55

Necropolis – Quick Game Review

Necropolis – Quick Game Review
Necropolis (PC [Reviewed], XBO, PS4)
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
Publisher: Harebrained Schemes, Bandai Namco

Necropolis is a third person dungeon crawling adventure, with permadeath that can be played as single player or online co-op.

Combat is what makes up most of the game. At first, I didn’t like it very much, especially with weird keybindings, and certain weapons having crazy slow swing animations, but it felt a bit better once I got the hang of the controls. 

The constant threat of death does make combat more interesting, but the combat itself doesn’t feel all that exciting. I spent practically every encounter doing the same thing though: quick hit, dodge path, and kite enemies around the room, repeating this every time I got my stamina back. There are more powerful attacks, but when fighting groups of enemies, I found using them would often result in me taking additional damage while stuck in the combat animation, but they were effective in 1v1 encounters.

Different weapons have different ranges and speeds. It seems like they all have their advantages and disadvantages, but it definitely feels like some weapons just aren’t as effective as others, like maces for example have a fairly short range with a very slow attack speed, and you’ll often take damage while trying to attack. Also, drinking potions and eating food takes time, and you have no way to cancel once you start, so you need to be very careful about where and when you eat or drink.

There is a story in Necropolis, but you learn about it by reading random texts on walls. I really don’t have any idea what exactly is going on in the story, since I spend most of my time too busy running from monsters to stop and read the story text.

Pros:
  • controller support available (which may be easier to use given some of the keyboard bindings)
  • the constant threat of permadeath does make combat more interesting
  • enemies all attack in a predictable way, which makes it easier to dodge attacks, and stay alive
  • the crafting system is good; the materials to craft various potions, and food are easily obtained, and don’t take up inventory space
  • the music is fine, and the sound effects for the different types of monsters usually give a good indication of what to expect in the upcoming room
  • online co-op is available, and Necropolis is likely more enjoyable playing with friends
  • some progress can carry over from previous runs in the form of tokens to permanently unlock skill books
Cons:
  • key bindings are not customizable, and there are some strange default keys (i.e. control key is dodge, and V is sprint)
  • sometimes enemies spawn from places you have just finished clearing, and it’s a bit annoying to be swarmed from all directions
  • there are no stats in this game at all: no way to compare items of the same tier, or even know what the skills books, and items do exactly
  • inventory space is fairly limited, and the items don’t stack, so expect a fair amount of time crafting and managing your inventory in the later levels  (stacking items, or more space would be nice)
  • can’t pause game, which is understandable for co-op, but doesn’t make sense for single player
  • there are a good amount of enemies that get introduced through the levels, but unfortunately a lot of them are just stronger, re-skinned versions of the same enemies in the earlier levels
  • there is a common issue where monsters get stuck on the terrain, and sometimes in the terrain

The minimalist environments look decent enough, but there are some areas that are pretty dull looking, especially in the earlier levels of the game. Exploring just often seems like I’m finding more of the same areas though. 

Conclusion:

With the game being procedurally generated, and death being permanent, there is always the potential for replay value, but it does start to feel repetitive seeing similar areas, and fighting the same mobs over, and over again. I’ve played the game over 11 hours so far, and it’s not a bad game, but I feel that the price is too high for its current state. Although, I’m mostly enjoying the game, it’s not quite as much as I had hoped. It’s a good concept, and it has potential, but there are definitely some issues that need to be addressed.

Rating:

55