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The 10 Best Soulslike Games Not Made By FromSoftware

Soulslike games have drawn players with their intricate level design, deep lore, challenging combat, and the notorious difficulty that demands precision and patience. Soulslike games also emphasize on player self-improvement, adding in mechanics of loss should they die. You get killed by an enemy, you have to go back to where you died to get your currency/wealth back, and you lose it permanently if you die again. The sort of mechanics that make better players be more aware with the playfield they’re in.

While FromSoftware pioneered this genre with its iconic Dark Souls series and Elden Ring (with its DLC out right now!), numerous other developers have taken up the mantle to create their enthralling tales and punishing game mechanics.

Here’s a list of the 10 best Soulslike games not developed by FromSoftware that every fan of the genre should consider playing:

 

Hollow Knight

Developer: Team Cherry
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: 25 February 2017

Team Cherry’s masterpiece combines Soulslike mechanics with Metroidvania elements. Hollow Knight invites players to delve into serpentine caverns, combat corrupted beings, and navigate through elaborate traps to unveil a deeply buried ancient mystery.

In this game, players assume the role of a knight navigating the insect-populated, subterranean world of Hallownest, now in the throes of a devastating infection. Players will face numerous hostile insectoids throughout their journey through Hallownest’s varied landscapes. These enemies pose great danger, demanding caution and strategy, especially during boss battles.

Set against a hauntingly beautiful backdrop, distinguished by its challenging yet equitable combat and the richness of its exploratory elements. It incorporates elements reminiscent of Dark Souls, from the formidable boss fights to the unique Shade mechanic that activates upon the character’s death.

 

Code Vein

Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 27 September 2019

Often described as “anime Dark Souls,” Code Vein mixes Soulslike gameplay with a unique companion system, offering a more approachable entry point into the genre with its distinctive art style and storytelling. In a world ravaged by apocalypse, players embody a Revenant, akin to a vampire, engaged in battle against the cannibalistic beings known as The Lost.

The game’s visual presentation is stunning — from the enigmatic cathedrals to the desolate cityscapes, ensuring that each area is engaging to explore, whether in the company of others or alone. The presence of multiple endings further attests to Bandai Namco’s commitment to delivering a rich, plot-driven experience.

 

Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition

Developer: Koei Tecmo Games
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC
Release Date: 5 February 2021

Describe itself as “masocore”, which is just a fancy term for being crushingly difficult. Nioh 2’s concept is quite fascinating, as it merges the essence of a Soulslike game with the backdrop of feudal Japan. Players embody a half-yokai protagonist amid the tumultuous Sengoku Era, battling demons and various entities across multiple Dark Realms.

With the release of Nioh 2 – The Complete Edition, fans receive an all-inclusive package that not only enhances the visual experience and marks the game’s entrance on PC and PlayStation 5 but also incorporates all post-launch content since its initial release in March 2020 for the PlayStation 4. This edition comprises the base game along with its three DLC expansions: The Tengu’s Disciple, Darkness in the Capital, and The First Samurai. Each DLC adds fresh missions, weaponry, armour, and ups the ante with even more formidable foes, promising a riveting experience for those who revel in facing tough challenges.

 

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Developer: Koei Tecmo Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date: 3 March 2023

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty whisks players into the midst of a tumultuous and mystical version of the Later Han Dynasty, overrun by demonic forces amidst the chaos of the Three Kingdoms. The narrative centres around an unnamed militia soldier whose mission is survival against a backdrop of supernatural threats.

The gameplay is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese martial arts, offering players the ability to engage in sophisticated swordplay that incorporates the principles of the “Five Phases”. Players are tasked with harnessing their inner strength to defy the overwhelming forces against them, transforming adversity into power. If you like Samurai games with a blend of Soulslike, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a must-play title.

 

Lies of P

Developer: NEOWIZ
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Release Date: 18 September 2023

Lies of P is an action RPG with a dark soulslike vibe, drawing inspiration from the iconic Pinocchio story. Players embody Pinocchio himself, navigating the eerie and enigmatic city of Krat to unearth its buried secrets and disasters.

A distinctive aspect of gameplay adventure is the strategic use of lies in crucial situations – either for self-preservation or to protect others. This critical theme of deception plays a central role in the game, highlighting Pinocchio’s struggle to become human. Throughout this journey, players will interact with familiar characters from the original story, whose roles as allies or foes will depend on the decisions they make.

As players embark on the trials of the city of Krat, Lies of P presents a wealth of missions and hurdles. The game may share similarities with Bloodborne in terms of ambience and gameplay mechanics, yet it manages to carve out its unique identity.

 

Blasphemous 2

Developer: The Game Kitchen
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: 25 August 2023

Blasphemous 2 elevates the franchise with its bold, gruesome visuals and deep, gothic narrative, building upon the first game’s shocking and grotesque scenes. Developed by The Game Kitchen, this sequel not only rectifies the original’s shortcomings but also significantly enhances the experience for fans of Soulslike games, offering them a much richer and more engaging world to delve into.

