You Should Try is a series where I recommend you various games. Today that is Nosgoth

[Update] Unfortunately, Nosgoth is going to be closing down its doors by the end of May due to a lack of players.

"You Should Try" is a new series of articles where I'll showcase you a game I really enjoy while explaining what exactly makes it fun and memorable. This can be any game, new or old, indie or AAA, the only requirement is that it has to be something I've found myself greatly enjoying and in need of sharing with the world.

Today, I think you should try Nosgoth, an asymmetrical multiplayer game where vampires face off against humans and only through teamwork can you hope to survive.

 

First of all, Nosgoth is a free to play game by the same guys that brought you Rocket League, so just from that alone you should already know how the f2p model works. New classes, weapons and abilities are acquired very easily through standard gameplay and all of them are sidegrades. The only advantage money will bring you is that you will look far cooler than the skinless masses. However, if you are dedicated enough to your class you can even get the "best" skins through simply playing the game, without spending a single dime.

At its core Nosgoth is a team focused PvP game where 4 vampires fight against against 4 humans in an asymmetrically balanced death match. There are other game modes but death match is what Nosgoth was designed around and where its balance excels. A match consists of two rounds that last either 10 minutes or until one team scores 30 kills, after which the teams are switched and you repeat the slaughter until a victor is declared, simple enough.

Where it gets tricky is that all 10 classes have unique abilities, weapons and play-styles you'll have to account for. This means that not only do the tactics between humans and vampires differ greatly, they differ within the same team as well. A Scout with his long ranged bow is better suited at standing far away from fights raining arrows on incoming vampires while the more close-ranged Alchemist wants to stick with the team in order to maximize the effect of its AOE attacks.

This isn't anything revolutionary but the classes are balanced in such a way that each and every one of them has some situations where they will be incredible and others where they will be almost helpless, either because the area the fight is taking place is bad for them or because the enemy consists of unfavorable match-ups. It is up to you and your teammates to decide what classes you will be taking as well as where and how you will bring the fight to the enemy.

In Nosgoth you need to have a well balanced team in order to win

A well rounded team composition will get you far

Since every character has glaring weaknesses, coordination and team-play are of the utmost importance otherwise you are going to be spending a lot of time looking at the respawn screen. Funnily enough, since everyone can die extremely quickly when focused, most even moderately skilled players soon realize that going lone wolf is a recipe for disaster and start sticking with their team. So even if you join a random game you almost have a guarantee that your teammates will stick together and fight as one. And it is these team battles that are my favorite thing about Nosgoth.

Humans with their ranged weaponry tend to play the role of defense while the more melee orientated vampires play the role of the aggressor. Usually fights begin with a little routine where vampires try to poke holes in the human defenses while the humans try to poke holes in vampires. As I mentioned, you can die fairly quickly in Nosgoth so it is of vital importance that you know where exactly your enemies are in order to counter them before the fight even happens.

If you are on the human side your main advantage is the use of ranged weaponry so what you want to do is to position yourself in such a way that you can see as much of the surrounding area as possible without standing in the middle of nowhere. You want to intercept and stop the vampire attack before it even begins because in a straight up fight vampires are far stronger due to the whole "giant teeth and claws" thing.

However, if you can chip away at the vampires health before they even reach you they might not be so bold in their attack. A Sentinel for example, the only flying vampire, is great at disrupting and displacing humans but if you clip his wings the moment you see him he's going to spend most of the match hiding on buildings in fear of you shooting him down, thus greatly limiting his impact on the game.

In Nosgoth you need to make sure to cower your flanks and your rear otherwise you might get a surprise

On the other hand, if you let vampires run amok you might get a stabby surprise

But vampires aren't helpless, despite their minimal ranged options. As I mentioned above, as a vampire you are far stronger than a human so your goal in fights is to separate the humans in such a way that you all end up in 1v1 battles, battles you are massively favored to win. In order to actually be able to spread the humans out each of the vampire, as well human classes has some form of stun/crowd control whose skillful application can turn the tides.

And skillful they are because nothing in Nosgoth is auto aimed, everything from the most basic of guns and melee attacks to class abilities require you to master their specific mechanic as well as the actual aiming. Much like how it works in Dota 2, most abilities in Nosgoth have a small delay before firing which allows for some counter-play to what otherwise are incredibly powerful abilities.

Take the Prophet's Hex Shot for example, an ability that drastically slows down a vampire and makes them unable to attack - practically a death sentence if it hit. The interesting thing with Hex Shot however is that its power is contrasted by a rather long cast time as well as a slow projectile so a well timed dodge on the vampire's side can leave the Prophet without its most powerful tool.

The balance, while not perfect, allows for so much interaction between you, your team and your opponents that even after a hundred hours I'm discovering new tricks to pull off. It truly is a game that is easy to grasp but incredibly hard to master. And most importantly of all, it is really fun to play since every character represents a unique style of play.

In Nosgoth you have to cower your team or die alone.

Landing a stun arrow before the vampire gets to finish the job, what could be better in life

The end result of all of this are incredibly tense battles with plenty of room for both personal skill and teamwork to shine. Given that both you and your enemies can drop dead very quickly means that each decision you make, each shot you take ends up mattering. If you pull off an amazing shot such as stunning a sentinel as he swoops in to abduct your team mate, you will not only feel like the most badass guy around but you would also single-handedly tip the balance of the fight heavily in your favor.

It is this feeling of impact, of importance that keeps bringing me back to Nosgoth. The knowledge that your moves can bring victory or defeat to your team is a great motivator that pushes you to further yourself as a player. The deeper in you go the better opponents you will face and the game becomes something far more than a simple FPS.

So if you're someone that enjoys team based games where you can really sink in a lot of hours becoming good then I do believe you should try Nosgoth.

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