Soul Sacrifice: Gameplay Details, Videos, and Commentary From Keiji Inafune
The Soul Sacrifice trailer Sony shared today did not include any gameplay. But attendees at today's unveiling press conference were shown a live gameplay demonstration and provided lots of gameplay details from planner Keiji Inafune himself.
Famitsu.com filed a detailed report, which we've summarized below. We've also included a couple of gameplay-filled cam-grabbed videos, down at the bottom of the article.
Following opening remarks from Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, Inafune took the stage for a high level discussion about the game. "Concept is the most important part of a game," said Inafune. "If the concept is good, 80% of games are good. That's how important the concept is."
For Soul Sacrifice, the concept is "True Fantasy." The "True" part comes from the idea of making sacrifices and payments. If you want to get a lot of power, you have to pay or sacrifice something. This is something everyone experiences in real life -- for instance, if you want to eat something good, you have to pay a lot of money. He hopes to deliver this truth in Soul Sacrifice.
Inafune took part in a live play demo as he spoke about the game. He revealed that you can you can select from multiple types for your player character, and make various customizations on top of this, resulting in your very own sorcerer.
The game does not have the notion of "MP" (magic points). Instead, you sacrifice things for magic. Make a big sacrifice, and you'll get greater power. For Excalibur, you sacrifice your life. If you continually use powerful magic, though, you'll gradually begin to lose your human form.
During the demo session, Inafune showed how one can use trees and boulders in combat. He also demonstrated using your own blood to send yourself flying at enemies like bullets.
Magic can be set to circle, triangle and square, and you can toggle between two sets via R. This means you can set six magics in all.
When you defeat an enemy, you can chose to either sacrifice the enemy or revive/help it. You'll get different things depending on your choice.
Composers Yasunori Mitsuda and Wataru Hokoyama appeared at the event to discuss their contribution. they're still working on music for the game right now, they said. Some of the songs will have large-scale recordings with overseas orchestras and full chorus.
Following the composer commentary, Inafune introduced the game's multiplayer component, not through a live play session, but through a video.
Up to four players can play simultaneously. The video showed one player near death following an attack from a cerberus. The player was able to sacrifice his life for the other players, and turned himself into "Salamander," a massive flame which struck the enemy. The three remaining players were able to to select between saving the cerberus or sacrificing it. They all decided to sacrifice it.
Inafune shared more details about the game in a Q&A that followed the main press conference. Here's some of what he said:
Asked about how the game came to be he said that after leaving Capcom, he was thinking about a number of ideas, and he came up with something that seemed would go well with Vita, so he spoke to Sony. This is one of the first projects that he started after going independent.
The reason he selected Vita is because he wanted to make a game where multiplayer is main.
Inafune confirmed that the game is planned to have both ad-hoc and infrastructure play. Ad-hoc only is not sufficient nowadays, said Inafune, especially if you want to appeal not just to Japan, but to overseas. He added that nothing has been decided as far as an overseas release is concerned.
The game will have a number of other PlayStation Vita-ish features. These will be revealed later.
They're planning download content for the game. Inafune feels that in this era, download content is part of the game.
Sony announced that the game is due for release in the Winter. That can technically mean early next year, but Inafune says he'd like to get it out this year.
Inafune was asked about the game's CERO rating. It's not finalized, of course, but Inafune did joke that CERO A, the lowest rating, is not likely.
The game will support voice chat during infrastructure. Inafune noted that when playing locally, you can communicate with other players easily, saying "let's do this!" This can't be done as easily in infrastructure mode. He added that perhaps there are some good parts to not being able to do this.
As shown in the multiplayer video, at the end of a boss fight, you can select to either save the boss, or sacrifice the boss. The players in the presentation video all voted to sacrifice the boss. So what happens if players don't agree? Inafune says that they have a system in place to deal with this, but he would not say what it is. Regarding this area of the game, he noted that he wanted to make a game that did not end just with players feeling relief at having defeated the enemy, but having to think about what to do after defeating the enemy.
Below, you'll find a couple of shaky cam-grabbed videos from the press conference. The first shows the gameplay demonstration from Inafune. The other is the multiplayer video.