Shadowrun Devs Release Roguelikelike Necropolis


Shadowrun Returns gang Harebrained Schemes have jacked out and dug down into a deathtrap dungeon for their new game, Necropolis [official site], which launched today. It’s a hack ‘n’ slash roguelikelike with support for four-player co-op. Bad news: it’s nothing to do with Judge Dredd. Good news: it is something to do with a glowpyramid.

Necropolis sends adventurers into a magical dungeon (which, in a roguelikelike, is of course different every time) to fight monsters and try to escape. Permadeath? Yes. Loot? Yes. Crafting? Yes. Four-player drop-in, drop-out co-op? Ohhh yes.

I really dig its look. Nice clean polygons, those. I am slightly put-off by some of the Steam player reviews saying the combat’s a bit bland, though I do like PC Gamer’s lukewarm review talking about lots of things being slightly cryptic and unexplained – I like roguelikelikes to have a little mystery. Hmm. Might have a punt if I run out of things to play (ha!). Maybe I’ll bug one of those other louts in the RPS treehouse to tell me Wot They Think. You. To tell you. You, dearest reader. You’re always on my mind.

Necropolis is about £22.99/27,99€/$29.99 on Steam and GOG.


  1. Talahar says:

    So, is sword and board the only way to go in this game, or is there some variety in the weapons loadout department. I heard that was a major point of monotony in Necropolis…. :-/

    • Viral Frog says:

      There are ranged and two-handed options as well. They only featured sword & board in the videos.

      I have yet to play. I will do so tonight and report back with my WIT.

      • Static says:

        There is no 2hand weapons that I have found in my playtime. You *have* to have something equipped in each hand at all times. The game will not let you drop items so that you have one hand empty. There is no button to switch from 1h to 2h. I’ve only made it to the final floor once but in my 6 hours of play the above observations lead me to believe that there are 2h weapons in game.

        I hope they continue to support the game, it’s great fun but there are small things they could add over time that would really get it to shine. For now it’s a fun game to get together with some friends for some goofing around.

    • Unsheep says:

      All roguelikes are monotonous though, it’s part of the game design.

      • Cerzi says:

        Traditional roguelikes are kind of not, though. You generally have to change-up your play to adapt to the specific run, the items you’ve found, items you’re lacking, etc. There’s an ideal build, ideal items, but one of the key draws of the traditional roguelike is that nothing is ever ideal, so you have to be cunning.

      • Razumen says:

        I’d say that all Roguelikea are repetitive, not monotonous. Because you’re often repeating the same sections over and over again in a roguelike, with changes each time, if the gameplay is being described as monotonous, that’s something that’s even worse than in a regular, linear game.

        From what I’ve read Necropolis doesn’t do enough each run to make every subsequent play new and exciting. The minimalistic style is neat, but the dungeon rooms are boring and samey, There’s a dearth of loot and weapon variety, and enemies are dumb, with no real bosses to look forward to. In short it sounds like an Early Access title at this point.

  2. Viral Frog says:

    A lot of the negative reviews I’ve seen have boiled down to “I wanted Dark Souls 4: The Indie Version”. Some bring up some valid points, but nothing that I don’t see HBS fixing in a few patches or so. They were great at squashing bugs in Shadowrun. Hell, all of the Shadowrun games ended up with enhanced versions that drastically improved the quality of the games.

    Another thing to consider is that most of the negative reviews have less than 2 hours played. Most between 0.3 and 0.8 hours. Any review, positive or negative, with less than 2 hours (preferably more, TBH) is completely worthless in my eyes.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      That should be a rule in steam.

    • LacSlyer says:

      I agree completely. Too many people consider this a Souls like game when it has much more in common with The Binding of Isaac. It’s designed to be played several times over to unlock everything.

      I believe they plan to release different classes over time as well, which would be very inciting for replaying. But it does feel like it was released too early and could have used a few more months of fine tuning.

    • khaoselement says:

      I WOULD agree with you, but you have a two hours time limit to refund a game. If you’ve played and hated it enough to want a refund, I think you should go ahead and tell people why.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, not saying all the negative reviews are deserved, but it’s still something to consider with your demand for more than two hours.

    • Unsheep says:

      It depends though. I’ve played a couple of Steam games that have constantly crashed a few minutes in, where I’ve been unable to actually play the game for more than 20 minutes in total. This is in despite of me meeting the Minimum System Requirements by a large margin and not having any interfering programs to speak of, thus fully justifying a scathing review in my opinion. I think many of have come across games like this at some point using Steam.

      So if a game has terrible optimization or serious technical booting issues, these kind of reviews are in fact useful warning signs that there’s something technically wrong with the game.

    • Unsheep says:

      ‘A lot of the negative reviews I’ve seen have boiled down to “I wanted Dark Souls 4: The Indie Version”.’

      Yes, media and critics have a tendency to force their own preconceived ideas unto games without knowing the facts, and sometimes downright ignoring the facts when it’s presented to them.

  3. malkav11 says:

    I really enjoy their Shadowrun games so I’m willing to give it a shot at some point but the asking price is a little more than I value this genre.

    • LexW1 says:

      That’s where I’m at too. The reviews of it which are positive-ish pretty much all say it’s only a good game when you play it with friends. £23 quid is way too much to spend on an apparently content-light game that we’d need 2-4 copies of to get much real fun out of. I’m also really not loving hearing that pretty much all the mechanics in the game are obfuscated.

