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Video Game / Risk of Rain 2

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Risk of Rain 2 is a Science Fiction Roguelike Third-Person Shooter developed by Hopoo Games and published by Gearbox Software. The game is a sequel to Risk of Rain. It was released on Steam Early Access on March 28th, 2019, before reaching a Final Release on August 11th, 2020.

The game is mechanically similar to the first game, with the goal of locating a teleporter in a level and activating it as the difficulty increases every 5 minutes. The game sets itself apart by being in 3D, rebalancing various mechanics to adjust, and contains a vastly improved Co-Op Multiplayer with up to 4 players.

After receiving a foreboding Distress Call from the UES Contact Light (the ship from the first game) the Safe Travels is dispatched to go on a "rescue" mission. However, as the aforementioned distress call mentioned monsters, fighting, and the Contact Light being shot down and its cargo crashing down upon the uncharted planet closest to it, it's obvious that despite being called a "rescue", the true task of the mission is simple: Go down to the planet, retrieve as much reclaimable cargo as possible, and if possible, find out what the hell happened. And, naturally, kill every last thing that tries to get in their way.


The game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The level cap is (most likely) 99, but reaching it is practically impossible due to how quickly the experience required for next level scales and even if you take your sweet time beating the game, most likely for the purpose of unlocking the challenge of beating 20 stages in a single run, you'll only get to about lv25 on average.
  • Action Bomb: Rather than shocking you like in the first game, the Jellyfish now violently explode when they get close to you.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Beating the game or getting to the Celestial Portal on Monsoon unlocks an alternate skin for the character you were playing as.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game added glowing "dust" that hovers in the air around the teleporter to make it much easier to see. Before it could be hard to find, doubly so if it had a darker background to sit on. This change allows it to be seen easily.
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  • Apocalyptic Log: Some descriptions in the logbook detail notes from the survivors of the Contact Light crash who tried to hold out on the planet, especially at Rallypoint Delta. Given that it's crawling with monsters by the time the player characters reach it, they didn't hold out long.
  • Auto-Revive: Dio's Best Friend, a teddy bear of sorts, restores the holder's health after dying. The item is destroyed in the process. It can be especially powerful on the Engineer since each of your turrets get their own Dio's Best Friend.
  • Astral Finale: The final stage, Commencement, takes place on the moon orbiting Petrichor V.
  • Attack Drone: The player can use gold to repair robot drones that will fly around the player and shoot any enemy in range.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Added in the Anniversary Update, Captain's new alternative utility: OGM-72 'DIABLO' Strike. On one hand, it does 40,000% damage, or 400 times the Captain's base damage stat, often enough to One-Hit Kill many of the bosses. On the other hand, it takes 20 seconds from activation to damage, as well as damaging everything in its radius. As a result, it only consistently works on really large enemies that don't move much.
  • Balance Buff:
    • The Medkit was one of the most useless heal items in the game, as it healed for a flat 25 HP per stack that you gain and only activates if you get hit; its heal power becomes rapidly outclassed by other forms of healing as you gain more levels, which only became worse if you picked up Infusions. 1.0 heavily buffed it so it now heals 20 HP plus 5% of your max health per stack, meaning that it now heals a meaningful amount of HP even in late-game with enough stacks of it.
    • Prior to 1.0, the Warbanner would quickly become obsolete after early-game due to only spawning on level-up; leveling up becomes an increasingly rare occurrence once you enter mid-game, and the initial effective range is very small, meaning leveling up in a bad spot would place it in an area where it would give very little benefit without a lot of stacks. 1.0 made it so you get a free Warbanner whenever you start the Teleporter, essentially making it consistently viable for Teleporter events throughout the game.
    • More generally, minions were buffed in the Anniversary Update. Before, minions scaled with the player level and their damage output quickly diminished. Now, they scale with the same level as the enemies, making them useful for tremendously longer.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Just like the first game. The survivors manage to leave the planet... but a part of the player character remains irrevocably changed. Some for the better— the Artificer discovers her passion for exploration, REX now has a chance to grow into something more, the Captain gains a new tale to tell, the Bandit is just thankful he's lucky to be alive —and some for the far worse—the Commando loses his conscience and morality, the Huntress feels dead inside, the Engineer is a horrific hybrid of man and machine, Acrid is described as holding "delusions of freedom", and the Heretic is left with no focus nor satisfaction with her completed revenge.
