When I first heard that a new edition of the classic board game Necromunda was in the works, I was immediately intrigued. After all, I’ve been a fan of the game since I first purchased it way back in the 1990s. I’ve played the original Necromunda board game a lot over the years, and participated in numerous tournaments. However, I’ve never been able to find a copy of the new edition, which has been out for a little while now.

Necromunda: Hired Gun is a boardgame developed by Frogwares in which you play as a ruthless bandit who needs to kill, loot and conquer in the dystopian hive world of Necromunda. Releasing in October 2015, for me this is a great game to introduce people to the world of Warhammer 40k and Necromunda.

Necromunda: Hired Gun is a two-part game. The first half is characterized by Gothic maximalism, giant skulls and countless ornate buttresses rising from the heated industrial labyrinth that is the Beehive City. Everything here is first class, bones and candles adorn every empty space. The doors are opened by the slamming of silent and gagged servants, who exist only to be placed in the facility as organic cogitators. Bandits in Mad Max-style armor, tattoos and punk hairstyles roam countless alleys and corridors. They have brutal weapons that fire enough bullets to empty an ammunition dump, or brutal weapons designed to maim and kill in the most painful way. It’s brutal, bloody and full of personality. The other half is ignorant and clumsy. Smiles with baby faces leap out at you in battle as toddlers amuse themselves in gravity. Gang leaders threaten you over and over with the same phrase while you shoot at their heads with a shotgun for five minutes, hoping they’ll shut up sooner than later. Enemies pile up awkwardly on small platforms, like muscular lambs on their way to slaughter. The AI gives them no life other than that of SpongeBob dolls, and the melee animations don’t match, so all you have to do is throw them a metal nail in the air or shoot them in the head and they fall lifeless to the ground with the same death growl you’ve heard a thousand times. For most of your playing time in Hired Gun , you’ll be going back and forth between these two poles, often with such speed and frequency that you’ll suffer from whiplash.

Necromunda: Hired Gun Review – Wrestling in the PrimusHive

word-image-1380 Environment in Necromunda : Hired Gun is absolutely amazing. French developers Streum On Studio have already had success in this area, with the release of E.Y.E Divine Cybermancy and the previous game 40k Space Hulk:. Deathwing, who show that they are capable of creating a special mix of black techno and baroque. They are a good representation of the Hive City of Necromunda, a vast, steep mega-structure of endless layers. Colossal spaces are dedicated to different functions: Reclaiming water, removing waste, endlessly forging weapons and materials for the unimaginably vast and totalitarian empire of humanity that wages a dangerous battle in the galaxy above. In this dystopian neighborhood, gangs and bounty hunters vie for territory, contracts and rare archaeology found in the Hive’s abandoned areas. They find themselves in this fight after a simple mission goes awry thanks to the combined efforts of a shadowy man and Escher’s gang leader, Silver Talon. You get hurt and bleed before being rescued by the infamous man who Warhammer fans will recognize from the book series. You then get a series of bionic enhancements and are pulled into a series of contracts that allow you to get revenge, or at least that’s the plan. The story is pretty convoluted and doesn’t affect the overall progression, and at times it seems to counterbalance the absolute hell you raise by completing missions. word-image-1381 Each main mission is a big story mission that sends you deep into the hive to take out hundreds of gang members and put pressure on the antagonists. They belong to three gangs: the chubby, steroid-using forgemasters of House Goliath, the female fighters and mental dominators of House Escher, and the teleport-equipped House Orlock. Despite the visual variety, the Grunts are presented in different levels with little variation between them, with the exception of the elite enemies with more advanced weapons and reflective shields. A few of them, like the hammer-wielding Goliaths and the teleporting, fireball-wielding Escher Death Virgins, bring variety to the game. Other enemies include Ogrins (giant, vicious Abhumans) and Ambots (huge mining robots converted into military weapons). The unifying factor is that all the enemies in Hired Gunare pretty stupid. They seem to trade their intelligence for their constitution, making them incapable of a coordinated attack, although they can often take a few hits to the head with your superweapon. That’s a problem until you fully master the old-fashioned Hired Gunshooting style. Hip shot and iron visor are fairly interchangeable, and you move at a fast pace. At the start of the game, you have a double jump, a grappling hook and the ability to bypass walls, which soon puts you in cramped industrial arenas where you have to shoot people with bullets from giant guns that knock your teeth out as you shoot. Combined with a system that allows you to regenerate lost health in short order after taking damage, and a set of skills that encourage you to get closer to your enemies, you play Hired Gun , like the last Doom games. Even the rock soundtrack tries to mimic the metallic swagger of iD, but it’s dumber than Mick Gordon’s work. word-image-1382 The weapon progression is reasonably accurate, but it lacks the brilliance of most modern shooters. This is partly due to the lumbering animations of the enemies, which is also noticeable when you approach and use the game’s awkward-looking melee battles. WhileHired Gun looks good and conveys the oppressive heat and grimness of life in the ‘hive with its detailed and gritty setting, it doesn’t quite manage to convey that feeling. Everything from the systems to the shootings is too light, and the film would have benefited greatly from a clear vision that would have allowed it to embrace the excessive violence inherent in its source material. Between missions, you’ll head to Martyr’s End, a bar and trading post where you can upgrade your bionics, refine your weapons, and even improve your cybermastiff. That’s right, you have a dog that can also be improved with bionics. In the darkness of the 41st millennium, even humanity’s best friend is not out of reach. During battles, you can summon a dog to mark nearby enemies and throw it at unsuspecting ones, but overall it feels like an underdeveloped addition. Weapon customization is something that sounds great in theory, but falls short in practice. Unless you spend a lot of time searching for equipment and accessories in one of the many side missions you can undertake between missions. In general, you can adjust the barrel, barrel, sight and magazine. You can also equip an elemental damage archetype. But mostly it doesn’t feel like you can make significant changes, and the weapon archetypes rely too much on the variety of rapid-fire weapons. The game also limits you to only carrying a few weapons on missions, forcing you to keep your original weapon (which you can never upgrade). This seems like an attempt to convey the less-than-superhuman status of the protagonist ofHired Gun, but it hides the fact that you’ll have more fun mowing down untold masses of enemies and that you won’t get to play with all your toys in the main missions.

Necromunda: Hitman – Totals

word-image-1383 Overall, Hired Gunis a very fun shooting game, but it is hampered by a few rough edges. As a fan of Warhammer 40,000 and Necromunda, I cherished every second I spent in this luxurious environment. There aren’t many games where you have to fight your way through a train connected by chains twice the size of a human, or a maze of compressed waste cubes surrounded by gothic statues. That’s a great attitude. It’s just a shame that the rest is stupid sometimes. It’s not terrible, but it has enough flaws to make the experience somewhat unsatisfying. Battles quickly turn into a shooting gallery on autopilot, with repetitive shouting and an oblivious AI that prevents you from feeling like a skilled bounty hunter, leaving you feeling like you’re shooting rats in a barrel. [Note: Streum On Studios provided a copy of Necromunda Hired Gun used for this exam].

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