Atlas Fallen is a new action-adventure from The Surge and Lords of the Fallen creators Deck13, and while the game isn’t another hardcore Soulslike, it does throw a lot of action at you and its combat mechanics take some getting used to. There’s a good chance you’ll be a bit frustrated by Atlas Fallen to begin with, but if you keep the following tips in mind, you be able to overcome any challenge. Here’s how to dominate Atlas Fallen’s sandy wasteland…
Stick close and keep up the pressure
In between battles, Atlas Fallen is all about mobility, allowing players to “skate” fluidly on any sandy surface and cross large gaps by double and triple-jumping. So, you might assume sticking, moving, and staying mobile is the best approach to combat, but that’s not really the case. Most enemies have homing projectile attacks that can hit you no matter where you run and the game’s dodge-roll is kind of wonky and ineffective. Ultimately, you’re rewarded for staying up in enemies’ faces and pouring on steady offense.
Focus on parrying rather than dodging
As I mentioned, dodging in Atlas Fallen is fairly ineffective, so how do you avoid taking damage? You’re going to want to rely on your Sandskin ability, which makes you invulnerable for a second and allows you to parry any enemy attack presaged by a red flash. If you successfully parry an attack, there’s no cooldown for your Sandskin ability, allowing you to parry multiple shots in quick succession. A single successful parry will allow you to freeze smaller enemies, opening them up for a pummeling (you’ll have to chain two or three parries in a row to freeze larger boss monsters). I know parrying is a mechanic a lot of people don’t love and ignore if they can, but that’s not really an option in Atlas Fallen. Thankfully, parry timing is pretty generous and there are upgrades you can unlock that make it even easier.
Keep a close eye on your Momentum meter
If parrying is one of the keys to mastering Atlas Fallen’s combat, the other big one is understanding the Momentum Meter. The Momentum Meter is the blue bar at the bottom of the screen, which fills up as you successfully land attacks. The meter gradually depletes if you’re not doing damage, so again, playing keep-away with enemies is not to your advantage.
Your basic attacks will increase in power, range, and effectiveness the more Momentum you gain. Beyond that, the meter is divided up into three sections – once you’ve filled up at least one section, you can unleash a power Shatter attack that does big damage and instantly freezes your target. There are also icons for various Essence Stones you’ve equipped displayed below the meter, which will be activated once you’ve filled the bar up to that point. Some of these Essence Stones will give you passive buffs while others will let you unleash special attacks. Constantly filling up your Momentum Meter, and keeping an eye on its current status, is essential to besting some of Atlas Fallen’s tougher battles.
Don’t be too eager with Shatter attacks
Continuing on from the last point, early on in Atlas Fallen you’ll likely be very excited whenever you earn a Shatter attack and fire it off as soon as you get it. That isn’t always the best strategic move. Doing a Shatter attack depletes your Momentum Gauge so all the benefits you’re getting from your Essence Stones go away until you build it back up again. Your Shatter attack also builds in power the more Momentum you have, so it’s often best to wait until you’re in a tight spot and use a powered-up Shatter attack to really turn the tide of a battle.
Don’t forget about your Essence Stone special attacks
If you shouldn’t overuse Shatter attacks, conversely, you shouldn’t underuse your Essence Stone special attacks. These are often quite powerful (particularly once you get a bit deeper into the game) and consume less Momentum than the Shatter attacks.
Make sure to take to the air
Atlas Fallen also allows you to fight in the air, and in fact, as long as you keep landing hits you can stay up there pretty much indefinitely. This is often a good move strategically, particularly against some of the larger bosses, as a lot of their attacks only hurt you when you’re at ground level. Taking the fight to the air lets you literally fly above it all, and when you want to come down to earth, hit the shoulder button for a powerful ground pound move.
Keep focused on the proper enemy body parts
Speaking of bosses, when a more powerful enemy shows up, a chart in the top-left section of the screen will show you the sections of its body you need to target. Pay attention to this! Some baddies have lots of different body segments and focusing on the wrong ones is basically wasted effort.
Also, keep focused on those off-screen indicators
One of the most annoying parts of Atlas Fallen is being mobbed by enemies that attack you from behind. You’re definitely going to take some cheap shots regardless, but you can minimize them by keeping a close eye on the indicators that show where off-screen enemies are. When one flashes red, an enemy is launching an attack, so get ready to parry!
There you have it – follow these tips and you should start having fewer struggles with Atlas Fallen’s combat. The game has a somewhat steep learning curve, but it’s not an impossible one to surmount.
Atlas Fallen is available now on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5. You can check out Wccftech’s other Atlas Fallen guides here.
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