It should be noted that the game I reviewed was the preview/demo version of Nekro, not a beta.The Multi-player is working to a degree however currently you have to get the IP of the other computer that will be hosting the game (This will be altered in time to a more user friendly alternative) Darkforge Games have also removed the Randomised Levels which was mention way back at it’s Kickstarter stages (A missed opportunity for re-playability) and currently there is no talk of a crafting system (something I feel personally should be added or looked at in time).
DarkForge is a company that used kick-starter to fund Nekro; DarkForge has industry veterans in from companies such as Blizzard and Microsoft. Other than this I haven’t been able to find any information on DarkForge so I believe it is safe to say that they are a newly created company that was formed prior to March 2012.
Nekro Single Player
Nekro’s single player revolves around the path of destruction that is carved by the player. The player takes control of an alchemist become necromancer who has been wronged by the corrupt king, in vengeance the necromancer brings death to the kings followers and raises them to do the necromancers dirty work, which usually just includes taking the hits for him, rather than actually dealing damage.
The game features many different levels all with varying features, but the strategy towards the level doesn’t differ from each level, from the tutorial you are taught that the more creatures that you control the more fearsome you will be, this is all well and good until you realise there’s a cap on how many creatures you can control which means that you end up with little more than a small strike team rather than a horde of darkness.
So far in the beta there is no evidence that the randomisation of the levels is currently a feature so I can offer no opinion on it in its current build, this also goes the same for the AI increasing in difficulty as the level progresses. But speaking of difficulty there is an abundance of it when I got further through the beta, this comes in the form of massive townies who throw their hammers at you upon sight, and whenever there is a gap between you and the townie, the hammer itself does massive amounts of damage and stuns you for long enough that the townie will be halfway to pile driving his hammer into your skull by the time you flash away from him. The hammer can be dodge with relative ease but when 8 of them throw it at you it becomes a little more difficult to dodge, and combining that with the fact the your summons cannot keep the aggro of the enemy for little over 3 seconds means that I have yet to finish that mission.
Nekro features a multiplayer that piggybacks on the single player campaign, and from my how I met the multiplayer I would say that Nekro focuses on friends playing the game together rather than just meeting people online to do the multiplayer campaign.
The alchemist by far is my favourite and most useful class, not only does he do quite a lot of damage per second if you upgrade only his damage but he can continue to support all his summons by throwing 2 healing potions that heal a selected area. Now as useful as he is, he does come with some crippling fall backs such as his health pool being the smallest of the Nekros, along with his extremely small health pool the secondary ability of the Alchemist, which is where he throws the health potions to his summons, can take a very long time to notice that you are trying to cast that ability, and then when it does throw the potion it takes quite a long time to throw, so to solve the neglect that my summons receive from their opposing peers I have to throw both my potions prior to the fight, though this usually does end with the potion timing out halfway into the fight.
The Grim keeper has the advantage of having the best name out of all the available power sets so far, but unfortunately is very lack-luster when it comes to doing damage or provoking a sole enemy. The power set of the Grim Keeper finds itself in the middle of the range of the 3 available classes; it is a grenadier style class with a knockback function, unfortunately this knockback function also suffers from the same slow actions as the health potion does.
By far my least favourite class in the game, the Outcast relies heavily on getting health back from landing all 3 attacks of his 3 hit combo, which often doesn’t resupply all the health you lost during the combo. The Outcast definitely freshens up the style of play for if the player wanted to play a brawler class that relies heavily on life steal, but I was discouraged from playing the brawler because the second ability which is to grab someone from long range an drag them into punching range is not an ability I found at all useful when playing alone, because you’d land maybe 2 to 3 hits then immediately have to dodge the incoming stun hammers thrown by Thor himself. All in all the outcast wasn’t my play style preference but he does open up other opportunities for other players.
Nekro is an extremely visceral game with a lot of gibbing, in the words of the developers it is a metric shit ton of gibbing. Thankfully there are a lot of options in which you can tweak the game to be playable on your machine, and because of the limitations of my machine I couldn’t experience the full graphical picnic that DarkForge have prepared but the one basket I did manage left me dumbstruck that this game wasn’t made by other game developing powerhouses.
The art style that the game is based on is very reminiscent of A Nightmare before Christmas, all the character designs have parts that are emphasised and are extremely creepy or have features of horror in, and this is mainly seen with long and thin appendages with equally bony fingers.
While playing through the 5 or 6 levels that I managed to overwhelm in darkness, I found that the music in each level is unique to the level and to a genre, and it’s not all serious music though, for example in one of the levels you come across farmers with beat boxes which is definitely a first for me, but the serious music that I came across were perfect for massacring thousands upon thousands of innocents with my own army of darkness.