  • Bleak Level: The Void Fields. Not only it's a place beyond time and space like other locations, but ominous music plays while you're in them. Leaving the cells, which you have to enable to get rewards, will obscure your vision a significant amount while you suffocate. It is also described as a "Cosmic Prison" and it is presumably where you get taken to if you or your allies die by a Void Reaver's Taking You with Me attack. The album release of the song also takes it up a notch, referencing the misery of the place itself.
  • Body Horror: Played for Laughs, but some of the items that show up on your character include syringes stuck in their thigh, a dagger sticking out of their neck and various parasites growing on their body.
  • Border Patrol: Normally averted, as usually stepping out of bounds on a map would simply teleport you back. The Abandoned Aqueducts, however, would sic bizarre black tar...eel...things on you if you tried to stroll off into the desert, dealing a slowing effect and heavy, persistent damage until you either turned around or died.
  • Boring, but Practical: Some of the items, especially the common whites, are very useful, despite being basic. To wit:
    • Soldier's Syringes boost attack speed and scales pretty well, making them a top-tier item on everyone except Artificer since her basic attacks have a cooldown and she can only keep 4 of them stocked up at a time.
    • Tougher Times offers a small chance to negate damage entirely. It has pretty severe diminishing returns, but even a few will let you shrug off a not-insignificant number of hits. Literally no one WON'T benefit from it. Better yet, it can block any sort of damage, including Cast from Hit Points skills and the health sacrifice shrines!
    • Crowbars offer an Alpha Strike bonus for damaging a healthy enemy. The bonus is nothing to sneeze at, especially when stacked; pair it with a high-damage attack (like the Royal Capacitor, Preon Accumulator, Loader's dash, etc.) and it's possible to One-Hit Kill nearly anything, up to and including bosses!
    • Speaking of bosses, Armor Piercing Ammo. A flat 20% damage buff against bosses, no frills, no nonsense. Each stack adds 20% more. A few of them can let you chew through bosses with ease, especially if stacked with the above Crowbar and a suitably-high damage opening attack.
    • Paul's Goat Hoof and Energy Drinks improve base movement speed and sprint speed, respectively. In a game where Dynamic Difficulty is based on time and the exit is randomly placed in every (large) level, every second counts, and while they may seem weak initially, they WILL start to add up over time, especially if stacked.
      • Related, though it's an uncommon, Hopoo Feathers. Adds an extra jump; doesn't help you with killing things, but outstanding for quick, efficient map traversal. One is a big boon, two or three pretty much eliminate mobility as a concern, and any more beyond that are just gravy.
    • Backup Magazines are another common, this time adding an extra charge to your Secondary power. Depending on the class, this can range from merely decent (Engineer, Commando) to good (Mercenary, Loader) to outstanding (Artificer, Huntress). Again, they're whites, so you're sure to see them often.
    • Focus crystals grants a flat 25% increase to damage when the player is within 36 meters of an enemy they're hitting and scales with no cap. While this obviously make it amazingly powerful for the Mercenary and Loader, even the ranged characters will usually find themselves crowded up close by enemies, making it an excellent damage item overall.
    • The Repulsion Armor Plate is a plain looking item that just provides flat damage reduction, ala Tougher Times from the original Risk of Rain. It does nothing else, but a no strings attached decrease in damage taken is a godsend, especially on Monsoon, and the higher Dynamic Difficulty levels during a run.
    • This is also present amongst the flashier tier 3 items with examples including Rejuvenation Rack and Dio's Best Friend. Rejuvenation Rack flat out doubles all healing received, something that all characters can really appreciate, especially REX who is heavily reliant on their healing skills to pump out damage. Meanwhile, Dio's Best Friend acts as a one-time revive, which on Engineer has the added bonus of also resurrecting your turrets when they go down.
    • The 57-Leaf Clover allows its user to "rig" luck. This effect is deceptively powerful; for any item or ability that has a random activation chance, the game will reroll it once for every Clover in your inventory in the event that you fail an activation. This essentially just means that it directly boosts the proc rate of any random items in your inventory, which can turn some items like the AtG Missile Mk. 1 (a strong, but inconsistent source of damage due to its 10% proc chance) into monstrously powerful death machines, and cuts the requirements on item stacks nearly in half (5 ruby glasses for 100% crit instead of ten, same for tri-tip daggers, ect. ect.).
