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Three additional games added to the (low end of the) list:

Blasphemous - I initially quite liked the combat because it was fairly Souls-like - you have to learn each enemy type's attack patterns otherwise you'll get seriously punished. I also quite liked the tone of the game and some of the themes. Unfortunately I really couldn't get past the pixelated graphics and over-abundance of platforming, so I drifted away and stopped playing.

Hollow Knight - Has the advantage of being an indie title that doesn't lean on pixel graphics to get past budgetary constraints and lack of dev talent, so it's fine to look at. It also has a certain charm, but not as much of one as many make out.

I can see why it's only vaguely considered a Souls-like. And, unfortunately, the parts of the Souls series that it doesn't make use of are some of key reasons I actually enjoy Souls-likes. Namely Souls from defeated enemies being used to upgrade and customise your character. Instead Souls in Hollow Knight are mainly used to purchase QoL improvements, such as the map actually showing where your character is, or where save points you've visited were located. 

I've only played it for 4 hours but I'm not sure if I'll return to it, I'm getting kind of tired of the Metroidvania gameplay loop (new area, same platforming challenges with a new element thrown in, fight same enemy types with different skins, backtrack to old areas to use newly acquired ability).

Remnant: From the Ashes - I was quite looking forward to this because it came out of nowhere last year and received a lot of praise. I can also see how a shooter Souls-like could work. I don't think this one does though; the combat feels so stiff and slow. It reminded me of Immortal: Unchained, which got a pasting from critics and players.

Last edited by Machina - on 22 January 2020