It’s not that often that you get to play the “bad guy” in games. That’s why I jumped at the first chance to review Sea Salt when the game was released.
Sea Salt is a Lovecraftian reverse horror action-strategy game. (That’s a hell of a description!) Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Lovecraft, so I have no clue on a lot of the lore and how true the game sticks to it. Regardless, I absolutely loved the whole dark and gloomy 1700’s vibe the game gives off.
The game starts out with Dagon’s Archbishop rebelling against his god. (I’m not sure why.) The god that you start off with (Aghra de Pesca) is pissed off and goes out to kill all of the Archbishop’s followers. That’s where the game starts. I’m sure I messed up a lot of the story, but as I said, I don’t know a lot about Lovecraft and there were a lot of things I wasn’t understanding while reading. Hey! I’m a simple man! History wasn’t my greatest subject in school!
Once started, you control the Eye of Dagon. Wherever you move the eye, your minions will follow. The object is to basically kill anything that moves. So, you just move Dagon’s Eye over whatever you want to attack and that’s it. The controls are pretty simple. Use the left joystick to move and the right trigger to attack. Although it sounds simple on paper, the game is far from easy.
The first group of minions you have are “The Swarm”. They are creepy looking creatures from the sea. They are fast and travel in pretty large groups, but not very strong against attacks. As you progress, you’ll unlock all sorts of minions with their own unique abilities and downfalls. That’s where the strategy comes in. Once all your minions die, it’s game over and you have to start from the beginning. So, choosing which minions to use becomes very important.
Things get pretty crazy when you start stacking minions. You can gain minions from collecting gold or at stations scattered throughout the levels. I will say that there were some noticeable frame rate drops in handheld mode once in awhile when I had a huge following of minions on the screen at once. It wasn’t anything that affected the gameplay, but it’s worth noting.
Regardless of me not understanding the story in the beginning, by the end of the game, I felt a little better about my Lovecraftian knowledge. Sea Salt is very well written and has a beautiful soundtrack accompanying it. There’s tons of minions and gods to unlock, branching storylines, and even an Arena Mode. Sea Salt turned out to be a lot deeper than I expected. What I thought was going to be a quick weekend playthrough, turned into a week long trek into the unknown.