Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew allows you to unlock your party members in just about any order you’d like–but with a relatively large party with diverse power sets, some are bound to be more useful than others. You’ll revive all of the crew aboard your ghost ship, the Red Marley, over the course of the first half of the campaign. But it’s a lengthy process, and you’ll probably want to unlock some of the better and more versatile members first, while saving specialists with narrow skill sets for later. We’ve ranked the crew members by which ones to revive first, based on both overall strength and general all-around skills.
On this one, you don’t have a choice. Afia is ostensibly the main character in Shadow Gambit, the one who interfaces with the Red Marley for major story sequences, and the ship’s Navigator. She is also the one who will physically revive the rest. But Afia is a good yardstick by which to measure the rest of the crew. She comes equipped with a dash-attack that can target enemies from afar, and the ability to freeze an enemy temporarily for distraction or sneaking around them. Most of the characters have some form of special attack and distraction technique, so these are the basic building blocks that you’ll see iterated on throughout.
For pure melee combat, Toya of Iga is by far the best member of your crew. So why do we recommend Suleidy first? Because she’s almost as capable as Toya, but with extremely useful secondary abilities that you’ll want to take on as many missions as possible. For starters, she can spawn a bush out of thin air, giving you cover and providing a spot to hide bodies. Bodies hidden in bushes, including Suleidy’s bushes, disappear instantly. Her distraction technique is one of the best as well, forcing an enemy to not only turn around but to walk in a straight line away from you. She’s easily one of the most useful pirates.
Toya of Iga
As mentioned above, Toya is the best pirate in terms of sheer killing capability. His executions are much faster than the other crew members’, and he can attach his spirit sword to the ground or even an enemy for an instant kill. His distraction technique is also rather good, drawing lower-level guards in the direction of your bird call. You can easily hide around corners and attract a guard, only to shank them the moment they step out of sight of their comrades. His secondary abilities aren’t quite as strong as Suleidy’s, but he makes up for it with lightning-quick attacks that are invaluable for disposing of guards before a patrol returns or looks your way.
Teresa la Ciega
One of the more specialist roles, Teresa is your sharpshooter. She uses a crossbow, which makes her a relatively quiet killer at long range. This can be extremely useful when you need to pick off that one guard from a distance to clear the path for some of the others. While her weapon will attract attention if others are around to hear it, you’ll usually be too far away for them to find you during their search phase. Her distraction technique severely limits an enemy’s vision cone for a short period of time, giving you a chance to sneak past or dash in for the kill. The one drawback is that her crossbow only carries one bolt, so you’ll need to rely on your other teammates to clear a path so she can recover it before she’s able to take another shot.
Quintin the treasure hunter isn’t a particularly capable killer, but he does excel as a specialist for attracting and disappearing guards. His distraction technique throws out his own golden skull, which can draw in guards for the entire range of their vision cone, giving it longer reach than a lot of other techniques. Once the guard is disposed of, he has the unique ability to yank the body into his treasure chest using his fishing pole for an instant disappearance. In a pinch, you can even use your fishing pole on your own teammates to relocate them to safety.
John Hughes Mercury
Mercury is one of the sneakiest pirates, able to dive down into the Below and remain there indefinitely. While all of your other party members have to rely on finding or creating cover, diving into the Below basically is the cover, as guards will never spot you there. He can jump back up out of the ground for an instant kill on a passing guard, as well. This does attract a lot of attention, though, so you’ll have to be careful not to use it near other passing guards. His distraction technique, in which he essentially attracts a guard to a foul-smelling fish, is fine enough but relatively basic, to balance against his powerful stealth nature.
Gaelle le Bris
Gaelle is the ship’s cannoness, giving her one of the funniest and flashiest special abilities, but one that’s not as useful as it seems. She can load downed guards into her cannon and launch them at another. Hilarious! But the guard who gets hit makes a lot of noise and is only knocked out, so other guards can rouse them, at which point you’re right back where you started but with a lot more heat. Her distraction technique, a firecracker, is not bad but no better than a lot of the others. She’s also fairly slow and lumbering, which makes her more difficult to navigate than more agile fighters like Toya.
Pinkus von Presswald
On paper, Pinkus would seem to be one of the best characters in the game. He can take over the minds of guards, letting you wander around freely in front of other guards and even execute kills once you’ve gotten them alone. In practice, though, he is much less useful. He can only take over standard-level guards by default, and once he does, you have a limited range of movement starting from the point where you took over the body. That makes it difficult to find an approach in a highly populated area, which is where you would most need him. And his distraction technique, in which he just strikes up a conversation with another guard, lasts for a surprisingly short time.
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