Console: PlayStation 4
Developer: Devolver Digital, Fourattic
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 PRO
On the surface, Crossing Souls is an homage to all things 80’s. Everything from the pixelated graphics to the Optimus Prime on one of the bedroom floors to the 80’s style animation used in cutscenes shows the developers love of the era. The plot itself borrows heavily from 80’s films where a group of friends from different walks of life spend their Summer together and for whatever reason discover a dead body in the woods. Needless to say, the nostalgia factor is off the charts here and it is one of many aspects of the game that I truly enjoyed.
You play as one of five characters in the small town of Tajunga, California in 1986. Each of the game’s playable characters have their own unique ability. These abilities will allow you to access different parts of the game world in different ways. For example, you can choose to move, smash or fly around obstacles depending on which character you decide to take control of. Initially you have control of Chris who can wield a bat to smash obstacles. As you progress through the early stages of the story, you gain access to the other four playable characters and you can easily switch between each one.
Once you have had a chance to get to know each character things really start to get interesting. Our group of heroes discovers a device that allows them to travel to the world of the dead and back again. In the spirit world you are still on the streets of Tajunga but the world warps around you and the standard enemies that you grow accustomed to are replaces by ghosts, zombies and other fiendish creatures. Combat is also where being able to freely swap characters shines as it allows you to take advantage of different abilities to get you through different situations. While one character’s move set may lean towards hack and slash, you can swap in for another character that specializes in area attacks if you find yourself overwhelmed.
Crossing Souls is a very welcome mix of fantastic storytelling, satisfying combat and loveable characters. The game brilliantly paces combat and exploration so that you never have time to get bored doing either. The plight of each character is woven expertly to create a wonderful narrative. The great plot, nostalgia factor and the very creative boss fights made my eight-hour journey through Crossing Souls one that I won’t soon forget.