Salt And Sanctuary

Note: This is for Salt and Sanctuary on Steam, PC version only. Desalinated 2.0 is a(n almost) fully functioning beta. Call it a 'no crash' beta. Salt and Sanctuary. All Discussions Screenshots Artwork Broadcasts Videos News Guides Reviews. Salt and Sanctuary General Discussions Topic Details.Yuki. Feb 18, 2017 @ 8:25pm Light armor to wear? Can someone suggest best light armor to wear on NG+2? Im currently finishing NG+ armorless and it turns into ragequitfest, since pre-endgame. Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D action-RPG video game developed and published by Ska Studios. It was released in 2016, on March 15 for the PlayStation 4, on May 17 for Microsoft Windows, and on July 08 for both MacOS and Linux. It arrived for the PlayStation Vita on March 28, 2017, and finally on the Nintendo Switch on August 2, 2018.

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Salt and Sanctuary
Developer(s)Ska Studios
Publisher(s)Ska Studios
Designer(s)James Silva
Programmer(s)James Silva
Artist(s)James Silva
Composer(s)James Silva
    • PlayStation 4
    • March 15, 2016
    • Windows
    • May 17, 2016
    • macOS
    • July 8, 2016
    • Linux
    • July 8, 2016
    • PlayStation Vita
    • March 28, 2017
    • Nintendo Switch
    • August 2, 2018
    • Xbox One
    • February 6, 2019
Genre(s)Action role-playing, Metroidvania
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Salt and Sanctuary is a 2Daction role-playing video game developed and published by Ska Studios. The game was released on March 15, 2016 for the PlayStation 4, with later releases for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.[1][2][3][4][5] It is heavily inspired by the Souls series by Japanese developer FromSoftware.[6][7] The game received positive reception from critics, who praised its graphical style and gameplay.


The game features 2D hand drawn visuals, as well as gameplay mechanics similar to the Souls series. There are 600 items players may use, and the several weapon categories have special movesets including air attacks. Players can wield two handed weapons for additional power, and shields to defend and parry. Magic and ranged attacks can also be performed.[1] The game implements RPG concepts such as origins, classes and stat development, as well as an extensive skill tree providing hundreds of combinations. The game also provides a local multiplayer option for co-operative and versus play, and asynchronous features such as messages that may be interchanged between players.


The game begins with the player stowed away in a ship that is also carrying a princess from an unnamed country who is to be married to an opposing country's king in order to avert war. However, a group of marauders attack the ship, murdering its crew. If the player kills all the marauders and escapes to the deck, they are then set upon by a giant 'Kraekan' (a corruption of kraken) of the sea resembling Cthulhu. Whether or not they are able to defeat the marauders and the powerful kraeken, the ship is wrecked, sending them drifting to shore on a mysterious island.

There, the player meets a strange old man who gives them an icon of one of three creeds the player says they are a member of, helping them in their quest to find the lost princess. The player places this icon in the first Sanctuary and then continues exploring the island, gathering salt in order to gain power, as in this universe, humans are known as Saltborn and are ostensibly largely composed of it. There, it is possible to meet several non-player characters with side-stories, an unnamed Knight, Thief, and Sorcerer. The player also meets a highly sinister talking Scarecrow that threatens that they will perish.

In the process of conversing with these NPCs throughout the journey, they come to realize that the island is made up of copies of dangerous locations from the various continents of the world, and that some kind of power 'collected' them. The player realizes that the Scarecrow is the avatar of a being known as the Nameless God, and also that the princess they were searching for may not have even been royalty, but rather a slave that was to be sacrificed to the Nameless God in exchange for ending the current war, as has been done many times in the past. An optional boss fight also reveals that the Nameless God has killed the current gods of the world, known as the Three, by trapping them in special coffins and receiving and answering prayers meant for them, as gods require worship to survive.


Finally, the main character meets the old man for the final time, and he reveals that he was once Jaret, a great king who once ruled the island and agreed to be the servant of the Nameless God in exchange for power. The Nameless God is an incredibly powerful being who is Saltborn (i.e. mortal), but desires to be a divine being, yet is unable to no matter how much power he collects due to him not having a soul of fire like other gods.

The player travels to the Nameless God's castle and defeats him, finding a well with which they are able to escape from the island and presumably end the cycle of war that the Nameless God perpetuated. Alternatively, they can choose to pick up the Nameless God's helmet and gain his full power, but be trapped on the island.


