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Rational Schemes: New Enemies, Hero For Necropolis

Harebrained Schemes, the gang best known for Shadowrun Returns, this month launched their all-new third-person action roguelikelike Necropolis [official site] to a bit of a mixed reception. “It’s a clumsy, dull, shallow, lacklustre trudge through cold soup,” is Wot John Thinks. “And fails at the most important aspect of any game in the genre: making me want to have another go.” Okay, John’s reaction wasn’t so mixed.

After listening to initial feedback, Harebrained have detailed future plans for the game. These include adding another character, improving enemy behaviour and making them more varied, and boshing in a new environment with new enemies.

After releasing a wee patch making perk descriptions more informative (something else John had complained about), Harebrained Schemes gave an update on their plans. Here’s what they say they’ve learned from initial reactions:

  • First, Necropolis is a game people *want* to like. Many reviewers and commenters prefaced their criticisms with statements like, “I really wanted this to be good.”
  • Second, people expected more content and more variety for their money. Whether it’s more enemies, more environments, more loot, or more variety in a level, the message is that more variety is needed.
  • Third, many of the item descriptions in the game are obscure and unhelpful, making it hard to make decisions about what to buy or equip. And because our item descriptions are obscure AND written in the Brazen Head’s snarky/humorous tone, some people find them irritating.
  • And fourth, some players found the game too easy and the AI in need of improvement. For example, players report that many enemies can be beat using the same tactics and they want more variety and challenge in combat.

They then go into what they plan to add. Some of these are coming in the next fortnight while others might take up to two months. This isn’t the full list but a few things which caught my eye – check Harebrained’s post for all details broken down by when they’ll arrive:

  • Continue to improve enemy behaviors to make creatures more fun to fight.
  • We’ll be exploring enemy speeds, aggression settings, animation timing and more to better differentiate enemies and vary their challenges.
  • Revise spawning system so that enemy spawning feels more logical and less frustrating.
  • New enemies that change up gameplay.
  • Revise enemy spawning so that some harder enemies will show themselves earlier in the game, resulting in more challenging combat with a greater variety of enemies.
  • New ways to engage with and affect the environment, like the platforms you can rotate.
  • Completely new outdoor environment – The Black Forest – a wintry deathscape to explore.
  • New Black Forest enemies.
  • New potions and scrolls.
  • A second playable character, the Brute.

A fair few of these seem like they’d help with John’s complaints. If you’ve been playing Necropolis, what do you make of Harebrained’s plans? What else would you like to see?

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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