Have a Nice Death: tried the Early Access of a rogue-lite in which we are Death itself

Have a Nice Death: tried the Early Access of a rogue-lite in which we are Death itself

Have a Nice Death

Have a Nice Death is finally available in Early Access on Steam. We are talking about a rogue-lite that over the last few months has attracted the attention of fans of the genre and also ours, which we have proposed a dedicated preview. Now that we have been able to try it firsthand, we can tell you what our first impressions of this version of the game are.

To find out all the details, continue reading our Have a Nice Death tried.

Death returns

Death goes downstairs to clean up Let's start with the context. We are Death, the mighty entity from beyond that has been mowing down the souls of mortals for a long, long time. After a while, you get bored and fatigued, so Death has a good idea: expand their business, hire some assistants and leave the field work to them. Death Inc., however, grows more and more and the bureaucracy becomes overwhelming, so overwhelming that it prevents the Grim Reaper from doing anything but stamping papers.

The mighty Death, now, has become a tiny creature, who even struggles to get to his desk from his chair. The company is now in a pitiful state, with subordinates who exploit the indolence of the garment to make good and bad weather. Death, however, has had enough and decides to take back the hood and the scythe to put his employees back in line.

This is how our journey begins, with a comic and ironic slant. Have a Nice Death offers us a large company full of employees, some loyal to Death, others a little less. However, everyone is not particularly afraid of the boss and only thinks about doing (or not doing, in some cases) their job, worrying about deadlines, paperwork, complaints, budget reviews and union meetings.

Don't expect a storyline, not even one a la Hades, but be prepared for a small and pleasant group of characters who will have a few comments from game to game about the way we run the company and what happened to us (especially on our defeats against the various bosses). For the moment the game is not complete and it is only a preliminary test, but we already feel like saying that we are not faced with a dominant component in the overall experience.

Characters and dialogues only serve to do some context and appreciate the hard work of Death, mistreated by everyone, but it's not the fuel that drives Have a Nice Death.

Level structure

The levels of Have a Nice Death are a succession of encounters with enemies Have a Nice Death is a rogue-lite, as mentioned, a genre that focuses first of all on gameplay and on a fast and satisfying loop marked by defeats, upgrades and new attempts.

Structurally Have a Nice Death is not particularly original and follows the canons made famous by Dead Cells. In each game we will get a certain amount of gold bars based on our performance (number of enemies defeated, bosses eliminated, coins earned ...). These will be our fundamental currency to expand the number of offensive and defensive instruments between games. The interesting part is linked to the fact that each prize has an initial cost that can be discounted (at various levels, up to -95%) if you complete a series of objectives. We talk about challenges like eliminating enemies and bosses, reaching new areas, collecting coins and so on.

This is an interesting way for players to feel an advancement and progress with each game. push them to test themselves more and more so as to obtain discounts on new items and thus be able to save their bars. However, if you find yourself in trouble, you could easily spend larger sums to make sure that a powerful item is added to the list of weapons found in-game. Skill is then rewarded, but no limit is imposed on those who are less capable and need some extra help. Furthermore, in a few hours, it is possible to accumulate large quantities of ingots, so we do not believe that there will be problems for any type of player in unlocking new weapons.

This freedom in choosing how to buy upgrades goes to hand in hand with the freedom of exploration. Have a Nice Death is divided into "regions", ie areas with a specific graphic theme (such as offices or a landfill) which are themselves divided into a predefined number of levels. Each time we move on to the next one, we can decide which floor to go down to (the movements take place with Death's personal elevator). More precisely, we can choose what kind of level to stop: we can opt for areas that will give us weapons to use in combat, or an area where you can find upgrades to life or mana, or areas full of animes, the base currency of each game.

One of the bosses of Have a Nice Death The choice of the area is important both in the immediate and in the long term. There are areas, such as the shop or some kind of forge, which allow you to upgrade your weapons or purchase healing. To do this, however, you need to have coins or even a "Prismium" (a rare currency with various functions). If you want to take advantage of these possibilities, you will therefore have to take advantage of every opportunity to go to areas where you can find the aforementioned currencies. At the same time, don't forget to walk around areas where you can find combat resources.

You need to find the right balance and adapt to your needs as you advance. The most random part of each run seems to be the amount of healing gained by enemies. In fact, there have been games, in Have a Nice Death, during which we seemed to find just a couple of cures, while in others we were submerged in a short time (even having to throw some of them, because there is a maximum number of cures transportable). Randomness is a classic factor in rogue-lite and we may have had more (un) luck than we should in several of our games, but overall we would like a more regular structure. In fact, the enemies become quite strong and the management of life points is somewhat "aggressive".

Life, weapons and magic

There are various types of attacks in Have a Nice Death In Have a In fact, Nice Death we will not only have to worry about lost life points, but also about those lost in a semi-definitive way. In fact, you must know that with each blow immediately the maximum life will decrease, not only the effective one. We will therefore be able to find ourselves with a -30% maximum life and, even if we have various cures, we will not be able to return to 100% unless we obtain rare resources. There are in fact some cures that allow to regain even the lost life in a semi-definitive way, but it cannot be taken for granted to find them. The meaning of this mechanism is to push players not to rely too much on cures, even if you are lucky and get several.