      Funny thing is, I’d happily have spent £30 or more on a new Shadowrun game after Shadowrun Hong Kong, which was easily the best of the Shadowrun games, and an awesome and much-overlooked CRPG generally.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Yeah, I’m in the same boat. Definitely interested in the game, but not at anything near that price.

    • Hobbes says:

      Interesting game, wrong price point. Who the hell decided the PP for this game? Or are they waiting for the inevitable sale so then when it hits the “correct” price point it’s psychological bullshittery.

      We’re paying what we’re supposed to pay but according to them it’s “50% off!”.

  4. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    I really hope there is an RPS WIT, preferably one that spends time with the co-op.

  5. Machinations says:

    Contrary to popular views, I found the first Shadowrun release by Harebrained to be a complete and utter disappointment. The quest was a railroad, no hub, no interesting gear, hacking was bastardized, the writing was sophomoric, the options nonexistent – the combat trivial. Its ironic in that it is less of an RPG than the much-maligned Fallout 4.

    All in all, what you would expect from a game designed for tablets. I didn’t buy the sequels though friends said they improved.

    It did get a glowing review on RPS though, which is when I first started putting games getting +++ reviews from RPS through my porky pies filter.

    I won’t be picking this up as I don’t trust Harebrained. This will be full of class (wizard, whatever) DLC’s and other garbage within a year. And 30$? Yeah, not worth it.

    To be honest, Im very disappointed, as a roguelike (ie. permadeath, random generation) with coop and action RPG combat is like, a dream of mine. Sadly, this isn’t that dream. I say this as the only misanthrope I know who has ascended in Nethack.

    My 0.02$

    • trashbarge says:

      “no hub” you’ve clearly missed the last two Shadowrun games. Returns was not very good, Dragonfall + Hong Kong were phenomenal

      also, HBS never does DLC that’s not extra story content? are you even thinking of the right studio?

      • Wagrid says:

        Yeah, its Dragonfall and Hong Kong that everybody likes. That Returns is pretty mediocre in comparison is fairly widely agreed upon (I skipped it based on the recommendations of people I trust).

        I liked Dragonfall a more than Hong Kong, but I can’t really hold that against Hong Kong because the list of games I like more than Dragonfall has about 10 entries, and it’s still great.

        • malkav11 says:

          Though I think most folks would agree the writing is the biggest highlight in all three, so someone who thought it was awful in Returns might not be into the series, period.

          • LexW1 says:

            I don’t agree. I didn’t like Returns much and I didn’t think the writing was great. Worse than FO4? Pffft whoa well that’s pushing it, worse than FO4 when FO4 is at it’s best I would agree with that.

            But in Dragonfall the writing distinctly improved. Not a stellar level, but to a good one. And then in Hong Kong holy shit that game, it’s just great. It blew me away, on pretty much every level. I was so delighted it had a ton of extra content with the post-game campaign too, because I wasn’t done with it when I finished the main campaign, I was like MOOOOORE!

    • LexW1 says:

      It’s not a controversial opinion that Shadowrun Returns was not a very good RPG (though even it does manage better conversation options than FO4 a lot of the time, so that’s kind of harsh).

      However, Dragonfall is a good CRPG, and Hong Kong? Hong Kong is a fucking classic. It’s fucking astonishing. Almost everything even slightly inadequate about the series is fixed in it. The writing is good, the options are good, you can actually be a Street Samurai because cyberware actually exists and does something, the magic has always been decent but continues to improve and the hacking is pretty damn cool too and feels more Shadowrun-y.

      Seriously, get Hong Kong if you like party-based CRPGs at all. I say this as someone who really disliked Returns and was only very lukewarm on Dragonfall.

  6. Derty says:

    “If you are wondering about the different “classes” that are going to be in the game, these are the concepts for them link to, they will be added to the game later as expansions, along with new biomes, weapons, enemies, items, potions, scrolls, gadgets, etc.” .apw on the steam forums. link to

  7. Wagrid says:

    Bummer that the reception to this has been so lukewarm; after Dragonfall and Hong Kong I really want to like anything Harebrained puts out. They’re generally pretty good about building on their games post-release, so maybe this will shape up in a couple of months?

    Seems like most of the Shadowrun folks moved over to Battletech, though that could be a mistaken assumption.

  8. UncleLou says:

    Played it for an hour, then asked for a refund – it’s not that I didn’t like it, but it felt incredibly barebones to me, more like an early access alpha release than a full game.

    I’ll keep an eye on it to see if they add stuff, but at the moment, the price seems too high for me for what they offer. I don’t mind buying games like The Witness or Inside at release, mind, but Necropolis really seems overpriced to me.

  9. Wowbagger says:

    I’ve enjoyed what I have payed so far, I do worry about replay ability with the limited amount of unlockable gubbins to make things fresh though. I was also hoping there would be bosses but can kind of see why they haven’t implemented them. Final verdict will wait until I’ve tried multiplayer I think.

    P.S Only played 4-5 hours and gotten to the fourth of what I think is ten levels, if that helps anyone.

  10. tonicer says:

    Eh another crappy multiplatform game with a nice trailer which made me buy it but it plays just terribly consoley.

    • UncleLou says:

      It played very nice, with a pad. On my PC. No complaints insofar.

  11. Barberetti says:

    Hmm … might check it out at some point if there’s a playable demo on the way.

  12. brucethemoose says:

    Wow, that’s a gorgeous looking game. Even though the gameplay might not be my thing, I want it.