I have nearly 100 hours put into this game as of writing this and have discovered a lot of nuances to game mechanics that I see a lot of confusion about. This guide is an attempt to set the record straight on how some mechanics work as well as provide tips to those looking to master the systems of Clash.
Hidden Mechanics Guide with Tips
A few of the stats have additional hidden effects that synergize with various gameplay styles.
Power – Power interacts with First Person attacks in a fairly important way. Activating first person mode opens up a short window in which a certain amount of damaqe must be dealt to trigger the finishing move. The finishing move will not automatically kill an enemy, but it will do a significant amount of damage. If you fail to deal enough damage during this window, first person mode will end without the special finishing move triggering.
Endurance – This one seems to be the most misunderstood. Attacks, sprinting, some special attacks, and taking damage depletes your stamina meter. Once the stamina meter is empty, you will take full damage from enemies. If there is stamina remaining in the meter, you will take 50% damage. You do not have to be standing still to perform a block, this is essentially a passive shield and will reduce damage you take by 50% as long as it is not empty.
Furthermore, you have a number of in combat options to manage this meter. This is essentially the core of what makes Clash’s gameplay unique and interesting. Successful parries will refill your stamina meter. (I believe parries while your meter is NOT empty will fully recharge it, and parries when empty will partially refill it. It also may refill based on how tightly you parried the enemy attack.) A successful parry will also increase your damage and Meter gain for a few seconds, so press the advantage! Activating first person mode will also allow your meter to refill as attacks do not cost stamina during first person mode, so try to activate this after a string of attacks to maximize your stamina usage.
This leads to a very interesting back and forth style of gameplay: aggressively attack your enemy until your stamina meter is depleted, then try to bait an attack you feel comfortable parrying to keep up the attack without sacrificing your 50% damage reduction. You can also simply back out of combat for a few seconds until it refills. I really love this mechanic because it incentivizes allowing the enemy to attack, which makes it feel like a true duel instead of just mashing on the enemy.
Sidenote: Parrying does not interrupt enemy attack strings. If the enemy has an attack that lands multiple hits in quick succession, I would not advise attempting a parry on it. Watch for the big single hits and try to parry those. Remember, you are not as strong as the creatures of this land.
Aggression: This makes your First Person mode bar fill up faster with all attacks. Most basic attack combos (pressing R1 repeatedly) have a final attack that fills up the First Person bar at about triple the rate of an extra attack, so try to complete this string of attacks.
Constitution: This is just flat damage reduction. Not much crazy going on here, but don’t neglect this stat!
This one eluded me for a long while. Weapons seem a bit clunky and odd. They replace your basic attack and take away those sweet attack combos that R1 spam usually provides. So whats the point of using these?
The answer is simple but intuitive: R1 spam is not the best way to play this game.
Early on the game briefly informs you about comboing and stringing attacks together using dodge. This is the ideal way to play this game, which means that you rarely end up using the same attack twice in a row. You CAN do this and beat the game just fine, but the style and fun of this game’s combat system shines when you learn to fully use this game’s unique combo system.
This means that weapons simply enhance your default attack. They often times provide enhanced stun which can really help with tougher enemies. They really shine when used in a combo to pump out huge damage in a string.
Note that weapons are either 2 or 3 hit combos. Always end these attacks with a special attack or a dodge attack. For more info on that, read on.
This is the bread and butter of this game. It is difficult to explain how exactly to perform these, and it is flexible enough that you can develop your own strings, so I will try to explain it by providing some examples:
- Full attack combo indicates pressing attack until the sequence is complete, for example; Shadow Stance’s Full Attack Combo is 5 hits, 2 quick hits, 2 slightly slower hits, 1 big hit.
- Jump > Attack > Down > Dodge > Attack > Full Attack Combo > Special Attack
This combo will open with a jumping attack, dodge away from the enemy, then immediately close the gap created by dodging, follow up with your basic attack combo, and jam in a special attack right as the final hit of your full attack combo lands (I like Rising Punch as the special attack for this as it comes out very quickly. Spin Kick is also good as it has a bit of a gap closer in case the enemy is knocked back by your attack.).
Just as a reminder, animations can only be cancelled with a special attack or a dodge, and they must be pressed as SOON as the attack lands. A sound effect will play upon a successful animation cancel.
Another combo is:
- Sprint Towards Enemy > Attack > Full Attack Combo > Special Attack
This will perform the special sprint attack, then chain into your full attack combo, and finished with the special attack of your choice. This is a great one for beginners as it is relatively short and doesn’t require a lot of inputs.
If any of the attacks that I mentioned here don’t sound familiar or you don’t know what I’m talking about, read on.
Types of Attacks
Every stance has its own unique variations of the 4 main types of attacks (using R1 or X or left click or whatever you have it mapped to).
Attack: this is a single press of your attack button. Can be pressed repeatedly in quick succession to perform your Full Attack Combo. Remember that the final hit usually gives you extra meter for First Person mode.
Dodge Attack: There are 3 types of dodge attacks. Dodge forward, dodge backwards, dodge sideways. Usually dodging forward then quickly attacking is a quick combo. Dodging away is a gap closer. Sideways dodge attacks are usually like a sweep attack. These can all be comboed into other moves and are great for quickly stringing together fast basic attacks.
Sprint Attack: This one is great as an opener, and I would recommend starting off most combo strings with this or a jump attack.
Jump Attack: Usually a large gap closer, solid damage but has a chance to miss and is often times hard to line up. Great against large enemies though.
I know we’ve all been conditioned to lock onto every enemy while fighting them, but this game actually has a pretty smart soft lock on when facing an enemy. I noticed that being locked onto an enemy often times gets me stuck between enemies or makes it hard to escape a pincer attack. Try not using the lock on and see if that feels better, it usually does for me.
Hopefully this helped clear up some of the mechanics in this game and will allow you to experience what makes this game so special. It’s one of my favorite games of the last decade and I’ll probably do a few more playthroughs of it before I move on to something else.