    • Captain's basic attack is a shotgun that he can charge to focus the spread to the point of being able to snipe enemies. On paper it sounds like the most boring part of his kit, but each individual pellet of the shotgun has its own (fairly high) proc co-efficients. Stacked up with attack speed increases, crit and throw on some on-hit effects like tri-tip daggers, ATG missile launchers, and other such things will make Captain's M1 so powerful you'll never touch his other skills.
  • Call-Back:
    • Sky Meadow has quite a few. The parent enemies unique to that stage not only showed up in the first one, but they're also tinted yellow normally and have the ability to warp to your location; hinting that every single one is the fast elite from the first game, despite being able to get other elite abilities that are present in this game as well. In addition the way you access the artifact portal is the same path you took to get that stage's unique artifact: jump down a hole, only you don't have to blast it open this time, and hop on some hanging platforms over a bottomless pit.
    • The equipment item that gives you the powers of blazing elite is called "Ifrit's distinction" named after the boss who's no longer present after the first game. In addition all fire enemies have two horns growing out of their heads similar to the style of Ifrit.
    • Tougher Times, unlike other returning items, is a roughed up version of Tough Times from the first game and takes the effect of another, similar item as well as its rarity.
  • Cap: Some items have a hard cap such as Lens-Maker's Glasses once you achieve 100% Critical Strike Chance or 10 Stacks. Played With for other items which can stack indefinitely but have significantly diminished returns to the point where collecting more than 10 sees very little stat increases. Just as many other items avert it and can stack their multipliers and benefits (theoretically) infinitely.
  • Cast From Hitpoints:
    • The Hellfire Tincture deals constant damage to yourself and allies, and deals 24 times that to enemies in an area around you for a short time.
    • One of the two main gimmicks of the survivor REX, who has two abilities that cost HP to use but has potential to do massive damage to enemies. Fittingly, ways to keep themself healed up is vital to an effective run.
  • Cast from Money: Crowdfunder, which spends gold in order to do damage. Bad early on, where every coin counts, but by your third or fourth loop, Money for Nothing becomes a big thing, so it can be a reliable source of damage.
  • Centrifugal Gravity: It's implied that the UES Safe Travels has it with rotating sections being seen in the opening cutscene.
  • Colonized Solar System: The lore for a lot of the items lists their shipping addresses as planets in our solar system.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: All of the items have a colored borders depending on their tier. Commons are white, uncommons are green, rares are red, boss items are yellow, lunar items are blue, and non-lunar equipment is orange.
  • Costume Evolution: Played for Laughs. This time around items are not only displayed on your HUD but also attached to your character model in some way such as Lens-Maker's Glasses being worn as properly on your face or several Soldier's Syringes haphazardly jammed into the side of your character's thigh. By the time you've looped the game once your character will be unrecognizable due to the sheer amount of items they are wearing.
  • Crutch Character: The carbonizer turrets, the Engineer's alternate turret skill, can end up with this issue if you can't find the right items. They have less range than the normal ones but can walk around and try to follow you. The biggest issue is that they don't benefit from sprint speed bonuses and they don't have any way to force them to catch up with you aside from walking, which at the beginning isn't an issue as they'll be able to keep up with an default Engineer easily. If you don't pick up items that help offense or non-conditional defense then they can easily become less useful as they can't catch up to you and don't have the vitality and damage to sustain themselves.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Some of the Lunar "drawbacks" are more useful than they look.
    • Gesture of the Drowned halves the cooldown of your Equipment, but forces it to automatically activate whenever it's not on cooldown. The idea is that it makes it so you lose control over your equipment in exchange for having it activate more frequently... but you can pair it with Fuel Cells, an uncommon item that reduces your Equipment's cooldown by 15% and adds an extra stock of it. If you find enough Fuel Cells, it's possible to have your equipment activate near-constantly without input, which allows you to have stuff like infinite Jade Elephant/Spinel Tonic or pick up a Royal Capacitor and gain the ability to smite anything you so much as look at.
