Up until now, reverse bullet-hell shooter Vampire Survivors, one of the year’s must-play indie hits, did not have a final boss. That’s no longer the case in the wake of a recent update, which adds a new version of the game’s final stage.
Still in early access, and technically first released in the twilight of last year, Vampire Survivors is a Castlevania-inspired survival game. Though it may look like a top-down bullet hell shoot-’em-up, the core concept isn’t really about dodging projectiles: You’re the one shooting them, obliterating thousands of enemies. And thanks to a handful of roguelike elements, Vampire Survivors can easily put you into that “just five more minutes” mindset. Here’s Kotaku’s Ian Walker:
Vampire Survivors’ true power, however, is in its near-constant dopamine rush. It feels like a mobile game without all the mobile game bullshit, or maybe one of those mindless Flash distractions you used to secretly pull up on your school’s study hall computers. Not only is clearing the screen of baddies satisfying, but every so often rare, stronger enemies reward you with a treasure chest that showers you in additional items and money for unlocks with a flashy sequence that rivals even the best loot boxes.
The latest update, 0.8.0 (patch notes here), showers you with even more stuff, inching Vampire Survivors closer to a full release via a slew of new abilities, achievements, and weapons. But the biggest change is the addition of a reworked final stage, “Cappella Magna.” If you survive to the 30-minute mark, as Polygon notes, all of the stage’s enemies will coalesce, Voltron-style, into a giant reaper. That’s the final boss. Once you defeat it the first time, “Cappella Magna” will revert to the easier — but still really freakin’ difficult — version. For your efforts, you’ll unlock the Great Gospel relic, which allows you to upgrade weapons beyond their max level.
If you haven’t played yet, Vampire Survivors is worth a spin. It’s part of the PC library for Game Pass, Microsoft’s games-on-demand subscription service. Or, and this is key, it costs $US3 ($4).