- Mute Your Game If You Are Playing The Witch
- Loot Everything
- Crafting Is Key
- Roguelite With Benefits
- Sanity Exists And Is Shared
- The Floor Is Lava…And Poison…And Spikey
- Equipment Is Powerful – Just Not Always For You
- Work Up From The Streets
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories 2 is a strange mix of action, horror, intrigue, and death. Following on from the pixelated goodness of the original, the sequel spices up everything from the visuals to the mechanics. It’s a wonderfully wholesome wander through iconic Lovecraftian locales interspersed with a healthy dose of betentacled goons and gribblies.
It’s also a Rogue-lite (kind of), and therefore, is hard as nails. Sprinkle a dash of mechanical ambiguity and you have yourself a recipe for bewilderment and confusion. Untold Stories 2 does not explain much, and it expects you to read tooltips and figure things out on your lonesome. It fits the theme at the very least.
Mute Your Game If You Are Playing The Witch
We placed this right up at number one because trust us, you will be driven mad (again, oddly fitting) the moment you graze your knee when playing as the Witch. The Witch is a powerful class – a traditional glass cannon – but her biggest drawback is the incessant screaming that emanates from her vocal cords when she takes damage.
When we say screaming, we mean full of nails on chalkboard screeching – borderline banshee levels. This is then played on repeat if you are under the influence of any DOT effect. Bearing in mind these can last for tens of seconds at a time. Go into your options and mute the whole game.
Unfortunately, you can’t mute voices specifically, so you will need to go in missing one of your main senses when playing the Witch.
Loot is important in most Roguelites. Whether that be new weapons, equipment, or some sort of consumable. Untold Stories 2 follows this trope quite closely but adds in an extra caveat – looting is one of the game's core pillars. As in, if you don’t loot everything that isn’t nailed down, you are going to have a bad time.
Each “Room” is littered with boxes, crates, chests, and all manner of item-stashing containers. We are talking up to 20-or-so boxes in some cases, and you are going to want to crack them all open. Even the most mundane of boxes can contain a game-changing item, but even if it doesn’t, the materials gained are just as important.
Crafting Is Key
That is because Crafting exists, and it exists as another of the core foundational pillars of Untold Stories. This game has combat – it has it in droves – but the game really wants you to fight smarter, not harder. Just about everything can be crafted, and honestly, most of it should be.
Healing, remedies, throwables, weapons, armour – the works. It is all craftable from an assortment of gubbins, and it will help you along the way. Healing alone is enough of a reason to heavily invest here, and being able to chug a bunch of medicinal liquids to stay alive is sometimes your best (and only) course of action.
Roguelite With Benefits
Not only that, but Untold Stories 2 is not even a full-blown Roguelite. It is incredibly forgiving in how it manages its progression system, and this further incentivises upgrading your arsenal and expanding your stash of first-aid kits. Each area in Untold Stories is essentially its own contained dungeon.
If you die, then you restart at the beginning of that “dungeon” with all of the gear you entered it with intact. You lose everything you found prior to death within that specific dungeon, but if you entered that place with 20 health kits and an assortment of guns, you will restart with all of those items ready to try again.
Sanity Exists And Is Shared
As is to be expected in a game based on the works of Lovecraft, Sanity is a mechanic that lingers in the background like an insidious, cosmic growth gnawing at your amygdala. Sanity exists mainly to be a pain in the rear, and does all kinds of things – the most prominent and immediately obvious is the desaturation of the game’s graphics. Oh and the tentacles. If you sanity gets too low, however, you instantly die.
What makes Sanity more of an annoyance, is that every character in the game shares Sanity. This means as one character slowly veers towards madness, they all do. On the flip side, positive Sanity is also shared. You can gain and lose Sanity in a variety of ways, but the most common will likely be through interacting with various NPCs in the early game. Later one, you can find powerful artefacts that restore your Sanity passively.
The Floor Is Lava…And Poison…And Spikey
Untold Stories 2 is a cluttered game. Every room is littered with intrusive and obstructive furniture and architecture. This alone makes fighting the Cthulian hordes a bit of a nightmare, but then you take a moment to actually look at the floor itself. It’s not a pretty picture.
Most rooms have all kinds of fluids and traps strewn about – especially as you progress through the game. These will all apply damage to you in a different way, and they all stack. This makes careful navigation an essential part of the game. Unfortunately, it is also one of the harder parts of the game since enemies will thrust you into a bit of a panic state.
Equipment Is Powerful – Just Not Always For You
Rare equipment drops are always exciting. It could be a new artefact or a new piece of armour. Heck, it could be a fancy new weapon, like a grenade launcher. The catch, however, is that there are six classes and for the most part, they don’t share equipment types.
This means you will often find equipment for a character you are not playing. In fact, you could find equipment for a character you haven’t unlocked, which is especially disappointing. Providing you survive an area you can always stash it for later use. You could even sell it for a pretty penny at one of the many vendors.
Work Up From The Streets
Right from the get-go Untold Stories 2 throws a bunch of potential directions at you. Each character has their own unique “trail” to follow, there are several side quests you immediately find, and then you have the Streets. The Streets lead to the Asylum, and this progression path is by far the easiest to work with.
The Streets have fewer enemies, more vendors, more healing items, and a distinct reduction in frustrating damage floors. You can, in theory, work through other areas first, but this would be a much harder route to take through the game. The Streets are a nice introduction to the game’s mechanics and help build up your collection of items, materials, and equipment before the game really opens up.
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