The Early Access Report – Soulslinger: Envoy of Death

Early Access is often a troubling proposition. Is the game ready for the public or are the public just glorified beta testers? That’s where we come in. Welcome to the Early Access Report, where Player 2’s writers tackle an early access title to determine if it is worth your time now, or is something you should keep an eye on in the future. 

The Early Access Report - Soulslinger: Envoy of Death

Key Information

The Game: Soulslinger: Envoy of Death

The Pitch: You are a gunslinger in limbo, involved in a gritty war against “The Cartel”, a ruthless organization harvesting souls to break free of the shackles of the afterlife. Grow stronger with each new run, gather the essence of lost souls to take on the biggest threats in this rogue-lite FPS!

(Source – Steam)

The Game Version This Report is Based On: 0.47

The Developer: Elder Games

I have always had a soft spot for games that mix the Old West with occult or supernatural themes and frankly, that is what led me to Soulslinger: Envoy of Death. A FPS rouge-lite, Soulslinger sees players take on the role of Death’s (aka The Grim Reaper) main man with a mission to clean up limbo and take down the Cartel, a group of corrupt souls that are claiming the power of innocents to further their plans for the afterlife. Death, it seems, has little influence in limbo, which is why he requires you to take down this Cartel with extreme prejudice.  The Old West setting is, according to lore, a result of the memories of the Cartel’s leader and his growing influence on the realm of limbo.


Speaking of lore, Soulslinger is chock full of it. I would go so far as to say it is one of the more lore-heavy rogue-lites I have come across and I mean that in a good way. One of my favourite parts of the game is after each run learning more about how things work in the afterlife, limbo and the associated realms of the dead. There has been a lot of work put in on this side of things and while the dialogue sometimes lets things down (which could be a result of English being a second language) the concept and themes pulled me past those problems and had me genuinely intrigued as to what is going on at any point in time. 


The gameplay is classic arena shooter fodder with rogue-lite elements. Each area sees a host of baddies vie for the honour of killing you and should you survive you are rewarded with new powers, currency to purchase permanent upgrades between runs or stat boosts for the current run. Once an arena is complete, players will get the choice of a few different rooms to tackle, each one with a different reward. Rinse and repeat, with the occasional boss battle or store (manned by a charming pirate skeleton) to break things up. It is hardly a new concept, but one that has been done well here. 


The gunplay is super tight and the guns are satisfying to use. It is clear that developers took inspiration from games like Doom Eternal and while it isn’t quite as fluid as that (what is?) it is pretty darn close. The game also features an active reload system ala Gears of War, something that adds a bit more skill into the mix. There is a joy in dashing about, dropping powers and filling ghouls, skeletons and various other beasties with six barrels of lead. This however leads to my first criticism of the game as it stands and that is a lack of variety in the weapons. It takes way too long to open up new weapon options and even then they seem to be all variations on pistols or shotguns. Granted the Wild West setting does restrict things, but I would love to see the devs lean into the supernatural side of things as early access goes on and go a bit crazier with new weapon design. 


How things stand right now as far as length is concerned is quite respectable. There is quite a lengthy chapter to play through as well as the beginnings of the next chapter so there is tonnes to do. This is only helped by the rogue-lite nature of the game, which mixes up the level order so that no run is ever the same. Once again I think the developers should be looking at adding more variety to the level types because it doesn’t take long to see them all. I dare say this is the sort of thing that will be tackled as early access goes on. That said, the combat is enough to look past this issue right now and knowledge of each location actually helps players negotiate some of the tough encounters. 

As it stands, Soulslinger: Envoy of Death is off to an incredibly solid start. All the foundations are there for this to be an absolute banger. The combat is challenging and engaging and the setting is something that just begs players to dive in and explore. A general lack of variety is my main concern for the game right now, but honestly, I can’t see that not getting fixed as the game moves towards a full release. As it stands, if you are looking for some fast-paced FPS action, you could do a lot worse than Soulslinger and as such, I have no hesitation in saying that this is an Early Access title you can happily buy now. 


Soulslinger: Envoy of Death was played on PC in Early Access with code purchased by the writer. 

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