In The Anacrusis, you and up to three friends will have your hands full with dozens of aliens every time you step foot outside of the safe room. The most formidable of these extraterrestrial foes are the boss aliens. Given the game’s similarities to Left 4 Dead, you can think of these as special infected classes, although there’s not really an infection as far as we understand the story right now. But the analogy still works. Here’s a breakdown of all special alien types and what they’ll each be hitting you with in terms of abilities.
The Anacrusis aliens: Specials explained
There are five named Specials right now in The Anacrusis, with a mysterious sixth one being teased (we’ll get to that in a minute!) In Season 1 of the game, you’ll run into the following special aliens alongside the hordes of basic runner-type aliens:
The Brute is the tank-class Special aboard the Isolode. Its unmistakable size and penchant for charging straight for you will be hard to miss, and your best bet in taking one of these on is to keep your distance if possible. If you get stuck in a corner with one of these, hopefully you have a shotgun to blast it away quickly. If not, it’ll be tough to survive. Brutes also seem to be immune to your Pulse charge, but not things like Stasis Grenades, so use all available resources to take it on.
The Spawner is the most elusive of all Specials, choosing to, as the name suggests, spawn other aliens instead of fight the survivors head-on. If allowed to survive, the Spawner will spit out new alien types that set up like stationary turrets and spew an acidic discharge at players. This process will continue for as long as the Spawner is alive, so when you see or hear one of them, be quick to track it down and finish it off–but don’t stray from your group either!
The Flasher is arguably the most visually distinct Special in the game, based on the fact that its arrival includes a luminous flare almost like sitting on the sun. When a Flasher shows up, the surrounding area will be filled with a continuous beam of bright yellow light, which makes tracking down the alien hard since you can barely in front of you. It also seems to invite a horde each time it scampers onto the scene, so staying close by allies and clearing the horde in a hurry is key–one of them is bound to be the Flasher, after all.
The Grabber is the most revealing of Stray Bombay’s roots with Valve and the Left 4 Dead series. It is, in essence, an alien version of the Smoker. It uses long, blue tendrils to pull players in close for repeated melee damage, and there’s no escaping it yourself. As ever in The Anacrusis, teamwork is key, so you’ll need to rely on your teammates to free you from its grapple. Its reach would be impressive if it wasn’t so intimidating. Stay far away from this one and let someone with something longer-range than a Blaster take care of it.
No, the Gooper doesn’t hock Gwenyth Paltrow’s pseudoscientific beauty products. It’s actually much more respectable than that. The Gooper flings a sticky goo on the ground, causing almost total loss of movement, and if you’re hit by it directly, you’ll become cocooned in the sludgy stuff. Your best bet is to move around, not through, the goo, and if you’re caught in its snotty sleeping bag, communicate with your team to bail you out.
More Specials on the way
This Early Access period for The Anacrusis is like “Season 0” for the co-op horde shooter, and alongside other content updates and likely quality-of-life fixes, Stray Bombay is already teasing another Special alien coming in the future. If you happen to come across strange, sleeping eggs all in a line, don’t shoot them! You can get around them without waking them, but if you do stir them, they’ll target you like homing missiles and explode on contact.
The fun thing we’ve heard from the team is that players have yet to meet what is laying these eggs. Given the size of the eggs, we can only imagine what sort of monstrosity is waiting to be revealed in a future update. For now, load up with this list of Anacrusis weapons and work together via crossplay or otherwise. The next safe room is only, uh… many dozens of aliens away.