Necromunda: Hired Gun (Xbox Series X)


The world of Necroumunda is impressively voluminous, towering, and often vertical. Most if it is metal, some concrete, the type of place a metal band named “Death Dead Dying” might use as an album cover.

It’s vicious, cloning the expressly violent Quake, infusing that with the modern Doom. Violence is passe in videogames; then comes Hired Gun which treats it so casually as to define this future society by personal kill counts. Hired Gun forms its own John Wick assassin’s society (down to the dogs), although with infinitely less grace and more defined masculine superiority.

In this labyrinthine underworld, everything is suggestive of violence. From the walls protrude rusted spikes ready to kill. Decorations are strewn bodies, or maybe a mantled head. It’s all so jagged and unwelcoming, a truly desolate society that feels homely – in a throwback first-person shooter sense, anyway, down to the rugged, imprecise technical side; the framerate is akin to running Quake on an under-powered Windows ’95 machine.

There’s limited narrative definition; Hired Gun introduces warring gangs purely as an excuse to kill things with absurd rapidity. The marauders all look alike, their lairs unchanging fields of broken pipes, pits, and squalor. Equal to the heartless protagonist, the what doesn’t matter so much as the why – and that’s money. Seems the only remnant of capitalism in this 41st century society happens in a sunless underground. Weirdly, that’s familiar enough to feel comfortable.

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