Necromunda: Hired Gun is very close to Warhammer 40,000 Doom.
Necronomicon: Hire GunmanThe March announcement caught me a bit off guard, especially when I realized that it would be released in June instead of a few years later. Streum On is the small French team behind it, and it usually takes a while to launch a new game.
But years of experience and the new support of Focus Home Interactive clearly helped the team find the perfect scale and scope for its game, because Hired Gun is an entertaining game that is sometimes impressive, without falling into ambition. Big trap.
Necromunda: Hired Gun is a fairly easy to explain game. This is a first-person shooter with a linear story. You play as a bounty hunter who will hunt down targets hidden in the vast Warhammer 40,000 area. You can do this with the help of an astonishing arsenal of weapons, which come in the form of a variety of rare loot, which you can customize, upgrade, and adjust in the center world.
This is not anything you have never seen before, but it is usually a help rather than a hindrance. The Hired Gun succeeded mainly because it was satisfying-although predictable-cyclically.
Set in one of the underexplored universes of Warhammer 40,000, helping each story mission stay fresh. This is not your typical chauvinistic stroll with xenophobic space fighters. Necromunda’s criminal underworld is made up of clichés—dirty bars, remodeled factories, and garbage dumps where gangs operate and fight for territory—but part of what makes it work is that these places are as magnificent as Warhammer 40,000. One mission allowed me to fight around and board a huge freight train, while the other mission sent me to the site of an industrial exercise to infiltrate the miniature pop-up towns that support it. I want to see what weird place the game will send to me next, which makes me fascinated by the main story, but it is the battle of the game that makes this journey exciting.
Like its general setting, Hired Gun borrowed a lot from other great contemporary shooters. It is mechanically closer to the new Doom; it always surrounds you with enemies in the arena, where you can fly freely from one place to another, sometimes on the flanks, sometimes on the cover. The movement is closer to the fall of the Titans, with very sensitive animations, able to penetrate walls, and of course grappling hooks. This is already a solid combination. Hired Gun often combines these inspirations well, but many times, it loses some elegance.
Most of the game’s mobility is unlocked when it is closed or shortly afterwards. It feels good to have so much freedom from the beginning, but the controller’s tendency to feel imprecise deprives the sense of power.
Take through the wall as an example, when you are close to the wall press and hold the space bar to activate it. But the space bar is of course your jump button. Jumping, running, and jumping away all use a button inexplicably. This finicky setting makes it harder to get out of it than it needs to be in a fierce battle, and prevents me from constantly getting out of the wall.
The grappling hook has a similar problem. Although it can impressively lock any point in the environment, it is not always clear what is too far or too close. The physical properties of the grappling hook are useful in other ways, but it is still very rudimentary compared to Titanfall; it will attract you to whatever you lock, and does not take your motivation into consideration. You won’t use it to surround corners like in Respawn’s game. It’s fun to use, but it doesn’t always have other uses besides allowing you to yank some enemy shields. Your basic jump in Hired Gun is already quite high and can be further improved by upgrading. Many times, I will complete the entire level without overturning the wall.
Another thing the game borrows from Doom is dodge, which is actually the thing you rely on most in battle. This is good, but it feels like other abilities are a bit wasteful.
Your partner mastiff is another add-on that may be interesting, it’s a bit flat. The dog’s pathfinding is uneven, and while it does help to control the crowd when you are flanking or dealing with different groups, the way it works is so strictly mechanical that it feels like Miles Morales or any other race. Hologram of the Bopunk game.
I would have liked to see this relationship develop in some way, but this is another area that Hired Gun lacks.
Between missions, you return to the central area to chat with some NPCs, browse the side missions that revisit the areas you have explored before, sell any extra loot you find, and spend the money you earn on you and your character Upgrades and new abilities on canine friends. Martyr’s End is its name and the place where the story… happened. Most of your dialogue will be with your processor, who is the main driving force behind the narrative. These moments are so short and often lack tension, the game almost feels like trying to get through them as quickly as possible.
