The Unspoken has been selected as part of the ESL- and Oculus-sponsored VR League Season 2 lineup. Even players who were expecting this news scrambled to prepare for the first tournament, which came only two days after the May 17 announcement. Fortunately, this season’s format is specifically designed so that even players who join the competition later in the season still have an opportunity to make it to the world finals.
Insomniac Games’ The Unspoken is a player versus player urban magic fighting game where you are a spellcaster with magical powers who must skillfully use your abilities to fight for supremacy in artistically beautiful battle arenas. The game is amazing and incredibly fun, but it is not for the faint of heart. If you want to become a skillful player, you need to be prepared to study the game.
To better assist those interested in tournament level competition, I reached out to The Unspoken VR League Season 1 Champion – Charizard. If you’re new to the game, be sure to check out his Beginner’s Guide to The Unspoken. After you learn the basics of the game, below are additional tips that could help you have a chance at a portion of the VR League’s $220,000 Season 2 prize pool.
There are five classes in the game: Anarchist, Blackjack, Kineticist, Drifter, and Electromancer. Each of them behaves differently in regards to the abilities they possess, ways to attack, strength relative to other classes, etc.
- In each class, you have primal attacks, primal shields, and gesture abilities. Become familiar with the unique strengths and weaknesses of each class.
- Practice various skills against Lenore (the artificial intelligence in solo games) or in ranked matches in the public queue.
- Gesture abilities are push, volley, guard and conjure. Use the gesture abilities as often as possible in your practice matches so you can quickly perform the motions and use your abilities under pressure.
Embers are the shiny red and blue stones that spawn on random platforms around the map.
- Collect as many embers as you can and use them to activate more powerful spells.
- Try to destroy your enemy’s embers before they can teleport to them. This will give you a huge advantage as you deny them gesture abilities.
- Collect your embers quickly. Do not allow your enemy to destroy your embers as you’ll be unable to use gesture abilities.
- In addition to teleporting in order to collect embers, you can also teleport to avoid attacks or to create more strategic positioning.
- Use teleportation wisely. There is a cooldown period so be aware that once you jump to a new podium, you’re stuck there for few seconds, giving your opponent an opportunity to collect your embers or attack.
- Be prepared to ambush your opponent when he teleports. Also, remember to look for and destroy his embers while he is in the cooldown period.
- Don’t telegraph your moves. Your opponent can see your body language. If you’re looking at or pointing to a particular podium, he’s going to be ready to ambush you. Use the body language to your advantage by sending him false signals like pointing to one podium, then using your other hand to teleport to a different location.
At the beginning of each match, you select three mystical artifacts that allow you to summon powerful spells. Each artifact is activated in a different manner and they require a great variety of fine motor skills, quick thinking, and dexterity, but they can help you get the upper hand in a match if used properly.
- Practice using different artifacts. Know how to assemble the puzzles, draw the designs, turn the locks, etc. so they can be quickly activated in competition.
- Use artifacts in conjunction with gesture spells. This will enable you to inflict an increased amount of damage and hopefully overpower your opponent.
- Wisely plan how you use your artifacts. They can only be used once per round so don’t waste them. If you simply activate and throw a spear, for example, your opponent can easily teleport to dodge it. If you throw the spear right after the opponent has teleported (during the cooldown), however, he can’t avoid it.
There are seven different maps in the game. Each match is played on a different map. In ESL matches, players actually choose to ban certain maps and then you’re placed on one of the remaining maps. Within each map, there are “stage effigies” or raised platforms where you will collect your embers and perform your magic.
- Become familiar with the location and design of stage effigies on each map. Some have protective barriers such as wooden planks or concrete walls. It’s important to know where you can find cover and also where you can find a clear shot to your opponent.
- Utilize protective barriers to avoid attacks and also to assemble artifacts.
- In tournament matches, ban maps where you have the most difficulty. Then, in practice matches, focus on those maps and how to better utilize the stage effigies available there.
The Summon Orb
- During the second and third rounds of each match, a giant orb will appear above the map. Watch for this to appear and try to gain control of it.
- Join The Unspoken Discord channel and make friends with other players. This is the best way to find high-level players and learn from them.
- Listen to the advice of high-level players. When you have questions, ask. The community is very friendly and will help you become a better player.
- Find a sparring buddy who also wants to prepare for tournament level competition and set up regular duel times.
- Participate in the tournaments. When you win, make note of what worked. When you lose, try to learn from your mistakes and pay attention to what the top-ranked players are doing.
Practice – a lot! – but don’t become discouraged. As mentioned earlier, this game involves a lot of strategy and skill that can only be gained through experience. Charizard points out that, “you can’t expect to go into a Street Fighter 2 tournament and clean house without putting time into learning the mechanics of the game. The same is true of The Unspoken!” Meanwhile, you can watch gameplay for The Unspoken on Charizard’s Twitch page, join The Unspoken Discord community, and most definitely – start practicing!
As mentioned earlier, the tournament is designed to encourage participation of newer players and retention of experienced players so there is more than one way to advance to the finals. Check out the details on the ESL Play website and when you feel like you’re ready to try tournament level competition, sign up and add your name to The Unspoken roster. Have fun and best wishes in your journey of esports competition!