This is a guide to all the little tricks and functions in the game and how to use them. I'm not going to walk you through winning boss fights (although boss mechanics are covered). Just tell you how to pull off the most stylish things the game lets you do.
With that out of the way, this guide is being written NOT to help players "win" the game, or beat the bosses. I've personally only beaten the first, and don't really care. But what I have done is figured out a whole bunch of neat little tricks the game's controls let you do, but which the game itself doesn't tell you. Some of this guide is stuff that's covered in the tutorial, or simply visible in the controls page of the menu. But some is just... there and really cool.
So, obviously, if you've gotten this far, you're interested in learning how to be the greatest indestructible and UNDEFEATED superhero ever. This is good. Also, you might have gone through the basic tutorial with the control explanations still half in Japanese when you only speak English. This is less good, but I can help.
- Movement: WASD/left stick.
- Look: Mouse movement/right stick.
These are really obvious, but worth mentioning. They affect a LOT of things in the game.
- Speed mode: LB/L1/click left stick/L Shift.
- Walk mode: L. Alt (controllers don't need a "walk" button, just don't push the stick all the way).
These functions are both TOGGLE - tap alt/shift/whatever while moving and it puts you into the relevant movement mode. Walk mode toggles on when not moving and REMAINS on until you move (or hit alt again). Also, you can toggle walk mode on with alt then start walking using the controller and it won't let you run normally until you toggle walk or speed mode. Most modern keyboards have left alt as "Alt" and right alt as "Alt Gr". Make sure it's the left one. Shift is also the left shift key, not the one on the right of your keyboard.
- Jump: A/X/spacebar.
- Fly up: RT/R2/E.
- Fly down: LT/L2/Q
On the ground, the jump button makes you jump (duh). In mid-air, it toggles flight mode. If you're in speed mode, jumping lets you jump really long distances, and switching to flight mode instantly transitions into speed flight, not normal hover flight mode. While airborne, you fly in the direction you're looking, so camera facing affects movement, but you can fine-tune your elevation in flight with the fly up/down buttons.
- Melee: X/square/left click.
- Ranged: Y/triangle/right click.
These have varied input combinations that produce different attacks (details of these are covered in the advanced tricks and boss fight sections), but in general, melee does a dash into the enemy to hit them in close range, while ranged fires some kind of attack that covers the intervening distance for itself.
This is a contextual "be a hero" button. When near a civilian who needs help, this does the thing that helps them. When near a mission marker, this starts the mission. Pretty simple, really.
There aren't many of these, but this covers a few specialised commands which you're less likely to NEED for anything, but which you can use for various extra information or fun bits and pieces.
C on the keyboard or clicking the right stick on a controller resets your camera view to match the orientation of the character. When airborne, this only resets your up/down view, because the character automatically rotates with the camera, but on the ground this can give you an instant spin if you've repositioned the camera. Also, if for some reason you want to play on a keyboard without the mouse, you can use left and right cursor keys to rotate the camera.
Z or down on the d-pad triggers slow-motion, which applies a yellow filter and slows everything down. This isn't available in primary missions, it disables at the moment of completion of a side mission, and it ends after a short duration. You can also toggle it back off manually any time you want.
Pressing tab or up on the d-pad forces the game to display your current "hero points", "hero rank", and the buffs provided by them. Ranks run from D (new character or someone who's been murdering a lot of civilians) to A, then does the Japanese thing of taking on S, SS, and SSS above A rank. The only real benefits in most cases are that you move and attack faster, but at A rank you unlock the "Deathblow" power (covered under advanced tricks).
This is where it gets silly, letting you bring all the things together for crazy fun moments.
The first and most obvious thing to voer here is the fact that your attacks change based on your movement.
If you're on the ground, your melee attack is a dash punch. You move slightly faster than your sprinting movement as you raise your fist and swing, and the strike can hit multiple targets if the happen to be in a fairly generous estimation of arm's reach around you. If you're not already moving in a direction, the default dash direction is the direction the camera is pointed in, but this is always overridden by the presence of a nearby enemy, who you will automatically dash into for your attack.
When airborne, and not EXTREMELY close to the ground, you'll instead perform a "superhero landing". This, as mentioned in the game's tutorial, is very hard on the knees, but since you're completely indestructible, you don't have to worry. Any nearby cars or enemies are much less fortunate, since it causes a massive shockwave that shatters the ground around you. Innocent bystanders are safe from this, unless they're in cars, which for some reason your heroic friendly fire prevention powers seem unable to spare from damage.
When you're sprinting or flying REALLY close to ground level, your melee attack turns into a speed-dash attack. This makes you feel like the ultimate speedster, zipping from enemy to enemy so fast even your own time slowing power can't keep up. It's also a helpful mobility tool, letting you travel a fairly generous distance when no enemies are around at a crazy increase over your normal movement speed - although the recovery time after it mostly balances that out.
