Necromunda: Hired Gun Review (PS5)
Developed: Streum On Studio
Published: Focus Home Interactive
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: June 1st,2021
Platforms: PS4/Xbox One/Windows/PS5/SeriesX/
*Game provided to me by Focus Home Interactive
''You put DOOM in my Necromunda''
Necromunda: Hired Gun is a first person action shooter that is based in the universe of Warhammer 40ks dark world. With this game being another entry into the ever expanding line of games in this franchise, does it live up to the reputation that it has accumulated over the years of fun action, intense or engaging game play? or does it fall short in what it's setting out to accomplish and become a title that you should pass on?. Only one way to find out, so lets go!
Pick your contracts, hunt your targets, and collect the bounty in the darkest reaches of Warhammer 40,000’s most infamous hive city. For the right price, eliminate the most notorious gangers and mutants; navigate an ocean of crime and corruption to balance the bloody ecosystem of Necromunda as a merciless hired gun. The money’s good, the dog’s loyal, and the gun’s reliable – but can you survive the hunt?
In Necromunda: Hired Gun you take the role of a mercenary that has a bone to pick with a bunch of rival gangs. One day you and your team are on a job that goes horribly wrong. With you being the only survivor from your crew, you must now gather new allies and dig deeper into the underworld of the criminal plagued city and uncover a conspiracy involving some of the most powerful gang leaders around. This is basically where everything kicks off. Once you create your character, which basically just involves picking one character out of a random lineup, that really doesn't mean much other than look. you're free to roam around your new allies HQ named, Martyr's End. It is here where you will take on all 13 of the main campaign missions, as well as any side missions or challenges, should you be up for more, before you complete the game or even after you have completed the game. Prepare to be spending a lot of time here and I mean A LOT. This will be your main hub from here on out that you'll be taken to directly after completing a main mission. In between missions, you can talk to the bar keeper named Wildsnake Priestress to change your character clothing style from the likes of Bounty Hunter, Spyrians, Militarum, etc. But other than basic aesthetics, they offer you no real upgrade or incentive, instead that is left up to you yourself the more you level up your character. But what exactly do you have that you can level up you ask? well let's talk about that a little bit for a second.
As you run through the main games campaign mode, which will take you a short 7-8 hrs to complete, you will acquire experience points by defeating your enemies or by opening chests you find scattered throughout each level. As you gain more levels and money from your adventures, you can then go back to your starting hub area and speak with the man named Malacatcheon. Man that was a hard name to type, but anyhow. It is here where you will be able to spend all your money on two main categories, Bionics and Mastiff. When navigating your Bionics menu, you will be able to add upgrades to each part of your body, ranging from arms, legs, internal, etc and each one of these categories offers you ways to make your character stronger or gain several new abilities to use during your time during the main missions. For instance under the Arms section, you will be able to increase your health, make dropped items automatically come to you, wall run and shoot combination or create a pulse wave that stuns enemies. Whereas on a category like the Cerebral section, you're allowed to unlock abilities that slows down time, a lock on ability that provides you with a perfect head shot every single time and an Array ability that activates a heat sensor, just like Predator, so you'll be able to see enemies behind walls or floors. Now that sounds really cool and extensive, but that's not even the best thing about your new abilities, heck no its not. Because you also get an ability called Mastiff. What is is this you ask? well its a heckin doggo! that's what it is. The Mastiff is your doggy companion that is controllable during campaign missions by summoning him to your side to attack enemies in your area. But just like you, he's also upgradable with his head, paws and body. Not as in depth as your character, but he can still be made into a formidable pupper friend. Give him treats!
Man, we sure have talked an awful lot of about all the dang upgrades and the overall premise of the game, but have yet to dive into the actual game play itself. How does this game even play and how do you utilize your new skills you acquired? Well.. you will be using what you acquired, very sparingly. What I mean by this is the game can be sort of a mixed bag when it comes to the game play department due to certain skills not being needed, certain guns not being needed and overall the game itself, as far as its difficulty, isn't all that hard. I will try to do my best to explain what I'm talking about here. As you trudge your way through the main games campaign, you will be tasked with taking down demon dogs, various forms of monsters like giant trolls that throw projectiles at you, mechanical robots that dig under the earth and electric shock you and even regular ol bandits and humans that you have to kill along your bloody way. Right away, the game personally for me, it looks pretty decent from a graphical standpoint. I know people say this game has many similarities to DOOM Eternal and while yes they are ''sort of'' correct, at least with one aspect that ill touch upon in just a few minutes, overall to me, it reminds me more of DOOM 3, if I'm going to be completely honest. The art style to me has a similar art style, albeit way more polished. Pushing through each level, you'll be able to acquire different guns to use, weapons that range from pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles and big canon like guns that can blow your enemies to pieces. But not all of them are useful versus every single enemy in the game. Enemies like the mechanical robots, if you try shooting them with a regular machine gun, you're going to be there all day and waste all your ammo, so your best next bet is to pull out a two handed weapon like a canon gun that packs more oomph to get the job done. Combat can get pretty hectic too, if you choose to play that way that is. You can use a slow approach and treat it like a typical first person shooter game or you can go off like a mad man like Doom Eternal and double jump and fly around each area, picking off your foes one by one. However, the REAL fun doesn't begin till you acquire the grappling hook, oh boy.
