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Review

In Studio's shooter Necromunda: Hired Gun, you shoot your way through the underworld of Hive Primus on the infamous macropolis world of Necromunda as a nameless mercenary. Using a bolter, laser rifle, and plasma launcher, you mill through members of the Escher, Orlock, and Goliath gangs in the Underhive, confront the Corpsegrinder Cult and real...

Necromunda: Hired Gun

  • Greg Burn
  • Jun 27, 2021

In Studio's shooter Necromunda: Hired Gun, you shoot your way through the underworld of Hive Primus on the infamous macropolis world of Necromunda as a nameless mercenary. Using a bolter, laser rifle, and plasma launcher, you mill through members of the Escher, Orlock, and Goliath gangs in the Underhive, confront the Corpsegrinder Cult and realize that Necromunda is also threatened by the Genestealers. 

Humanity has spread between the stars in the 41st millennium and travels its empire in huge ships through the warp, where unspeakable dangers lurk. Their leader, the all-powerful God-Emperor, rules a million worlds with trillions of human inhabitants from the sacred throne world of Terra. The Emperor was mortally wounded 10,000 years ago by the betrayal of one of his beloved sons, the Space Marine primarch Horus, and is now kept alive only by the golden throne in which his decaying body is embedded. While the Emperor's spirit lights the worlds of the Empire through the warp like a beacon, the interstellar realm is defended in his stead by the Council of Terra, the Holy Church of the Emperor, and the millions of men and women of the Imperial Guard with an iron fist against traitors, heretics, and xenos who seek to eradicate humanity from the galaxy.

Hired Gun doesn't reveal anything about this exciting background of the sinister 40k universe, except for a very brief intro before the game starts. If you start the game without any prior knowledge, you might be a bit amazed by the environment, symbolism, and weapons, but at no point does the game try to tell you anything about the background of the brutal gang wars that found their origin in 1995 with miniatures on the gaming table. And for an officially licensed game, that's a decidedly weak effort.  Instead, you are thrown right into the action as a local mercenary and bounty hunter. 

This is the end of the story because the 13 missions of the rather short campaign of the shooter are otherwise a loose string of missions, which are held together by sometimes completely pointless snippets of narration, which, apart from the main antagonist Silver Talon, really don't allow any conclusions about motivation or relationships in the macropolis. At no point do you understand why you're shooting away whom or where exactly you are in the macropolis? So if you need a coherently told story for your gaming fun, you should urgently stay away from Necromunda: Hired Gun. The great potential that the "web" of clans, gangs, and noble families holds, and in which you could easily tell your own Game of Thrones, remains completely untouched in Hired Gun.

Conclusion

Necromunda: Hired Gun is not a good game. Narratively a complete clusterfuck of confusing dialogs and terrible voice acting, and gameplay-wise a solid homage to Doom Eternal at best, but mainly notable for questionable animations and dull shooting, this shooter feels like it's fallen out of time. You can't get more Warhammer atmosphere than that! Everyone else, however, will have to be very fond of a dull shooter, it's fickle setting, and a foreign-shame narrative to see Hired Gun as anything more than a failed attempt to cast the iconic Necromunda miniatures tabletop into a Doom-like setting. Once again, the potential of the great 40k universe is not even superficially scratched here - not to mention the potential intrigues and political tangles of Necromunda. No, Necromunda: Hired Gun is not a good game. But fun can still be had sometimes.

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