    • The Defiant Gouge spawns enemies whenever you activate a Shrine, thus making every Shrine gain the same properties as a Shrine of Combat. At face value this means that you need to fend off mooks every time you want to use a Shrine, but later on in runs when you have more ways to effectively deal with large enemy numbers, this essentially nets you a free source of income by allowing you to summon fodder on command. Doubly so if the Artifact of Sacrifice is toggled, which also lets you farm items off any Shrine you activate.
    • The Hellfire Tincture is an equippable item that harms enemies, allies and yourself 15 meters around you, dealing percentage-based damage to yourself, allies, and specially enemies, who get dealt this damage multiplied by 24. It is a huge boon for melee survivors who have to get close to enemies to begin with, even more so considering that the Mercenary has conditional invulnerability with his dashes and Eviscerate and Acrid can regenerate health using his regular attacks or his Ravenous Bite ability. If that isn't a good deal already, Razorwire, which deals damage to enemies around you if you get hit, gives your character an "Instant Death" Radius when Hellfire Tincture activates, as it also works when you get damaged by it. Getting this winning combination will make the game a breeze until the second loop.
    • Purity is the counterpart to the 57-Leaf Clover, where it rolls chance-on-hit item's proc chances and takes the unfavorable outcome which means things like crits, Tri-tip Daggers and ATG Missile Launchers will rarely if never function. In return, it shaves flat amounts of time off of all cooldowns. This does come with the catch though that reaching 100% proc chance on items that increase chance on stacking (Like 10 glasses or 7 tri-tips) and it becomes unable to weigh it negatively because the worse side of a 100% roll is still 100%. Lastly getting a 57-leaf clover more or less neutralizes the bad luck roll, while keeping the cooldown reduction, so there's nothing to lose taking Purity if you already have one.
  • Deadly Disc:
    • The Sawmerang equipment shoots out three huge buzzsaws in a spread that damage enemies.
    • The Resonance Disk charges up when you kill enemies, and then shoots out at enemies and explodes on impact.
  • Derelict Graveyard: Siren's Call, which is filled with crashed spaceships.
  • Developers' Foresight: The game penalizes the drop rate of items if you equip the Artifact of Sacrifice (removes Chests/Shrines of Chance but enables items to randomly drop on enemy kill) and the Artifact of Swarms (doubles enemy spawns but halves enemy HP) together, since the game would be far too easy if you can just survive the initial waves of enemies and farm items for a bit.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Some of the survivors and lunar items fall under this.
    • Shaped Glass turns you into a literal glass cannon - doubled damage, halved health. With the right build (and skill at not getting hit), this can let you mow down enemies with ease, but death will always be one or two good hits away. You can even take it Up to Eleven and stack the effects.
  • Double Jump:
    • The Mercenary starts the game with a double jump.
    • The Hopoo Feather returns, granting an extra jump per stack.
  • Double Unlock: Just like the first game, there are several items and skills that can only be unlocked using items or characters that also need to be unlocked.
  • Drop Pod: The Escape Pod for intents and purposes. It brings the player to the surface in the beginning with no mention of the Safe Travels being in danger.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There are three floating islands in A Moment, Fractured that are so far away that they can't even be seen from the main islands. If you manage to reach them with some combination of Hopoo Feathers, the Milky Chrysalis, and/or the Artificer's glide and Ion Surge, you will find several massive, literal Easter eggs.
    • There's a light in Siren's Call that is blinking UP DOG in Morse code.
    • HAN-D from the first game can be seen in the background of the character select screen, and occasionally flashes "ZZZ" in Morse Code.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Contact Light itself is noted by some of the item logs from survivors to be an extremely strange ship with millions of artifacts that have been in transit for decades.
    • The environments themselves are full of mysterious artifacts from an unknown civilization, and as detailed in environmental logs are quite strange. The mysterious rings on the Titanic Plains recreate rocks already weathered and old whenever they're removed from the plains, and the tar seeping through the Abandoned Aqueducts is contagious.
    • The Hidden Realms are probably the most straightforward examples, especially the ones that are outside of time.
      • The Bazaar Between Time, accessed by finding New Altars in main stages and spending a Lunar Coin to activate them, has a group of small, floating rocks, which lead to a cave, housing a giant axolotl creature referred to as "The Newt" (who is not aggressive, but can be attacked and killed), allowing players to trade in Lunar Coins for Lunar items, Reforge items of lower quality for a guaranteed higher-quality item, or you "dream" to choose which area you'll get next, as well as a hidden portal leading to the Void Fields.
