Risk of Rain 2 began its early access journey on March 18th, 2019. Every season since, we have seen major updates adding survivors, stages, bosses, items, equipment, artifacts, and minor and major balance changes to all of the above. After about a year and a half of early access and being introduced to new content every few months, Hopoo Games has officially launched the game and ripped off its “early access” tag.
With the release of 1.0, Risk of Rain 2 finally has a proper ending. If victory is what you seek, there is no longer a need to obliterate yourself or give the enemy the satisfaction of landing the killing blow on you. The final boss, Mithrix, awaits you on the new stage whether you are ready or not. The fight, environment, and soundtrack are phenomenal. It is a beautiful combination of atmosphere and difficulty and is a moment that should be experienced firsthand. I will forgo providing any tips, tricks, or details of the encounter. Seriously, if you’re a fan of Risk of Rain, go experience it.
Alongside the climax of the game comes a slew of adjustments to previously existing systems, balances changes for the longstanding survivors, and new ways to experience the game that fans have grown to love. While we won’t go over the balance changes and bug fixes here, we will highlight the new survivor and items.
New Survivor: Captain
With the official launch of the game comes the newest survivor. Captain is a little unique compared to the rest of the currently implemented cast. Captain’s intended focus appears to be in controlling the battlefield and adapting to the needs of your companions. Don’t let that fool you into thinking he won’t be the one dictating the length of the battle, though. Captain is lethal in all stages of the game.
To unlock Captain, the player must first defeat Mithrix. This can be achieved on any difficulty if your sole desire is unlocking Captain.
Passive: Defensive Microbots
“Passively gain Microbots that shoot down nearby enemy projectiles. Drones are also given Microbots.”
Defensive Microbots will show up in your item inventory upon the start of a new game as a legendary item. They provide a unique form of survivability that no other character has access to. Wisps annoying you with their seemingly endless spawning? No matter, your Microbots will shoot down their attacks. The rate at which your Microbots will shoot down incoming projectiles scales based on your attack speed.
Primary: Vulcan Shotgun
“Fire a blast of pellets that deal 8×120% damage. Charging the attack narrows the spread.”
Captain’s primary is a shotgun that can also serve as a pseudo-rifle if the situation calls for it by holding down your bound primary button. Each pellet has its own proc chance and makes Tri-Tip Dagger a deadly combination. You can forgo Tri-Tip Dagger by stack critical strike chance and get the new Shatterspleen item to apply bleed stacks with each critical hit (yes, each pellet will apply a bleed stack). The primary also scales with attack speed, increasing the fire rate and charge speed.
Secondary: Power Tazer
“Shocking. Fire a fast taser that deals 100% damage. Travels farther if bounced.”
Captain’s secondary ability is one that doesn’t pack a punch, but can serve as good utility to guarantee landing your primary shot or your Orbital Probe by stunning them in place.
Utility: Orbital Probe
“Stunning. Request up to three Orbital Probes from the UES Safe Travels. Each probe does 1500% damage.”
Orbital Probe is the ability that packs the most punch and will send enemies packing–elites and bosses alike. Not only does it have great base damage to speed up the start of the game where a player may feel weakest against bosses, but it scales well into the late game and has great synergy with many items that allow it to feel like a spammable tactical nuke. Do keep in mind that it has a slight delay before landing. If an enemy is fast, consider stunning the enemy with your Power Tazer or account for their movement.
Special: Orbital Supply Beacon
“Request a permanent Supply Beacon. Can only be requested twice per stage.”
Captain’s special is possibly the most unique ability in the game. Every other character’s special ability goes on cooldown and is usable as frequently as the cooldown will allow it. Captain’s, however, only allows two uses per stage. Captain can call down a Supply Beacon that provides different utility based on what you selected before dropping into a game. You can choose two from the following: Healing field, shocking field, equipment recharge field, or a hacking field. Their radius and limited uses makes some of them less desirable than others. On top of that, the healing doesn’t appear to scale with your level or stats. The one that appears to be seeing the most use is the hacking field that allows you to open any lootable (including the legendary chest) free of charge. This allows players to increase the pace at which they play.
Ten new items have been added with the patch. Below is a list of all the new additions:
- Item Scrap (Common, Rare, Legendary, Boss)
- Does nothing. Prioritized when used with 3D Printers (and Lunar Bazaar soup). To acquire Item Scrap, a player must first find a Scrapper on a stage and recycle items of their choice.
- Shatterspleen (Boss)
- Critical strikes bleed enemies for 240% base damage. Bleeding enemies explode on death for 400% (+400% per stack) damage, plus an additional 15% (+15% per stack) of their maximum health.
- Molten Perforator (Boss)
- 10% chance on hit to call forth 3 magma balls from an enemy, dealing 300% (+300% per stack) damage each.
- Mired Urn (Boss)
- While in combat, the nearest 1 (+1 per stack) characters to you within 13m will be ‘tethered’ to you, dealing 100% damage per second, applying tar, and healing you for 100% of the damage dealt.
- Purity (Lunar)
- All skill cooldowns are reduced by 2 seconds (+1 per stack). All random effects are rolled +1 (+1 per stack) times for an unfavorable outcome.
- Defiant Gouge (Lunar)
- Using a Shrine summons enemies nearby. Scales over time.
- Mercurial Rachis (Lunar)
- Creates a Ward of Power in a random location nearby that buffs both enemies and allies within 16m (+50% per stack), causing them to deal +50% damage.
- Super Massive Leech (Equipment)
- Heal for 20% of the damage you deal. Lasts 8 seconds.
- Forgive Me Please (Equipment)
- Throw a cursed doll out that triggers any On-Kill effects you have every 1 second for 8 seconds.
- Gorag’s Opus (Equipment)
- All allies enter a frenzy for 7 seconds. Increases movement speed by 50% and attack speed by 100%.
One of the best additions to the game is the Scrapper and the Item Scrap it provides you. Before the patch, players had to rely on Lady Luck to bless their 3D Printer rolls. Now, with Item Scrap, the player has a little more agency in being able to choose which items aren’t contributing much to their run and turn them into something more beneficial.
Another item worth highlighting is Shatterspleen. Bleed received a hefty buff this patch that now allows the player to refresh each bleed stack’s duration that is applied to the target when applying a new stack. Shatterspleen makes exceptional use of this with a bleed stack being applied every time you land a critical strike. With Captain, for example, if you land each pellet of your primary shot, you will apply 8 stacks of bleed and refresh the prior applied stacks.
Should you try the new update?
Absolutely. It is a great time to dip your toes or dive back in. Even if you aren’t interested in investing hundreds of hours, what Hopoo Games delivered over the last year and with this patch is a phenomenal experience for newcomers and veterans alike, be it one run to scratch the itch or a dozen runs with some friends that go too late into the night. A gameplay loop that will entertain you for as long as you can stay sane, a stunning OST, and a satisfying climax that will challenge you and have you coming back for another run. And the best part? This isn’t the end of Risk of Rain 2. There’s still more to come.
If you want to take a deeper dive into the patch, make sure to head over to the official patch notes page: Risk of Rain 2 – Early Access Content Update 5 – August 11, 2020