Some Strategies to Get You Started
Pascal’s Wager dropped on to Google Play this month providing gamers with a long-sought-after souls-like RPG. What’s more, it is a Souls-like that sings. In terms of production values and gameplay, Pascal offers a genuinely engaging and immersive experience. It’s also looking a lot like one of the best Android games of the year. However, like its lofty progenitor, it is not a forgiving game. It is, as you no doubt imagine, difficult to say the least. Yet, as with so many of life’s more pressing challenges, Hardcore Droid has got your back. In this case we’re brushing you off and sending you back into the fight with a handful of tips and tricks for Pascal’s Wager to help you keep your wind and feet when the going gets tough. And it will get tough.
Like its seminal progenitor, the meat of Pascal’s Wager is in the fight and the fighting is brutal. Your starting character, Terrence, is a dual wielder, with two main attacks and lines of defense. His rapier offers a quick stab, while his broad sword allows for a long-winded heavy attack. Also, as you level up, you can boost your arsenal with Talents that unlock new attacks and defensive moves. In general, however, lead with your quick attack. With smaller enemies you can often spam it and dispatch them with ease, especially after a few level ups. Keep your heavy attack in reserve for slow and stunned character and also as part of the special attacks Terrence learns via new Talents. In short, use it sparingly.
As with Dark Souls, you will fight, be killed and refight the same beasties. This sometimes creates an ideal situation within which to train yourself to view the death/rez cycle as practice through which you will learn a better overall approach as well as the offensive and defensive patterns of the game’s various bugaboos, rather than getting frustrated when you inevitably die. In the beginning of the game. More often than not, for example, it’s better to jump in and quickly stab a mushroom man, who moves slowly, but attacks fast, then jump back out again. Rinse repeat. Dead mushroom man. Also, it’s often better to block faster characters and dodge the slower ones. However, in the main you‘ll want to lean on dodge as it is generally effective across the board.
The Campfires of Solas
Altars in Pascal are analagous to campfires in the Dark Souls games. As such, part of the challenge is fighting your way from one altar to the next. Once there, you can level up by turning in the bone fragments you’ve retrieved from vanquishing monsters. You can also unlock new Talents, craft potions and Trophies (they grant buffs) and rest. Bear in mind, however, while resting will restore your sanity and health, it will also reset all the monsters on the map so you’ll want to be strategic about when and where you rest. What’s more, while level-ups are essential, we recommend saving some of your bones for insanity potions. Did I mention that you incrementally go insane as you fight the monsters of Somas? As you drift from Sane to Abnormal to Insane, your health goes down and the monsters get tougher. You will need sanity potions, but if you’re careful about how you use your bones and how frequently you rest, the insanity mechanic should not even come into play until you face the first boss, who will likely drive you temporarily insane regardless. Also, keep an eye on some of the other assorted crap you pick up for crafting health potions and trophies, both of which will help a great deal when you face The Flagellant, the giant demon boss you face at the close of the game’s first chapter.
Yes, be lame. Pascal’s Wager, no doubt to the chagrin of hardcore Souls-like fans everywhere, has a difficulty setting. If you grow tired of repeatedly dying and you don’t mind being a tool, then set the game on easy. I know I did. Another first-rate lame-ass move is to hang around an altar, grind the monsters around it, rest, and then do it again. Doing so, will not only give you a chance to level up half a dozen times but it will also allow you to practice combat against various monster types, all of whom have singular fighting styles. If you’re really a power tool, you can fight a single monster and blithely skedaddle back to the altar to turn in your finger bones. Then simply rinse and repeat this loser move until you level up six or seven times. One of the best places to engage in this abject mockery of hardcore gaming is at the altar situated just before the Flagellant battle. I mean really. At the end of the day, you’re pitted against a giant demon that spends most of his time whipping himself, and you’re level 10. Who’s the loser now?