      • The Void Fields is a huge rock floating in an airless void and covered in strange shiny black stones and massive, kelp-like plants.
      • A Moment, Fractured is a bunch of floating islands with wooden planks sticking out of them at odd angles, glowing rocks that suddenly appear when you stand in certain places, and a massive obelisk that allows you to wipe yourself from existence or travel to A Moment, Whole.
  • Endless Game: It is theoretically possible to keep going as much as your human willpower/physical ability would allow since there is no limit to looping. However, you can end the game if you decide to Obliterate (a form of Non Standard Game Over that qualifies as "winning" but not "beating the game") or fight the Final Boss (which is considered "beating the game").
  • Escape Pod: All player characters bar MUL-T and Acrid start the game landing in an escape pod. In the latter two's case, MUL-T falls out of the sky in a crate, and Acrid spawns in something that looks similar to a Void Cell asleep until you press a button.
  • Fantastic Drug: While not explicitly stated as such, the Spinel Tonic induces some visual distortion and discoloration, including affecting your vision with a grain filter and fish-eye lens, giving the illusion of a high. There's also the fact that it enhances your stats and has a chance to negatively affect your performance if it wears off, thus encouraging the player to consume it constantly with Fuel Cells and/or Gesture of the Drowned.
  • Fantastic Nature Preserve: The Brittle Crown's lore reveals that Providence had turned the Planet into one, saving species from their dying worlds and bringing them to his own. His brother, Mithrix, was disgusted by this, as he'd rather let nature run its course.
  • For Want of a Nail: The game still centers around the mysterious crash of a spaceship on an unknown planet, but this time the ship is only known as the UES Safe Travels and it was searching for the Contact Light.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Players and their allies are immune to any damage done by other players and their allies, and your enemies are immune to attacks by your other enemies. This is averted by the Glowing Meteorite and Hellfire Tincture, which can damage both the player using it and their allies. It is also completely averted if you activate the Artifact of Chaos, which turns on friendly fire for all allies and enemies. Mired Urn also averts this as the draining effect specifies that it targets nearby characters as opposed to just enemies.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The tar in the Abandoned Aqueducts is apparently alive, hostile, and (according to the log for the area, anyway) has horribly-mutative effects on life exposed to it. Ingame, not counting enemies who use it as an attack, the worst it does is blur your vision, respawn you on dry land if you fall into it (like any other Bottomless Pit), and act as Border Patrol.
  • Game Mod: The game's modding API is almost famously friendly, everything from balance to text rewriting to adding new characters is (relatively speaking) crazy easy. Some of the most popular mods add back in the missing characters and items from Risk of Rain 1 and Dummied Out content that was half finished in the game files.
  • Glass Cannon
    • The Shaped Glass item turns you into this, as it halves your health but doubles your damage.
    • The Artifact of Glass makes a return from the first game, which makes you and all allies have only 10% of their health, but five times as much damage.
  • God of Evil: The logbook descriptions of the Wetlands Aspect, Ceremonial Dagger, and N'Kuhana's Opinion mention a being known as N'Kuhana, who seems to be some sort of death goddess and whose worshipers practice Human Sacrifice.
  • Goomba Stomp: The H3AD-5T v2 lets you jump higher and gives you the ability to slam down on top of enemies to damage them. It scales with height, so if you go up far enough you can easily one-shot bosses with it.
  • Gradual Regeneration: All characters are given innate regenerating health to compensate for the inability to see every enemy and incoming attack in a 3D space. The Mercenary and Loader both start with the highest regeneration rate as well since they're currently the only dedicated melee survivors. Cautious Slug strengthens it while out of combat, and the Bustling Fungus takes it a step further and offers significant regen in a small aura as long as you're standing still (or are one of Engineer's turrets.)
