So let’s talk about Soul Sacrifice Delta. What exactly is it? It’s not a sequel to the original Soul Sacrifice because it doesn’t really wander into new territory, but it’s not just an upgraded re-release either because it adds so much more to the original story, along with new features, and all the DLC packed into it. Soul Sacrifice Delta is a definitive edition of the game that fleshes out the story and delivers a much more polished experience.
One of the biggest and most noticeable additions to Delta is the introduction of the faction system. In the original game, your sorcerer was part of Avalon by default. However, you now have the choice to choose between Avalon, Sanctuarium and Grim. While the sorcerers of Avalon believe that all monsters must be sacrificed with no exception, the sorcerers of Sanctuarium are of the belief that everyone deserves a chance at salvation. On the other hand, Grim rejects the choice and believes that everything should be left to fate. Simply put, if you’re a player who favors neutrality, you may find a home with the Grim faction.
Quest completion will also net you Slayer Points, which you can log into your faction of choice online. Every week, the game will tally the total number of points gained by online players from each faction and all members of the leading faction at the end of the week will receive rewards.
Your choice of faction will determine the types of rewards you get upon completing each phantom quest. There are also a few side stories for you to uncover as you get to know new sorcerers from the various factions. True to typical Soul Sacrifice fashion, the new characters have backstories filled with death and tragedy, and it’s up to you to help them find solace. As great as these side stories are, I do wish that there were more of these from both Sanctuarium and Grim. As Avalon is regarded as the canon faction for your character, there’s a larger focus on it with a total of six side stories (including the four from the original game), while Sanctuarium and Grim have two or three each. These are a joy to play through, but it’s unfortunate that there weren’t more of them.
On the topic of side stories and additional quests, there are pacts outside of the story missions for you to complete. The Forgotten Pacts are back in Delta, along with a whole slew of other missions of varying difficulty levels for you to attempt. Just like in Soul Sacrifice, Delta also allows you to attempt these pacts in the online multiplayer portion of the game. If you’re having trouble beating a particularly difficult pact, you can always hop online and create a lobby to invite other players to join you in conquering that battle.
A new dungeon has also been added to Delta, called Alice’s Eternal Maze. This is a survival dungeon with supposedly infinite levels where you fight random archfiends on each level. Defeating the archfiends in Eternal Maze will yield some very nice rewards, including the powerful black offerings. Be warned however; dying on any level of the Maze will cause you to lose all your earned rewards and experience from within the dungeon. My experience with the Maze has been a fun one, especially when playing online. Lots of players have taken to forming parties and tackling the Maze to see how far they can progress in one go.
Delta also gives us a few new archfiends to battle. These new monsters are interpretations of iconic characters from Grimm’s fairytales with a rather disturbing and macabre twist to them. Red Riding Hood is depicted as a large knight-like figure with an aging skull protruding from its torso, while Cinderella is a large centipede with crystal legs. Along with these new monsters are also new locales to battle in. For a 3GB-sized game, the developers sure did a great job of paying attention to detail in the environments and in the design of the monsters themselves.
It’s also worth mentioning that the DLC archfiends from the original Soul Sacrifice have been bundled with Delta. Monsters like Dullahan, Cat Sith, and Incubus have been incorporated very nicely into the game. For someone like myself who hadn’t gotten the chance to experience these additional fights, it was definitely a welcome addition to the overall gameplay experience.
If you played the original game, you’ll also get a chance to transfer your save data over to Delta. Though you won’t be able to retain your levels, you’ll be given rumor notes to be used during phantom quests to give yourself an experience boost. You’ll also get to import most of your raiments, up to 10,000 lacrima, and up to 10 of each of your offerings from your previous game. This brings me to my next point: Players now have even more options in character customization. You’re able to mix and match your tops, bottoms, and accessories to create an outfit unique to your own character. The new Bazaar Ledger feature in Delta also provides a merchant who sells various outfits and accessories in exchange for offerings.
Some of the raiments will require you to meet special conditions in order to be unlocked. For instance, Similia’s Seducer outfit requires you to reach an affinity level of S with her before it’s available in Carnatux’s shop. There wasn’t much incentive to max out your affinity levels with your allies in Soul Sacrifice, but in Delta, achieving that S rank affinity will open up a lot of outfit options in addition to increasing their strength in battle.
In terms of new story content, I think it’s a safe bet to say that there’s about five to six hours worth of that in addition to the original story chapters we got in Soul Sacrifice. If you import your old save data, you can skip straight to the new content that comes right after the final boss fight of the first game. Without spoiling any crucial plot points, this content definitely gives a much more satisfying conclusion to the story than the original. With the assimilation of new characters such as Similia, the descendant of Red Riding Hood, into the story, you get a much better sense of what kind of universe you’ve stepped into.
The world building in Soul Sacrifice was very well done as it really managed to make players feel like they were living in a dreadful world ruled by a mad, tyrannical sorcerer. Delta takes this world and adds even more substance to it, creating a much more immersive experience while going through the story. The voice acting is still a little annoying and obnoxious, especially when Librom forces you out of the story after each main chapter to give you his summary and thoughts on the plot. But for the most part, the storybook narrative and the lovely artwork never fail to charm me as I delve deeper into the morbid adventure.
All in all, Soul Sacrifice Delta is the definitive edition of this game. It’s packed with a lot of new content, and it just feels like a much more polished version of the original game overall. The new characters in particular do such a fantastic job of adding more depth to the story and they don’t feel tacked on at all. If anything, I would’ve liked to see more of the story being told through cutscenes rather than just having it read to me. There’s a lot of emotional depth in the plot and it might’ve been better for the story itself if players could actually see these events play out.
These are just minor nitpicks, though. Soul Sacrifice Delta has a good learning curve that will ease you into the game handily enough. If you’ve poured tens of hours into the original release and loved it, then no question Delta is for you. And if you gave the game a miss last year because you were on the fence about it, trust me when I say that the staggering amount of content here is very much worth its $35.99 price tag. Soul Sacrifice Delta is arguably one of the strongest titles available on the PS Vita right now and Vita owners would be doing themselves a disservice by passing this one up.
[+Good chunk of new story content] [+New characters feel organic and add to the plot] [+Even more scary-looking archfiends] [+Variety of customization options] [+Solid online multiplayer experience] [-Voice acting is still a little cheesy] [-Not enough focus on new characters and factions] [-Storytelling might get a little stale through narration]