20th Apr2015

‘Nekro’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

nekro

Early Access games can be a risky purchase, the gamer either has the chance to get a glimpse at an up and coming game, allowing them to give feedback to the developer on what can make it better or what doesn’t work, or it show them a glimpse at something destined to fail, at worst not even making it to release. Nekro is a game offered through the Steam system to gain some feedback, but is it worth buying before the full build is ready?

When playing Nekro there are certain elements that are reminiscent not only of Diablo, but also Dungeon Keeper and the Overlord games, even the art style and humour is similar. This is a positive move as the games mentioned are classics and to bring back that style of gameplay can only be a good thing. When Nekro can be compared to something that fans love though, this is where things start to get complicated and harder for the developers to create a product that lives up to expectations.

With Nekro in its current form you get to pick from three classes of necromancer (with more to come) and each have their different style, abilities and strengths. These range from mêlée classes and ranged attackers but all have a focus on pushing the player to use strategic magics rather than getting too deep into the battle, why put yourself into danger when the dead can be raised to do it for you? Through raising the dead, building traps and the use of turret like weapons, this is where the necromancer gains their edge.

The level design at this point doesn’t offer too much in variation, but does provide plenty of space to take up the battle against your opponents, be it villagers or the bigger bosses that are to come. As the necromancer your aim is to slay your enemies and either feed off them for energy and collect blood, or to raise them from the dead to do battle for you once you have the blood to allow for the magic. This is where the game feels like Overlord with the use of minions. To try to strengthen the game and give it a path to follow there is also a story to Nekro, though at this point it doesn’t add too much to the game. For the most part all we get right now is a narrated plot given to use before each level starts to create some atmosphere for the battle that is to come.

GladiatorPatch_Screenshot01

There is a certain level of repetitiveness in the fighting and missions that are available to play through at this time in Nekro. There are many times when you find yourself simply surviving wave upon wave of enemies, trying to evade getting into the battle yourself and gaining enough blood to raise more of the dead to gain the advantage against the oncoming tide. This can be fun, but some balance is needed in the difficulty levels and strength of the enemies. The potential is there though for addictive gameplay, especially as there is a satisfying feeling once you have finally beaten a level and get to see what other powers can be unlocked for the next level. The RPG elements are strong enough to give the player the feeling of their character getting stronger and becoming more powerful, though it can be hard to gain enough of an edge at times.

Nekro still has some way to go before it leaves Early Access but from what we’ve been provided with so far there is a potential for this to be a hit with the people who enjoy the games it has taken inspiration from. With a good blend of strategy and RPG and plenty of gore, Nekro taps into the fans need for games like Dungeon Keeper and Overlord and while it doesn’t provide the same quality as those games yet, it is obvious that this is what darkForge Games are aiming at. With some development still to go and Nekro is one game that has the potential to deliver, and it will be interesting to see what the final product looks like when it is finally released.

Nekro is available on the PC through Steam’s Early Access now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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