Review: Titan Souls
Titan Souls started out as a Ludum Dare Game Jam project back in December 2013. That specific Game Jam followed a “You Only Get One” theme which resulted in a one life/one arrow mechanic for Titan Souls. The original game tasked you with hunting down and defeating four different titans. Over the past year and a half the game has now expanded to twenty titans and a few unlockable difficulty modes.
In Titan Souls you’re armed with a single arrow that you’ll need to use to take down each titan. Fitting with the “You Only Get One” theme is also the fact that both the titans and your character can only take one hit before dying. The result is a game filled with battles that requires you to be observant and quick with a bow. Titan Souls captures a very similar feeling to something like Shadow of the Colossus. Each fight is a puzzle in which you’ll need to figure out what the titan’s weakness is and how you’ll exploit it. Sometimes you’ll simply shoot the arrow at a weak spot, while other fights require a much more involved solution. There’s an early boss in the game where you’ll need to use fire to create a flaming arrow that’ll melt a protective block of ice around the titan. In this case, and many others, part of the difficulty isn’t just defeating the titan, but also figuring out how.
Each fight tends to be quick and most titans don’t give you a lot of time to stand still. There are times in which you might fire your arrow and miss. In this case you can simply run over to pick it up, or you can use a force-like ability to call the arrow back to you. I found that this added to possible strategies during particular fights. It’s possible to defeat titans with an arrow that’s returning to your hand allowing for alternate methods of victory.
After defeating four bosses Titan Souls opens up and allows for each of the remaining titans to be taken on in any order. The world is completely open and simply tasks you with defeating a set number of titans before proceeding to the final area. Titans are spread out across the map with groups of 2-3 located close together. (The forest area has two titans, snow area has three, etc.) This allows for checkpoints to be located close to each boss so that the run back after a death is never more than 5-10 seconds. I appreciate how fast you can get back to each boss, but I did find myself wishing for more light puzzle solving leading up to each area. There’s a specific titan in the game that you can only reach by using your arrow to light a series of torches to ultimately melt a sheet of ice. It’s a really cool and simple puzzle, but there’s only a couple things like it in the entire game. More puzzles, even really simple ones, would be nice to provide just a simple change of pace between fights.
I finished Titan Souls in a little over four hours while also missing a couple titans. (I also died well over 100 times if you’re curious.) Finishing the game unlocked Hard, Iron (One Life), and No Roll mode. Iron and No Roll can be stacked onto the Hard difficulty setting if you’re after a pretty crazy challenge. I doubt I’ll ever be good enough to do Iron Mode, but I like seeing additional challenges like that available for those who are brave enough.
Playing the original Game Jam version of Titan Souls left me wanting more. My dream that Titan Souls would grow into a full game has come true and the finished product is pretty much everything that I wanted it to be. Titan Souls is super fun, challenging, and rewarding in a way that not many games are. Also, shooting an arrow through a Yeti’s butt has never felt so great.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Controls great
- I love the art and soundtrack
- Overcoming each fight is super rewarding
- Traversing a large open world to track down each new titan
- Hard, Iron, No Roll modes
- Consistently great boss designs
What I Dislike:
- Wish there were more puzzles within the open world to break up the boss fights