We all played Salt and Sanctuary, right? It was a solid two-dimensional 'Soulsborne' style action RPG, with a high difficulty level but a strong sense of balance and consistent feeling of progress. Enthusiasm, then, was somewhat prevalent for this sequel, Salt and Sacrifice. Unfortunately, we're a little disappointed with this offering, while still ultimately acknowledging that it's a pretty good time.

See, this second instalment offers a new feature — Mage Hunts. This adds some Monster Hunter special sauce to the double quarter pounder that is Salt and Sacrifice, and that sauce won't be to everybody's taste. You'll need to gather resources to summon Mages, chase down said Mages and murderlise 'em. If you fail and they, instead, murderlise you, they'll disappear from the map and the stuff you used to make them appear in the first place will be lost.

That's risk/reward, sure, but it's a rather arbitrary take on it. The structure has changed, too, with a focus on Demon's Souls-style discrete areas rather than one huge interconnected map, so getting around is no longer as breezy as it used to be — no teleporting to obelisks here. It's a grind by design, but not always the fun sort of grind.

It's a shame, because so much of what's here is still so enjoyable. The combat is intense, challenging and varied, with a huge number of enemy types to battle against. You've got a ton of weapon options to tailor your build, and the capacity to level up seemingly hundreds of different stats in order to bring the fight to the Mages. It's just that those fights can be so unfair and one-sided due to the more random elements that can throw a spanner in the works. A brave attempt at something new, yes, but ultimately misguided.