A Look at Necropolis- Death Becomes Me… A Bunch.

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I love stabbing things- in games that is. As satisfying as it might be to shank and pillage from annoying family members and small isolated fishing villages in the frozen north, I actively choose to remain out of jail by limiting my rage induced slaughters to those of the video game variety. Necropolis has the potential to satisfy this need for the rest of my days.

Necropolis is an up and coming, single to multi-player, perma-death dungeon delving extravaganza developed by Hairbrained Schemes and distributed by Bandai-Namco. We (Fusionx, Gahoo and myself) were fortunate enough to have ample time to test out a bevy of games offered up by Bandai-Namco (in addition to viewing presentations on Dragonball Xenoverse 2 and Tekken 7) this year at E3, but the one game that held our attention for the longest was Necropolis.

The game opens as you, a lowly rogue, enter the staging area for the Necropolis of Abraxis. The art style is minimalistic and kind of perfect- large polygons and dark pastels made up the majority of the demo, which was significantly easier on the eyes after three days of looking at computer screens with big flashy graphics. I could totally see getting lost in this game after a long day and just wanting to disconnect from the world for a bit. Here’s where things get funky:

  • The map and enemies change with every play through.
  • You gain gear improvements by defeating enemies.
  • Crafting is an integral part of the game, allowing players to create weapons, armor, food and potions with spoils and treasures.
  • Gear and progression is wiped clean every time you die, however quest currency remains.

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As you continue deeper and deeper in the dungeon, save points will appear, allowing you to save your progress… until you die that is. As I mentioned earlier, *all* of your progress is wiped upon death, with the exception of currency gained from quests, meaning this game is frustratingly addictive. While I failed miserably at progression, our benevolent overlord Fusionx, faired the best out of us, reaching the end of the demo.

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After our respective solo tests (we were unable to try out the multiplayer mode), we compared notes and found that our biggest criticism was that it felt as though the player character’s attacks were significantly slower than that of enemy monsters. While the combat system is based primarily on timing and animation, it does feel a little more frustrating than it needs to be at points. I noticed weapon delay seemed to be significantly lower with a dagger versus a sword, so I’m curious if as your gear improves/changes, so does your attack speed.

All in all, it’s a great concept and I’m totally game to see how the full version is.

Necropolis is available for pre-order on Steam for Windows, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One now and is released in full July 12, 2016. A collector’s edition complete with a vinyl soundtrack is also available for pre-order here.