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Soulmask Early Access Review – Expansive Survival RPG

Soulmask is a new co-op sandbox survival builder that fuses RPG elements and a tribe-building mechanic. The game has been developed by Campfire Studio and published by Qooland Games, releasing on Steam early access on May 31 and revolves around the mystery of the titular Soulmasks. I highly recommend you play the game co-op with a group of mates as there are elements of Valheim and Enshrouded, but you can also have a great time playing solo as you can recruit followers to help hunt with you or to automate gathering and building.

The Soulmasks are more than just creepy artifacts and there are different soulmasks you can wear that give different skills to specialise in. If you come across a npc that has a skill that you want, you can possess and take over their bodies to gain their mask. The Civilization Mask offers a playstyle centred around defence and building a strong base, while the Conquest Mask empowers stealth and subterfuge. This variety caters to different playstyles. Do you want to be a brutal warrior leading your tribe from the frontlines, a cunning strategist manipulating followers from the shadows, or a scholar unravelling the secrets of the world? Soulmask allows you to forge your own path.

The world of Soulmask is vast and brimming with secrets begging to be unearthed. In this respect it felt like playing Enshrouded but with a more tribal and jungle feel. You will venture into hidden ruins, battle formidable bosses, and piece together the mysteries surrounding the Soulmasks themselves. This constant sense of discovery keeps gameplay engaging and fuels the desire to push further into the world.

Soulmask throws a lot of information at you from the outset and there is a constant stream of tutorial prompts for you to read into. The game currently provides 8 different styles of weapons and 75 different supporting combat skills and special action modules. I started to read each tutorial entry to try gain a full understanding as I learned, but in the end, it was getting to be too much info, and I generally like just trying things to see if they work. The game certainly rewards perseverance and experimentation.

There’s always something new to find, a hidden nook or a powerful artifact waiting to be discovered. The lore snippets scattered throughout the world add another layer of intrigue, rewarding players who piece together the fragmented history of this mysterious land. You’ll need to contend with the unforgiving wilderness, from hunting for food and gathering resources to building shelter and braving the harsh elements.

The crafting system is a deep rabbit hole for those who enjoy tinkering with various ingredients that you find in your travels. It allows you to create a vast array of tools, weapons, and armour to overcome the challenges that nature throws your way. This system caters to players who enjoy the meticulous planning and resource management aspects of survival games.

You aren’t alone in your struggle for survival. Soulmask allows you to recruit followers, each with their own skillsets and specialisations. You can specialize your tribe for combat, focus on automating resource gathering, or create a well-rounded mix for balanced village development and expansion. Effectively managing your followers and assigning them tasks becomes an integral part of building a thriving tribal community. As your tribe grows, you’ll unlock new structures and advancements, creating a sense of progression and accomplishment.

The game currently supports offline single player or online multiplayer of up to 50 players on official servers. You may also establish your own LAN host or private server while inviting others to join. On private, non-official servers, you can customise numerous parameters to tailor the gaming experience to your own preferences so that you and your friends can explore the rich world of Soulmask at your own pace.

So far there is plenty of content to discover in Soulmask and despite being in early access, offers a unique blend of survival, RPG, and base-building mechanics that runs relatively smoothly. The soulmask system combined with follower management creates a unique gameplay loop that rewards you as you explore further and grow your tribe. The world is highly detailed and begs you to explore every corner and is especially engaging for players who enjoy a deep challenge and the satisfaction of rich crafting system.

This review utilised a key provided by Renaissance PR and Soulmask is out now on Steam early access.


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