Nekro (DarkForge Games LLC)
When developers admit that their game was born after a discussion about the desire to see innocent townspeople ripped to shreds by things that go bump in the night, you know you are in for something dark and twisted. Nekro does have a healthy dose of humor mixed into all the blood and gore though, but this Early Access title is still not for the faint of heart or anyone suffering from hemophobia.
Your character is a once powerful Alchemist, who after being betrayed by the king, decides to turn to Kleer, the Lord of Chaos, for his revenge. After transforming into a Necromancer, your march towards the king’s castle for a bit of revenge begins. Three different types of Necromancers, known as powersets, are available in the Early Access version that we played and DarkForge is planning to add some more to the finished version. Each powerset has their own stats for things such as attack range, base health, base armor and casting range, so your choice will influence the gameplay quite a bit. Players who like their battles up close and personal will enjoy the Outcast who is a melee fighter while the Grimm Keeper is perfect for those who want to keep their distance in combat. Finally there is the Alchemist who favors healing and depends more on his summons.
After selecting your powerset and equipping your summons it is time to cause some chaos. You basically stroll through each level killing anyone and anything that looks at your Necromancer funny. Enemies, which range from ordinary townies to witches, hunters, zealots and priests are not too tough to handle on their own, but if they attack in numbers your Necromancer can get overwhelmed. The trick is to hang back, lure them out and slowly build up your army until you have the numbers on your side. Killing an enemy allows you to consume their corpse to regain health for your Necromancer and blood which is used for summons. You can imbue some inanimate objects in the gameworld with your summons to help you in combat and between levels use the “sins” you harvested from enemies to upgrade summons or unlock new ones.
Nekro is already incredibly fun to play and it is a blast covering each level in blood from your fallen enemies. You can even slaughter cows, chickens and pigs that get in the way of your bloodthirsty Necromancer. Then there is the co-op multiplayer mode where a friend can join in as a secondary character to help you in your campaign of terror. While I kind of miss the loot dropping from traditional role playing games, Nekro has trinkets which are special items that can be used once per map. Since each Necromancer plays so differently there is already a lot of replay value and everything from the visuals to the audio is very polished.
Things to look forward to in Nekro includes more summons, new Necromancers, more multiplayer characters, more trinkets, boss fights as well as environmental hazards and other traps. If you can appreciate some dark humor and plenty of violence, then Nekro is definitively worth checking out. I mean, how often does a game allow you to hit a villager until his skin is flayed off and then pull him back with a spear connected to a chain to finish the job as he is running away. It might sound disturbing, but the blood and gore is so over the top that it is hard not to laugh at all the carnage.
Nekro is definitely an Early Access title worth keeping an eye on as it has a lot of potential. We would like to see a bit more variety in the final version when it comes to level objectives, but overall the game is very solid. If you are tired of playing the goody two shoes hero who has to run around doing fetch quests for every villager in sight, then Nekro might be just what you need to relieve some stress.
This preview is based on version 0.7.8.11 of the game.