If you ever wondered what might happen if a more arcade version of Diablo had a child with Dungeon Keeper, wonder no more.
Blending RPG lite elements with grim humour, exaggerated stylised locales, a booming narrator and gleaming red gore, Nekro is a true gem of a game. One which harkens back to past eras in the best way possible, aiming for competent performance over ground breaking ideas but backing that up with fantastic atmosphere and laughs a plenty.
Your task here is simple: you’re undead now. Go in, start killing the corrupted King’s lackeys and keep killing until his head is on a pike, and build your dark powers along the way. It’s as simple as that, the game releases you into an arena of death to have your fun, with no knowing of what you can kill or where you can stop, and you’re left to rampage about the environment. The real fun of this stems from the exaggerated fantasy stereotypes, each of which carries a dark twist to them in the manner of an Overlord game.
While simplistic, the actual combat itself remains relentlessly satisfying thanks primarily to the upgrade system and some fairly varied classes. Some offer low damage but self-healing, others have slow attacks but a ranged fighting style. While they do ultimately fall into the usual categories in one way or another, what keeps them going is thanks to the creative team’s efforts in putting a grim spin on how they operate. Rather than having a bow for example, the ranged choice boots explosives at his foes from a range. This is further backed by a series of summoned creatures, most of which will leave the game’s enemies as little more than a quivering pile of bones once they are done.
What allows the game to stand up above all else is the enemy variety and a series of intrinsically warped and differing levels. No single thing remains truly overplayed or overused here and despite its small scale the developers remain able to constantly introduce new elements allowing the experience to remain ever fresh.
Nerko ultimately plays and feels like something from the Playstation era of gaming, but in the absolute best way possible. Much like Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, the developers were not afraid to update or later elements here and there, but the spirit and fun concepts are ever present at its core. Even in its early state it remains a solidly entertaining experience, and this is definitely a one to look into for anyone after a game which remains utterly bloody hilarious from beginning to end.
GAME REVIEW: NEKRO / DEVELOPER: DARKFORGE GAMES LLC / PUBLISHER: DARKFORGE GAMES LLC / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (EARLY ACCESS)