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  • Breaking News

    Necropolis: Only death awaits down in the darkness

    If you have been feverishly practicing your dodge roll in games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, you’ll be happy to know it’s a skill that will serve you well in Necropolis. Harebrained Schemes is making a departure from its cyberpunk role-playing Shadowrun series and tabletop darling Golem Arcana to explore something far more sinister.

    Necropolis sends a near-endless parade of heroes to their deaths as they explore the titular labyrinth, created by the wizard Abraxis ages ago to store his twisted menagerie. You are tasked with exploring the winding paths and solving its mysteries.


    By your side is the Brazen Head, the Necropolis’ caretaker. Art director Mike McCain describes him as the labyrinth’s “Jarvis,” referring to Iron Man’s artificial intelligence companion in the recent Marvel films. Just like Jarvis, the Brazen Head is a sardonic presence that offers you important advice, but not without verbal barbs.

    He’s the voice of the Necropolis, and his presence infuses the game with humor and soul. You also come across notes scribbled on the cavern walls. They aren’t left by other players, as they are in Dark Souls, but rather placed procedurally by the game itself.

    When connected to the Internet, you can find out how many people have died (and how) in each area. Over time, we suspect that the number will become staggering, as enemies, treacherous footing, and mistakes under pres sure often lead to failure.

    Harebrained Schemes is looking into other incentives for playing while connected. As an example, the team is considering mechanisms for unique weapons that are only relinquished to another player when you die.A system for meta-progress is tied to reading codices scattered through the dungeon. As you read more, you gain buffs you can assign to a limited number of slots. As you progress further, you unlock more slots that carry over to the next adventurer when you  inevitably  perish.

    Necropolis pushes Harebrained Schemes in a direction that is very different than the studio’s past work. The early build we played shows great promise, even in a game market filled with procedural death dungeons eating players alive and spitting out their bones.

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