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Have a good death Allow me to hone my way to making a difficult game more accessible

I really enjoyed my first few hours with Have a happy death. Roguelike 2D platform launched in Early Access on Steamand its morbidly seductive adventure proved to be a delightful challenge.

Have a Nice Death sees you as the righteous Death. He was exhausted and desperately in need of a vacation but couldn’t manage to complete all the paperwork that needed to be done. In the end, he gets irritated, angry when subordinates refuse to care about him, and all the extra work their uninteresting nature is causing. Deciding that he was overdue for some respect, Death embarked on an assault through various parts of Death, Inc. to remind those who lacked him who was really responsible.

Now playing: There is a good death reveal trailer | Game Awards 2021

Naturally, I don’t think this setup is anything to really write home about. Have a Nice Death doesn’t seem to gain any narrative depth beyond the simple messages that “crunch is bad” and “burnout is unhealthy.” Content matters, but the early hours of the game are more concerned with inviting you into its captivating world. Despite the dark nature of the story, Have a Nice Death considers the situation to be a case of “business as usual” and that these characters are simply your office workers trying their best. to pass the day.

In theory, I shouldn’t be a huge fan of Have a Nice Death. I don’t really like roguelikes, despite dropping some ungainly hours on Hades. The evolving story and incredible characters are what convinced me to persevere through the challenging gameplay loop of the Supergiant game, and despite the Have a Nice Death being implemented alike storytelling devices, they don’t quite reach the same heights. Instead, Have a Nice Death appealed to me by making the loop of a roguelike more accessible.

Like most video games, the overall goal of Have a Nice Death is to complete a perfect lap – completing every available level in a single session. Failing that, you’ll have to start over without all the fancy weapons and items you found on your last run, although there are permanent abilities connected to the three skill tree that you can unlock to make the next runs a little easier.

In addition to that skill tree, Have a Nice Death features ways to permanently improve Death’s arsenal and survivability with new weapons and health items. You buy these upgrades with ingots, which can be found along the way and earned by killing enemies.

Early on, the prices to unlock these new weapons and health items are quite high. For example, unlocking Shake Spear costs a whopping 105 ingots to start (you’ll usually only get 10 or so on a run if you’re stuck in the first area of ​​the game). But Have a Nice Death incorporates a challenge system into its upgrades. Kill 15 random enemies throughout the game (a very easy target) and the price of that weapon is reduced by 25%. Kill 15 more enemies and it drops even more. Once you have killed 50 enemies, the price will be discounted to one ingot. So even if you don’t finish Have a Nice Death on your first, second, or third run, the act of simply killing an enemy on those first attempts increases the odds that you can purchase this permanent upgrade.

All upgrades are tied to challenges that allow you to get discounts and speed up the process of purchasing more powerful weapons and healing items. Some missions let you kill with a specific weapon, while others require you to find a way to deal massive amounts of damage with a weaker weapon, or reach an area or overcome a multiple boss. time.

Because of this, I’m actually spending the first dozen or so times of Have a Nice Death striving to complete smaller goals – one that’s much more achievable than “beat every level and Mandatory boss in one run.” I’ll get through that challenge eventually, but for now, I’m content with simply getting stronger and seeing how my efforts are contributing to me doing a little better. in those early levels.

And yes, a lot of roguelikes split their seemingly insurmountable goal of defeating them into more manageable quests–Dead cells features metroidvania elements that let you chase small upgrades that make it easier to get through parts of the game, and Hades has episodic stories tied to each of the main characters that you can pursue while trying Escape from the underworld. But Have a Nice Death is a novel about how it allows you to see what you are striving for. From the shop menu, you can see the weapons and health items you’re aiming for before trying to buy them, allowing you to determine if they’re worth pursuing. It respects my time.

And now, in just a few hours, I’ve mastered enemy and boss attack patterns and am discovering new strategies by following the challenge’s instructions rather than experimenting alone. I absolutely couldn’t get through all of the early zones without taking a single hit, but I’ve gotten close to it a few times now just because I’m encouraged to try different playstyles and discover which works for me. suits me.

All that said, my efforts don’t make Have a Nice Death easy. While they certainly have taken on the difficult task of defeating it it seems more seems reasonable, it’s still a pretty tough game. In a chat with GameSpot, lead game designer Simon Dutertre compared the process of playing Have a Nice Death to climbing a mountain. In my experience, that seems like a fitting comparison – Have a Nice Death incorporates some punishment systems that take a while to understand. For example, taking damage not only reduces your health, but can also lower your max HP, making it impossible for you to fully recover if you’re not careful. This seems to be a game that wants you to play near perfection throughout the first half for a fighting chance to get through the second. Normally that’s too much of an order for me, but the challenge-based upgrade system is making the quest seem viable enough that I’m willing to give it a try.

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