I'm pretty sure you guessed it by now, but this is where the comparisons to DOOM Eternal come into play. Once you progress a little bit into the story mode, you acquire a grappling hook and once you do, it opens your means to traverse and move about your environments a ten fold. Being able to double jump, aim at a specific area like a pipe or ledge and immediately sling yourself onto it and plot your next move, it makes you feel like a super hero and takes you back to the frantic pace of something like Unreal Tournament. At least that's how I felt playing it. Be warned though, you're going to be needing to use the grappling hook A LOT and I'm talking about frantic use of it because at times you have so much going on at the same time, with dozens of enemies, dogs, missiles, robots, grenades coming at you, that you have to pick and choose when to attack and when to run and regroup. The game in these scenarios can get pretty tough and even pretty intense, but that illusion of difficulty and freedom quickly disappears when you realize, um, you really do not need to use any guns or even your grappling hook, at least not as much as you think. In Hired Gun, you get glory kill shots, just like you do in in the previous two DOOM games. Go up to an enemy when they're near death, proceed to use the QTE for a melee gory kill. The same holds true here in Hired Gun, but instead of waiting for your enemy to flash when they're injured or near death, you're able to use it, whenever you want, at any time, on nearly every single enemy, even the medium sized trolls enemies, works on them too.
Now here comes the issues with the game. By giving you access to a glory kills whenever you want, this means you do not even have to play the game the proper way and can bypass buying any upgrades or even using the guns themselves. Should you choose to go the melee route, you will only have to use guns when it comes the end level boss fights you encounter because then it becomes mandatory. Mix into the fact that you can use your grappling hook and pull yourself into enemies and immediately follow into the glory kill animation, an animation that makes you immune to damage while executing it, makes your character, even under leveled, completely OP. What makes it so OP you ask? you'll get hit sooner or later and die. Well yes and no. Sure you will take some hits, but when you melee an opponent, they will drop health and replenish 20hp at a time. This means if you kill 3-4 enemies in a row with a glory kill, your health is completely or nearly refills. Should you actually die, you'll use a revive item called a Stimmie. The game allows you to carry three of these at once and when you run out, since you saved money by not having to buy gear or upgrades, you can make it to computer screen that's located in every level and purchase 3 more stimmies to use, so you'll NEVER run out of them and not being able to run out of them means... that's right, you literally can't get a game over unless you actively seek to die or.. if you play really bad that is. I suggest not going the melee route and playing the game for how its meant to be played. Guns, guns, grenade, guns, grapple hook and explosion after explosion. Seriously, it can get fun as hell.
When you're done with the main campaign mode, you can now take on side quests or rather side missions that range in rank from B, A, to S. These missions require you to take on an objective by a client that range from killing 4 mech robots, poisoning a ventilation system, or defending a specific area from incoming enemies. These dozens of missions aren't the hardest in the world, but they can easily add a few hours of fun to your game play if you are still feeling the itch to keep playing.
When its all said and done, Necromunda: Hired Gun at its highest points reaches levels that are fast paced, hectic and engaging. Being able to utilize multiple weapons at a switch of the d-pad as you double jump across the room, grappling hook is extremely addicting and super fun to do ,and mixing in the metal music, it makes you feel like a total bad ass, just like DOOM does. But as stated before, being able to melee your way through the game without really anything stopping you from doing so, can take a lot of wind out of its sails. It almost feels like cheating in a way. This can suck all the fun out of the game and turn it into something generic, so don't do it. If this was a $60 game, I might be inclined to tell you to take a step back and wait for a price drop, but for $40 at its current state with its DOOM like combat, great music, extra stuff to complete and an 7-8hr campaign, I feel like its safe for me to give this one my thumbs up. So with that having been said. GameNChick says BUY NOW