Ranged attacks work a bit differently. When standing still, you do an "air fist" attack, punching so hard it sends a blast of air powerful enough to defeat normal enemies. When moving on the ground, you slash with an open handed chopping motion, and launch a blade of red energy. When airborne, whether moving or not, you do a similar air blade attack, but the aerial version is black instead of red. The black aerial blades are freely aimable, firing at the exact point you happen to be looking at when you fire them.
The next thing to cover is the "Deathblow" ability. This is unlocked at hero rank A, and gives you instructions when you first unlock it. Basically, you enter speed mode, get up to full speed, then hit the ranged attack button. If you're on the ground, you do a powered-up air fist, which creates a massive sphere of destruction that travels a long way (unless it hits a building). When airborne, you fire a massive blade wave, which is similarly extreme in scale and destructive power. Unlike your normal airborne ranged attacks, however, this aerial deathblow attack can't be aimed up or down, and fires in the direction you're looking, but always level with the horizon.
It's worth noting that your sprint speed is slower than your super speed flight, but much faster than hovering flight speed. Also, while not actually affecting movement speed, you can make yourself *FEEL* like you're getting a speed boost while flying by double-tapping the jump button. This disengages flight, letting you glide for an instant before restarting, which triggers the "high speed flight" activation animation, and just looks cool, so it's nice to do when you just want to look more like a hero ZOOMING off to save the day but you had already been in high speed flight when the trouble started.
While airborne, *ANY* movement input with the sprint button will move faster. Not just the usual 4 directions, but the "fly up" and "fly down" inputs also work with it. I wouldn't mention this, but so many games with 3D movement and a speed mode forget to account for these directions. Superhero landing is a faster downward flight, but it has a sudden impact at ground level that can risk losing you a few (thousand) hero points, so if there's cars nearby, you might be safer just dashing down. Similarly, the melee superspeed dash attack can destroy cars and injure civilians, so you want to be careful not to hit any vehicles while using it to ZOOOOM down the street. Unless you're a bad guy, in which case, well, who can stop you?
The best trick though? Press and hold the "fly up" button when NOT airborne. You'll charge up for a moment, then LAUNCH into the air. It's very much like the first time you see Neo fly in the first Matrix film. You can do it while standing for an epic launch from the superhero landing pose, or you can do it while running or sprinting to do a superjump where you never have to land. As an added bonus - this method of launching into the air automatically puts you into high speed flight, not just hover flight mode. It even kills nearby terrorists, making it a truly multi-purpose power. Just... as with a few things before, don't do it near cars, they tend not to handle it well. Also as before though, pedestrians are fine. Your powers are great for saving people but killing their vehicles.
There is ONE unique input for boss fights, a few functions which work differently from normal. Boss fights are always missions, which means that time slowing is also unavailable, which is a shame.
The first thing to note is the lock on function. Hit RB/R1 on a controller, or the R key on your keyboard, and you'll toggle your lock on the boss enemy. This lock on function doesn't work for normal enemies (not that you need it to), only bosses.
In boss fights, the bosses are always airborne, flying around throwing nasty and dangerous ranged attacks at the city (and mostly seeming not to care about attacking you, which is smart since you're immune to damage). Letting the city take too much damage will make you lose, so you want to try and make that not happen. The obvious way is to kill the enemy, but you can also cancel out their attacks and reverse the damage.
You primary tool in a boss fight is your ranged attack. This can be used when not locked onto the boss, to fire at the hazards from boss attacks, and destroy them, or to fire while locked onto the boss and hit them directly. You can also destroy the hazards with high speed flight (ONLY high speed, not normal hover flight) if you pass through them, but they're close to buildings so unless you're careful to only skim the wall, you'll often collide and lose speed, then have to get moving again to catch the next hazard spot.
Melee attacks CAN be used on bosses as well - and unlike normal flight, hitting the melee button while locked onto a boss doesn't do the superhero landing. Instead, you dash intot he boss and punch them. Unless you've stunned them with a ranged attack first, this doesn't do any damage, but it can contribute to stunning the target - you need to be careful not to waste time though, since this doesn't generally stun them as fast as ranged attacks. once a boss is stunned, your melee hit can be comboed into a chain of rapid-fire punches before launching the enemy back, and doing a dash combo smashing them all around the city.
When you're in a melee combo or dash combo, if the boss recovers, you need to exit melee mode before you can resume your ranged attacks - simply switching to the ranged attack button will have the hero continue his melee combo for some reason instead. You can pause in your onslaught and just return to normal flight after a short time, or you can hit the jump button to instantly reset and be able to fire a barrage of ranged attacks again.
The final function is the "be heroic" button - this is used when the boss is performing a "deathblow" attack. The button prompt appears in the middle of the screen at the bottom when you're close enough and the boss is preparing one of these attacks. When it shows up, hit the button and you'll counter their ultimate supervillain attack and leave them stunned, ready for you to rush straight back into melee.