Early Access Examination full video - https://youtu.be/hSW_LR0TR20
In Nekro you take the role of a recently made Necromancer in the service of a dark god. Your sole purpose is to go through the lands creating foul creatures and destroying all those in your path. The game is infused with a quirky sense of humor throughout. In fact the game reminds me of a cross between dungeon keeper and overlord.
At the start of the game you'll be able to choose what type of Necromancer you wish to play as. There are currently three choices all with different styles of play, the first is the Alchemist that focuses on healing and summons, second is the grim keeper who is a ranged attacker and the third is the Outcast who is a up close and personal melee fighter. After deciding which Nekro you wish to play you then have to choose a scourge power which is an attack ability that can have varying effects depending on your choice.
Summoning creatures is the key to winning fights similar to Overlord, there's strength in numbers. Each summon has different roles, strengths and weaknesses. All summons will require a specific amount of blood to be used. Most summons need a corpse to be sacrificed to be able to bring them forth however some usually the higher blood requirement summons only require blood to be used. As you progress you'll be able to unlock more summons who are powerful at a specific role like the crust king who can be used as large tank.
The enemy variety in the game is very good and there are some tough old codgers out there. The further into the story you get, more and more unique enemies come into the frey, each with their own mechanics and unique tactics. The enemies are really what make the game for me currently, they provide all the challenge. You'll start off with farmers and as your conquest expands you'll meet witchers, bounty hunters, soldiers, templars and more. The tougher the enemy the more blood and health their corpse will be worth, which is handy considering, they will most likely kill many of your summons.
The battles are fun, challenging and often messy. While you can give commands to your summons and tell them which target to attack, you don't have direct control over them in terms of movement. It can lead to having to make several attempts to take down a tough group of enemies as your summons can be torn down in a huddle. I would have liked clearer battle lines with more unit collision as its difficult to aim when your a ranged Nekro when your summons surround the target. Boss battles and special enemies can be found in the game such as Major biscuit that is a character based on totalbiscuit.
After completing a mission you'll be taken to the character progression screen where you'll be able to equip your necromancer and upgrade his abilities. The first tab is where you can purchase stat upgrades and new skills with power that you gather in levels. You can also equip trinkets which are items found from fallen foes that have all kinds of effects such as random summons, increased damage, aoe effects and more. After this you head to your summons tab, from here you can see all the summons currently available to you and those you can unlock via the sins currency that drops from enemies. Each summon has two combat roles that can be switched in and out before a battle for example the skelebones can either function as a melee fighter or as an archer. You are also able to upgrade summons using sins to increase their stats, abilities and unit capacity allowing you to field more of them in battle
Nekro's level design is fairly simplistic. Each level varies in its environment but they all remain fairly small maps that can easily be navigated with the mini map. Each different level has a variety of objects that can be interacted with such as pumpkins you can make come to life, traps and livestock to each. There are also environmental hazards such as toxic barrels and oil spills that can be used against both you and your enemies. As combat arenas go, Nekro's levels are simplistic but work well and are as aesthetically diverse as they are pleasing.
Nekro's story and setting is packed with dungeon keeper style humor. The narration of the characters journal between missions is often at it's best historical and at worst brings a cheap smile. It's a game that does not take itself too seriously and enjoys throwing it's humor into both it''s story, art and level design. What story there is so far is well written with plenty of comedy, self deprecation and satire.
The art style of the game is dark but vibrant and looks great. The comical cartoon styling of the characters not only looks great but adds to the humor of the game. The spell effects and lighting in the game all add to the chosen aesthetic but its the sound of the game that stands out most of all. The narrator and voice acting is very good, humorous and entertainment. Nekro's soundtrack is filled with a blood boiling heavy metal soundtrack with guitars and drums rocking away as you summon your undead masses. It's a great soundtrack that's fun to listen to as you desolate the lands in front of you.
As early access games go Nekro has plenty of content and quality for your money already. Its one of the few early access games that is worth a purchase and the games stability is great with me encountering next to no bugs thus far. Similar in quality to games like darkest dungeon, I only wish that these types of early access games were the norm in terms of content and quality. Its a great game that should appeal to many players. I personally would have liked a more in depth story and I think the game would have benefited from a questing system with a world map with multiple locations to go too when every you wished. Overall If your interested in Nekro, there's certainly monetary value in the current early access version. There's also plenty more content to come in the final release as well as new summons and new gameplay features too.