need to know
What is that? Singleplayer FPS is set in the depths of Warhammer: 40: 000 Hive City
Expect to pay $40 / £35
Developer Streum on the studio
publisher Focus on the interactive home page
reviewed in AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia GeForce 2080 Super, 32 GB RAM
Multiplayer? Damn, no!
Outside right Now
end to end official site
Necromunda: Hired Gun is a shooter with a midlife crisis. The solo linear FPS launched in 2021, you looked in the mirror, saw her gray temples and crow’s feet, then panicked before rushing out to buy a bunch of new hip mechanics guaranteed to lure these cool Zoomer streamers: Bolt-On Side – Quests, New Modern Loot System , a group of bloody brawls that kill do not know how to withdraw. It’s a first-person shooter that deeply fears its distinct identity in the late 1990s.
Which is unfortunate because Hired Gun would have made such a big badass figure if he could stop embarrassing himself at the skate park.
You play as an unknown bounty hunter who roams the cell of Necromunda, the largest Hive City of Warhammer 40k’s Imperium and one of the major weapons manufacturers. Driven to avenge the murder of one of Necromonda’s most notable Guilders, you become embroiled in a guerrilla war for control of the mysterious Hive City.
The plot of Hired Gun is disjointed and not abstract, essentially serving as an excuse to link 13 loosely connected missions that take you on a tour of Necromunda. These missions (and the places they explore) are by far the best part of Hired Gun. Necromunda is like a million Mos Eisleys crammed together and left under a lamp, noisy, filthy, and impossibly cool from an industrial hell. It is a factory, a landfill, a junkyard, and a battlefield all at once. It makes the world of Cyberpunk 2077 feel like a nice vacation.
The Hired Gun captures the stinking essence of Necromunda perfectly. Opens with you and two other bounty hunters on an elevator, traveling through the human layers of Hive City. You see its matte layers of rickety concrete, falling iron, and spider tubes. Each task focuses on a specific location within the cell. The second mission, for example, sees you jump aboard the Koloss-44, which is a city-sized freight train equipped with metal skulls and a cow hunter rather than a kaiju hunter.
Elsewhere, you’ll jump between cyberpunk skyscrapers and battle across a junkyard to break through the vast steel walls of the Imperial Generator. My favorite mission, titled Cold Black, involves descending into one of the oldest parts of Hive to face one of the infamous 40,000 enemies.
It’s a virtual space that’s really worth seeing, and it is, too, because everything else in Necromonda is either problematic or completely patchy. The central issue is that basic combat isn’t good, but there are a bunch of reasons.
Let’s start with the weapons. By themselves, they are fine. Classic 40K bolts and heavy duty bolts alongside more common assault rifles and assault rifles, as well as a pair of eclectic weapons including a plasma rifle and a pistol that shoots an explosive gravity vortex. It would be a respectable arsenal to accumulate over the course of the game, especially if they had distinct effects and were useful in different situations.
Instead, the Hired Gun uses a Destiny-style loot system, which means you’ll pick up dozens of these weapons with slightly improved stats. But there is nowhere near enough variety in the weapons menu to make the loot system work. It only serves to soften the feel of the occasion of picking up a new rifle, as do the functional differences between the weapons themselves. There is no point in having three types of chaingun if they are effectively doing the same thing.
The weapons at least look good for shooting, but you hardly need that most of the time. The combination of floating physics and a very stubborn gib system means that most enemies will collapse if you sneeze near them, leaving traces of gut hanging in the air like wedding party ribbons. And that’s if you care about shooting them at all. Any normal enemy can be killed instantly by walking towards them and pressing E, which triggers a complex but also very awkward looking kill.
Since you are also healed when you kill an enemy by default, you can clear almost entire battlefields with melee kills. You’ll have to draw your weapon in search of bigger enemies, including Shrek-like ogryns and BioShock’s Big Daddies-like bots. But these things tilt a lot the other way, and they absorb bullets like a Kevlar sponge.
If Streum On simply fixed all that wonk and did absolutely nothing else, the shooter would be quite decent. Instead, Hired Gun throws sub mechanics into a garbage truck that adds little or nothing to the experience. The worst of it all is the mastiff, your canine companion you summon with a toy squeak. Mastiff spotlights nearby enemies and can eliminate them with a “quick attack”. It’s faster to shoot them, which means I’ve used my mastiff maybe five times in the entire game.
Other features I’ve rarely used include wall running, which looks great but is basically useless, a whole sub-menu of special powers that include bullet time, perfect aim, weapon crafting and mods, which I don’t think I’ve touched once, and side quests, which are These are separate parts of the campaign levels that are often present so you can earn additional credits to buy new weapons and abilities. The only tool I used a lot was the grappling hook. It adds great maneuverability to the Hired Gun, and will work great if your enemies are in any way interesting or difficult to fight. But they are not, so it is not.
It’s fairly obvious that the Hired Gun was released too soon, not least because the version number on the menu screen currently reads “Version 0.58333.” It’s riddled with bugs, from annoying glitches like texture flickering to hard screen locks and ctds, while the game’s overall balance simply feels off. It’s a real shame. Despite everything wrong with it, I find the basic premise attractive. The art and level design is great, the weapons are promising if combined with interesting enemies, and the hook hook move can be amazing with more time allotted to it.
I hope Streum On Studio now gets that time to polish, polish, and maybe strip away some of the scandalous concessions to novelty (the loot systems in FPSes can get in the trash). Arrange it all and the Hired Gun might be one of those toys that the industry looks back at five years later and calls it “underrated.” For now, though, it’s not underestimated. It’s just a little bullshit.