  • Harder Than Hard: Eclipse mode is Monsoon difficulty with additional penalties added to it. Each victory in Eclipse unlocks the next tier of Eclipse difficulty for that survivor, which adds an additional penalty on top of the last one. It caps at Ecilipse 8, which has (in following), halved starting HP, halved teleporter radius, lethal fall damage, faster enemies, halved healing amount, reduced gold drops, lower enemy cooldowns, and finally, making each hit you take permanently reduce your max HP.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Bustling Fungus item gives you a potent health regenerating aura for you and allies provided you stand still for at least 2 seconds. On most characters, this is pretty useless, since standing still is pretty much a death sentence. However, it turns out to be fantastic on the Engineer, since his stationary turrets get copies of all of his items. The effects of overlapping fields do stack with each other, so you can have your turrets heal one another and anyone else who gets cozy with them in your Beehive Barrier. Turned Up to Eleven if you also manage to get your hands on N'Kuhana's Opinion, which fires homing projectiles whose damage is proportional to your healing.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: All of the characters have at least one attack that either pierces enemies or has an area-of-effect, which is very important in a game that likes sending massive hordes at the player in the later areas.
  • History Repeats: The Predatory Instincts item has a description that implies that the events of Risk of Rain happened a long time ago, long enough that stories about the survivor who slew Providence became a monster in legends, and now another ship in search of the Contact Light has crashed on the planet and its survivors will yet again slay many of the planet's denizens.
  • Hold the Line: Teleporters have been changed so that you have to stay within a certain radius from it to power it up, leading to the player having to survive the ensuing waves.
  • HP to 1: Acrid's poison unlike the first game cannot itself kill enemies, only reduce them to 1 health point left. However, this comes with a LOT of Loophole Abuse, as the application of poison can kill enemies, items like Guillotine can still kill elites by having the damage tick down, and by the mid-point of a run there's so many passive sources of splash damage it can only take popping one low-health enemy to make the entire battlefield fall to pieces.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Since there's no limit on the number of items you can carry at the same time, you can easily find yourself carrying ridiculous amounts of gear if you make it a point to open every chest you come across. It's entirely possible to end up carrying multiple copies of every item in the game if you keep replaying the levels long enough.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Much like the first game, players get to choose between Drizzle, Rainstorm, and Monsoon difficulties when starting a run. The difficulty levels within a run remain mostly the same, although Very Easy has been excised, Medium has been renamed to Normal, and HAHAHAHA's name just keeps on going to fit the new scrolling horizontal design of the difficulty bar.
  • Improbable Accessory Effect: While it's established that many items are magical, cursed, alien, or otherwise modified in a way, there's some that just don't make sense. A specific goat hoof that makes you move faster? Par for the course.
  • Informed Equipment: Averted hard. Virtually every item you pick up will be shown on your character, regardless of how appropriately they're holding it. The developers stated doing this was part of the game's reason for its 3D leap.
  • Jetpack: The Milky Chrysalis grants limited flight. The Artificer innately has one that functions like the Rusty Jetpack from the first game, offering a slowed descent rather than actual flight.
  • Last Lousy Point: Monster Logs are just as rare as the first game and are a major hurdle in getting a 100% complete codex, but special mention goes to Irradiant Pearl. You need to find a Cleansing Pool, which can only spawn in 3 out of the 9 standard biomes and only spawn about 10-15% of the time to begin with, and trade one Lunar item for a Pearl, with only a 4% chance for it to be an Irradiant Pearl. Also, the Cleansing Pool doesn't spawn if you have Artifact of Command on. The drop rate was buffed to 20%, but even then it's still the rarest item by far.
  • Lethal Joke Weapon: The Crowdfunder, an unlockable equipment item. It's a gatling gun that fires your money as a weapon. Considering money is an invaluable part of progression, flagrant use can drain your reserves and leave you short of buying more items. However, combined with the Brittle Crown (which generates money every time you hit an enemy), it's self sufficient and can unleash one of the highest damage sources in the game.
  • Life Drain: Both the Leeching Seed and Harvester's Scythe allow the player to heal whenever they hit an enemy; the Leeching Seed heals for less but activates on every hit, while the Harvester's Scythe heals for more but only activates on Criticals. There's also the Mired Urn, which allows you to suck HP from nearby enemies.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the gloomy skies and backgrounds of the first game, the second game is definitely brighter in terms of colors.
  • Living Shadow: The "Umbral" bosses spawned by the Artifact of Vengeance look like shadowy doppelgangers of the player characters.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Killing the Final Boss triggers a Metroid-style escape sequence where the players must backtrack to the start of the level before the entire moon implodes and kills them.
