Have a Nice Death receives its first major content add-on tomorrow, April 28 – the first since launching into early access – with the Infrastructure Development Update. The update adds the full World 5, which is thematically styled around the concept of death caused by modern warfare. I was able to play through the Modern Warfare Department and check out the rest of the new content coming in the Infrastructure Development Update ahead of its release.
It’s all great – especially the new Modern Warfare Department, which is incredibly challenging. I really enjoyed having Have a Nice Death lead game designer Simon Dutertr and narrative designer and marketing director Mérédith Alfroy on hand to provide advice (and eventually take over when World 5 turned out to be too difficult. to me and kicked my ass).
Available on Steam Early Access, Have a Nice Death is a hand-drawn 2D action roguelike where you play as Death, the founder and CEO of Death, Inc. a vacation; however, he can’t get away with all the paperwork that keeps piling up on account of his lazy subordinates. He eventually bristles, and decides he’s too late out of some respect – embarking on a rampage through his company’s different departments to remind his lackeys who’s really in charge.
When Have a Nice Death was first released, it came with full versions of the first four worlds and a brief tease from the Modern Warfare Department. Now, the full experience will be available to players, though Dutertr cryptically teased that “this is just the beginning”. The team is still working on additional post-launch content for the game, so for now, Have a Nice Death remains in early access.
The Modern Warfare Department adds three new enemy types to Have a Nice Death – a sentient missile launcher, an airplane pilot armed with a Gatling gun and bombs, and a fire-breathing piece of shit that absolutely destroyed me the first time. that I came across one. They’re all expertly designed and fit into the game’s deceptively charming roster of dangerous enemies.
I won’t admit that I like them. I’m still mad that they killed me.
The new Thanagers (Have a Nice Death minibosses) are my favorite part of the update. I love a good boss fight, especially when it’s against something that reminds me of the butt-squeezing encounters you can find in Hollow Knight or Iconoclasts.
Camille Flage, a Thanager from the Modern Warfare Department, is probably my new favorite miniboss in a “this is completely terrifying, but also really cool” way. Camille represents the hunger that can be caused by war, which translates to a frail-looking woman who slithers and leaps around you like a hungry spider, sweeping you up with her nails and teeth with monstrous desperation. She doesn’t behave like a human, and her arena is filled with the gnawed skeletons of hundreds of people.
The other three new Thanagers are nothing to scoff at, but they don’t seem to deliver such a terrifying challenge compared to Camille. The Hall of Eternity gains Leon Clean, a janitor with a deadly vacuum cleaner. And the Department of Industrial Pollution welcomes two new Thanagers: X4-H, a snot-like mass of living pollution, and Richard J. Barron, the ghostly remains of an oil tycoon representing the loss of life caused by humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The Infrastructure Development Update also adds challenges in the form of Jocelyn, the elevator spirit Death uses to travel between departments. Before starting a new race, you can talk to Jocelyn and she will offer you a collection of challenges that you can choose to complete – completing the task gives you bonuses, while not doing so results in a harsher consequence, such as less health or mana for the rest of the race.
It all comes together to deliver a roguelike experience that appears to be a little less equal at first. Have a Nice Death is a difficult game – I still can’t naturally get to World 5 on my own – so you play in the first few areas a lot. Jocelyn’s challenges help to shake up the gameplay a bit, giving you more small goals to pursue as you strive to go further in any given race, and the new Thanagers joining the random roster of existing Thanagers means there’s potential for variety. higher for subsequent runs.
If Have a Nice Death didn’t appeal to you when it first launched, I doubt this update will be what will — it’s not that substantial that the game now feels 100% complete (which makes sense given it’s still in early access ). However, the Infrastructure Development Update adds enough new content to convince me – someone who likes Have a Nice Death and has dropped a bit in the past month – to revamp my routine to get past what’s there.
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