Game Reviews

SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption

SINNER is a hack-and-slash, souls inspired, boss rush game developed by DARK STAR and published by Another Indie in 2018. It has mixed reviews on steam (this might be skewered slightly cause of all the haters of difficulty). The game has 60 achievements which range from dying in a certain way to defeating the true final boss of the game.

The following review was written by: Nex

The Basics

You play as Adam, a wanderer without any memories. You begin your journey in an unknown area, surrounded by spirits. They will help you get acquainted with the controls. As all souls-likes, the main mechanics of the game are: Light attack, heavy attack, dodge, block, parry, and consumables. You start with two possible weapons, the first one being a short sword paired with a shield, and the second one being a large two-handed sword. As you progress through the game, you will unlock other weapons which you may use. It’s entirely up to you to pick the one which best suits your style. Consumables are extremely useful tools to help you achieve victory. You have your standard heal, some firebombs, several lightning spears, and a fire buff for your weapon which will increase damage but also constantly drain your hp. Try not to get attached to this one (more on that later).

Bosses

The main hub world will give you access to practically all bosses right away (the final boss requiring you to beat all main bosses first, while a hidden battle reveals itself once you beat a different enemy). You can tackle them in any order you want, but there is a catch. Every fight requires you to sacrifice some of your stats. Each sacrifice is different but is tied to the enemy, and this can be a major factor in deciding in which order do you want to fight them. One of the most significant sacrifices is the consumable loss. All your consumables will be lessened, some cut in half, and you will not be able to use the fire buff at all (you will start with 0 charges).

The story is unclear. The narrator explains parts here and there, and you are shown flashes of images. And that’s all. You are left on your own to find a way out. The cut-scene at the end is the same, narrator and some images. Luckily the game is kinda short and you will be able to finish it several times if needed and understand everything in, hopefully, your second run.

The bosses are the embodiment of seven deadly sins. They all have short introduction texts. I am not going to copy paste these as it would be a waste of time, but you should read every part carefully if you decide to play the game yourself.

Greed: Greedy Faiz Tilus

Sacrifice: Some of your max HP and stamina.

This is a very simple boss, with lots of annoying range attacks. His melee combo is usually two hits long. The tricky part is figuring how to deal with his plague phase where he teleports to a high platform and starts channeling. Probably the first boss you will face as his portal is right in the middle of the hub area.

Envy: Envious Levin Undok

Sacrifice: Lose some of your supplies (healing items, firebombs, spears…)

Levin Undok was by far the hardest boss for me in my first attempt. Not only does she have powerful melee combos, but she also has a huge variety of ranged attacks that will disrupt your movement or simply deal a ton of damage. And that’s the easy part.

Halfway through her HP, she will morph into Levin Indok, a silver version of herself with a separate, new, full HP bar. This version focuses on lightning attacks, is rather unpredictable but easier to hit. She might switch back and forth (between Undok and Indok) at any time. But that’s not all…

Once you get them low enough, you will face both of them at once. And as a cherry on top, the chandeliers will start dropping like flies dealing massive damage and stunning you for a while.

Lust: Lustful Chanel

Sacrifice: Shield durability. It will shatter when the defense is broken.

Chanel is primarily a melee fighter, with fast combos that build up freeze. Once you are frozen, her next attack will shatter you into a million pieces. She also has a bow, which she will use to either fire a big damage frost arrow or rain arrows on top of you. You can maneuver around them easily, however, if you come too close she can just switch back to swords and charge you almost instantly.

When her HP drops beneath a certain threshold, she will start a transformation. A transformation into a huge worm with a brand new, full hp bar. The worm’s attacks are well telegraphed, however, his hitboxes are a bit wonky, so you might get eaten. Pay attention and you should be fine.

Wrath: Wrathful Angronn

Sacrifice: Passive healing.

The only tricky part about this boss is his ever-decreasing arena size. Combined with his swipe attacks, you might find yourself getting thrown off it a lot. His attacks are very slow, and you have a lot of time to counterattack. His attack patterns are a combination of hand attacks, minion spawns, or throwing things from the lava at you. Keep your calm and always be ready to run away from him, as he might destroy part of the area closest to him.

