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Watch 10 minutes of dungeon combat in Necropolis

All the facts about a randomly-generated series of death traps

Necropolis is a combat game set in a randomly generated network of underground rooms and tunnels, featuring plenty of loot drops and perma-death. It's due out later this year on Windows PC as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Watch the video above, based on my time playing the game earlier this week, and take a look at these facts.

  • It's created by Harebrained Schemes, the studio co-founded by Jordan Weisman, who is best known for creating the Mechwarrior and Shadowrun role-playing worlds.
  • Weisman calls the world "one great big death trap." Art director Mike McCain likes to call it "Dark Souls lite mixed with Spelunky."
  • It's a polygonal, procedurally-generated 3D combat world with perma-death. When you die, you die. You go back to the beginning and start again. But each time you play, the world is different.
  • Right from the start, enemies are tough. But random loot can also give you powerful weapons from the get-go. This isn't a game with a gentle learning curve.
  • Fighting is all about watching patterns and constant movement. Enemies always retain the same patterns.
  • There are interactive switches along the way that allow you to control platforms to your advantage. For example, you can strand enemies on island platforms.
  • The story lifts lots of tropes from old D&D fantasy games from the '80s and '90s. As you progress through the world you listen to an untrustworthy entity called The Brazen Head and you find out about the story through graffiti.
  • Enemies aren't always allied with one another. Certain enemies will fight each other. Learning how to manipulate these enmities is a good way to survive fights against large numbers of hostiles.
  • Combat is dual-handed. Moves include strike, power strike, block and shove. The player can also use range weapons instead of a shield, in the second hand.
  • Heavy attacks are limited (you can see their status in the red gauge in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen).
  • It's best to adapt play-style according to loot drops. If you get a really good shield, don't bother with the crossbow.
  • Health is supplemented by eating food found along the way. There is fresh food, which is always fine, and rotten food, which sometimes poisons the character. You take your chances with this stuff.
  • Likewise, the nature of potions found along the way is unknown, as is often the case with so-called "Rogue-likes". If you find a purple potion and drink it, you might get a big health boost or you might get poisoned and weakened. The good news is that, in that particular game, purple poison always has the same effect. In the next game though, it's random again.
  • There is some crafting and inventory management but it's pretty light.
  • There's a four-player co-op mode.
  • Namco Bandai is also publishing Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions in the summer, when the PC version also arrives.

The next level of puzzles.

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