Came back to this game after a long break. The last time I’ve played it was still in early access. Most changes that I’ve seen so far are pretty great. The game seems to be in a lot better spot than it was back then. I thought I’d however make a few observations and nitpicks again based on my experiences so far in this current build of the game. I do want to say that I love the game and most stuff in it is very enjoyable at the moment!
First off, Bandit. I love the guy. Kudos for managing to bring in a survivor that has immediately become my favorite thanks to his skills, mechanics and just being plain stylish. There is however one thing that kinda rubs me the wrong way at the moment and that is Burst vs Blast, or shotgun and rifle as I’ll call them for the rest of the post. Specifically the rifles recoil makes it a very undesirable and unfun pick for a primary, at least for me.
What the rifle brings on the table is pinpoint accuracy, long range (no damage falloff). But when you try to make any kind of use of the high fire rate the bullets go anywhere except for where you’re pointing. Funnily enough this makes the shotgun about as strong of a choise at the common mid to mid-longish ranges as it’s spread is quite tight and the damage fall-off isn’t that bad. Kind of just leaves the rifle with the advantage of taking shots at super distant enemies which is not a very common occurrence and even then not necessarily all that useful. Heck, you can be at close range and if you try to fire the rifle fast you’re likely to miss 2 or even 3 shots, with the first one obviously going exactly where planned.
The lower base damage of the rifle in closer ranges and the fact that quite a few items are overall better with the shotty is quite a fair trade off without the abysmal recoil ruining what the rifle has got going for it. I really wish the rifles recoil got looked at as the pick between these 2 weapons doesn’t seem to be very even at the moment at all but also the rifle is just not very fun to play with currently, at least for me.
It’s an elaborate balance because if all the shots while rapidly fired were pinpoint accurate, that would be problematic but it feels too severe right now.
As I said, I love playing as the guy. Just not with the rifle. I want to like it but it’s so awkward to use at the moment.
(Also the recoil signaling brackets around the crosshair are a quite “noisy” for a lack of a better word, they’re quite distracting. I wouldn’t mind them simply not existing at all and just having the dot crosshair.)
Also I feel like Desperado is slightly overshadowed by Lights out, although not quite to the point of shotgun vs rifle. If the rifle was more reliable I feel like it might give Desperado a little bit of a boost as well without doing anything to the skill itself. LO has a lot of utility on its side but being less reliant on it for killing weak and/or distant targets, especially in early game, could make Desperado stacking a bit more desirable without touching the skill itself in any way.
For some other things
The difference in loot in stages seems to be a bit off. I’m not sure if this is true or if it’s just a feeling but what I mean by that is that, for example, when comparing the different options that you can get for stage 4, Abyssal Depths seems to have way more lootables than the other options. For stage 2, Aqueducts got 2 free bands which are really good and for some reason can be picked up every time even after the initial unlock challenge if you get decent button RNG allowing you in while solo (or if you play a survivor that can just activate them naturally). In coop the stage is just head and shoulders above wetlands because of the guaranteed bands. I wouldn’t mind a random uncommon for killing the E.Lemurians but this is a bit much IMO.
Void fields is all sorts of silly. The in-game timer and difficulty scaling stops once you go in so it’s practically just feeding you 9 free items including a guaranteed legendary. Some sweet free early exp too. Going in after stage 1 means the game is super easy on at least stages 2 and 3 and you’ve got a major advantage with no downsides for the rest of the run. Going into void fields is practically a no brainer choise. Another one of its problems for me is that it’s just plain dull and boring. It takes like 12-14 minutes to clear it which is a pretty long time in this game. Every cell you’re probably going to stop and stand still for a bit to heal back to full which adds more downtime to it too. You have to clear 9 cells which is honestly a bit absurd when I tend to get bored by the time I’m dealing with the 4th or 5th. I’ve started to hate the place but going in is so valuable that there’s just no way I wouldn’t if I’m aiming for a victory. I REALLY wish that the place was shorter and not quite as valuable as it is. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if it just rewarded you with 5 lunar coins instead or at the very least had the game timer still running so going in would have an actual trade off instead of just being free loot.
Also it’s not very nice when you go through all that trouble and then you the enemies get tesla coil as their final item because that’s just GG, ain’t nothing I’ve found I can do about that. That one is probably even worse than it already is if you’re on a melee survivor.
The final stage is kinda bad, I’m sorry to say. The spawn in and walking to the stage proper and seeing it opening before your eyes for the first time? OK. Every single time after I’ve just been questioning why it forces such a long downtime on you at the beginning of the stage there. That long ass hallway all the way up until the escape pod and the bridge beyond it is completely pointless.
The final boss is kinda cool although I do wish he had 1 or 2 more moves for variety. That said why is the arena designed in such a way as it is? You can stand on one of those bridges and he’ll just keep swinging on thin air below you. Feels a bit weird that you can cheese the boss by simply walking up any of the several ramps that are placed around the stage. I know the bosses in this game aren’t supposed to be super elaborate or anything but it’s a bit of a disappointment when the biggest threat in this 4 phase fight is the flying adds in phase 2 and 3 and the fact that the bosses only dangerous move tends to straight up one shot if it hits you.
The last thing I’d like to say for now is that the game could use some more basic enemy types. A little more enemy variety probably wouldn’t hurt the game.
Anyways, that’s it for now. Games great overall and I’m looking forward to the expansion so keep up the good work.