The Brazen Head is about to put you through the ringer in a new Dark Souls-esque gameplay experience. Just remember, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try and try and try and try and try again.
If there’s one thing that the Dark Souls series has done for gaming at large more so than anything else it’s that it’s made it fun to be challenged in an action game again. You can’t just mash your way through it and expect to get anywhere. Necropolis carries on this modern tradition of making players step up to the challenge but with an aesthetic that may be more approachable for a younger audience.
Visually Necropolis is very minimal and relies on lots of smooth black shadows accented with neon highlights to create an atmosphere that feels like anything could be waiting around the corner. Enemies look like they’d be more at home in a Zelda game rather than a heavy metal fan’s nightmares like the creatures of Dark Souls. And the Brazen Head, the diety that sends you on your brutal mission in the first place, has an air of the King of the Cosmos or Glados around him with his words of, shall we say, “encouragement.” He gives the game a more casual vibe, even though the action is anything but.
Players will have to learn the proper ways to defend and retaliate in combat against some very angry monsters that range from your standard dungeon skeletons to very large steampunk-inspired mechanical gold knights. Taking down enemies and making their weapons and shields your own as well as collecting special runes and spells will help you upgrade your character on your way, but if you end up getting your butt kicked, you’re heading back to the beginning of a constantly changing labyrinth. You will at least get to keep your rune and book augmentations on your next trip through the dungeons. And if you observe your enemies and can figure out things like their favorite food or which classes of enemies they don’t get along with, you can start to develop an even deeper strategy.
There’s plenty of other secrets to be found as well, like hidden rooms full of treasure chests. In fact, if you watch the video in this article, you’ll get an exclusive tip on where to find just such a room. It’ll help you get a leg up if you decide to give Necropolis a try. (Just please don’t make fun of me for how much I get my butt kicked.)
Overall I get the impression this is going to be the type of game that someone might pick up and make a quick impression about it being another indie-style hack-and-slash. But once they’ve sat down with it for five minutes and got their butts kicked a little they’ll suddenly have something to prove. And since it lacks the brutal gore of Dark Souls, it’ll probably make a good gateway into the genre for a slightly younger audience. Necropolis will be making its way to onto Steam, PS4 and Xbox One in Summer, 2016.