Sword of the Necromancer starts with a great intro, whose music and images invite you to a lively adventure - but don't let that fool you. The story is not told through high-quality short films, but through very detailed monologues, delivered in the style of a visual novel. In these, Tama recalls how she met and eventually lost Koko, in other w...
Sword of the Necromancer
- Jun 19, 2021
Sword of the Necromancer starts with a great intro, whose music and images invite you to a lively adventure - but don't let that fool you. The story is not told through high-quality short films, but through very detailed monologues, delivered in the style of a visual novel. In these, Tama recalls how she met and eventually lost Koko, in other words, why she tries to revive the princess with the help of the titular sword.
And this story is really good! The game is not only emotionally engaging but also contains well-done surprises. I just wish it were more than read-aloud writing against darkened drawings. Because eloquently written the texts are unfortunately not, which is why the often long reading can be tiring. After all, the story is told almost exclusively in these texts, the surroundings play practically no role. Only the room to which Tama can return after completing each level, from which she restarts after death and where her dead friend is laid out on a stone, exudes the flair of a unifying backdrop. Everything else is merely stones of some vault.
That's why the sword is so important: because it has the inherent ability to bring the dead back to life - including the creatures killed by Tama. More precisely, she can resurrect a maximum of three of them and have them fight by her side.
The fighters act completely independently and gain experience, which not only makes them stronger but also gives them additional passive abilities. For example, they add elemental damage to their attacks or become resistant to them themselves. Moreover, because you can carry up to four of them in your backpack, Kama trains up to seven companions to assist her in the boss fight that concludes each level. In a chest in the starting room, you also store a variety of creatures and items for later tasks.
After all, you have to consider whether you might want to carry a weapon instead of a monster, with which Kama herself will be more involved in the fight. The necromantic sword is also available to her at any time, but it doesn't do much damage. And passive buffs also take away a spot in the inventory from potential monsters, but can also be an important help. In this way, you practically constantly develop Tama or change the composition of her "equipment", if a certain combination was not crowned with success.
Because of the fine story, Sword of the Necromancer could have been at least a satisfying adventure - gameplay-wise, however, it feels so monotonous and superficial that it's simply no fun. Movement, combat, and tactics are far too mundane for that. The constant resurrecting, training as well as quick loss of comrades-in-arms doesn't make for an entertaining flow, but rather feels tiring. Apart from that, you've seen everything important very quickly before it gets repetitive. Not even in the setting can you find valuable secrets or at least small stylistic highlights.