Everything you wanted to know about Deathtrap

Deathtrap is essentially a Tower Defense game with very strong action RPG elements, using the battle system and the controls from The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing series. You can choose your character from the three available classes (Mercenary, Sorceress or Marksman) and you will command your solitary hero through various maps, where you must build and maintain deadly traps to fight the swarms of monsters with the additional help of your character’s weapons and special skills.

The single player campaign offers 13 separate maps that you can all replay on various difficulty settings. You can fight your way through the maps of the whole campaign with the same character, leveling up your hero and gradually upgrading your traps.

If you are tired of the single gameplay, you can always switch to the cooperative mode or try the PvP matches. If you want more challenges, you can always download levels created by other players or you can experiment with your own designs in the Level and Monster Editor, where you can set up your own creatures and maps and share them via the Steam Workshop.

Background and story

Deathtrap will lead you to a truly grim and violent fantasy setting, straight into the hidden regions of the Ink, the mysterious otherworld featured The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing games. This is where a lost civilization built a chain of strongholds to keep the horrors of the otherworld at bay. These empty forts used to be the first line of defense in every cycle when the black heart of the Ink opens up for a while and discharges new hordes of monsters. They will try to break through to the ordinary world, but their only pathway leads through these underground mazes and silent forts, which are filled with ancient traps, magical wards, powerful enchantments and rusty machines… but sadly they have long been abandoned.

Now the next invasion is here and the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of some unfortunate souls who are in charge of these deadly labyrinths: the Sorceress, who has been trained to use the power of the Ink, the Mercenary, who foolishly accepted a new job that landed him here all alone, and the Marksman, who has only travelled here to hunt down a legendary beasts, but now he also has to save the world.

Single player campaign: you and your traps against the whole otherworld!

The Deathtrap single player campaign puts you in charge of the abandoned, mystic fort of the otherworld, where you must defeat the hordes of monstrosities that try to get through the Chaos Portals that surround the heart of darkness in the otherworld. The only problem is that you are on your own in the deserted halls of the Deathtrap Strongholds, so it’s a good thing that you have deadly devices and powerful skills. Otherwise you’d be dead soon.

The single player campaign offers 13 separate maps. Each map could be replayed on 5 different tiers, which means that after completing a certain map, you can go back later and replay the same map with a different setup that gives you a tougher challenge. In addition to that, the scenarios in the endgame offer a whole wide range of new possibilities: level cap at 100, the same 13 campaign levels plus 5 unique scenario maps with more than 150 upgrades to the base 25 traps and with tremendous extra possibilities to try new setups and farm resources.

Your mission on each map is to stop the incoming waves of monstrosities: depending on how successful you were in your task (considering your difficulty settings and the number of beasts that managed to get through your Gate), you earn Research points, which could be used to upgrade your traps later.

You earn Experience Points for killing monsters, and the defeated creatures also drop loot as in all ARPGs.

Team up with other heroes and save the world together

Apart from the single player experience, Deathtrap also offers a co-op gameplay option. First of all, all 13 maps from the single player campaign can be played cooperatively as well – up to 4 players –, and you can always switch to co-op gameplay from the single campaign any time. Your character’s progress remains continuous, and as you unlock the new maps, you’ll keep on progressing in both the single and the co-op campaign.

Cooperative maps have more Gates to defend and more Chaos Portals that spawn monsters – the actual number depends on the number of active players –, and as an added difficulty these monsters are stronger and the waves are bigger. In co-op gameplay mode all players will be able to construct every single trap they have already unlocked during their single campaigns.

Show your friends your true personality

Deathtrap offers a Player vs. Player gameplay mode, where you can set out against others in the classic arrangement of defender versus attacker.

If you are the defender, your mission is exactly the same as you were playing any of the Deathtrap single player maps, namely to defend the area from the monsters with traps and personal defensive tactics based on your skills and spells.

If you are the attacker, on the other hand, you will lead the horde of monsters this time. As the mighty invader, you are an omnipresent ghost hovering over the arena with the unique ability to possess and control directly any creature in your invading army. You can also employ specific abilities which can be used to weaken your opponent, boost your monsters or disarm the defender’s traps.

