REVIEW: Necromunda: Hired Gun is Full of Half-Baked Ideas (PS5)

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Necromunda: Hired Gun

When Doom was released back in 2016, it sent shockwaves through the first-person shooter genre. With its massive success, it was only a matter of time until copycats such as Necromunda: Hired Gun started hitting the market.

Developed by Streum On Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive, Necromunda: Hired Gun is a fast-paced FPS set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Players take control of a mercenary in Necromunda, a seedy planet full of crime and corruption. After a job goes wrong, they must dive into Necromunda’s underworld to uncover a conspiracy involving one of the most powerful gangs on the planet.

Oh, Necromunda: Hired Gun. It’s clearly trying so hard to be cool and do something unique in the FPS space, but it ends up pulling a million ideas from other games and doing none of them very well.

Moment-to-moment gameplay in Necromunda: Hired Gun is focused on fast, kinetic action and building momentum. The game gives players a wide variety of movement options such as dashes, double jumps, a grappling hook, and wall runs. Sure, movement is fast, but that doesn’t inherently mean that it’s fun. Players will frequently find themselves running all over the place, unsure where enemy fire is coming from, moving just a bit too fast for their own good.

Perhaps the worst (and most ironic) part of Necromunda: Hired Gun’s focus on speed is the game’s framerate. Just about every time more than five enemies are on screen at once, the game takes a significant hit in frames, dropping from a steady 60 to below 30. Sometimes this even happens for seemingly no reason. With gameplay so focused on keeping up momentum and speed, a bad framerate is basically a death sentence and makes it impossible to get really invested in gameplay.

Necromunda: Hired Gun is incredibly inspired by Doom (2016). While yes, the Warhammer 40,000 universe has existed much longer than Doom (2016), just about every aspect of Necromunda: Hired Gun’s gameplay feels ripped directly from id Software’s critical darling. Everything from the aforementioned kinetic gameplay to the heavy metal soundtrack just feels like a pale imitation of something much, much better.

While Necormunda: Hired Gun is a budget title, it still looks far worse than a game on current-gen hardware should. At a glance, the dark world of Necromunda doesn’t look too bad. If you get too close to just about any character model in the game, however, it’s clear that the game could use some work in the graphics department. Most character models look just a little bit off and move in a very clunky way, pulling players out of any kind of immersion that they might have had. Worse yet, with the game emphasizing over-the-top executions, chances are you’ll be up close and personal with these models many times throughout the game, making their unpolished nature all too apparent.

Even with all of these complaints, it would be impossible to say that there is no fun to be found within Necromunda: Hired Gun. Sure, it might be cheap, shallow fun, but it is fun nonetheless. If you can look past the constant drops in framerate and can get a handle on movement, blasting bullets into hordes of enemies can be a joy.

With a pretty large variety of weapons and customizable character abilities, you can get as deep into Necromunda: Hired Gun as you want to. New weapons are scattered throughout levels in hidden chests or can be bought in between missions in the hub world. Most of the weapons are pretty standard, but more thematic sci-fi guns such as the Graviton Gun stick out and can be a ton of fun to mess around with.

One of the biggest things featured in marketing for Necromunda: Hired Gun was the robot dog companion. While something unique could have been done with the “cyber mastiff,” it amounts to little more than a nigh useless ability.

Necromunda: Hired Gun comes this close to being a good game. It takes heavy inspiration from one of the best FPS games on the market, but with an uninteresting narrative, clunky graphics, uneven performance, and a litany of undercooked ideas. Necromunda: Hired Gun is hard to recommend, even at its budget price tag. You might find yourself having fun from time to time with it, but those moments are simply too short to recommend putting up with the rest of the game.

Necromunda: Hired Gun is available now on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.

 

Necromunda: Hired Gun
  • 4/10
    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL;DR

Necromunda: Hired Gun comes this close to being a good game. It takes heavy inspiration from one of the best FPS games on the market, but with an uninteresting narrative, clunky graphics, uneven performance, and a litany of undercooked ideas. Necromunda: Hired Gun is hard to recommend, even at its budget price tag. You might find yourself having fun from time to time with it, but those moments are simply too short to recommend putting up with the rest of the game.