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Beyond FromSoftware: Unleashing the Soulslike Revolution

The Dark Souls franchise, with its groundbreaking melee action RPG gameplay, continues to shape the gaming landscape. FromSoftware's innovative titles...

Levi Winslow Jan 28, 2024
Beyond FromSoftware: Unleashing the Soulslike Revolution


The Dark Souls franchise, with its groundbreaking melee action RPG gameplay, continues to shape the gaming landscape. FromSoftware's innovative titles like Demon's Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and Elden Ring have inspired a wave of developers to explore the Soulslike genre. Today, we embark on a humorous and artistic journey through a selection of Soulslike games that were not created by FromSoftware. Get ready to experience freemium madness, sci-fi battles, stone-hardened warriors, 2D platforming nightmares, minimalist open-world adventures, and even a fusion of the Jedi and Souls universes.

1: Let It Die - The Tower of Barbs Beckons

In the realm of freemium Soulslike games, Let It Die reigns supreme. Ascend the Tower of Barbs, a colossal superstructure, where each level is brimming with enemies just waiting to test your mettle. Picture Tartarus from Persona 3, but with a touch of arcade-y fun. Let It Die provides a modern twist on the ruined utopia concept, complete with post-apocalyptic weapon and armor designs. Best of all, it's free! So why not take a shot at this tower-climbing adventure?

2: The Surge - Man vs. Machine, Sci-Fi Style

Ever wondered what Dark Souls would look like in a sci-fi setting? The Surge has the answer. Engage in lightning-quick combat against combat robots that will test your every move. Ranging from pesky flying drones to towering warmechs, the enemies you face reflect a world destroyed by its reliance on life-changing technology. With dodging and parrying at the forefront, The Surge offers a thrilling experience for those seeking a departure from fantasy realms.

3: Mortal Shell - The Love Letter to Dark Souls

Enter Mortal Shell, a game that pays homage to the Dark Souls series while carving out its own unique path. Encounter apathetic enemies and explore intricately designed levels reminiscent of the Souls universe. But Mortal Shell quickly distinguishes itself with its groundbreaking mechanics. Instead of blocking, players can "harden their shells," turning themselves into impervious stone. With each new shell enhancing the experience, Mortal Shell is a must-visit for Dark Souls trilogy enthusiasts.

4: Blasphemous - A Soulslike Journey in 2D

Prepare to be awestruck by the avant-garde spin on the Soulslike formula in Blasphemous. This 2D platformer combines swordplay and parrying with the XP retrieval mechanic found in the Souls series. If you fall in battle, you must retrieve your lost XP while facing the enemy that defeated you. Although the gameplay differs from Dark Souls, Blasphemous captures the same bleak aesthetics, tone, and boss battles. Embark on this new spin and prepare for a hauntingly beautiful experience.

5: Ashen - A Minimalist Masterpiece

Annapurna Games, known for their skill in environmental storytelling, delivers Ashen, a minimalist open-world Soulslike adventure. Before the release of Elden Ring, Ashen already showcased the potential of an open-world Soulslike experience. Immerse yourself in a world that unravels its narrative through its environments, just like the Dark Souls series. Whether you're seeking a short and sweet journey or a lengthier adventure, Ashen won't disappoint.

6: Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - A Sekiro-Inspired Epic

Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja bring us Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, a game that draws inspiration from Sekiro's combat mechanics. Parrying is essential in this challenging adventure, but Wo Long adds RPG elements to enhance your approach to encounters. Unleash various weapons, magical attacks, and abilities against a diverse array of enemies. With a robust character creator, this game is perfect for those yearning to scratch their Sekiro itch.

7: Code Vein - The Unconventional Soulslike

Code Vein, created in-house by Bandai Namco, offers a striking departure from the norm. This Soulslike spectacle combines an anime-inspired art style with hyper-edgy aesthetics, providing a visually captivating and narratively intense experience. Wield your blood as magic and face off against increasingly difficult and off-the-wall bosses in true anime fashion. Code Vein may be a lot to take in, but its design choices will surely resonate with Souls fans.

8: Nioh - A Historical Soulslike Adventure

Step into the chaos of Japan's Sengoku period with Nioh, one of the most popular Soulslike games on the market. Engage in intense battles against both monsters and humans, utilizing different stances to determine your attack, block, and speed. Master the art of ki pulses to regain stamina and turn the tides of combat. As you explore the world of Nioh, you'll discover a fusion ofJapanese history, folklore, and the challenging gameplay that Souls fans adore.

FromSoftware's Souls series has undeniably left an indelible mark on the gaming industry. However, the Soulslike genre has grown and evolved beyond FromSoftware's own creations. Games like Let It Die, The Surge, Mortal Shell, Blasphemous, Ashen, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, Code Vein, and Nioh have taken the core elements of the Souls formula and infused them with their own unique twists and settings. Whether you're a die-hard Souls fan or a newcomer to the genre, these games offer a variety of experiences that will test your skills, immerse you in captivating worlds, and provide you with countless hours of challenging gameplay. So, venture forth and explore the ever-expanding Soulslike revolution.