  • Loophole Abuse: You can get the Log Entry for the Defensive Microbots by picking it up. The catch is that the Defensive Microbots are a special Legendary that only the Captain can have normally and the Captain having it doesn't qualify as "obtaining" it for the purposes of unlocking the Log. So how do you get the Log Entry? Turn on Artifact of Vengeance, kill your doppelganger, and hope it drops the Defensive Microbots. Incidentally, this is also the only way you can stack the item.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Many of the game's challenges are inherently luck based, ranging from finding and using certain objects to activating a Newt Altar in 8 different spawnpoints to reaching statistical threshholds that require large amounts of a handful of specific items to achieve. The Skills 2.0 update takes this to an extreme with two of the loadout challenges, one requiring that the Engineer gain fourteen allies, and another as the Huntress to find twelve crowbars. Depending on how complete your challenge list is, it might just be easier to reset the first level looking for a crowbar 3D printer than to actually try to fish all of them out of chests.
    • Scavengers now start with several of the game's items on their person, and have a special ability they did not have in the first game: they can reach into their pack and take out an item, instantly gaining the benefits of that item on top of the ones they already had. This means that any fight against a scavenger could potentially become near-impossible if they happen to draw certain combinations of items. For example, a Gnarled Woodsprite, Dio's Best Friend, and a few Tougher Times can make one practically invulnerable, and some combinations of offensive items let them shred your health in seconds.
  • Macrogame: Completing various tasks like finishing stages quickly or killing a certain number of enemies unlocks new items for you to acquire during further playthroughs, as well as alternative skills, skins, and characters.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The Disposable Missile Launcher causes a large number of homing missiles to shoot out of you when used. Collecting several Bundles of Fireworks will also cause this to happen every time you interact with an object. The AT-1 Missile Launcher Subverts it, as it only has a chance to fire a single, powerful missile, and stacks just make the missile bulkier, rather than adding more of them.
  • Made of Explodium: The Imp Overlord's boss item, the Shatterspleen, causes bleeding enemies to explode when they die, dealing 400% of your base damage per stack plus a percentage of their maximum health in damage to all enemies near them.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • The Artificer is the only class whose basic attack has a cooldown (albeit a short one and with multiple charges); the end result is she can spam it only slightly less than everyone else.
    • The Engineer has his turrets, who inherit all of his items; while the Engy himself will usually only have middling damage output, the turrets are where the bulk of his power will come from.
    • Nearly all of the Huntress's attacks are aimed automatically, meaning the player can focus full-time on mobility and evasion while plinking away at enemies.
  • Mirror Boss: The Artifact of Vengeance causes a shadowy doppelganger of the player to spawn once every ten minutes. The doppelganger comes equipped with all that player's items, making it potentially extremely dangerous.
  • Money for Nothing: After a certain point, enemies spawn at such a high rate and drop so much money that you will be swimming in far more cash than you can possibly spend in a single stage.
  • Money Spider: Just like the first game, every enemy gives you money when killed.
  • Necessary Drawback: Lunar items, because they can be purchased with Lunar coins earned across any run and have really good effects, also come with hefty penalties to balance them out. For some, this makes them Difficult, but Awesome, but others end up a Power Up Let Down.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you manage to loop the game and reach at least Rallypoint Delta or Scorched Acres, a celestial portal opens up and leads to an obelisk that the player can interact with to obliterate themselves, ending the run. This is required to unlock the Mercenary, and it also nets you 5 Lunar Coins for doing this. If you also have the Beads of Fealty in your inventory, the obelisk instead takes you to a different area containing one of four Bonus Boss Scavenger variants, and killing it rewards you with 10 Lunar Coins and the game fades to black. The results screen at the end for either end says you were "killed by the Planet" and your "Fate unknown...".
  • Not the Intended Use: The Captain starts with a special Legendary item called Defensive Microbots, which gives him an Attack Drone that automatically destroys projectiles that get close to him. This is meant to help boost his survivability and support abilities... but you can also just chuck it into a Scrapper and get a Red Scrap from it. Since the Captain has Defensive Microbots as a passive, he regenerates a copy of it at the start of every stage if he lost the one in his inventory, allowing you to continually generate Red Scrap every stage and then trade your Scrap for free Legendary items. Alternatively, you can safely sacrifice your Microbots to a Shrine of Order (assuming you only have one other Legendary you want) as you will get them back by the next stage.
