prosperous concept. Had the levels varied more and the combat been more intense or tactical, the gameplay could have excelled further than what we have been left with.
- Repetitive gameplay | Levels which consist of incredibly similar gameplay one after another are something I fail to enjoy in video games as I like to enjoy new mechanics and fresh content to work my way around. As previously mentioned, Saga of Sins does give us the option to change between different creatures once unlocked and this allowed me to tackle enemies more effectively but the levels did not include enough variation for my liking. The pathing is about the only thing that changes, with platforming making this possible. On the other hand, the goal is always the same – reach the end of the level successfully and move on to the next. Yes, there is standard combat and bosses sprinkled in which we must take care of but this wasn’t enough to make me excited to progress – instead, it just had me thinking “Oh, here we go again”.
- Unsurprising story | I didn’t expect much from the story and I’m quite glad too because, although included in the game, it didn’t stick with me for more than fifteen minutes at most before I could foresee what the plot would entail. The narration of the characters didn’t help with this either as it sounded like they were being forced to read from a script rather than in a genuine tone of voice. However, I do always say I would prefer there to be a story element present than none at all in most games and that definitely applies to Saga of Sins. This is because the story broke up the gameplay and allowed me to have moments of calm before the storm which was welcomed, even if admittedly it was not of the best quality.
- Overall audio | As a starting point, I have to mention the abdominal voice acting. Noticeably ‘put on’ and not genuine, this made every narrated section quite cringe-worthy to listen to. I often found myself reading through any text as quickly as possible to avoid listening to the voiceovers. The sound effects and ambience were always present through the passive and aggressive sections found throughout the game, which made a surprisingly positive impact when playing. The sound effects, however, when in combat weren’t always pleasant and often came across as significantly tinny. As for music, if there was any, it’s practically non-existent. The audio of the entire game is built around sound effects of different statures and I believe this to be pretty awesome. However, just a hint of background music could have made a dramatic difference.
What we Disliked
- Unimaginative achievements | When I first previewed the achievements for Saga of Sins, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth because 80% of the achievements require you to kill X amount of enemies with a single power dash. What made this worse was they didn’t even stack – you had to kill the exact amount otherwise you wouldn’t meet the criteria for the achievement to unlock. It felt incredibly unimaginative and not necessarily rewarding either which I thought was a letdown. Plenty of variety could have been placed within the achievements – deaths, timed, unlocking different characters, story-related, skill tree upgrades – but instead, we are left with the bare basics.
- Visually disappointing | Besides the charming stained-glass detailing, the visuals in every other aspect are not pleasant to the eyes. They may stand out amongst the crowd but I couldn’t imagine many people would pay a great deal of interest to them. The colouring found throughout the game, although it varies, comes across as quite bland with its murkier tones. Perhaps this is to emphasise the period in time we are set within but I still wasn’t a fan. The detailing of the people and background setting in the real world didn’t hold my gaze and I was mildly happier delving into sinners’ minds where the action diverted my attention. Though, this wasn’t much of an improvement. It’s noticeably darker and invokes a sense of danger but still looks very similar; enemy models certainly could have looked more threatening. Unfortunately, on a visual level, Saga of Sins failed to hit the mark.
- Instant death and checkpoints | I’m usually indifferent to having a checkpoint system in place, especially when there is no manual save option, but Saga of Sins just doesn’t have enough of them throughout the levels. This can make dying annoying and if your platforming skills aren’t sometimes pixel-perfect, you risk instant death and having to run through sections all over again. Tedious is the first word that comes to mind and that’s not often a good thing. If more checkpoints had been spread throughout the levels, this would have been incredibly useful and made the game more enjoyable overall.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 6-8 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 10-12 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Maybe Nocturnal, 16-Bit Platformers
To summarise, Saga of Sins has a somewhat generic concept when it comes to the gameplay – work your way through a series of demonic levels, cleansing people of their sins through combat, and follow the story as you progress if you should want to. What makes the game stand out is the stained-glass effect but, unfortunately, not much else. It’s a solid platformer and doesn’t take up too much time but falls flat in a multitude of areas.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!