Before you launch the invasion, you can set up your abilities and the monsters that you will bring to the map. The setups are bound to the account, so they are administered on a separate page and you don’t have to deal with this before each PvP match. Before starting a wave, you can also choose from a list how you’d like to make your creatures more effective.

Become the Master of the Deathtrap Strongholds

Deathtrap has an integrated Level and Monster Editor that allows the creation of user generated content. It’s not a modding tool and it has certain limitations, but it’s a vital part of the game and grants you a very easy-t-use tool to create your own maps and customize the monsters. The Level Editor is basically a 2D map tool, while the Monster Editor allows you to tweak with the special abilities, spells and skills of the creatures. You can also set up the routes (lanes) and define which creature groups you’d like to send with the waves.

Your single maps can be tied smoothly into a simple mini-campaign with its own background story, moreover, you can also share your deadly, cunning levels and challenging mini-campaigns with the community through the Steam Workshop.

Exploration and the rewards of curiosity

In Deathtrap, you’ll have to defend a whole chain of deserted strongholds long lost to decay. You’ll build traps and stand your ground on the various ancient islands floating in the mist of the otherworld, and there is only you and the tides of invading monsters that try to break through the Gates. But sometimes these areas are far from empty: there are creatures who have chosen these places to build their secret lairs. You can explore the hidden corners on the maps and hunt down the neutral creatures hiding away from the battle for exclusive loot. It’s not something that you can do in the precious minutes between waves, though: these creatures exist in an insubstantial, ghost-like shape on the map and only take solid form when the Chaos Portals open and the enemy breaks through.

Sometimes you can solve additional side quests on the maps as well, which will give you special rewards. These side quests sometimes will spice up the basic gameplay (“solve this map with using only a specific trap type”) or they are classic side quests (“destroy a particular NPC on the map”).

Become one of the specialists

In Deathtrap, you have to choose your hero first. The basic game has 3 classes to choose from (Mercenary, Sorceress and Marksman), but we are planning to introduce 2 additional classes in future DLCs. Each class offers different skills and powers to destroy your enemies, which means that you’ll need to change your tactics from class to class.

The Sorceress spent her life studying the Ink – the dark mist where the Deathtrap Strongholds are floating, also the material of creation itself – and she can manipulate and use it for practical purposes. She doesn’t carry conventional weapons, but her Craft (as she calls her spellcasting abilities) makes her dangerous and lethal. However, she uses her spells from far away, so she is extremely vulnerable in close combat and she must dodge hostile, close range attacks. Not that you should worry about the Sorceress when she employs her fire-and-forget spells or wreaks havoc with the truly powerful spells which can all cause considerable damage. And in those unfortunate cases when she eventually needs to run, the slow and hold spells always come handy. As a rule of thumb, you should place her far from the enemy and she’ll be very quick and effective, but she’ll react extremely slowly if she happens to be under attack.

The Sorceress uses Mana to cast spells: Mana tends to deplete quickly, but at least it replenishes rapidly too.

The Mercenary is a seasoned warrior for hire. He is consequently a cynic, and also a brute force of man who can efficiently stand his ground in close combat. He has a huge HP score, he acts like a tank-style character and fends off enemies. His attacks are brutal in close range, but if you want decimating area effects, he is not your man, although he grants strong boosts to Towers and summoned creatures in his vicinity, not to mention the effectiveness of those skills that target single creatures.

He spends Rage to empower his special abilities and replenishes Rage by killing enemies. The Mercenary uses two-handed weapons.

The Marksman is a cold-blooded professional who spent his years by hunting down vile creatures. His methods reflect the thinking of ordinary hunters: follow the trail, hide and take them down from safe distance. He is not doing this for the money, but for the pleasure of making the world a better place. He considers combat as a personal journey that makes him stronger and welcomes challenges with enthusiasm. The Marksman is a ranged weapon specialist: he uses two mechanical crossbows that both can shoot barrages of deadly bolts. Consequently, he is not too effective in closed combat, but his combos can make things difficult for the monsters, not to mention the poison and the DoT damage.

The Marksman’s unique feature is called cloaking: when he is idle and there are no enemies in close range, he automatically switches to cloaking mode that heals back his HPs and refills his unique resource, Focus, which he can use to empower his special abilities.

