The game is sweet, even more so if you have experience playing X-com. It feels like all the fun skills and items have found a way to be Incorporated. No more broken mimic beacon, it works better as a signature skill. Do you love using reaper going from enemy to enemy they have a hero for that. More into the style of pulling them back into your sniper nest? You can make a team perfect for that. Need a pistol for a character who often has no range you can give them one of two cards. Game really feels like a mix of X-com, Eldritch Horror board game, with stealth sections that remind me of Dishonored (maybe just because I call one of the characters Chinese Corvo, with his sword and pistol and blink shots, i also gave him free action grenades with a relic that really made for some crazy grenade spams like in Dishonored) when things end up going crazy after you get caught. Sure you can kill the whole room with hopefully no stress or deaths, but the more you can kill with stealth the easier it will be when you inevitably go loud.
Stealth is key and my main takeaway is get used to putting two characters in cover next to an exit, kill a guy and then run back and signal to the team to keep up and go to a previous room to hold out (if you think you may be found try to get the characters in the right spots tactically). Trying to run around stealthing with two other characters behind you will just get you caught, though I do believe the following characters are given a generous leeway to not being seen when you are running with them behind you. Many of my most cinematic encounters start with one chracter high tailing it back to the other two to save them,
And that’s really my favorite part of the game. If you like the setting some of these fights can play out very cool. Like having a sniper cover for my tanky shield character that some has enough armor to hold back 8+ enemies. Or having a stand off with one of Scions three vs one to give you the sweet advantage, or having the scion link two groups of foes and having to do a super battle where you fight everything back. My first death was on my 2nd campaign and the Russian bodyguard who was almost unkillable was the only one who didnt make it back. I had to run through a ton of enemies and had two characters stealth past them and my to tanks slowly helped each other to get close, but the power of shock lowering the movement speed made it clear one of them had to stay behind. So he runs up and picks up the ghost and throws them into the pack so that he can buy time for the rest to escape. He was such a tank that the 14 plus enemies swarmed his knocked out body, he had the time to get up and stumble around while on fire before they finally finished him. Now whenever I see his KIA the agent screen I remember his heroic sacrifice that allowed me to get to where I am. Judith who he had helped off the ground twice managed to escape and is now one of my very best. My first win was with Cowboy, Muscle Lady, Mind Control Psychic, and the ex healer lady. My second game is with Chinese Corvo, Shield Tank Lady, Illusion master, and the Sniper. The fact that you don’t use every character really made the 2nd run fresh. Im excited to see what other team combos I can make.
My tip for early game is if you have a character who can go invis you use them to steal the info or supply crate after you clear the place out a little. If you can grab it and get far enough away you can usually skip the fight by running. Also if you have your other two teammates waiting for enough back they won’t know here they are. Another tip is the generator missions being that you gotta use all your skills to weaken that fight as much as you can. Also a shot that hits twice can take out the shield and then the generator. Its becoming clearer to me the advantages some characters have on some mission types.
Another thing I’ve seen people rage about is the doom clocks, This is how we get the narrative of feeling like you are racing against a cult that is actively pursuing the end of the world. It’s all window dressing though, and as long as you don’t fail the key mission they present you at the end of meters you can not lose a campaign. With the save function I feel like the world layer doom meters are really not something to stress over. They serve as another choice while taking missions, you can never be wrong if you stop a giant growth of the meters. Letting one cult go ahead of the others can be a choice.
Either way the goal is to get a team of three, and then four, fully upgraded heroes. Don’t feel bad if you have to put some points in a fifth or sixth because of unplayable stress breaks. Stress breaks are the only thing that really take a Hero out of the action. Because of the fact you will be swimming in healing items. Stress largely comes from special attacks from monsters or the overwhelming of too many enemies. One thing i would recommend is if you are probably not going to use the character as one of the main four you should probably not spend past the four cost skills to be efficient. Also can’t go wrong with only spending points on characters who are about to be sent on a mission.
Just wanted to ramble out my thoughts of the game, people have been too hard on it. It’s probably my favorite game of the year, though I haven’t given BG3 a chance, just not feeling to heavy story gameplay right now, but it looks amazing and I loved Divinity. But from a Eldritch Horror Xcom fanatic this game feels like it was made just for me. If it sounds like its made just for you take the plunge I bet you will enjoy it.