Introduction, or, Does This Need to be a Guide
No. It doesn’t “need” to be a guide, but as I went through the game for the first time I kept finding myself plagued with more and more irritating questions poking at my brain. This guide is here as a self-answer for that, but also as a potential place for players to crowdsource how some of these mechanics even work (see: worms and “stomp mutation stoppage”).
Most of these points are things that players will learn on their own after hours of play and trial-and-error combat engagements, but this is all stuff I wish I knew before I dove into the game (I kept pausing and trying to look things up/re-reading tutorials as I went through the early game prison, trying to figure out wtf I was doing right or wrong).
Hopefully if there’s anyone who is like me and hasn’t played this yet or discerned these on their own (or has conflicting evidence) they can use this information for reference.
For new players, dodging feels a little unintuitive at first, clunky and slow. You get hit by dodged attacks and can’t figure out what’s going on.
1) To successfully dodge, you must be holding A or D in advance of an attack. When I say “in advance,” I mean more than a moment. There are no timing windows, and in fact, attempting to dodge by using non-existent timing windows you think may be there are the reason for the dodged attacks that hit you. If you attempt to dodge an attack right as it happens or just before it happens, Jacob will dodge, but still get clipped by the attack. I don’t know if this is intentional behavior or not. If you are holding A or D well in advance of an attack, you are guaranteed to dodge it. In my experience, I stopped get hit by dodged attacks after the first couple hours of the game, and played the rest of the game without this problem, by doing the above.
2) Dodge direction doesn’t matter. New players make the above mistake, and it immediately leads to this question as well. “Why did I get hit by an attack I dodged? I must have dodged in the wrong direction.” No, you didn’t, it was just the above “bug” occurring. It makes no difference whether you dodge left or right, regardless of attack direction. As long as you hold a dodge key well enough in advance, you’ll dodge it.
“What’s the point of blocking? Why is this a mechanic if I can just dodge?”
1) Blocking will not stop you from taking damage. If you can dodge an attack, it is better to do that than block, with the exception of #2 below. The damage you do take will be a small amount of chip damage, but they can still be sizeable chunks on the highest difficulty. You can upgrade your stun baton to reduce the amount of damage taken when blocking (unless you’re on the hardest difficulty there’s no reason to waste credits on this beyond Level 1, however).
2) You need to block if you want to trip an enemy. If you’re a perceptive new player, you’ll notice that there are a number of tutorials you can read on the main menu. A number of these describe mechanics that aren’t available to you yet (but they don’t mention that). One of these is a block counterattack, which you can unlock later. This allows you to strike an enemy’s legs immediately after blocking, dropping them to the ground.
3) Blocking must be used to prevent full damage from projectiles; see next section.
This is an empty placeholder section in case anyone has any questions about melee attack mechanics. Dodging and blocking has already been covered, but there shouldn’t be many/any vague or confusing melee attack mechanics.
Not much to explain here, guns are guns, you don’t start getting ammo drops for a certain gun until you own it (so if you want more ammo for weapons you actually want, do NOT obtain weapons other than ones you want to use). However:
“What is this quick swap tutorial? What is this switching mechanic? I don’t get it.” Yeah this tutorial sucks at explaining that you have two weapon “bases.” One base is a one-handed modular weapon platform, and the other one is a two handed one. You get the two handed one later. The quick swap refers to switching between the one-handed weapon and the two-handed weapon; it does not refer to switching from any given gun type to any other given gun type. Each of the platforms can only be holding one weapon type at a time, and quick swapping changes between those two. If you want to switch from a pistol to the Skunk gun, Jacob pulls the weapon type off the platform and puts the other weapon type on it.
This is just to clarify for those who, like me, saw that quick swap tutorial before it became actually relevant, and were baffled when pressing quick swap did absolutely nothing, along with how slowly it took to change weapons from hand cannon to skunk gun. It’s because you only have the one-handed platform for half the game.
1) Projectiles cannot be dodged. You can sidestep them, if you’re far enough away, but Jacob doesn’t enact a dodge when being shot at by projectile spit.
2) Projectiles must be blocked to avoid full damage. Not as good as sidestepping but often times that will not be a luxury (either you’re not far enough away, or Jacob will perform a dodge while being melee attacking by a second enemy, which keeps you in place as you perform it, allowing you to be hit with the projectile).
3) You can block worm leaps, but this seems unreliable. I’ve done some testing and can’t get it to work half the time. Other than trying to shoot them before they leap or see you, I haven’t found any reliable way to deal with worms (and shooting isn’t always reliable either, because that only works if you can react, aim and shoot fast enough to something small that is visibly on the screen). If anyone has any foolproof methods of dealing with these things to prevent their “latching on” attack, comment below. Half the time it appears the worms just bypass the block, and the other half the time they pop on contact (which appears to do more damage than it should, so again, I can’t tell if I actually did block this successfully, or if worms have a kamikaze mechanic I just don’t know about).
1) Ignore the game tutorials on this. The GRP does not “slowly recharge,” which implies that it gradually refills over time at a slow rate. Instead, what happens is that the GRP will fully refill itself after a certain length of time. Basically, once you stop using GRP, the cooldown begins, and when that’s over, you get all your energy back. The upgrades for the GRP reduce this cooldown time. I repeat, the tutorial is lying to you.
2) Energy expenditure goes from low, medium, and high for object, normal enemies, and large enemies respectively. Firing something takes a chunk of energy (depending on which of the three classes of object I just listed) while holding something drains the GRP. Holding an object takes a very tiny amount of energy over time, you can hold it for a very long time. Holding a normal enemy will drain energy at a substantial rate. Holding a large enemy will drain energy at a horrifying speed, and can easily kill your battery with a non-upgraded GRP, so if you’re going to attempt throwing a large enemy (e.g. the tall spitter), grab it and throw it as fast as possible. If you wish to conserve energy but still want to deal with those enemies specifically, either shoot their heads off, or pull them in and drop them in front of you so you can melee them/shoot their face.
3) No, at no point do you unlock the ability to slow time.
Literally just shoot the tentacles.
“There doesn’t even need to be a section for this” I hear you say, and you’d be right except for whatever mysterious nonsense the ingame tutorial is referencing:
Stomp on a downed enemy to prevent them from mutating further and attacking again.
What does this mean? Who in the hell knows. But whatever they’re talking about, it doesn’t appear to work or simply isn’t a feasible solution to anything; I’ve tried multiple times. Just don’t bother trying this or go out of your way to do it; if you see tentacles, shoot them. It’s an instant kill most, if not all, of the time, and you generally have plenty of ammo.
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