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Death Is Beautiful: Shadowrun Devs' Necropolis Looks Ace

Certain games, you know the ones, give you that straight up “YES. THAT. PLEASE.” reaction. Something about the aesthetic, the animation, the developer – something makes you disregard any possibility other than finding a way to get it onto your hard drive as soon as possible. For an example, please see above.

Necropolis [official site], first revealed late last year as the next game from Shadowrun Returns devs Harebrained Schemes, is a semi-procedurally generated Zelda-like with big, brutal combat. It’s stunningly pretty (or “in vogue” as Alec called it, smartypants) and promises a darkly humourous tone. Until this very moment there hasn’t been any footage. Until now.

I really wasn’t expecting it to be so … funky. I kinda love it. Don’t get be wrong, I’m as down with that anti-Lego everything-is-awful Craig-Lager Soulsian jam as anyone, but this is fresh. It fits with the art style, but pulls it in a different direction to something still dark, less serious.

Mostly I just like watching it move though. Check out these wonderful gifs:

The background disintegrating is so lovely, and presumably part of the mechanic that allows you to reshape the level around you. All of the procedural generation is designed to change as you progress, continuing to evolve as you move around. No going back to safe rooms here.

Big sharklad there is called a Gemeater, one of the larger enemies in the game. This blogpost (and the whole devblog is full of fascinating/awesome stuff, by the way) details how you’ll know one is nearby and what variations will appear. It may be speculation, but the implied detail in the environment and thought going into monster design is exciting.

Perhaps most interesting of all is Harebrained’s description of the combat system:

At its core, Necropolis is an action game. Unlike other popular Roguelikes, Necropolis features a combat system based on timing and animation. It’s fast and deadly – learn to anticipate enemy attack patterns, time your actions for maximum effect, and use smart combinations of heavy and light attacks to defeat your enemies. You can’t just button-mash and win.

Yeah. That. 2016 (!) can’t come fast enough.

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Ben Barrett

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