Gluttony: Gluttonous Camber Luce

Sacrifice: Number of healing potions and makes their use happen over time rather than instantly.

Camber Luce, my nemesis. This boss was so infuriating for me. His health pool is enormous, and he has a healing ability that you can disrupt by simply attacking. Overextending, however, can lead to massive damage. The most annoying part of this fight is the ice arena. The second most annoying is his weird eating lunge attack. The hitboxes for that attack are simply awkward. I guarantee you will scream at the screen shouting that shouldn’t have hit me at least once.

I have died to these 2 things more than anything else in the entire game!

Not only does the arena have small gaps you can fall into by simply rolling to the side (you can’t see them before you roll, might be a camera issue), but Camber Luce can simply decide to break the ice and dive into the freezing lake at any moment, crushing the ice beneath you and abruptly ending the battle.

Other than that, he is pretty straightforward and can be stunned quite easily. Best of luck.

Sloth: Slothful Yordo

Sacrifice: Become stunned when exhausting all stamina.

Fighting Yordo is mostly about patience. He is surrounded by lots of minions. Finding the correct moment to strike can be difficult at first but you should quickly be able to come up with a plan. He can resummon his minions for a variety of attacks, or a defensive turtle post.

In phase 2, he and his minions switch to a long sword and become more aggressive towards you. You can choose to eliminate Yordo himself or risk dying to a combo of his underlings by trying to kill each and every one of them (as I haven’t tried this, I can’t be sure, but I think you can never kill all of them).

Adapting and countering his moves is the best and safest way to defeat Yordo quickly and safely.

Pride: Proud Rhodes

Sacrifice: Decreased attack power.

I recommend fighting this boss last, or close to last. The decrease in damage is not insignificant, and having maximum damage will help you kill other bosses faster. Rhodes himself can be difficult, or pretty simple, depending on his attacks. He starts by jumping onto the arena from his throne. This jump will instantly kill you if you position yourself under it.

Rhodes carries a big spear and a huge tower shield. He can use either to attack. On top of that, he also has magic. In the first phase, he summons homing fireballs that charge at you. In the second phase, he can also resurrect smaller enemies who have been previously defeated in the arena. These summonses will charge at you, disrupting your attacks while dealing decent chunks of damage in progress.

The Final Boss: Adam, the Forsaken

Once you have defeated all of the sins, a heart-shaped portal will appear in the middle of the hub area. This portal will lead you to fight the final boss: Adam, the forsaken, you. Will you be able to overcome yourself? How much will you struggle?

Important notes

When you defeat a boss, you have the option to redeem the sin, increasing your maximum HP. Or, you can keep attacking and banish it instead. This will not increase your maximum HP but will allow you to fight the real final boss. There is also one additional requirement, and that is to redeem only Lustful Chanel. Instead of the red Adam from before, this time you will face off against a blue Adam, which is more powerful with a slightly different set of abilities.

Speedrunning

Like most modern games, the game keeps track of your in-game timer. This way, speedrunners have a quick and accurate way of determining their times. My fastest time was just over 1 hour. You can attempt a new run with any of the weapons you have unlocked.

Additional challenges and real boss-rush

Once you have completed the game, you will have the option of replaying it with a different ruleset. You can either have Adam move faster, but rolling doesn’t give I-frames, or have Perma-death active. There is an option to have all the sacrifices already made for you. The hardest challenge is the combination of all the beforementioned ones.

While the game itself consists of only boss fights, there is an actual boss rush mode, where you will fight boss after boss in order in the same arena. This might seem very difficult at first, but once you know how to beat each boss, you can probably beat them all in order as well.

Conclusion

SINNER might not be the best game out there, but it is fun, difficult but fair, and entertaining. What more would you want from a game? It might be short, but it’s packed with action. The level-down idea of decreasing your power as you progress is something new as well. Highly recommend it to fans of the Souls games.

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64 Bit), Processor: Intel i5-2300 2.8GHz, Memory: 8 Gb RAM, Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2Gb, DirectX: Version 11, Storage: 12Gb available space

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