It’s an experience alright…
When a game comes out with similarities to Dark Souls, rogue like aspects, and procedurally generated levels, I’m sure these key words excite some players. I won’t lie and say at this point, aside from the Dark Souls vibe, procedural and rogue elements are a sure way to totally put me on the defensive right away. That’s not to say that a game with these elements can’t win me over, they just have to be used to great effect, and not as a bullet point to a game. I hate to say it, but Necropolis doesn’t do anything to win me over in the slightest.
Waking up in what I believe is the Necropolis, players will have to take a female or male warrior, make their way through the Necropolis, and discover what caused the downfall of this place. At least I think that’s what the story is about. The presentation of story elements comes from a voice over with text that describes elements that transpired before the player’s time. Building up a back story for an environment in a game works wells for context, but here I felt it was flat and uninteresting. Yes this ominous voice calls to the player, but it does so in such a way that I couldn’t care about the story. Which is fine because gameplay is the true calling of most games, so perhaps that works in its favor?
Sadly, I found the gameplay after a few hours repetitive, boring, clunky, and slow. It feels similar to Dark Souls in that players have to worry about stamina, blocking, and moving around enemies, though the way combat feels when attacking is slow and mundane. Herding enemies, sometimes 6 enemies or more at a time, just feels more like it’s based on luck rather than skill. Yes, there are moments where I felt like I was doing great because of how I was playing, but enemies are sponges to damage, barely flinching at times to hit reactions. This leads to a huge level of frustration and anything but fun.
Beating enemies does lead way to gems and new weapons, which can also be found in chests. These are rated for damage and can be viewed on the spot to see if one is better than another. Yet they mostly feel the same when it comes to mechanics and swinging the weapons around. There is a system for buying new items in the store with points, so that each time you die, at least players get something out of their time. That’s due to the fact that every time death occurs, it’s up to the player to restart, with new levels created, and try to make their way back to the top level once more. I’ll be honest, I never got very far in my handful of hours and I simply wasn’t enjoying my time with Necropolis at all. The jump, which just feels floaty and inaccurate leading to falls, and ladders that take too long to climb up and down just compound the frustration.
Necropolis, can’t stop this
Is there anything I liked about my time with this game? Hardly. The visual design is nice at moments, reminding me of something like Wind Waker in style. The main characters themselves look good, enemies range from decent to just odd, but the levels lead way to very copy and paste, mostly due to the procedurally generated element. That aside, I just felt the overall package was extremely confusing, not fun to play, and gave me hardly any compelling reasons to keep trying other than wanting to see more of the same. Necropolis only confirms to me what I already sort of knew; rogue like and procedural generated games can be done and done right, but most use these elements because they are the latest craze and it shows.
Favorite moment: Finally deciding to put the game down, I’d honestly had enough.
Worst moment: Clunky and slow combat really damped my experience, along with jumping mechanics.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.