Review | Finding the Soul Orb
[email protected] has started sending us tons of new releases for the Xbox platform, and this is the first in a series of written-only reviews that you’ll see from me on the site. First up I chose Finding the Soul Orb because I saw it had a crossbow and werewolves. Little did I know that for about ninety minutes I would be enthralled with some of the worst combat, weakest graphics, and well-made but completely inconsistent in its tone and genre music that I had ever seen in a game.
Dark Fantasy Realm!
The backstory of this title is that some Wizards made a soul orb, after beating the game I don’t know what it is. However, it supposedly helped protect the land but then a whole bunch of Silver and Golden Werewolves started messing people up. There’s something about an evil wizard and it’s all a blur because of how the entire story is conveyed. To learn what has happened you stand on a rock then text fog and text covers the screen. This happens roughly fifty or so times throughout the game, and that’s about it. There are a few sections with voice acting as the Soul Orb begs you to find it in a cave.
Graphically the game is hideous, yet somehow manages to also run terribly as well. I played it on a Series X and the sixty frames per second target was rarely hit. Pretty much any area with either fog or a decently long distance to be seen would slow down, at times to a crawl. These store-bought texture assets would work well on a $100 Android phone from five years ago, yet somehow brought the mighty Series X to its knees. Some of the skyboxes are nice looking, with a world constantly bathed in either night or the golden hour. Rocks, trees, grass, pretty much everything looks bad.
To accompany this assault on your vision is a mix of well-made, obviously bought, and poorly-matched musical tracks. From tribal African drumbeats to somber piano and high fantasy RPG-style music that would sound at home in Skyrim, this game has it all! The tonal shift and lack of fading in and out gave me a headache, as well as the lack of balancing in the volume levels. Some travel music would be low then incredibly loud battle music kicked in as a pack of idiotic werewolves would begin walking with some of the worst pathing I’ve ever seen.
The game only has four inputs. You move with the left stick and aim with the right stick. You can use a button to run while moving, and another to shoot your crossbow. That crossbow loses accuracy when moving and is incredibly slow as a projectile. It also had a maddeningly long load time thanks to the nice animation purchased on the Unreal Engine store. These things all combine to create one of the dullest and worst gameplay experiences I can remember having in the past decade. Your shots are straight as an arrow when you’re still but have an odd drop-off, and very slow movement speed. The only enemy types are werewolves, who exist for some reason and like to stand around in groups while moving back, and forth, left, and right in jittery motions.
Their odd movement paired with your slow projectile makes the combat maddeningly imprecise. Though thanks to the game only offering easy, very easy, and somehow even more easy as its three difficulty levels I never died once in combat. I did die a few times during exploration as obvious paths turned out to be instant death traps, but thanks to the quick loading I was back on my feet in a few seconds just inches from where I had perished.
The ”puzzles” in the game consist of using your crossbow to hit switches, that’s it. They’re so easy that I believe a toddler could figure them out while blindfolded and playing with their feet. There is also some light platforming in a few sections that consisted of swinging axes or platforms that felt bad, but like everything else was incredibly easy.
The game consists of 12 levels, some of them are 15 seconds long while others are 15 minutes. If I hadn’t read the entire story I could have beaten the game in under an hour easily. The writing and translation are of a low high-school level. It tells an incredibly basic tale in the most basic of ways. The main credits in the game are for the assets purchased. It’s just basic in every way.
The first [email protected] written only review sure was riveting! Finding the Soul Orb is a boring game that plays poorly. The storytelling is amateurish, and the overall plot makes no sense. It does have some nice store-bought musical tracks, even though they don’t match each other well in style or tone. Even at $7 avoid this one at all costs, unless you want to get really drunk and play something bad for kicks.
|Reviewed on||Xbox Series X|
|Available on||Xbox, PlayStation, PC|
|Release Date||November 22nd, 2022|
|Developer||Eastasiasoft Limited, Tonguç Bodur|
|Rated||T for Teen|