Necropolis is a procedurally-generated third-person action roguelite game. Should you play it?
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Available on: PC (tested), Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Developed by Harebrained Schemes, Necropolis is some sort of tribute to the Dark Souls series, mixed with some procedurally-generated dungeon system that promises to make your experience unique each time you decide to immerse yourself in the dungeons.
It features similar mechanics to the Souls series, so the combat is fun and intuitive for those who can appreciate a difficult game. Light, heavy and charged attacks, dodges, parry, blocks, you name it. You will find the controls in the dungeon wall at the start of the game, but it won’t be enough. Necropolis is all about trial and error until you get the mechanics right. Enemies are varied, but not smart. You won’t be surprised by any of them, unless you decide to rush in without proper planning and get swarmed. Powerful artifacts are hidden and waiting for you to make some use out of them, and you can also find merchants for the much needed supplies. Just remember that permadeath is a thing. Don’t get too attached to the characters or the equipment. You will lose them.
You can also tackle the challenge alone or with up to 3 more friends in the same session. It is fun and opens up the amount of strategies you can use, like luring foes to perfect places for your friends, but you may need to watch out for the friendly fire. Yes, friendly fire is on and this is key, you can’t get away by simply smashing the attack buttons, you need to think. You can’t mindlessly smash the attack button even if you are alone, since there is a fatigue system. If you drain your stamina, you will face exhaustion. You don’t want to be exhausted. Instead, you will want to quickly learn how to block incoming attacks, when to counterattack, and when is better to simply dodge. If everything fails but someone escapes alive, he can heal up his friends. Only a full party wipe will end a run.
Everything is tied together by a quest and some sort of progression system. You are supposed to do random tasks for a God, and in return, you will earn tokens of favor. With these, you will unclock bonuses that will be available for later lives to take advantage of with different characters. I’m not sure if you can call this progression, but this is as close as it gets.
The deeper you go through the procedurally generated dungeons, the harder it will be. Tougher enemies, better loot, and to survive, you will need to gather resources and craft a variety of items. Everything sounds good, but it gets repetitive too son. The graphics don’t help – soon you will realize everything looks way too familiar and similar. Rooms are not that diverse, and fighting the same kind of enemies gets boring once you get down the fighting mechanics.
This is the biggest flaw of an otherwise really good game: it is too repetitive. Get in, fight, loot, die. Try again. The premise of a procedurally generated rogue-like experience is fun, but the game needs more enemies and different rooms with different tasks / objectives. It has plenty of potential, and I would really love to see some good updates with more content to justify the USD 30 price tag.