Soundfall has no right to be as good as it is. Sure, it's not flawless, but nobody in their right mind can expect perfection from a game that's essentially a mashup of action-RPG combat from games like Diablo or Torchlight with rhythm-action components that require everything to be done in sync with the varied music.
Neither does it come from a studio's first gig. This beat-matching beatdown is the Epic graduates of small indie firm Drastic Games' debut game, but the game's sense of style and general polish is quite suggestive given the team's past expertise.
Soundfall is a game that brings its wild concepts to life, makes its limited resources work for it, and, most all, serves as a novel combination of established gaming types that culminates in something altogether unique.
Story and Gameplay of Soundfall
Soundfall's premise is relatively straightforward, recounting the story of Melody, an ambitious young musician. She has inexplicably whisked away to the mythical land of Symphonia, the origin of all music for the globe. So, yep, Soundfall is an isekai.
Melody's simple wish to return home entangles her in defending music itself from the Discordians. The latter wants corrupt it and prevent it from reaching the broader world, with numerous familiar names appearing along the way to create an unexpected supergroup entrusted with rescuing music as we know it.
Sure, it's cheesy, but it works, and it even serves as a clever explanation for why the soundtrack is full of artists and songs you've probably never heard of before. The 150-odd songs in the game are essentially infants being listened to for the first time by Melody and pals, so it makes sense.
It's also a great way to find new music, which is one of the low-key delights of any rhythm game, and I've lost count of how many incredible bands I've discovered thanks to games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Soundfall has the same uplifting impact of introducing gamers to fresh talent, and a few new names have joined my listening rotation since I began playing the game.
Proceeding with that topical achievement, Soundfall is additionally incredibly savvy about how it handles its tunes. The story is separated into an excursion through ten specific areas across Symphonia, and each has its good, clear line of sight and sonic character. The magma-soaked Volcano area, for example, is where you'll find the chugging guitars and snarling vocals of the game's stone and metal tracks.
Likewise, the neon city is fueled by vigorous electronica, while the lovely moving fields and fields are joined by diving instrumental pieces and folky acoustic energies.
Far and away superior, the group cunningly stirs up every ten-track trip through a section by offering a couple of extra missions that let you plunge into different regions (and likewise other melodic classes) to hold the soundtrack back from getting old.
Furthermore, it doesn't stop there either, with music style directing the sorts of adversaries and dangers that will populate the level and what kinds of loot will be accessible. At last, you can go off-menu whenever to play any melody you like, with the entire soundtrack playable from the off through a quick play menu.