Young Souls puts a blade in your hand and unleashes you into a world of goblins and ghouls. You play as siblings Tristan and Jenn on a quest to save The Professor. From dungeon to dungeon the action is relentless, and with a surprisingly interesting story and villainous characters, Young Souls is one of the most fun games you’ll play this year.
GWW was provided a digital code for the PS4 for the purpose of this review. The review will thus be reviewing every aspect of the game via the system it was played on.
Tristan and Jenn have lost their parents and have been adopted by an old wily scientist of sorts. Not long into the game, he is captured by the vast array of villains that fill every dungeon with exciting and white knuckling boss fights. To begin with, the story is fairly simple, but over time as we see more of the threat and the villains, the story becomes more personal and emotional. Tristan and Jenn work so well together as a team during combat but where they really shine is the dialogue and conversations they have together. Much like we the player do, they are asking questions and saying exactly what any young teen would be saying if they were in their shoes. Including the odd F-bomb.
Towards the end of the game, which is roughly around 10 hours from start to finish, the story does become a bit heavy-handed. More dialogue and exposition take over. There is a fast-forward option, but the quippy dialogue was still entertaining throughout. Another aspect that helps the story flow, is the characters that both aid and hinder Tristan and Jenn on their journey. From goblin friend to goblin foe, the characters are enjoyable enough to make every hour of the story worth it.
Fight with Jenn and Tristan, solo or in co-op
Play as a single player or have a friend join in for some co-op. There is more than one, and heck there are more than ten ways to play each and every dungeon. The arsenal of weapons, shields, armor, and accessories make for an ever changing gameplay model. Want to button mash and use brute force, there’s a setup for that. Want to use speed and defense, there is setup for that. Where Young Souls excels the most, is in its gameplay. Every press of a button has meaning and weight. Upgrade your way throughout the game finding the best use of the gear you are given, or that you can purchase.
Use upgrades and workout tokens at the local gym and lift weights to increase your strength, stamina, and resolve. It’s a cute gameplay option that at times can take you out of the story, but with such frantic action, the rest is needed.
Every boss fight in Young Souls comes with a sense of fear and then utter joy. Fear that you are underprepared, but then joy when the final strike sends the villain into oblivion. The bigger they are the harder they fall is cliché but there was nothing more satisfying than completing a dungeon in Young Souls.
Customize your gear by unlocking hundreds of weapons, armor sets and accessories.
Without the use of voice acting in the game, the use of sound was very one-sided. In saying that, the game and its sound effects are incredible. Every coin that is picked up, every box that is smashed, every chest that is opened is perfectly crafted. Blades, explosions, and footsteps all leap out of the speaker. I do miss the fact of no voice cast but understand the limitations some publishers/developers have in crafting a game.
A graphic novel brought to life. The color pallet and art style screams comicbook. From the dust that comes up from running, to the effects given to a blade strike connecting with a goblins armor. It is cartoony. It is fun. And it is expressive. Realistic is not the tone trying to be achieved here. Young Souls is beautiful to look at and played very well on the PS4. The game moves so fast that some lag happens when changing areas. But nothing to effect the gameplay experience.
One thing on the visuals that can become repetitive are the dungeons. Different colors and the slightest change of landscape differentiate them. But in saying that, every corridor looks the same and at times some of the goblins and bosses look similar. Not the biggest nit-pick but still something to think about as you play.
Young Souls is fun to play and can keep you on the edge of your seat with its white knuckle action. Funny dialogue and expressive characters throughout make the game enjoyable from start to finish. Young Souls is a breath of fresh air for the dungeon based genre and blends so many different elements into one. Whether it be action or RPG, the game is a profound story with unforgettable characters and intense combat.