On the surface, Sakuna of Rice and Ruin looks like just another 2D action platformer, but it might turn out to be way more than that.
We got our hands on Sakuna of Rice and Ruin at Xseed/Marvelous’ E3 booth. Aside from seemingly robust action gameplay, the game also has some farming simulation mechanics that are set to make the game unique. Unfortunately, the demo we played didn’t feature any of that, but it was nice to get a feel of the game’s sidescrolling controls.
The demo at E3 puts Sakuna in a forest, with the simple goal of getting to the end. The feeling was very much reminiscent of Dust: An Elysian Tail, as it had solid platforming and a combat system that was easy to pick up. You have both a short weak attack that’s easy to combo off of, and a stronger scythe attack that you can use to begin or end a combo with. In addition, a tap of the shoulder button allows you to lasso out and put yourself at the back of an enemy to either attack from behind or use as a defensive maneuver. This same lasso ability also allows Sakuna to latch onto walls or parts of the ceiling in trickier platforming situations.
After a short while we were treated to a short boss fight against a giant toad. It was simple, aside from just lassoing to put yourself in a more advantageous position to strike at the toad, there were also boils filled with fire that you can attack and work up some massive damage.
After beating the frog, the demo ended before reminding us of the game’s 2018 release.