When comparing Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation vs Salt and Sanctuary, the Slant community recommends Salt and Sanctuary for most people. In the question“What are the best singleplayer games on Steam?” Salt and Sanctuary is ranked 70th while Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is ranked 77th. The most important reason people chose Salt and Sanctuary is:
While the combat may seem simple at first, it's actually quite diverse. A lot of it depends on your equipment, where the weight and reach affects how you can play. For, example heavy armor will make you slower, but you'll be able to take more hits. This enables a safer playstyle, where you're allowed to make more mistakes. Large weapons have a better reach, but swing slower, so you'll need to have good timing to combat enemies effectively. During combat, you'll be alternating between a light attack and a hard attack. These can charged to alter the timing and increase the damage of each swing, allowing you to perform very varied combos. As a result the combat stays exciting for the entirety of the game.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Better framerate when ran in DX12
This game is DX12 compatible which allows for a higher frame rate over DX11. DX12 is only able to be taken advantage of on Windows 10, so that is something to consider, but for those that can take advantage, there is a slight gain to be had.
Pro Pleasing graphics
The graphics stand out as polished and make for a really nice looking RTS. This is top of its class in graphics for an RTS in 2016.
Pro Cool mechanic for controlling troops
There is a tool in the game that allows one to "lasso" their units together into an army. By making an army the player can then control that army as they would one troop unit, meaning that all micromanagement for a large group of troops is unnecessary as the game will deal with it in a more intuitive an easy manner. This can be done with as little or as many troops as the player want, which overall makes for an easy way to control the game when in the heat of battle.
Pro Good mix of gameplay modes for any skill level
The game features a single player story mode, a story mode called Ascendancy that will walk the player though how to play the game and multiplayer modes that are ranked as well as custom multiplayer modes. Through the assortment of modes the game allows for any type of player to find gameplay that they may like, whether they are a seasoned RTS player or a newcomer to the genre. Whether playing locally in single player or online with friends or random people, there should be plenty on offer for any skill level.
Pro Focuses on positioning over micromanagement
The maps in this game are large, sometimes taking up as many as 20-30 zones in a single map. What this means is that the player will need to focus a lot more on position of their units over actually micromanaging every aspect of each unit (due to the vast size of maps and the amount of units on them). This allows for gameplay that has a broader scope in strategy, as it forces the player to plan out what is best to protect and the best position to hold of enemy attacks all while still trying to grow their army in order to overpower their enemy.
Pro Easily allows the player to utilize specific info on their enemies
At all times the player can vies on a mini map how much their enemy has expanded and into what areas. There is also a thing called player power rating, which allows the player to know on a point scale what their enemies military and economic power level is. Which means you can get a sense of what fields your enemy is expanding into. Combining these tools allows for a quick way to know where the enemy is expanding and into what fields of tech they are concentrating on. This way the player can adjust their strategy accordingly, making for an even deeper level of strategy overall.
Pro Deep combat
While the combat may seem simple at first, it's actually quite diverse. A lot of it depends on your equipment, where the weight and reach affects how you can play.
For, example heavy armor will make you slower, but you'll be able to take more hits. This enables a safer playstyle, where you're allowed to make more mistakes. Large weapons have a better reach, but swing slower, so you'll need to have good timing to combat enemies effectively.
During combat, you'll be alternating between a light attack and a hard attack. These can charged to alter the timing and increase the damage of each swing, allowing you to perform very varied combos.
As a result the combat stays exciting for the entirety of the game.
Pro Risk reward gameplay
The player throughout the game is always earning salt when defeating enemies. This salt is used to purchase upgrades and items in the game, so the more you have the more you can purchase. The thing is though that you can lose all of the salt you have collected if you die, and being that this is a difficult game, you will die a lot. The risk reward mechanic in this that you can either push on with low health, venturing into the unknown and possible death, but if you die, you will lose your money. This choice can be tough to make, but will constantly be on your mind, which elevates the risk of play.
Pro Great difficulty mechanics
If you're struggling to get past a certain area or boss you can simply grind out levels or upgrades in the previous areas until you are able to proceed. This works due to enemies being the same level no matter what your level is.
Pro Immersive storytelling through exploration
Salt and Sanctuary doesn't tell you much in terms of story, so it's up to you to explore and figure it out. You can do it by talking to NPC's, reading item descriptions, and observing the environment. You'll piece the story together bit by bit, filling in the gaps with your imagination. This makes it feel like you're truly exploring the world of Salt and Sanctuary, finding out what interests you, without having exposition constantly thrown at you.
Pro Creed mechanic keeps subsequent playthroughs interesting
There is a feature in the game called "creeds" that allows you to ally with a faction of NPCs. You can only ally one creed at a time, giving you access to their unique perks, items, quest givers, and access to fast travel points. All of this offers just enough variety to keep subsequent playthroughs interesting.
Pro Good use of metroidvania level design
Metroidvania genre games tend to lock portions of the game behind elements that can not be traversed until a certain item or skill is earned. This makes for a world that requires a lot of backtracking and familiarity, meaning the player needs to keep track of all the areas they have already explored. Once a certain item or skill is found that will allow the player to get past what was once a road block, new areas can then be explored and the story can be advanced. The mechanic of this used to be to save space while elongating a game, but now is used as a way to get the player to feel connected and familiar with the world. There is also a pleasure to be found once new areas can be unlocked as it gives a sense of satisfaction that you are progressing past a point that you never knew when it would be unlocked.
Pro You can make a character that fits your playstyle
Your character has large skill tree with many branching paths. It contains most abilities you see in a fantasy game, including spells, martial arts, and many others. This means you can make a fast mage, a bulky fighter, a mix of the two, or whatever fits your playstyle, making it a more enjoyable experience as a whole.
Con Physics are unrealistic
Many of the units will pass right through each other, making for units that behave in an unrealistic way and can pull the player out of the immersion of the title. The units also all hover over the ground, which means they have no real weight to their actions, when combined with the unrealistic way they move makes for something that just does not looked polished.
Con Demanding system requirements
The game requires a high end GPU as well as at-least a 4 core processor. This means the game is quite demanding and needs to take advantage of multi-cores in order to play smoothly at high graphical settings. So for those with a mid-range system, the game may play at lower frame-rates, which can be frustrating.
Con Lacking in options for factions and units
There are only two factions available in the game to play with, so makes for limited choice. On top of this each faction has only so many different units, which also shows a lack of choice. Combined, once the game has been experienced and both factions played with there will be little in surprise as to what the game has to offer.
Con Difficult to know where you are
There is no map in the game, making navigation quite difficult at times. Most of the locations look very similar, so you can't really use them for orientation either. Sometimes it might even feel like you're running through the same area multiple times. This can be especially confusing if you're backtracking towards a locked area. You might faintly remember it being somewhere, but you won't be exactly sure where, causing you to re-explore everything.
Con May be too niche
The setting of the game is quite morbid and the gameplay is rather difficult. This causes it to be mentally draining even during short play sessions. As a result Salt and Sanctuary won't be very appealing to players looking to relax while playing a game.