Necromunda: Hired Gun PS5 Review – The Warhammer 40,000 Universe is a terrifying world to imagine. Those who know the lore and setting know that in this world, humanity is in a perpetual war spanning the universe, undergoing mutations and a constant thrust for power. This is evident in Necromunda: Hired Gun, A FPS that’s as explosive and entertaining as DOOM but ultimately suffers due to some technical issues.
Necromunda: Hired Gun PS5 Review
A Lacklustre Use Of The Warhammer 40K License
Hired Gun puts you in the shoes of a mercenary as you enter the under hive of Necromunda hunting down a bounty. Things don’t go according to plan as you’re evidently led into a trap and left for dead. You then get rescued by a mysterious man who pays to have you augmented, saving your life.
The narrative has plenty of interesting moments and cool-looking characters, but none of it ever feels like it is truly being explored, and most characters are never talked about after their initial introduction. It’s a shame because there is plenty of lore to grab from the 40K universe.
Visually Necromunda is a trash heap. Not because it’s a bad-looking game, but because the planet is essentially trash. The worst of the worst take up residence in Necromunda. The planet is mostly a factory, so you’ll see plenty of metalworking, sewers, and metal shacks that people live in.
It’s important to know you won’t be seeing any visually impressive vistas, but you will be seeing a vista of a massive battle transpiring on top of a collection of junk. In the 40K universe, these are essentially the types of environments one would expect. I would have liked a little more variety to the world, maybe some areas of what the planet looked like before humanity turned it into what it is. It’s not bad by any means, but eventually, a lot of it starts to look the same.
A Fast-Paced FPS Allows You To Pull Off A Variety Of Traversal Moves In Combat
Those who have played DOOM will be right at home with Hired Gun; the fast-paced shooting is enjoyable and entertaining, and there is always a great feeling when you can run on the side of a wall, slow down time all while shooting at a bunch of baddies with your Bolter Rifle From there, you then go into a running slide following up with your grappling hook to launch yourself up into the air and perform a melee kill on a sniper that’s been taking shots at your during the entire encounter.
It’s moments like this that make the combat feel exciting when you can pull strings of multiple actions together and then look at the carnage you’ve caused.
Though I absolutely had fun with the combat here, there are some things I wish were better executed.
You get a companion in the form of your Mastiff dog, but it’s practically useless until you’re able to upgrade it more. Once summoned, you have to aim at an enemy and tell it to attack said enemy. It wouldn’t be a problem if the dog listened. Often, if the enemy is on higher ground, then the dog won’t attack it, or if it’s behind a wall, it will just ignore you. In all, I seldom used the pup as it was just a hassle to control.
Another key problem is that it is very easy to know where enemies will spawn at. When in big encounters, it’s easy to figure out the few locations they will emerge from, spawn killing them whenever you want, right as they land in the arenas.
Upgrading your bounty hunter will net you some awesome powers. Some of these skills are passive abilities, such as auto-aiming when wall-running, while others are a lot more unique. I already mentioned the ability to slow down time and go into a bullet-time effect; you can also unlock an ability that puts you into a berserk mode and lets you run around with a sword chopping your opponents up.
These abilities have a cooldown, so you can’t just keep spamming them. This isn’t a problem, though, as they recover fairly quickly. The big problem I had was the way this is mapped on consoles in that the abilities are mapped to the R1 button and a radial wheel. Accessing them takes you away from the combat, leaving you open to attack, and are generally finicky to pick. It would have been nice to map these abilities to the D-Pad for easy access, but instead, switching weapons takes the reigns of the D-Pad.
You can also customize your weapons, and there are plenty to choose from. Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, Plasma Rifles, and my personal favorite, the Bolter, allowing you to customize your character around the weapons you love. You can find and buy mods for each weapon, such as foregrips, larger magazine sizes, scopes, and laser sights, adding extra bonuses to them as well.
Poor Sound Design Makes The Story Even Harder To Follow And Understand
Outside of the game’s main campaign, there are plenty of side jobs for you to take on. Being a Mercenary, you have to take on jobs to earn money and pay for the aforementioned new weapons and upgrades. These side jobs vary from simply finding and eliminating a target to surviving waves of enemies. There are plenty to choose from.
The soundtrack isn’t much home to write about, but you should expect heavy metal music. There is one major problem with the sound design, though. The voice work is pretty poor and low quality, but the biggest offense is the audio mixing which is just terrible. When people are speaking, there voices are so quiet it’s almost as if everyone is whispering. It’s so ridiculously low that without subtitles, I doubt anyone will know what’s being said.
I should also mention that throughout my playthrough, I never ran into a lot of the issues other reviews had. I never experienced a game crash or frame drops in the most hectic of encounters. Transversal was always smooth for me, and no screen tearing ever hindered me.
A Solid FPS That Is A Fun Ride
Necromunda: Hired Gun is an entertaining shooter set in a dark, depressing, and oppressive world. I had a load of fun stringing together abilities and skills to take down my foes. In a way, it’s simple mindless fun.
It’s just a shame that a game set in a world with endless lore and possibilities couldn’t provide better characters or a better story to hold its own in the 40K universe or offer solid audio mixing to accompany it. Still, you can have a lot of fun with Necromunda: Hired Gun.
Necromunda: Hired Gun is now available on PS5 and PS4.
Review code provided by PR