The gameplay seamlessly blends action with exploration, providing players with fluid control over the protagonist. It also introduces an updated system for equipment and buffs that enrich the overall mechanics. The audio design complements the gameplay with its eerie beauty, setting a perfect backdrop to the game’s unforgettable and disturbing visuals.

Following directly from its predecessor and the aftermath of the Wounds of Eventide DLC, the narrative of Blasphemous 2 unfolds an undetermined time later. It reawakens The Penitent One from what was supposed to be the end of his journey, throwing him into a new saga filled with divine trials and gory battles.

For those who revel in dark and challenging adventures, Blasphemous 2 promises to be a captivating and thrilling experience full of the mud, blood, and viscera that the series is known for. To find out more, check out our written review.

 

Nine Sols

Developer: Red Candle Games
Platforms: PC via Steam
Release Date: 29 May 2024

Red Candle Games, known for its popular psychological horror titles Detention and Devotion, has released its most ambitious title, Nine Sols. This game combines artful action platforming with a narrative that enriches the game’s universe, maintaining the developer’s reputation for storytelling prowess.

Players are transported to New Kunlun, a realm heralded as the last haven of the Solarian realm, untouched and serene for ages. Enshrined by the ancients as a paradise guarded by sacred rites, the deeper truths of this land are veiled from its inhabitants. However, the peace is shattered when Yi, a herald from antiquity forgotten by time, is revived by the innocence of a human child.

Embark on a path of retribution with Yi, challenging the nine Sols, the dominions of this abandoned empire. Breakthrough adversaries with combat reminiscent of Sekiro, refined and thrilling.

The game is set in a “Taopunk” world, a novel fusion of cyberpunk aesthetics with the philosophical underpinnings of Taoism and the rich tapestry of Far Eastern mythology. Dive into the lore of an ancient extraterrestrial civilization and discover humanity’s destiny intertwined with theirs. Nine Sols is a leap forward for the indie studio, blending challenging gameplay with a storyline that invites exploration and discovery.

 

The Surge 2

Developer: Deck13
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 24 September 2019

Fans of the soulslike genre dubbed The Surge and its successor ‘Robo Souls’. By the time of The Surge 2, the franchise had truly come into its own, borrowing elements from the Dark Souls series but infusing them with a distinct, futuristic flair.

The Surge 2 further evolves the mechanics of multiplier/countdown from Lords of the Fallen (2014), while incorporating a crafting system reminiscent of Monster Hunter, giving the Soulslike genre a fresh scientific twist. This sequel allows players to sever parts from zombified cyborgs to create new equipment, introducing a gruesomely strategic aspect to gameplay.

Additionally, the first game excels in its environmental storytelling, laying the groundwork for the series’ bleak future. Although the plot becomes slightly convoluted moving forward, the sequel polishes the gameplay and progression system, enhancing what was already an engrossing Soulslike action-RPG experience.

 

Salt and Sanctuary

Developer: Ska Studios

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Release Date: 18 May 2016

Salt and Sanctuary draws heavy inspiration from the Dark Souls series by FromSoftware, offering a challenging experience that fans of the genre will appreciate.

The story of Salt and Sanctuary centres around an unnamed hero who finds themselves a hidden passenger on a ship besieged by a massive sea monster. Players are thrust into a difficult situation against a formidable foe. The adventure begins on a mysterious island, setting the stage for the narrative.

Featuring cleverly designed platforming areas that play with gravity, the game also supports local co-op, making it a great option for teaming up with a friend. Additionally, it offers a vast skill tree that allows for deep customization to suit different playstyles. The game is further characterized by its rewarding combat system, a variety of weapons and intricate progression mechanics, among other features.

 

 

Another Crab’s Treasure

Developer: Aggro Crab
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: 25 April 2024

We saved the brightest for last. For those seeking a refreshing twist in the soulslike genre, Another Crab’s Treasure by Aggro Crab stands out as a top selection. This game introduces players to Kril, a hermit crab, on a quest to uncover the causes of the ocean’s deterioration and to reclaim his confiscated shell. To fend off foes that are much larger, Kril must adapt by using discarded trash as protective shells.

As the journey progresses, Kril acquires “Umami Techniques,” a collection of abilities inspired by the defensive and offensive manoeuvres of various marine creatures. The combat system is methodical and paced to emphasize strategy, requiring players to evade attacks, pinpoint vulnerabilities in their adversaries, and effectively utilize their shell’s capabilities to prevail. Similar to the Soulsborne series that inspired it, Another Crab’s Treasure challenges players with its high stakes — significant damage from enemies can lead to costly consequences, and success relies heavily on mastering enemy patterns and tactical planning.

The game’s difficulty can be adjusted at any time, making it less frustrating for players of all skill levels. So if you rather play a more accessible and fair Soulslike game, Another Crab’s Treasure should be on your “to play” list.

Which of these titles will you be looking forward to playing? Let us know by commenting on our social platforms on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and TikTok.

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