The city of Icenaire in Vambrace: Cold Soul is fraught with danger. The surface is crawling with evil ghosts and enemy factions, and players have the dangerous task of exploring this city in a story-driven campaign. You play as Evelia Lyric, and your job is to lead a group of ragtag survivors on expeditions to the surface. Scavenge for materials, craft new items, fight and survive—these are the tenants of Vambrace, but your job won't be easy.
Vambrace: Cold Soul doesn't pull any punches, but with these tips you should be well-equipped to take on anything the game throws at you.
Chart Your Course
Icenaire's sprawling neighborhoods are helpfully mapped out for the player when they begin an expedition. Within each neighborhood comprises a number of streets. Reaching the end of a neighborhood is no easy feat, because each street features random events, many of which include enemy encounters. To make matters even more difficult, Evelia has a Geistometer which fills up gradually as you visit more streets. If the Geistomteter reaches a certain threshold, all encounters in a neighborhood become hostile combat scenarios.
This isn't an ideal situation, but by charting your course by looking at your map, a full Geistometer can be an easily-avoided situation. Take the most direct path. Tristan Lee Riven, a developer for Vambrace, says:
If you pay attention to the map, choose a route that gets you to the Neighborhood exit point quickest. Also pay attention to where the doors are placed that lead to new streets. It's totally possible to bypass Encounters if you choose your route wisely.In short, keep an eye on your map. It could make the difference between a successful expedition or a disaster.
Examine Your Surroundings
Vambrace features a very detailed world. Pay attention to your surroundings in each street. Certain visual cues are present that let you know what you'll face ahead. If you walk carefully, you can avoid a combat encounter. If you're on the edge of the screen and notice a bunch of frozen corpses in an open field, expect some resistance. If there is another path to your destination, it might be beneficial to divert your course.
Most other encounters are going to help you rather than hinder you. Chests and crates indicate a place to gather loot—although if you see smashed crates and open chests, another combat encounter is ahead. A burnt-out campfire denotes a campsite to regain your health and vigor. Be an observant expedition leader!
Use Your Block Ability
Attacking might seem like the most viable option in a combat encounter. Killing enemies as fast as possible seems viable, but don't let your health run out. One way to avoid a great amount of damage is the block ability. Tristan Lee Riven emphasizes the importance of blocking:
A lot of people have no idea how strategically important it is, but your party will save SO much health if you study enemy attacks/patterns and know when a good time to block is. It comes at the expense of 1 Vigor but can block all damage you receive from an attack.Vigor is just as important as health, so make sure you keep an eye on that too. Using block on a character with 1 Vigor will end up with death. If you find yourself with an abundance of that precious resource though, be sure to use it well.
Recruit a Shadowmancer
When you're recruiting your party, there are a lot of options to choose from. There are 10 classes in Vambrace, but arguably the most useful of all is the Shadowmancer. These mysterious drow are excellent in many different situations. Their basic attack inflicts poison on enemies. Their special flourish move applies this poison to every enemy he targets. Using a Shadowmancer in combat sets your party up for success in combat.
Party formation is also very important in Vambrace, and if you're looking for someone to lead the group, look no further. With a high awareness, a Shadowmancer can stop most - if not all - traps that can potentially wreak havoc on your party. If he's hurt, don't forget to block or move his position during combat.
"Cycle your party members positions," said Tristan Lee Riven. "If someone is super low on health, put them in the back until they can heal up later."
In this case, it could save your Shadowmancer's life.
Don't Be Afraid to Run
Death in Vambrace means losing everything. While Evelia survives, all of your fellow survivors on the expedition perish. Furthermore, you lose all the loot you've collected during that run and anything you held on to from previous expeditions. If you die, you're back to square one.
Dying is easily avoidable. If your party is running low on health and vigor, you can simply retreat from the expedition. If you retreat, you lose all of your progress on the current expedition, but keep all the loot. The loot you collect can be sold or created into better items, so this is an important form of progression in Vambrace. Dying means your expedition was for nothing.
If you find yourself in a futile combat encounter, retreating from the battle is an option as well. You can navigate to a nearby campsite or end the expedition all the while keeping your precious loot.
Offload Your Raw Materials
If you do decide to retreat or end up completing your expedition, one of your priorities should be to offload your excess materials. In Vambrace, your party has a weight capacity. If you surpass what the party can hold, everyone's stats are severely diminished and any attempt at an expedition will surely end in failure. It can be easy to forget that you are carrying a lot of items, so dump it all in your chest found in the workshop or Evelia's room.
It's important to carry items essential for the journey like healing items and relics. There's a slim chance that you'll come across a forge in Icenaire to create new items, but by then you probably have gathered a good amount of materials on the way to said forge.
Vambrace: Cold Soul is not an easy game, but with these tips, you should be setup for success. Be sure to experiment with party compositions, equip your party efficiently, and be patient. Have at it, adventurers!
Also be sure to check out TechRaptor's review on Vambrace: Cold Soul here.
Do you have any tips for Vambrace: Cold Soul? How are you liking the game? Let us know in the comments below!