Initial Release: June 1st 2021
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Streum On Studio
Genre: First-person Shooter
Platforms: Xbox One · Microsoft Windows · PlayStation 4 · PlayStation 5 · Xbox Series X and Series S
"Review Copy Provided by Focus Home Interactive"
I have 0 experience with the Warhammer 40K universe. I have never really known where is a good jumping off point for the overall lore of this franchise as there are trading card games, video games, and novels that all encapsulate this ever sprawling world that seems neigh impossible to break into as someone who’s on the outside looking in. When I saw the trailers for Necromunda: Hired Gun I was immediately impressed by what I saw as a Doom Eternal inspired shooter that was in a steampunk setting that looked incredible and it wasn’t until much later on that I come to find out that it was actually set in the Warhammer 40K universe. While that did initially put me off as I didn’t know how I felt about jumping into a title that seemed knee deep in the lore of that world and yet because the game looked so cool I decided to take the plunge and find out if it’s worth trying to decipher this franchises world. Did I succeed and come to enjoy this game or does it make me regret my decision? Let’s find out!
The story of Necromunda: Hired Gun takes place in he Warhammer 40K universe on the mechanized planet of Necromunda where you take on the role of a customizable bounty hunter that will work with various factions of the criminal underground of the planet.
This is basically Doom Eternal set in the Warhammer universe to put it lightly. You do a lot of the same things that you would do in Doom such as running and gunning along with Glory Kill like maneuvers and more albeit without the precision and tightness of that titles controls making this one feel a bit sluggish and at times unresponsive. For example, when it comes to aiming it always feels like you can’t get the controls to feel just right and it feels at times downright janky making it pointless to aim down sights.
You have access to a double jump along with a dash ability and grapplehook ability which keeps the action high octane and fast paced unfortunately its bogged down by the poorly optimized controls. When you go for Glory Kill maneuvers you can still be shot and killed by the enemies in the surrounding area. You can customize your loadout and your weapons and the different aspects of your weapons and are able to break down weapons that you don’t need for resources to apply to things that you want.
You have a dog companion that you can command to go and seize an enemy and or take them out which is a very cool feature. As the game progresses, you will have access to augmenting your dog to have more stuff available to them.
The game is broken up into levels that you can access from the central hub world that also allows you to access the levels individually as well as allowing you to seek out and engage in optional side missions for additional loot, weapons, and cash.
The game is overall rather short with a 5-hour campaign that can be easily breezed through although most first time players will probably complete the game in roughly 8 hours.
This game isn’t really a great looking title nor does it run all that well on the Xbox Series X as there are constant framerate drops and performance hiccups that continue to occur over and over. Graphically this title looks like it came out during the end of the Xbox 360 era if not the early to mid Xbox One era as its just a very mediocre looking game with dark low textured arenas, characters, and the like. There isn’t any HDR option available for this game and it also doesn’t seem to benefit from running on the Series X even though it donates that its optimized for Series X.
All in all, this is a rough looking game.
The voice acting is the only thing that saves this otherwise mediocre game as the voice acting is pretty top knotch from the main character down to every NPC that you run into throughout the game. The soundtrack is definitely up there with Doom in the sense that it is METAL AF and I absolutely love it!
90% of this game is a downside saved only by the voice acting and OST. The only way this game could be improved would be if the developers took the time to dramatically improve the controls and better optimized the graphics to not look so low detailed especially on next generation consoles.
This is honestly a game I see a lot of potential in that’s dragged down significantly by clumsy controls, poor graphics, poor performance, and an overall lack of any form of QA testing and polish. When you look aside from those issues you can see a game that is clearly inspired by Doom Eternal and yet doesn’t know how to take that inspiration and make it into it’s own thing and if it could just do that then you would have a fairly solid shooter. Be that as it may, this is a game that at $49.99 that I just cannot recommend to anyone other than the hardcore Warhammer crowd who love this world and setting of which I am not one of. If you must get this game, then wait for a massive sale.