Although there are a few great scenes and some truly surprising moments, most of the performances are dull and too blunt, even for the Warhammer 40,000 game. When I don’t want the actors to do better, I often wonder why the mix is so lacking.A character whispers almost all of its lines-maybe to be cautious-but they just and also Be quiet, it sounds like the actors recorded their conversation over the phone. So many dramatic moments are weakened by the weakening of the soundtrack in the mix.
Even initiating these conversations can be a bit cumbersome. You have to wait for the character to turn to the right way for the interactive prompts to work, and cyberpunk-style visual glitch effects can make reading subtitles more difficult. This lack of polish can also be manifested in things like stuttering that occasionally occurs when switching between zones in battle, or you can’t edit the way it loads without starting a mission.
Such things are great in isolation, but most of them happen in Martyr’s End, so you often think of Hired Gun’s shortcomings, as if you were doing the better part of it.
In addition to general polishing, my biggest problem with Hired Gun is the encounter and level design. I’m not talking about the layout of its various arenas-those are usually worth exploring-especially if you want all the hidden boxes-and large enough for extensive battles.
My main question is how to encounter encounters within the level itself. You either start in stealth, it is very easy to break it at this point and immediately dive into it. There is no detector or HUD indicator for line of sight. You are either found or undiscovered, never knowing what you did to remind the enemy. Considering how Hired Gun likes to act, and fighting will almost always break out anyway, these invisibility moments are not always meaningful.
When the battle started, the biggest challenge was actually trying to see where the damn enemy was. I have been adjusting my brightness settings just to try to find a consistent way to identify enemies. Looking at my lens, I stopped shooting countless times because I thought it was obvious that I would only continue to be hit by enemies very close to me, I just didn’t see it.
Every time I deal with a wave of enemies, I will try to figure out whether I am fit to move on in about 30 seconds, or a new wave is generated somewhere I need to find. The fact that enemies like to dodge, weave, and lean aggravates their visibility problems. Many times, you will only see their arms sticking out from the corner and throwing at you. This is not a colorful game, so some ambiguities are welcome, but making the enemy’s outline too dark, or giving them a lot of active camouflage, will cause the original excellent action of Hired Gun to be interrupted. In well-lit areas, the smoke and particle effects themselves are also powerful, and they often cover up enemies in large battles.
Streum On tries to remedy these problems through some mechanisms. There is an area scan upgrade to highlight the enemy, but before you can afford it, just summon your mastiff to spot the enemy through the wall. This is actually the main reason why dogs are useful. There is also a healing mechanism similar to the blood source, if you cause damage shortly after receiving it, you will restore some health-another cool idea that does not always have a place.
You will get stuck in a corner and immediately return to the battle because you have eliminated an enemy. The idea of thinking of enemies as walking health packs is interesting, but when you can focus on an enemy and drain some HP, its current balancing method can eliminate a lot of stress.
Many times, most of these issues do not detract from how good it feels to participate in Hired Gun’s violent brand-shooting its impressive arsenal and playing in its sandbox. From the deafening crunch of a blasting gun to the quiet threat of a suppressed Stubgun-it is always difficult to choose your favorite equipment.
The medium difficulty of the game has plenty of room, and I keep switching weapons just for fun. It feels wrong to complete a complete mission without using all the weapons I brought, and the sound of headshots never ceases to be satisfying.
As a result, Necromunda often oscillates between great indie games and frustrating mid-range games. In some moments, it is the best Warhammer 40,000 action game-when you chop down enemies and watch their skulls explode with a swaying tune, it looks fashionable when you chain grappling hooks and double jumps. Other times, you will miss the main story beat because the audio mix of important characters is too low, or it feels like you are doing a pixel search for enemies like Warzone.
Platform review: PC-code provided by the publisher.
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