At the beginning of last year, I was heavy getting into Warhammer 40k thanks to COVID and the lockdown situation. I was able to find a new hobby to keep me busy and also explore more of the universe than I did when I first tried getting into Warhammer 40k many moons ago. My dive into the universe bought me to Necromunda which is set in the 40k Universe but has its own storyline and lore. It’s mainly a tabletop game though has had video games made based upon it. Recently we saw the release of the latest instalment in the Necromunda video game franchise, Hired Gun. Interested in this universe and not being able to play it tabletop for the time being I used this as my opportunity to explore the grimdark world of Necromunda.
The game is a first-person shooter developed by Streum On Studio and published by Focus House Interactive. Like mentioned it is set in the Warhammer 40k Universe and takes place on the mechanized planet of Necromunda. You play as a mercenary who is seeking to solve a conspiracy involving a powerful gang in Necromunda’s underworld. It’s got a linear story but does have side contracts that the player can take out and do as the game progresses to level up your character and gain loot and money.
Necromunda Hired Gun has a fast-paced flow to it with each mission throwing hordes of gang members at you that each have their own crazy weapons to try and kill you but that doesn’t put your character at any disadvantage as you have a few tricks up your sleeves too.
Necromunda is split into stages, where you complete a mission, then go back to the hub area so you can upgrade various parts of your character and companion. If you go to the Rogue Doc he will take a look at your bionics and give you different upgrades that can make your character OP in the underworld. Not only that but he can upgrade you Mastiff (dog companion) so that it can deal more damage and live longer while out on a mission with you. Yeah, that’s right you get a killer mechanical dog at your disposal. Visiting the weapons seller gives you access to heavy firepower and more intense weapons that can be used in your arsenal as you continue on your journey through Necromunda, though you can also sell off your unwanted bits to gain more currency. The game is split into the main Campaign and an array of various missions, these extra missions being: B-Missions, A-Missions, S-Missions and Factions. Each offers different rewards and can help you get better loot and a lot more money to spend on upgrades and weapons.
Like the old Doom games and similar to that of Unreal Tournament you get a lot of blood and gore in Necromunda which is awesome as it adds to the already brutal and dark universe that 40k offers but in terms of gameplay it is pretty basic and doesn’t go above and beyond with any mind-blowing mechanics. Level up, grind loot and money and just watch the carnage unfold. There are a nice number of different weapons from firearms and melee weapons so it gives the player the chance to spice up gameplay and pull off visual pleasing gore combos and finishing moves.
Graphically the game feels lacking, feels like one of the old Doom games rather than that of a current-gen or previous-gen title. There are graphical bugs pretty much all the time and when you do a lot of the finisher moves on the characters you can see how bad it is, for example, you can stab a character then shot them and they’ll die but you end up stabbing mid-air or even just missing them but the kill animation still runs and the character dies. It feels majorly unpolished but it is a chaos fest that you can expect to find in the Necromunda underworld. Just hordes of gang members and mindless violence. Audio-wise I like the fact that there is voice acting but at times it does feel forces and not enjoyable. It feels like they are just being voiced by some random person they got in the office rather than a voice actor. This is purely my opinion and I feel bad saying it but it’s my honest opinion on the matter. There are different characters that you interact with that help flesh out the story which is nice and you get the whole under hive vibes when your playing missions and in the main hub area.
Like most single player-driven games once you have completed the story there isn’t much else you can do other than reply the campaign again on a harder difficulty or grind for better loot for your characters. With there being a levelling system in the game and the fact that you can purchase different abilities for you and your dog companion, there is a little element of grind to the game that can keep you going for those extra hours. Even more so if you want to complete all the side contracts and bounties.
Necromunda Hired Gun is fun for a while then gets repetitive and feel like a generic shooter, if you are a huge fan of the tabletop version then I can see you being more inclined to enjoy the gameplay and the different fractions, locations and characters in the game however if you are like me and haven’t seen or played Necromunda before it might be worth looking into it first and maybe playing a few of the tabletop games first. The levelling up system is fun but nothing new, the loot system again is nice but has been done many times before so it just comes down to whether the story is enough to make Necromunda pop, sadly it’d just your standard first-person shooter storyline where you go kill loads of things and report back to someone but with the added 40k flare in the mix. I recommend looking into it if you’re a fan but I can see this one being easily missed in the array of games currently on the market. With its buggy gameplay, lack of uniqueness and bland story it doesn’t shine however it is a fun shooter that has some epic gore moments that make you go nice! For these reasons, Necromunda Hired Gun gets a mid of the table score of 5 out of 5.
- Developer: Streum On Studio
- Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X and Series S, and PlayStation 5
This review is based on the PlayStation version of the game which can be purchased here for £32.99.
Enjoy the review? want to read more of our reviews? then click right here to be whisked away to the realm of our opinions.