- Play (the first time you you choose Play, you are shown an intro cinematic during which you will play through the tutorial level)
- Campaign: the main game; most achievements will be unlocked here.
- Infinity Drive: An endurance mode of increasingly difficult layers.
- Daily Drive: Similar to Infinity Drive but only playable once daily (nothing achievement related)
- Boss Rush: all five bosses back to back, unlocked after completing the campaign.
- Leaderboards (nothing achievement related)
- Codex: Information on playable characters, enemies, bosses, etc; 14 unlocks in "Auxiliary" that cost 2,100 credits total
- Art Gallery: Various artwork; 7,100 credits required to unlock everything
- Ex Options: Various gameplay modifiers; 23,500 credits required to unlock everything
- Jukebox (nothing achievement related)
- Sound Test (nothing achievement related)
- Audio Settings
- Game Settings
- Switch User
The tutorial level does a great job of explaining basic information which I'll go over here in greater detail.
The game is comprised of five zones, each with five levels. Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are basic levels with waves of enemies and level 5 is the zone boss. The goal of each level is simply to destroy all of the enemies, which appear in waves that are scripted (although spawn locations may vary slightly). In the case of boss levels, the bosses are comprised of several scripted phases.
Your character has two weapons- a primary weapon and a powerful secondary weapon. Destroyed enemies will drop energy in the form of small white orbs that, when collected, fill a meter in the upper-left of the HUD that increases primary weapon damage up to three times.
Swapping weapons causes your character to do a twirling hop and results in brief invulnerability. Secondary weapons rapidly heat up when used (as indicated by a meter on the ground around your character) and cool down when holstered.
Your character has a shield (shown in the HUD next to your character's name) that can absorb several hits from standard enemy attacks before you are knocked down (note that some enemy attacks will knock you down instantly). When knocked down, your S+ rank chance is broken, your primary weapon upgrades reset, and you are instructed to rapidly press to get back up. Shields recharge after five or so seconds of not taking damage.
There are no lives to be lost, but your character has a battery meter that is prominently displayed at the top of the HUD. This meter is essentially a 60 second timer that steadily depletes and when it runs out, you "die" (fail the level). Enemies will constantly drop battery powerups that add 25 seconds to the battery. These powerups will wander about the immediate area for 10 or so seconds and disappear if not collected. There can only be one battery powerup on the screen at a time, so try to make it a priority to collect them when they appear.
The game features a "chain" mechanic that requires killing enemies in rapid succession. After starting the chain (by quickly killing three enemies or completing a boss phase), the chain indicator will appear on the left of the screen as a number with a circular timer around it. This timer will constantly drain and is refilled upon killing another enemy or completing the next boss phase. In order to earn an S+ rank, you must combo every enemy/boss phase on the level, so if your chain is broken (either by not killing an enemy in time or by getting knocked down), you lose your S+ chance and must restart the level.
As you progress through the game you will earn credits which can be used for unlockables in the collections menu. Higher level scores result in a greater amount of credits earned.
There are 9 playable characters. Four are available at the start and the rest are unlocked by defeating bosses.
Characters have unique primary and secondary weapons so each character plays slightly differently.
Cactus, Holly, Lemon, Coral are available by default
Starch, Aubergine, Shiitake, and Peanut, and Licorice are unlocked after defeating the game's bosses.
I completed the game having used primarily Holly for standard levels and Cactus or Starch for bosses. I used Starch to get to layer 25 in Infinity Drive and Cactus to complete Boss Rush. I only used the other androids for situational achievements directly related to them. Feel free to try them all out and see which one(s) you like best.
Enemies will randomly drop powerups, which come in three varieties:
- "adds friendly machine gun drones that results in an increased damage output"
- drones fire in whatever direction the player is facing
- drones can block enemy bullets and lasers
- duration is 12 seconds, subsequent pickups add an additional 12 seconds
- "increases speed and attracts energy"
- player movement speed is doubled
- while active, players ignore every third point of damage taken (essentially 33.3% damage reduction)
- duration is 15 seconds, subsequent pickups add an additional 15 seconds
- "disables enemies briefly and recovers shield"
- sends out a circular wave that disables enemies for 3 seconds and bosses for 2 seconds.
- while stunned, enemies take double damage and bosses take 1.5x damage.
- after pickup, player is instantly healed and invulnerable for 4 seconds
Powerups cycle from one to the next after about six seconds, always from R to B to Y and back to R (an indicator is shown on the powerup itself). Powerups also remain indefinitely unless the level shifts in such a way that the ground underneath a powerup is removed.
Credit to The Assault Android Wiki for various information.
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