  • One-Hit Kill: If anything is in a Void Reaver's implosion radius when it self-destructs, it's completely erased from this plane of existence, no questions asked. A Dio's Best Friend can still bring destroyed entities back, though.
  • Overly Long Gag: Since the difficulty is now measured on a scrolling slider, any difficulty beyond I'M COMING FOR YOU NOW is represented as an endlessly long HAHAHAHA.
  • Physical Heaven: The Artificer's lore says that her race believes Heaven is a planet and explore space for it, grabbing any magical or sufficiently advanced enough to emulate it objects in the process to aid in their journey.
  • Place Beyond Time: Places beyond portals lead to locations outside of time, and there's a mysterious alien who runs a bazaar in one of them.
  • Religion of Evil: The followers of N'kuhana believe that N'kuhana, a death goddess, cannot visit them because more people are being born than dying. They seek to rectify this by killing people to even the balance.
    As disciples, we will spread her words and opinions. As pupils, we will sow death. And should we be lucky... be granted an audience by Her.
  • Secret Character: To play as the Heretic, you need to collect all four Heresy items (Visions, Hooks, Strides, and Essence of Heresy), where then your survivor permanently transforms into the Heretic. The Heretic has a triple jump and a ton of health that degenerates over time, and their own unique ending message. This change is permanent, and if you scrap all copies of a Heresy item, that skill is replaced with a skill that just makes the Heretic squawk.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Preon Accumulator functions near-identically to the BFG from DOOM (2016). There's even an achievement for MUL-T to kill an Imp Overlord (the closest thing this game has to a demon) with it.
    • The Wake of Vultures is this game's equivalent of the Headhunter.
    • One of the music tracks is titled "The Rain Formerly Known as Purple."
    • Bandit's alternate skin strongly resembles Ibzan from Deadbolt.
  • Shock and Awe: Blue enemies have an electrical aura which causes damage to the survivor if they're close enough. The Unstable Tesla Coil gives this power to the survivor, and the Ukulele makes their shots do the same.
  • Sickly Green Glow
    • Acrid's poisons all glow a bright green color.
    • Malachite enemies, which stop anyone they damage from being able to regenerate health, are a blackish-green color.
    • N'kuhana, a death goddess and generally sinister figure, is associated with green. N'kuhana's Opinion is green and black and causes the player to shoot out flaming green skulls, and malachite elites will rarely drop an item called N'kuhana's Retort, which is green and causes the player to have the same abilities as malachite elites. The altar to N'kuhana hidden in the Wetlands Aspect is also filled with green light.
  • Speed Run Reward: Speedrunning is generally encouraged due to the constantly rising difficulty, but there are also a few challenges that specifically require you to reach a certain point within a set time limit. Likewise, there's a bonus chest on Rallypoint Delta that can only be opened if you reach it in under ten minutes.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • The Artifact of Spite makes all enemies release bombs when they die.
    • Void Reavers implode on death, instantly killing anything with a health bar when they do so.
  • Turns Red: Bosses can gain an extra attack once their health drops low, like the Wandering Vagrant's telegraphed explosion.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Some of the rarer item drops you can get off of defeated bosses appear to be actual chunks or organs from the bosses themselves. Naturally, these give you abilities similar to the respective boss it was acquired from. There's also an item that makes it so that the player briefly gains the powers of any elites they kill.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In Siren's Call, you can find Alloy Vulture eggs scattered randomly around the map; destroying them causes them to drop healing orbs. However, destroy too many of them, and the game sics a powerful boss, the Alloy Worship Unit, on you. This is usually beneficial, since you need to kill the Alloy Worship Unit for an achievement and to unlock the Loader, and it also drops a guaranteed Legendary item on kill.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: A modern example. As a result, Huntress' previous niche, being able to move and shoot, is now a universal mechanic for all survivors. To compensate, she's the only ranged survivor that can sprint and shoot, and her Blink ability can be used in all directions, preserving her trademark mobility from the first game; her attacks also autoaim unlike everyone else, so her player doesn't need to worry about aiming and can just focus on mobility.
  • Zerg Rush: The game spawns more and more enemies as the game goes on, and after playing for long enough a player can easily end up facing hundreds of monsters in quick succession. This is taken Up to Eleven with the Artifact of Swarms, which doubles enemy spawns.


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