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Shadowrun Returns developer announces "diabolical dungeon delve" Necropolis

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Necropolis

Having found success with Shadowrun Returns and its follow-up, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, developer Harebrained Schemes is moving on to something completely different: an action-focused roguelike called Necropolis. The hook is that its combat is based on timing and animation rather than straight-up numbers, and the dungeon is designed to shift and change as you play.

The setup is about as complex as most roguelikes, albeit with a slight twist. The powerful mage Abraxis created and then withdrew into a great underground labyrinth. But unlike most deep, dark tombs, this one actually welcomes adventurers, so that the malevolent intelligence within can kill them and use their spirits and reanimated corpses to power its traps and patrol its corridors.

Combat will take place from the third-person perspective, and is intended to require effective timing and combos rather than stats and button-mashing. The dungeon layout itself will change with every playthrough, which is fairly standard stuff for a roguelike, but will also shift during play. Monsters will "interrelate" with one another, something players will be able to exploit to their benefit, and of course there will be potions, magical books, and other dungeon-appropriate bric-a-brac to collect.

The art style looks pretty fantastic, although I'm a little less enthusiastic about the promise of "self-aware dark comedy," delivered by way of "a liberal sprinkling of dark humor, playing specifically on the tropes of early 1980s D&D." But it's obviously way too early in the process to judge that or any other aspect of the game, which isn't expected to be ready until sometime in 2016, and very minor trepidation about potential un-funniness notwithstanding, I do like what I've seen so far. See it for yourself at Necropolisgame.com. (And enjoy a couple of screens below.)

Necropolis

Necropolis

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.