A few weeks ago we brought news that Shovel Knight’s free expansion Plague of Shadows would be arriving soon for the Vita. Today, we have news on what challenges and changes the expansion will bring.
David D’Angelo of Yacht Club Games featured some of the differences between playing as Shovel Knight and Plague Knight on Gamasutra. The major differences are that Plague Knight depends heavily on explosions and is a scientist who crafts items with his alchemy. He also is wild, manical, and dangerous, and their goal when developing him was to make it feel like you’re controlling the character you saw in the original boss fight.
With all this in mind, Yacht Club started working on his moveset, which “Burst” is at the core of. Burst is used by holding the attack button – which charges it – requiring some forward-thinking and precision to get right. The move results in a larger reaching horizontal jump than Shovel Knight could manage.
“Once a horizontal burst is detonated, the player’s left and right input does very little to change it! This captures Plague Knight’s wild spirit, the seemingly out of control jumping in his boss fight,” D’Angelo explained.
Yacht Club made Plague Knight’s running speed slower and jump height lower in an effort to make Burst feel more wild. However, to ensure he can reach similar heights as Shovel Knight, Plague Knight has a double jump. The double jump can be used with Burst to reach far platforms.
“When combined with burst jumps, players can more accurately adjust where and how to land. Or they can even take advantage of the burst’s momentum to keep their faster momentum,” D’Angelo wrote.
As mentioned, Plague Knights loves explosives and he throws them instead of Shovel Knight’s shovels. He throws a series of three short-range bombs quickly, meaning he can attack from a distance, but the real difference is when bombs are thrown in the air.
When he attacks in the air, the bombs are thrown at a 45-degree angle, allowing for platform clearance before landing. Throwing bombs in the air also slows down Plague Knight’s movement.
“This was an important design element for two reasons,” D’Angelo noted. “First, it provides a consistent way to control Plague’s air speed. Since the bomb bursts’s speed and arc is fixed, giving the player the ability to stop themselves or slow down was very important.”
“Second, it makes it much easier to be accurate with the bomb as an attack, as the player can lock into the right place before unloading attacks on the same target. Without slowing down Plague, a lot of players would be showering an area with bombs rather than pin pointedly hitting their targets.”
Plague Knight’s knockback distance after taking damage is also greater than Shovel Knight’s – for example, he could easily fall into a pit after being hit by an enemy. You could avoid this though with his double jump.
Those are all the major differences between the two knights, though it was noted that Plague Knight will also further differ himself as you upgrade him and unlock armor.
Stay tuned for more on Shovel Knight, Plague Knight, Plague of Shadows, and all things Vita – as and when they become available. 😉