Shadowrun Devs’ Roguelike Necropolis Out In March

Harebrained Schemes don’t only create remakes of olden meatspace games, you know. They only do that when they want to raise millions of dollars on Kickstarter. In between last year’s Shadowrun: Hong Kong and next year’s Battletech do-over, they’re realising a ‘procedural death labyrinth’ (a roguelike, then) called Necropolis [official site], to which they’ve just announced the addition of four-player co-op. The thing’s also due out in March, and some of you may be relieved to hear that it’s skipping the whole early access thing.

Release date is March 17, which is good news as far as I’m concerned – I quite fancy this, but I’m very unlikely to play anything released within the gravitational pull of XCOM 2, which is out on Feb 5.

Pre-orders for Necropolis open on Feb 2, but you know the rule by now, don’t you?

Harebrained describe Necropolis as ‘3D action meets roguelike’, and as you can see it’s going for the whole low-poly/stylised art style that we’ve lately seen used to good effect in Massive Chalice and Invisible, Inc, to name but a couple. You play as a nameless adventurer trying to find a way out of a multi-tier dungeon/museum run by a Bad Dude named Archmage Abraxis, and apparently combat is strategic rather than merely hacky-slashy – timing and animation is the key. Touch of Souls to it, maybe?

Death means you get sent back to the start of the Necropolis and have to do it all over again. Which is as good a metaphor for living in the British Isles during January as I can think of.

Here’s some footage from last year’s PAX Prime – expect more soon, no doubt.

21 Comments

  1. Captain Deadlock says:

    Sort of a Zelda/Gauntlet mashup then. I’m in

  2. ran93r says:

    Lovely little trailer.
    I had only heard about this the other day from their twatter, art style reminds me of Double Fine’s Massive Chalice, which I mostly enjoyed, so that’s half the battle won already.

  3. CaidKean says:

    Not a roguelike.:)

    Game looks neat though!

  4. Aspirant_Fool says:

    I really hope the actual game isn’t filled with the same awful minced verse that adorns the official site. Child of Light was unplayable for me, but I didn’t consider it a big loss because it was pretty shallow to begin with, but this looks fun, so I’d hate to be turned off by writing that sounds like it came straight out of the nearest junior high school.

  5. jonahcutter says:

    In the funky future of the roguelikelike, there are no feet.

    February is increasingly packed with great-looking games.

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    gritz says:

    Procedural generation usually leaves me cold, but this looks great.

    • dungeoncrawl says:

      Same. I want well thought out level design, carefully placed foes, strategically placed loot, etc. For me, works like “procedureally generated” or “JPRG” automatically just turn me off. I’ve never played one I liked. But then again, it’s good to know what does it for you and what doesn’t.

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    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Since we’re all making mash-up predictions….

    It looks like Kingdom Hearts + Dark Souls.

    • abobo says:

      Based purely on the trailer, I’d say Cowboy Bebop meets Devil May Cry, in the Dungeons of Dredmor dressed up like Dark City.

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    Andy_Panthro says:

    Very well made trailer!

  9. roothorick says:

    Now here’s a developer showing respect for the roguelike as a coherent genre by using a more appropriate wording, and you snarkily spoil it by throwing the word in their mouth. “Procedural death labyrinth” doesn’t include anything about being grid-based or turn-based, neither does the game; they didn’t call it a “roguelike” because… it’s not. Not any more than Diablo 2 in hardcore mode is a roguelike.

    • horrorgasm says:

      “Harebrained describe Necropolis as ‘3D action meets roguelike’”

      and if you look on their site…they do exactly that. They call it a roguelike just like every game with single lives calls itself a roguelike now.

  10. Butts says:

    Man, the art style looks great. Even better than the trailer they had a while back. And I do love a good 3D dungeon crawl

    However…the animations look slooooooow as fuck. Just look at the speed the character swings during attacks. Every attack! Or the running. Even the JUMPING, somehow. Looks slow motion.

    I’ll have to try it out, but if it’s as slow as I think then I can’t imagine enjoying it much. If so, then it’s a shame it had to look so damn good.

  11. sysdefect says:

    I would say D1 (and so on) is definitely inspired by roguelikes so I don’t think the comparison is really beyond the pale and I don’t think it deserves the umbrage.

    • sysdefect says:

      Whoops. Replying to this “Not any more than Diablo 2 in hardcore mode is a roguelike.”

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    Waltorious says:

    That trailer reminds me of Samurai Jack. Which is excellent.

    And for those arguing over the game’s genre: if it’s not a roguelike, might it be a deathcrawl? Or even a deathsploration game?

    For me, it depends on how different each play is. If there is meaningful variance on each attempt, with the core experience one of learning the types of dangers the protagonist may face and how best to approach them, then it will feel a lot like a roguelike (or deathcrawl). If it’s more about memorizing level layouts or slowly unlocking a series of persistent powerups, then it won’t.

  13. KoenigNord says:

    Since their first Lovecraftian tweets at year regarding the game I am looking forward to this. Trailer is even more promising.

  14. BB Shockwave says:

    WHY do they call these “Roguelike”? For the life of it I cannot remember any RPGs called “Rogue”. And I have been gaming since the ZX Spectrum.

  15. Josh W says:

    Nice trailer, there’s a musical style that’s developing in games at the moment that they seem to have picked up on at the start of the trailer that I don’t have a name for yet, which they contrast their musical style with very nicely.

    I love that kind of music, and for a I’ll call it “slow synth-piano wonder” for now, but it’s nice to see someone spotting trends and doing something different from them, especially as with kickstarter now, some of the games that inspired that kind of musical approach are still not even out yet!

    • Josh W says:

      That’s mostly intelligible, but a lot of loose grammar and dropped ideas in this comment! Ah well.