Chaos is a joke that usually loses its humor within a few minutes of being immersed in it. Jumping from “crazy, hehe” to regretting all your decisions is as easy as seeing that you have completely lost control. Noita is pure chaos and, like your first child, she comes without an instruction manual.
You learn the hard way that being able to do whatever you want with your magic wand is as cool as it is dangerous. And that the spark of grace that is now burning half a level and has led you to death in the most absurd way possible, may not have been the best of ideas but it was a valuable lesson.
A pixelated domino effect
With the claim of “every pixel is simulated”, Noita immerses us in a world where every action has a consequence. A wrong shot can mean throwing an oil lamp on the ground and burning the grass and wood there.
It can also mean falling into a lake, the oil floating and burning on the surface, the flames reaching a nearby pump and it exploding creating a hole that lets the water escape creating a huge waterfall that drags everything in its path.
Do you need more? Well, there you have the steam that rises to condense and create a light rain capable of extinguishing the fire or, if you prefer, become a lake that will freeze to stop your enemies. Chaos, a weapon and executioner, has given me as many murders surrounded by explosions and fireworks as accidental deaths that I have not seen coming.
With a roguelike soul, Noita asks us to embrace that madness in order to reach the depths of a mountain and face what is there. If possible, making use of everything we have learned in a game with insane possibilities in which experimentation and death go hand in hand.
Here, unlike recent gems of the genre like Supergiant’s descent into hell, Noita does not offer us to upgrade our character for the next run. The difference between the first try and the last one only comes down to everything you’ve learned about what you should and shouldn’t do in each situation.
The different ways of living (and dying) in Noita
With the possibility of levitating for short periods of time and armed with two magic wands, one of poor power that will require three or four shots to finish off the first enemies and a second with limited bombs, Noita proposes three ways to face each attempt.
The first one is the calm one. Going down little by little exploring to the maximum to get new wands and finishing with enemies to knead tons of gold.
This way, when you reach the nexus between one level and another you will be able to acquire new powers and play with those obtained to personalize your wands. One capable of throwing rays, invoking friendly bugs and launching a nuclear bomb? Let’s see how it works.
The second one, a little more agile, is the one that invites us to reach that nexus with what we wear and try our luck with what we find along the way. Maybe there is a wand that will help you, maybe not, but you will have advanced without running the risk that two madmen with shotguns and a third with dynamite have blown your head off.
The third is to embrace chaos at its best. The one of going crazy to see how this affects this other and what you should keep in mind when you decide to make a run with one of the previous paths. It is, for example, the one that tells you that the most likely thing when using a wand with lightning bolts, friendly bugs and a nuclear bomb is that you will die at the first shot.
Chaos and Difficulty
Despite all the good, exciting and promising things that Noita can transmit with those examples, it is a game that I would not recommend arriving absolutely virgin. It is one of those ideas that can end up being “coffee for very coffee-drinking people”, and both the need to experiment with how much it offers and the devilish difficulty it offers can end up driving more than one person crazy.
You will achieve this after a couple of attempts by the slow ones, the ones who want to play well by killing everyone in a fine and precise way, which end up in accidental death. Or after the shot of a sniper, the fire missiles of a ghost or the radioactive vomit of a flying head.
There is all that, as there are also crazy people with chainsaws, giant spiders and the possibility of teleporting or drinking the blood of enemies to regain health.
Because Noita, as we said, is pure chaos, and that usually paints better on paper than when you see yourself fighting vampires and legged gatlings. Where there is no room for doubt is in believing that that whole combination is as dangerous as it sounds. To Noita you either enter with patience and a desire to learn or with the desire to read many wikis, but don’t expect to come out victorious and with a garden in your butt because the possibilities are slim.