This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Smoke and Sacrifice is an open world RPG developed by Curve Digital. I am a massive fan of RPGs big and small, so I was very excited to give this game a go. Highly resembling, although venturing far from, the more survival style of Don’t Starve, Smoke and Sacrifice blends survival and action with ease. For the first hour of my gameplay I was running grabbing materials as if my life depended on it to get ready for nightfall, I quickly realised that this was a waste of time. While this is still a very good idea as the crafting system relies on the materials found lying around, there isn’t any urgency as you don’t need to build shelter to last out the night. Read further on to learn how this game plays.
Smoke and Sacrifice has a dark story. You play as a mother named Sachi who must sacrifice her first born child to the Sun Tree. Seven years later and still mourning the loss of your child, Sachi’s village is attacked by Pugbears, which are bear like creatures with the (you guessed it!) face of a pug. Sachi is then guided by a mysterious trader who tells her to take a closer look at the religious shrine where her first born was sacrificed. Upon closer inspection Sachi gets transported to a whole new world where she must find out information and locate her son who is apparently still alive.
The game has a classic crafting system where you must collect certain items to craft your weapons, armour, and tools. In the game you have a clock in the upper right section of the screen, as the world around you gets far more dangerous at night. To counter this you will have to craft a lantern that keeps the darkness at bay. Thankfully the materials to make this are quite easy to come by and if you don’t use your lantern your health will automatically start to drain at night, so make it a priority!
You will encounter enemies across the world map who you can either choose to battle or ignore. As you progress through the game these enemies get stronger, meaning the choice between battling and ignoring can become crucial.
To acquire recipes to craft new weapons, armour and tools for your character you will either need to talk to NPCs who give you hints on what you need to do to progress the story, which in turn will add a new “blueprint” to your crafting menu. There are also stones laid out across the land which when read give you the knowledge to create a new item. There are certain items that require either a workbench or a cauldron to be made, such as potions and more proficient armour for you character.
Smoke and Sacrifice has gorgeous graphics. As soon as you load the game you can feel a slight depressive atmosphere that grips you and draws you into the mood of the game. The game itself looks very dark, with rugged terrain and wilted trees. The snowy regions and black swamps will suck you in and give you the feeling that nowhere is safe. The music adds to the great atmosphere of the game with its eerie presence.
Smoke and Sacrifice is a well put together game. With a story that is emotionally driven and gameplay that pulls you in, you will find it extremely hard to put down the controller. Creatures will make you feel uneasy and the darkness will test your endurance, but with enough commitment you will find yourself conquering this game and story to unravel the mystery behind the dark secrets of Smoke and Sacrifice. Check this game out if you’re into open world RPGs!