LifeisXbox’s Sands of Salzaar review | About two months ago, Han-Squirrel Studio launched their brand new open-world strategy-action RPG game Sands of Salzaar. This game brings you to an exotic desert where you will have to train, fight and discover all the hidden secrets that there are out there to discover. The game immediately invites you to explore a beautifully designed land where new discoveries lie around every corner. This, of course, all sounds very wonderful so let’s see what this game is made of.
Most Memorable Moment
My most memorable moment about Sands of Salzaar is something that immediately came up when I launched the game for the first time. It is not something gameplay related but it is the beautiful graphical style that this game is designed in. When playing Sands of Salzaar, it feels like I’m traveling through a beautiful sketchbook where every new part you discover is freshly drawn. It got me really excited to explore even more areas of the game to see how they look and it even sometimes made me forget that I was following a story.
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- Graphics | I already mentioned this a bit in my most memorable moment, but Sands of Salzaar looks absolutely stunning. It feels like when you progress further and further in the game, the next zone gets painted at the very moment, and I’ll say it again: it looks amazing! Of course, you have to like this art style to appreciate it but damn. I do have to mention that the game isn’t designed with too much details though, but you can clearly tell what is what. There is only one small thing that I disliked about the game graphically and that is that the playable map is really big and there are a couple of areas where there is nothing there and I feel like they should have made the playable area smaller or at least add some trees or decorations or something. Still, I really enjoyed the overall graphics so that’s why I put this under the liked section.
- Gameplay approach | Sands of Salzaar presents itself as a big open-world game where you can complete quests, recruit troops and battle against fearsome enemies. As you progress further in the game you will quickly discover that things aren’t as easy as they might seem and evil is hidden in the shadows. Personally, I found the approach in this game intruiging since you have the main questline that you can follow but there are also a lot of side quests that you can complete.
- Difficulty / classes | The game offers a different variety of difficulty settings so you can customise the game to your needs perfectly. Your first decision is if you want to play the story mode or the sandbox mode. If you decide to play the story mode there are 3 difficulty settings for you: normal, hard or epic. If you want to play the sandbox mode you can choose between hard an epic. Then you can also decide to select the above 2 with the expert mode one allowing you to only have 1 save which makes it increasingly harder since you don’t have back-up saves. But that’s not all! After you have decided which mode and what diffculty level you want to play you will need to pick one of the five classes you want to play as (spiritmancer, spirit witch, jackal, shaman and knight-errant) each coming with its own quests and again difficulty level. This also adds replay value since you can check out all the different classes and complete their own quests.
- Battles | The battles are something that I really enjoyed while playing Sands of Salzaar. Since you unlock abilities for your characther while playing the game it turns the game into some sort of League of Legends battle system. The only thing being different is that death really means death. You can freely run around and cast your abilities in the direction that you like, while avoiding the onces that your opponent are casting. You can also choose to simulate battles when you are going into one but 90% of the times it will result in a loss. Another great feature here is that you can recruit NPCs to join your party and when you advance into a duel they will join you.
- Sound | When you first start a new save in Sands of Salzaar the story gets told by images and voice acting and you think ‘well I’m up for a treat with this’. Unfortunately, this is one of the last bits of voice-acting you will encounter in your playthrough. Sands of Salzaar is further filled with you basic sound-effects but a bit of music playing in the background is missing which really could have given the game an even more better vibe. But looking at what is there, there isn’t something wrong with the sound. There are a lot of different interactions so you won’t be in complete silence. I just want to point out that something more could have been done sound-wise.
What we Disliked
- Translation | There was one thing that botherd me while playing Sands of Salzaar and that is the fact the the translations to English aren’t perfect. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is being said in a conversation since the translations don’t make much sence. However, I feel like with patches coming now it is getting better but it’s still isn’t at an fantastic level and could be done way better.
How long to beat the story | 25+ hours
How long to achieve 100% achievements | 40+ hours