Experience and leveling up

In Deathtrap, experience grants you wisdom, and with wisdom comes a brand new solution to deal with those annoying invaders. The extended and detailed character development rivals the complex character development systems of most ARPGs and offers you 100 levels to achieve and more than 50 Skills per class, which you can upgrade when you level up.

Each active skill has 10 levels to unlock; passive skills have 20. Each active skill has two secondary skills, which grant further specializations. If you love to grind, the level cap at 100 was meant just for you, and it promises a considerable amount of gameplay.

Weapons of destruction have never been so much fun

Deathtrap – no surprises here – is a game where you must deploy deadly devices to stop and destroy the invading monsters. You can (and you definitely will) survive in the battles with your character’s skills and abilities, but the traps will do major part of the destruction. These deadly devices come in many shapes and colors, ranging from mechanical wonders and trapdoors to magical totem poles.

The traps that fill the vaults of these mazes are largely products of a lost civilization, the masters of magic and anachronistic weird technology. The traps come in 5 categories and each category has allocated slots on the map. Traps that belong to a given category can only be constructed on their specific slots. Traps placed on the ground can be mechanical or mystical – e.g. special sigils that will give intruders various nasty surprises, artificial killing floors or summoning platforms –, or they can look like towers, either mechanical or mystical (from artificial sentries of all kinds to runepillars that attack the intruders with powerful magical countermeasure like lightning, fire and ice).

You will use Essence to construct traps, and you gain Essence for each fallen hostile creature. You also get extra Essence after each wave that you have defeated.

In Deathtrap, you can fend off the invaders with 25 basic traps and more than 150 trap upgrades, not to mention the very special upgrades, which are tied to challenging and fun achievements.

You gain or unlock new basic trap types gradually, while you are playing through the maps. Each basic trap has 3*3 levels of possible upgrades: these will boost the basic traps and cost Essence. In addition to that, each trap has 2*10 “passive upgrades” that you must unlock first, but after enabling these you will build enhanced traps without spending extra Essence.

Make your legendary weapons even more effective

In Deathtrap, you can experiment with artifact crafting, which gives you new ways to acquire deadly magic items. While your character is busy smashing the monsters to pieces, the invaders will all drop loot that you can sell later or salvage them for your own purposes – this way you’ll earn Shards (although you won’t get Gold, obviously): Shards are basic ingredients of the new items. During your adventures you can find or purchase various formulas, which will how to forge brand new items from the Shards. There are various types of Shards that all resemble different gems.

In Deathtrap sometimes you’ll be able to find unique magic items. These artifacts will go into you inventory as Tier 1 items, but you can upgrade them Tier by Tier by spending Gold and Shards, upgrading them as far as Tier 10. With each new Tier the artifact gets a bonus enchantment, making it even more powerful and unique.

Gear up and stand your ground!

The result of the detailed equipment mechanics and the comprehensive loot system in Deathtrap is the highly customizable inventory. The basic system might be familiar from the ARPGs: each character has equipment slots for armor, amulet, weapon, ring and belt, plus 3 slots for Runes – Runes, on the other hand, are used to boost traps, not the character.

Defeated creatures will drop loot, but you can also gain items by exploring the map or completing side quests. In the Management Phase you can sell your items or buy new ones. As you progress through the maps and each new level poses a slightly greater difficulty, luckily the items will get increasingly powerful as well.

Each items belongs to categories: magic, rare, epic and godlike. The rarer the item, the more powerful it is (it has way more magic abilities).

A wide variety of horrors to defeat

The monsters are all returning from the depths of the otherworld to conquer and kill! In Deathtrap, the unnatural invaders come in 3 races: the Legendary Beasts used to live among the commoners: they are all mythical creatures that disappeared from the ordinary world a long time ago. The Shadowbrood, the creatures of nightmares have been banished by priests and monster hunters from the dark corners of the world, while the Artificial Abominations are results of unholy experiments that escaped from the secret laboratories that mad scientists built in the Ink.

Monsters have more than 40 different variations, and the countless combination of the various monster abilities will make the invading swarms even more colorful.