Searching for Our Souls
Developer Habby paints a beautiful dream in its riveting new title Souls. Featuring a gorgeous and unique art style, Souls hides a deep and balanced strategy game under its stunning exterior. Did Habby avoid the pitfalls of this abused genre and turn a dream into a nightmare?
Eyes Are the Window to Souls
Souls story is simple. The world is broken, and you need to summon together the heroes to save it. That’s pretty much it. Such a thin plot line normally doesn’t work for an RPG, but Souls doesn’t lean into its story for its value. Souls is primarily a gacha style hero strategy title and lack of a deep story works in its favor. Players roleplay the journey of a summoner who traverses the land to make their summons stronger.
The most standout feature of Souls is its art style. The artists reach into a fantasy dreamworld and weave an exquisite tapestry of unique character design by way of a soft pastel palette. The effect is something both familiar and foreign. The main menu features the hero and his travel companions from a unique camera angle calmly walking through beautiful landscapes. An alluring musical score adds to the wonder of the magnificent monuments far in the distance. Souls uses the players companions as a neat way to hide some of the menus giving the title a minimalist feel. This design choice will have some players just enjoying the main menu.
More than Just a Pretty Face
The true glory of Souls is its deep combat system. At first, players will find a simple “get stronger, beat bad guys” system. The higher your overall combat power the better your team of five will perform. As the title progresses the subtle nuances of each of your heroes and placement on the 3x2x3 grid becomes more important. Add equipment, runes, character specific abilities and more to maximize your success and players will find their team taking on higher level teams with ease. Over 60 unique and brilliantly designed characters await to be summoned, each covering a different aspect of battle.
Souls has multiple modes to challenge players. When a player reaches their limit in the main “story” they can locate new equipment traversing the Cave of Abyss, runes in the Secret Sanctum or valuable soul gems in the Tour of Souls. Players who really want to test their mettle can take on other players in the Arena. All these areas provide the needed materials to enhance your growing team. As of this writing two more areas still need to be unlocked, but after 30+ hours I’d say that’s a good thing.
Do Souls Live Forever?
There is not much negative to say about a quality title like Souls. I hit an extreme difficulty spike around level 80-100 that could be confused as a paywall for those not accustomed to a healthy grind. It can also be overcome by simply waiting as rewards are given freely by the hour. Gameplay can also be repetitive when you have a strong team who will easily plow through 20 levels. A few players (like me) might find themselves screaming “HEAL THE TANK!” because players have limited control over what characters target who. The sheer amount of currency is also a mobile plague, but at least it makes more sense and is utilized better than dozens of other titles.
An interesting complaint I have is the monetization. I always want to give a game of such quality my money simply to encourage and reward such beautiful work. Souls unfortunately over prices and under delivers for many of its packs. Why pay an exorbitant amount for less than a third of what I need when I can just wait a few days for free rewards? It feels weird to say that I want to give them my money, but it’s just not worth it. Those that do decide to splurge for the big packs or season passes can push themselves forward, but not by much.
Beauty of the Souls
Souls is a glorious game that proves you can still take a worn-out system and make a great game. Brilliant art design, deep and engaging strategy system and an endless number of challenges awaits players willing to put in the work to build the perfect team. This title is highly recommended.
Is It Hardcore?
A rare gem in the genre for gacha hero strategists. Souls is a gorgeously designed feast for the eyes and mind.