The interplay between Briar and Lute is definitely worth calling out as a clear positive, notably the fact that Lute has the ability to pacify Soulstice’s many, many enemies mid-attack so you can leap in (as Briar) to deal serious damage.
Granted, this ability system seems incredibly dynamic; as you progress, you gain access to a full set of diverse upgrades that include passive stat bonuses as well as entirely new abilities like Ferocious Assault or Thundering Advance, both of which happen to be activated by combos of basic quick and heavy attacks, and are all pretty bombastic in their own way.
I can imagine there’s plenty of wiggle room to customize your playstyle at the higher levels once you memorize the combos for each of Briar and Lute’s many abilities, including the very cool Synergy abilities, which are some of the most powerful attacks you can unleash – but only after you sufficiently pull off enough smaller combos to power up something called the Unity bar, which is basically a resource pool tied to Soulstice’s internal scoring system which gauges how well you’re doing.You’re usually shown this score in numerical form after each battle, but adding even more nuance to this system, if your Unity level gets high enough, you can activate the slick-feeling and hyper-powerful Rapture mode by slamming both triggers down at the right moment, and this allows you to do tons of damage to all enemies on-screen in a satisfying flurry of attacks – but you’ll want to save this ability for the right moment to make the most out of your limited Unity resources.
I checked out the Codex and enjoyed reading about the city of Ilden as well as some of the very interesting and dynamic monsters that plague its dank, cobblestone-laden streets, like the Corrupted guards that brandish massive greatswords and take a focused effort on detaching all of their armor before you can pummel their sizeable health bars to zero, and the Wraiths that can zoom around untouched until you activate the proper-colored field to corporealize and defeat them.
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