Necromunda: Hired Gun is a fast paced shooter based in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Why I have never been pulled into the Warhammer universe is beyond me. It is as cool as hell, and ticks pretty much every box for my likes in a world setting. The plethora of Warhammer games out there, including the recent Mechanicus, just shows the sheer amount of material available of conversion to video games. Developers Streum On Studio obviously have a love for Warhammer as their last title was Space Hulk: Deathwing. Unfortunately many of the criticisms laid against Space Hulk will be just as valid for Necromunda. But there is a dog. And you can pat it!
Who’s A Good Boy?
Necromunda: Hired Gun has you in the boots of a mercenary in the hive city of Necromunda. A mechanized planet that tends to attract all things evil. As a gun for hire there are plenty of takers for your talents. So running beside the main storyline is the option to, at any time, take on a side contract to earn some extra cash. This cash is needed to enhance both your arsenal and the cybernetic implants you and you combat mastiff have. From within Martyr’s End, a safe haven with various vendors and facilities, you can enhance your abilities. Unfortunately here lies my first and probably biggest gripe with Necromunda. The menu and inventory interface is really janky and even makes it hard to see what is equipped and what is not. With such wide customisation options this needs to be much more intuitive.
I just feel that I missed so much potential to upgrade weapons because of the overly complex system and having to visit different vendors to do certain things. Let alone the end of mission lolly scramble of having to select what to take with you even if you already equipped that new weapon mid mission when you found it. Frustrating.
Cybertron? Is That You?
On the flip side the environments and visuals are great. Like I said, I really love this futuristic, steam-punk, post apocalyptic vibe. In Martyr’s End it has a real dirty Cyberpunk 2077 feel to it. There is a diverse range of locations to explore and even though their AI is lacking the enemy is varied from area to area. There is not a lot of colour with everything metal and mud, but thankfully there isn’t any really dark areas. So at least you can always see what you are doing, even if like me, you aren’t doing it particularly well. One thing Necromunda has done is got me wanting to check out more of the Warhammer universe.
Thank God For Bullets.
Now above everything else, Necromunda is a fast paced first person shooter. Akin to Doom or Serious Sam in my books. Vital to these games are fluid and intuitive controls. Unfortunately these are lacking here in the hive city. When you have wall running, grappling hooks, and guns at your disposal then things need to just flow in the heat of battle, and here, they do not. I’m crap at first person shooters so am not going to be too harsh on the shooting mechanic because it could just be me. I really did struggle with the aiming and quite often fell back to the old spray and pray, with a dose of grenades for good measure. With time the controls start to gel, but come from a different FPS and you will again be struggling.
Necromunda: Hired Gun really has me torn. I love the setting and customisation depth it has but the struggle to manage your inventory is a real disappointment. To be honest, it isn’t much more than a bit of spit and polish needed to make this side of things work. As for the controls, why reinvent the wheel. We gamers are a lazy bunch, just stick with the tried and true, and the ingrained.
I will definitely be returning to Necromunda, the setting alone has me there. Thankfully I am playing on the easiest setting so frustration hasn’t set in and I can just enjoy my surroundings.