Top 10 Soulslike Games Not Made by Souls Creators

Tags: #DarkSouls ,   #videogames ,   #GamingLife

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-05-06 18:00:07

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the man behind the Soulslike genre, and FromSoftware Inc. launched the series Demon's Souls in 2009. Low-level enemy encounters might feel like standalone boss fights in Soulslike games. Consequently, they frequently feature brutally challenging gameplay and little in the way of a grand narrative.

On paper, this approach doesn't seem like it would create an exciting or enjoyable video game. Yet when done correctly, they may be fresh, memorable, and even revolutionary. Therefore, here are some of the best Souls-like games if you're seeking something to quench your appetite for punishment, atonement, and triumph over soul-tarnishing odds.

10. The Surge

Kill robots, slay zombies, destroy aliens, save the world

The Surge by Deck 13 is an action role-playing game in which you must ruthlessly dismember robots, zombies, and aliens to save the world. The game has a Dark Souls-like vibe because of the developer's devotion to the Souls paradigm.

Hence, you can target various limbs and body parts with The Surge to dismember them for gear and armor. Furthermore, these materials can be used to create weapons that can be improved and changed. The Souls-branded corpse-run gains a countdown mechanic thanks to The Surge. Thus, you risk losing hours of experience if you rush to return to your corpse.

9. Let It Die

Death is on your side, occasionally bringing you back to life

Let It Die, an action role-playing game from Grasshopper Manufacture, is a Souls-like game where you battle your way through a tower of creatures. Yet, you have the help of Uncle Death, a skateboarding grim reaper guide.

When you die in Let it Die, a copy of your character downloads your death data and fighting skills. Therefore, death should be avoided in this game because it makes your doppelganger more challenging the more you die.

8. Nioh/Nioh 2

Slash through medieval Japan with Ninja Geralt

In Nioh 2, you must hack and slash your way through various distinctive locales in a brilliantly stylized 1600s Japan. You need to go no further than Team Ninja and Kou Shibusawa's 2017 release Nioh if you love Soulslikes with intricate combat mechanics centered on stances and weapon synergy, dramatic battles, and diverse environments.

The way that postures and weapons work together to unlock numerous abilities, buffs, and a living weapon skill that increases your strength and makes you temporarily invulnerable complements Nioh's clever and furious fighting. In a way, it reminds us of Elden Ring.

7. Sifu

What does kill you makes you stronger

Beautifully rendered and rhythmically composed, Sloclap's Sifu can compete with the most well-liked Souls-like games. The abuse levels in the game are micro-dosed without holding back. Yet, Sifu is a game that won't become stale quickly, thanks to its more than 150 unique attacks.

When you pass away in Sifu, you age several years and are raised from the dead on the same spot. Thankfully, you can access long-lasting enhancements to help you on your trip and your generation-hopping revenge tale. More powerful strikes and experience come with age, but your general health suffers. You lose health gradually with each death until you can no longer be revived, at which point the game ends.

6. Salt and Sanctuary

Expect a lot of salt and some soft lore

The Souls formula is brilliantly adapted in Salt and Sanctuary and Salt and Sacrifice, two 2D side-scrolling platformers from Ska Studios and designer James Silva. Salt and Sanctuary, released in 2016, boasts a distinct Souls graphic style that lets you dodge-roll past opponents to your heart's content.

This game differs from the more approachable Soulslikes in that it gives little explanation and relies on you to experiment and explore different character builds and weaponry. So, the soft lore rule is still on in this game, and no time is spent on exposition.

5. Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Jedi Souls game seems like a winning combination

The action adventure from Respawn Entertainment, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, is a superb combination of Souls-like action and jaw-dropping set pieces. Fallen Order was an instant favorite when it was released and topped practically every development metric. Although the game requires managing stamina while in flight, it is easier than most Souls-like games.

This title will be more enjoyable for Star Wars novices than most officially licensed software. However, be ready for challenging gameplay, gripping lightsaber duels, and a somewhat somber Star Wars story.

4. Remnant from the Ashes

A vast universe to explore and a lot of weapons to use

Remnant from the Ashes is ranked on this list because it combines engaging co-op gameplay with a Souls-like flow of battle. Explore this enormous universe filled with exciting places and settings ideal for grinding unique items. In addition to the brutal difficulty of Soulslike games, the grind is a recurring theme that attracts most fans to Remnant from the Ashes.

You and your pals won't have many dull moments with 49 weapons available, including sniper rifles, bludgeoning hammers, explosive crossbows, and a railgun. The impact feel of all weapon kinds is another area where Remnant from the Ashes excels. Finally, you won't realize how quickly the hours pass because enemies accurately respond to the impact.

3. Tunic

What if Zelda were a fox?

Tunic is a fantastic isometric action adventure where you take control of a tiny fox in a gorgeously detailed open environment. This single-player experience, developed by Andrew Shouldice, shines as a Soulslike game due to its smooth gameplay. Yet, it also has a visually arresting art style, complete obscurity at the beginning of the game, and a compelling level design encouraging exploration.

You go on a trip with little guidance from the world state and only your wits and a stick. For most people, being lost on an island without any sense of direction can mean certain death. Still, if you explore more, you might find the most minute information packaged in an old-school NES user guide.

2. Hollow Knight

A literal 2D Dark Souls incarnation

Hollow Knight sets the bar for an open-world, 2D action platformer with a Souls-inspired hook. In Hallownest, an astonishingly expansive and exquisitely drawn underground realm of bugs, you play as a mute protagonist, bug-knight.

In Hollow Knight, curiosity and exploration are highly rewarded, and the world's coherence is unmatched. Luckily, you can use skills, charms, and spells to obliterate the dozens of unique foes Team Cherry expertly built for you. All of these components keep the gameplay exciting and memorable. Finally, the music and sound design also deserve mention, as the somber and intense set pieces will keep you interested.

1. Dead Cells

You'll see a lot of titular dead cells, especially if you slack off

Dead Cells, an award-winning success from developer Motion Twins, casts you as a 2D sack of bones mysteriously revived after contracting an infection from a green glob of sewer ooze. You'll see that scene a lot, so get accustomed to it.

The deliciously challenging 2D platformer Dead Cells aims to advance as far as you can between levels without dying. Dead Cells' combat is brutal and blisteringly quick. Enemies are cunning, incredibly punishing, and superbly animated. When you die, you gain cells to upgrade your skills, weapons, stationary turrets, healing/damaging totems, and other items.

From Software made a new gaming genre with their Demon/Dark Souls, where death is just a part of the learning process. While other titles treat dying as an ultimate failure of a player's skills, Soulslike games make it into lessons repeated until learned. The best thing about this principle is that it universally works in independent and AAA games.

What is your favorite Soulslike game not made by the Souls creators? Which games would you add to the list?

Cover photo: Screenshot/Hollow Knight



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