Have a Nice Death therefore pushes us to play wisely, making the most of our offensive resources and above all playing defensively. Combat relies heavily on the ability to stun enemies and keep them from attacking. Light enemies can be blocked with a few scythe shots and, if pressed, fall before they have even dealt a blow, but the heavier ones have remarkable resilience and must be avoided at all costs. Considering then that there are always enemies who strike from a distance, mixed with those who attack hand-to-hand, it is essential to attack in an organized way, without pressing in bulk on the attack keys.

Dodging is also quick and makes you invulnerable, but there is a cooldown before you can perform a second one, which prevents us from sprinting left and right at random hoping to avoid all enemy shots by pure luck.

Another boss from Have a Nice Death To our rescue, to get rid of the most powerful enemies or entire groups quickly, come the extra weapons and spells. In each match, we will be able to carry a maximum of two offensive tools with us. We are talking about hammers, swords, throwing knives, bows, but also fireballs, short range explosions, stun waves, dark hands that attract enemies and so on. We will be able to unlock several and they will be very powerful, often essential to survive, since the scythe in its basic format will soon become too weak (as already mentioned, it can be enhanced, also changing the moveset).

The disadvantage of other weapons is that they consume mana (which recharges on its own) or have a cooldown, so they can't normally be used on a fast repetition. The scythe must always be our main companion. Already now there is a good variety of moves and attacks, especially considering that Death also has a special attack that varies depending on the weapon chosen to execute it.

Choosing weapons and using them is fun and always makes combat satisfying. Controller in hand, Have a Nice Death works, also thanks to the possibility of using various combos of the scythe (uphill, falling, area around us ...). You always have the impression that you are in control of the situation and that every death is our fault, not the game's.

Some doubts

The scythe also changes moveset if enhanced, in Have a Nice Death Of all Death's abilities, we didn't appreciate the Charged Scythe Attack too much: it's a powerful move, but it requires you to stand still and exposed against enemies, which is always a bad idea. It can only be used on rare occasions safely, so we tend not to just use it. Making it more useful might be a good idea.

Have a Nice Death also has another trick up its sleeve. In every game, on a regular basis in the levels and after the bosses, it is possible to find a shady figure ready to give us an upgrade of our choice, among three. Accumulating too many upgrades of a certain category, however, will at some point cause the obligation to also accept a curse, which makes certain enemies stronger for example. These bonuses allow you to create even some small synergy: nothing exceptional, also because sometimes there are only bonuses that can also be obtained in other ways (such as more life or coins).

In the full version, we would like to see some 'more than particular abilities that allow you to modify the behavior of weapons or apply particular effects and able to achieve combos. We are reminded of Dandy Ace's attack customization system as an example.

We want to comment on the levels next. While the freedom of exploration is pleasant, as mentioned at the beginning, most of the levels in the various areas are all too linear in exploration and many areas are anonymous. There are often closed challenge arenas, with enemies coming in waves: these are designed to allow us to exploit the environment and are pleasant. The "common" areas, on the other hand, are just empty places with some enemies inside and offer little if any possibility of approach. Furthermore, the levels are few and after a couple of hours we have already memorized the structures of the first regions. We hope that the full game will expand this component.

As for the visual side, even though we know that it will also depend a little on your tastes, we must admit that we would have preferred a bit of chromatic variety. The gray palette, even if occasionally stained with some more intense color, quickly bored us: it's a shame, because the hand-drawn environments are full of details and elements, even in movement, but they tend to get a little confused. too much in the background (but at least on the screen there is rarely chaos, since the enemies stand out easily). We appreciate the music management instead, which loses a spin when we are hit: it is a good way to give feedback to the player.

Finally, we would like to point out that as Early Access the game is not yet perfect. In addition to some text not translated into Italian, there are small inaccuracies in the levels, with (rare) points in which Death can get stuck (just a jump to free himself, but it could take a second too long to understand it and receive a punch in the face from an enemy). Nothing too serious, mind you, especially considering that the frame rate does not give problems.

Have a Nice Death offers a convincing Early Access and with already a good amount of content to unlock. It is not very original and some components, such as the level structure, would deserve an expansion and some improvements, but there will be time for those over the months. Those who want to get closer to the genre, however, would do better to wait. There are many more original complete rogue-lites than this one and for the moment Have a Nice Death is far from surpassing them in quality and quantity of content. Hardcore fans, on the other hand, will find a game to their taste and may want to support the team right now. We'll have to see how the game evolves over the months, but for the moment the first impressions of the controller in hand are on average positive.


Pleasant exploratory freedom Combat invites you to think before attacking and dodging DOUBTS The individual levels are few and structurally improvable We will have to see how much and how it evolves during the Derivative Early Access in various components, in a market full of masterpieces of the same genre. Have you noticed errors?

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