Necropolis, the indie rogue-like game from Harebrained Schemes, launched yesterday and it wasn’t really what I expected. Nevertheless, I did dive into the game and learned a few tricks that might come in handy so I’ll share them with you so maybe you don’t have to die so much in order to learn them.
1. Know your weapon
Some of the weapons in the game behave differently through varying attack speed and animations, reach, special attacks and damage. Because of this it is indicated to test each new weapon before going into serious combat with it. Knowing each weapon’s strengths and weaknesses will help tremendously. As the game allows two sets of weapons it is also highly recommended to alternate the weapon types to increase the usefulness of your loadout.
2. Manage your stamina
Like in Souls games, part of the combat is managing your stamina. Attacking, running, blocking or dodging will require a certain amount of stamina which will regenerate fairly quickly, the twist is that special attacks will decrease the maximum amount of stamina. The lost stamina can be replenished by consuming non-rotten food and certain potions. One should always pay attention to the stamina bar as being reckless not only costs more resources but can also lead to difficult combat situations.
3. Gravity is not a problem
Are you scared of heights? That won’t be a problem in the world of Necropolis where gravity still holds you to the ground but barely punishes for failed attempts to fly. There is hardly any fall damage in this game, even when falling from one level to another you will be safely teleported to your last location.
4. Test your enemies
There is a decent variety of enemies in Necropolis and while in the start most of them are quite easy to deal with, later on there are some trickier ones that can catch the players off guard. It’s always a good idea to force new enemies into attacking while safely dodging and blocking their attacks. This will reveal their set of moves and make it easier to deal with them without taking unnecessary damage or even risking death.
5. Friendly fire
In Necropolis, what can hurt you can hurt anybody, friend or foe. Enemies can damage each other as much as friends can kill one another in co-op (brace for PvP!). Always keep a safe distance from your friends and when focusing on the same target never attack at once. Play smart and use the friendly fire to your advantage by forcing the enemy groups into dealing friendly fire, there is no downside as there is no XP system and the loot will be the same.
6. Co-op is easy mode
The friendly fire might be scary, but co-op is still the easiest way to beat the game. Besides the obvious advantage of having an easier time beating enemies, the biggest perk of playing in co-op is that as long as one group member is alive the others can respawn and continue with the progress. But you shouldn’t take this for granted, the players who die and are not revived by the teammates will lose the gear which can be a severe blow as being outgeared can cause serious troubles. Move as a group, avoid friendly fire and try to resurrect your fallen teammates before is too late.
7. It’s a trap!
There isn’t a rogue-like games without traps and while not the most dangerous, the traps in this game can do some harm. Pay attention for pressure plates, fields of red crystals or even falling rocks as nothing good comes out of these areas.
Another common mechanic for rogue-like games are secrets and the procedurally generated world of Necropolis holds a few. You know those wannabe funny texts on the walls? Some of them hold not so funny jokes, but few of them can open secret pathways to rooms full of chests, so tolerate the jokes as there is potential for good loot behind them. Just walk to the wall, read the text and if there is a secret there the wall will move automatically.
The crafting system is uninspired but useful nonetheless. Manage your inventory space and when you have some spare time from fighting use the gathered resources crafting food and potions so you can keep going.
10. Beware of respawning enemies
Necropolis is a game that sometimes is too easy inducing a false feeling of confidence and safety that can lead to sudden death and a progress wipe. One feature that should always be taken into consideration is that enemies tend to respawn, so what was a cleared area where you could safely kite enemies can become a death trap. Don’t take the game lightly, it might be easier than advertised, but enemies can corner you and reset your progress.
11. Tasks for persistent points
The tasks system is nothing complex but it serves as part of the progression system. Each completed task awards persistent points that can be used in the current or future playthroughs. These points can be used to purchase new dyes and codexes which are persistent or they can be spent while exploring Necropolis to unlock gold chests which usually hold great treasures. Complete tasks and gather as many gems as possible, this way you will have a continuous flow of points to spend.
12. Memorize your keybinds
Yes, it’s true, the game doesn’t have rebindable keys so make sure you remember the default setup if you play with mouse or keyboard, otherwise you might get in trouble.
I hope these few tips and tricks will come in handy when venturing into Necropolis. The game isn’t as difficult as I imagined it, but mistakes are penalized and dying will get you back to square one, so it can be helpful to know a few things in advance.