The game was first announced in an open letter from the developer to the PlayStation Blog on August 28, 2014. The game was released for the PlayStation 4 worldwide on March 15, 2016,[1] and for Microsoft Windows on May 17, 2016.[8] The game also released on PlayStation Vita on March 28, 2017. A Nintendo Switch port, handled by BlitWorks, was released worldwide on August 2, 2018 via the Nintendo eShop, with a physical retail released on December 11, 2018 under the title Salt and Sanctuary: Drowned Tome Edition.[5][9]

The initial idea behind the game was conceived as a fusion of the combat of the Souls series with the studio's previous Dishwasher series. [10] The Castlevania series, particularly Symphony of the Night and the later Nintendo DS installments (which are noted for their free-roaming exploration-based design), also served as inspiration for the gameplay.[11] The tech demo received a large amount of positive feedback, so the developers decided to continue with that idea.[10]

The game took about two and a half years to develop, though the underlying systems were created before development started in earnest.[10] The original game as designed was much more complex, but some cuts had to be made due to the small size of the development team.[10]


Aggregate score
MetacriticPS4: 84/100[12]
PC: 84/100[13]
NS: 82/100[14]
XONE: 80/100[15]
Review scores
Game Informer8.5/10[17]

Salt and Sanctuary received 'generally favorable' reception, according to review aggregatorMetacritic.[12][13][14]

IGN awarded it a score of 8.6 out of 10, saying 'You could call Salt and Sanctuary a 2D mashup of Dark Souls and Castlevania, and you'd be right. But such a simple pronouncement would be a disservice to the tremendous amount of thought that's gone into Salt and Sanctuary, whether it's in the graphic style that evokes horror through the style of comic strips or in the intricate web of dungeons and castles serves as it[s] map.'[16]

Salt and sanctuary switch

Pascal Tekaia of RPGamer rated the game 4.5/5, calling it 'a remarkable fusion of several distinct styles' and 'more than just a passable clone', while expressing dismay at the minimalist storyline and what he called 'cheap deaths'.[18]

Salt and sanctuary switch

Griffin McElroy of Polygon rated the game 9/10, saying that it accomplished the 'impossible' feat of 'borrow[ing] the mechanics of another game franchise without getting lost in derivation'. He called the game a 'loving' adaptation that rivals even its source material.[7]

Favorably comparing the game's mechanics to Dark Souls and Castlevania, Game Informer reviewer Matt Miller said, 'Salt and Sanctuary deserves consideration in the same breath as the games to which it pays homage.'[17]


  1. ^ abcSilva, James (August 28, 2014). 'Salt and Sanctuary Coming Exclusively to PS4, Vita Next Year'. PlayStation Blog. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  2. ^O'Connor, Alice (January 12, 2015). '2D Souls-y Stab-o-Platforming: Salt & Sanctuary'. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  3. ^'Ska Studios Games'. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  4. ^'Patch Notes for Mac and Linux Update'. Steam. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  5. ^ abCraddock, Ryan (July 25, 2018). 'Brutal 2D Hand-Drawn Platformer Salt And Sanctuary Hits Switch Next Week'. Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  6. ^Silva, James (February 26, 2016). 'Friends, Foes, and Sellswords: Salt and Sanctuary Multiplayer Detailed'. PlayStation Blog. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  7. ^ abMcElroy, Griffin (August 28, 2014). 'How Salt and Sanctuary reimagines Dark Souls as a 2D action-platformer'. Polygon. Vox Media.
  8. ^Jeffrey Matulef (18 May 2016). 'Salt and Sanctuary is out now on Steam'. Eurogamer. Gamer Network.
  9. ^Lim, Gabriel (October 27, 2018). 'Salt And Sanctuary: Drowned Tome Edition Delayed To December 11'. NintendoSoup. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  10. ^ abcdSilva, James; Silva, Michelle (2016-05-06). '[PS4blog.net Interview] Ska Studios on Salt and Sanctuary' (Interview). Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  11. ^Murphy, Paul. 'Salt and Sanctuary Interview'. The Vita Lounge. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  12. ^ ab'Salt and Sanctuary for PlayStation 4 Reviews'. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  13. ^ ab'Salt and Sanctuary for PC Reviews'. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  14. ^ ab'Salt and Sanctuary for Switch Reviews'. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  15. ^'Salt and Sanctuary for Xbox One Reviews'. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  16. ^ abJohnson, Leif (August 1, 2018). 'Salt and Sanctuary Review'. IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  17. ^ abMatt Miller. 'Review: Salt and Sanctuary'. Game Informer. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  18. ^Pascal Tekaia. 'Salt and Sanctuary - Review'. RPGamer. Archived from the original on April 14, 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-16.

External links[edit]

Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Salt_and_Sanctuary&oldid=993983763'
Game Info
Box ArtN/A
PlatformWin, Mac, Linux, PS Vita, PS4
PublisherSka Studios
DeveloperSka Studios
Release DateMar 15, 2016

At its core, Salt and Sanctuary does something impossible: It borrows the mechanics of another video game franchise without getting lost in derivation.


