Necromunda: Hired Gun – PC Review

Necromunda: Hired Gun – PC Review

Genre: Action adventure FPS
Developer: Streum On Studio
Publisher: Focus Entertainment
Release Date: May 31st, 2021
Edited by AlexKnight2005

The Warhammer universe is fairly vast, delving into some more lesser-known territories throughout its various iterations over time, one of these being the Necromunda series. Necromunda: Hired Gun is an action-adventure first-person shooter developed by Streum On Studio and later released by Focus Home Interactive. This second game in the Necromunda universe gives the player the chance to play a rarely seen character type, but how successful it was, depends on the person.

Rolling down a dark and cobbled-together elevator, Necromunda: Hired Gun puts the player in the shoes of a nameless merc, with a story that, while it can seem all over the place, can work. You and your group of mercs enter to hunt down the black serpents, a group who killed someone important, but when your hunt is interrupted, you wake up alive thanks to a mysterious donor and seek to take revenge. We, the player, begin our adventure by picking one of 16 nameless mercs before being put through a tutorial leading to our main story.

As a story, Necromunda: Hired Gun starts out fairly simple, then expands out to involve other groups who get involved. The biggest issue the story has realistically is the slow build-up into some tougher missions that expands on the narrative of each group you hunt down for bounties. This wasn’t as big of an issue in later bits of the story, but with each level lasting a solid 30 + minutes in some instances, more story early on could have given a stronger connection of the hive worlds.

Locked and ready to load, the gameplay of Necromunda: Hired Gun is a fast-paced first-person shooter but also gives players much more control of the equipment they use through mechanics in the levels and the hub world, known as Martyr’s End. Let’s begin with Martyr’s End, a home away from being shot at in the missions. Martyr’s End acts as the player’s hub world and has a host of purposes and some interesting characters. Looking to improve your guns and other equipment, visit the artificer, who can improve your weapons with various parts to give the player more options for gunplay and style. You can test out these new modified toys at the gladiatorium, an arena with spawning enemies to see how good or bad your guns are, allowing you to enter and leave as you please to find just the right gun setup for the player.

With your guns all tested and ammo reloaded, it’s time to make some money by entering a contract from the missions screen. The missions are split into campaign missions, where the player expands the narrative and ranks missions based on the player’s rank from previous missions. These missions offer small rewards but are often quick missions you can do for new equipment through the chest found in the world to buff out your arsenal if you feel you need something stronger for a tough story mission. It is also here where you can see your ranking you the various factions in the game.

Armed to the teeth and mission selected, we now enter the core gameplay, where shooting fast and using your abilities at the right time might save your life. In terms of gunplay, the game plays like a traditional first-person shooter, with fairly realistic recoil and reload times to match it. Where Necromunda shines, though, is how movement is handled. The player can slide quickly from the start of the game, giving the player a better chance to dodge bullets, rockets, you name it, but the game gives players more movement options as you play further, such as the grappling hook found in a later chapter. These additional forms of movement make for some of the zippiest and most memorable shooting I have gotten the chance to experience in a first-person shooter title to date. The player is also given other tools to aid in their success while in the field, in the form of grenades and a good boy dog. The dog has a lengthy cooldown, so knowing when to use your hound is important but might save you as it pins and kills a target while you focus on other targets around you.

While the gameplay might be easy to pick up and learn, it does come with its own flaws, and the first flaw is the way to acquire quotes on quotes good guns in the game. You can buy some base model guns, but to generally get green or higher quality, you have to get lucky with the chest in the levels, leaving it to RNG chance for the most part.

Surrounded by grime and rusted metal, the presentation of Necromunda: Hired Gun is one of the stand-out features I found during my time playing the game. Visually, the game’s vibe is well represented by the rough bridges, rusted metal all around, and even the blood spray when you hit an enemy in an unguarded part of their body during combat. The use of skulls, remnants of guns once used in firefights, and various melee weapons stand out as markers worldwide, making you feel like you are unwelcome wherever you truly go. The locals are never the same either, even with the griminess and decaying metal structures shared between each level. My only issue in the presentation is the lack of any way to control how your hired gun looks outside of picking a picture at the start of the game. It would have been nice to have a character creation system, even a small one with some limited options, to give players more sense of freedom in who they play.

With a focus on the sounds of combat and the world around the player, the musical score of Necromunda: Hired Gun is an element that, while not perfect, was solid. Musically, the game puts the surroundings and sounds of the world around the player at the forefront, but when music is needed, you are treated to some solid riffs from guitar and the like. It works well here due to the nature of the game in question being around places where sounds like metal bars being produced in a factory, as an example, might overtake a musical score. The sound effects for smaller things, like the squeak of a dog toy and bullet firing around the player, are given priority, and it works here to play with the sounds of the surroundings.

As a plume of smoke leaves the gun from the last bullet fired, I found Necromunda: Hired Gun to be a first-person shooter experience that can be tough for newer players to the genre, yet a solid and fast-paced shooter with some decent challenge to those veterans of it. The somewhat lore expansive story, easy to pick up gunplay, amount of customization for equipment, standing by the visual theme throughout, and focus on the world around the player as a musical score makes for an FPS worth it’s salt in the sea of FPS games out there.

Pros:

  • A lore expansive story
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Solid customization of guns
  • It sticks to the theme on many ends

Cons:

  • RNG mechanics
  • No character customization

DarkLunarDude gives Necromunda: Hired Gun a Drastik Measure of 8.5 out of 10.0 (85)