Terrible title puns aside, Diatomic Games’ Sword With Sauce is a (currently) alpha / early access title that squeezes a lot of fun into it’s tiny price tag.
While entirely lacking any sense of context, story or character, Sword With Sauce sets out immediately to accomplish what it aims to; creating something akin to a Hitman game coupled with Spy vs. Spy destructive gadgetry. To lump it in with Hitman however seems to do little justice to this indie game, as though sharing in concept on many levels, Sword with Sauce presents an entirely different experience, opting for a more abstract, arguably lighthearted game environment.
Sword With Sauce presents itself as something akin to a sandbox combat sim; as the player you are spawned in a minimalist environment crawling with enemies with a few different loadouts. Your objective is simple, kill or be killed, with a modifier or two depending on the game mode. I’d be inclined to argue that it is this simplicity that manages to make Sword with Sauce so enjoyable to play, it is totally devoid of pretense or veneer, instead focusing on making gameplay dynamic and enjoyable.
And by heck, Diatomic Games do this well. Combat is speedy, unpredictable and chaotic, but somehow calm and efficient too. Depending on how you decide to play a level, you could go from hacking an enemy to pieces in one room to gassing a small army in the next. The variety of weapons and gadgets serves to add to this joy in combat, as the various different weapons allow for many play styles and accommodate all tastes. Whether you like to play sleeper and rig a map full of traps, or you’d rather roll out with a shotgun and a load out of explosives, Sword With Sauce gives you the tools for the job.
At the moment gameplay is limited to four stages and a couple of dozen weapons / tools, however that is more than enough to unlock the potential of this neat indie title. Due to the erratic AI and varying play styles, playing doesn’t seem to cease being interesting in a short space of time.
As yet my only issue is the visuals of the game, which while aiming to be minimalist, appear a little drab. Looking a little like SUPERHOT without the pizzazz or the particles,Sword With Sauce sports visuals that aren’t exactly exciting. But hey, the game runs very nicely on a four year old laptop that wasn’t hugely beefy when it was released, so I’m certainly not complaining.
In short, if digital killing in many different ways is your thing, and you have a hankering to throw down $3 on something worth far more, check out Sword With Sauce and support this great indie gem.