If you can think of an emblematic component of FromSoftware's punishing action-RPGs — Demon's Souls, the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne — it's probably represented somehow in Salt and Sanctuary. Death in From's games is frequent, and forces you to risk losing precious upgrade resources. Characters are immensely customizable, allowing you to brave deadly worlds with mages, ninjas, knights and everything in between. Combat is tense, requiring skillful parries, well-timed dodge rolls or strategic spell casting to avoid an extremely quick death.

Salt and Sanctuary does an excellent job in transforming those ideas to fit into its 2D action-platformer design, but that's not even its biggest success. Where Salt and Sanctuary truly sets itself apart is its keen understanding of what emotions those mechanics are capable of eliciting: terror, determination and accomplishment — all in equal measure.

you're constantly exploring hallowed, untrodden ground

Salt And Sanctuary Update

Salt and Sanctuary starts you with virtually nothing, save for the few traits given to the class you've selected and a few sentences of exposition. After squaring off against a Lovecraftian horror and surviving a shipwreck, you wash up on the beach of a nameless island, where you're still given scant information on your motivations. Your goals are never explicit and never outlined through dialogue, always through play: You're here to explore and discover, to improve and survive.

The world of Salt and Sanctuary feels so much bigger than it actually is because of that lack of explicit communication. To learn what's happened, you'll have to put in the effort, reading item descriptions and discussing history lessons with the few NPCs you encounter on your journey. Castle crashers®. It adds a layer of genuine mystery to the proceedings, but more importantly, it instills a sense of adventure, and the feeling that you're constantly exploring hallowed, untrodden ground.

That illusion isn't entirely necessary, because the world of Salt and Sanctuary actually is pretty gigantic, with massive temples, towering castles, festering dungeons and swamps all interconnected by hidden passages and shortcuts. The game's 2D perspective drives home a powerful sense of scale; your hero's sprite is minuscule compared to the game's ancient, overbearing structures.

To battle that sense of powerlessness, Salt and Sanctuary gives you plenty of avenues of improving your character. The system is stylistically similar to Final Fantasy 10's Sphere Grid, allowing you to unlock nodes on a massive board with each new level you gain by exchanging Salt, a resource dropped by enemies. Each general direction on the board will empower you in different ways, giving you proficiency in magic, miracles, armor, shields or any number of weapon categories.

Salt and sanctuary bosses

On top of those vast progression loops, Salt and Sanctuary also borrows some gear-gating conceits from action-platformers like Castlevania. Areas on the map will be inaccessible until you learn a certain traversal mechanic, like the air dash or gravity reversal. These moves not only make platforming as exciting as combat toward the end of the game, they also make that combat all the more mobile and frantic.

The 'Sanctuary' half of the game's title describes the checkpoints scattered throughout the world, each of which belongs to a particular Creed. It's the game's faction system, and probably the only part of Salt and Sanctuary that would have been better served by a more in-depth explanation — not because I used it wrong, but because I didn't know there was so much I could be doing with my chosen Creed.

Each Sanctuary belongs to a Creed, though many you'll discover are abandoned and can be dedicated to your chosen team. At your Creed's Sanctuaries, you've got full control: You can customize the vendors or quest givers (most of which offer different inventories for each Creed), add fast travel points, or even hire a sellsword, allowing you to play the game with a couch co-op accomplice.

The main job of the Sanctuaries, though, is to offer you a brief respite from the dangers outside. You can level up, purchase survival essentials and refill your stock of restorative potions, which also differ between Creeds — worshippers of Devara's Light gulp holy water to recover HP, while the hedonistic House of Splendor doles out healing jugs of wine, which can also get your character loaded.

Creeds add some systemic sophistication to Salt and Sanctuary — any Sanctuary can be 'defiled' to change which Creed it houses, and you can change Creeds at any point but will be branded an Apostate by the jilted organization. But their bigger value is that they're lenses through which to view this otherwise unexplained world, one where individuals, armies and religions are drawn toward unexplained powers belonging to long-forgotten gods.

Salt And Sanctuary Weapons

Creeds are a twist on the Covenants of the Souls series, but the direct line of inspiration between the two — and between most of Salt and Sanctuary's familiar components — will be obvious to anyone who's ever kindled a bonfire. Salt and Sanctuary may ultimately lack its own discrete identity because of all of its tributes to FromSoftware's titles, but it absolutely cannot be accused of halfheartedly adapting them. Salt and Sanctuary sticks the landing on every borrowed idea.

Wrap Up:

Salt and Sanctuary lovingly adapts the Souls games into 2D

I wasn't bothered or distracted by Salt and Sanctuary's uncanny resemblance to the Souls games during my playthrough, because I was too busy gleefully exploring, or locking my controller in a vise grip while trying not to die. There's nothing crass about how those elements have been adapted, because they have also been celebrated, resulting in a stellar adventure with enough moments of surprise and excitement to rival even its own source material.

Salt and Sanctuary was reviewed using a downloadable PS4 copy purchased by Polygon. You can find additional information about Polygon's ethics policy here.

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