Release Date: 12th October
Price as of Article: $14,99- £12,99
Neon Chrome is set in a dystopian future, a future where millions of people are housed in giant mega structures known as Arcologies. Everything is run with efficiency and order or at least that’s what I imagine because anyone caught to be untrustworthy or flouting the rules are of course detained. Our lead character is based in one of the largest Arcologies on Earth called Neon Chrome. This is where you take control of your character which when starting the game you get a choice of quite a diverse range from your Hacker to your soldier. You control these avatars known as assets through a chair which gives you full control of the asset. If you have seen the Matrix then this is a similar type thing.
The audio here is good. I very much love a good top-down shooter and on the Switch, I would naturally compare this to Neuro Voider. I don’t think Neon Chrome matches the audio quality of that game. The guns sound good but for my taste, they needed to be a lot more beefed up. I want to hear the shattering of glass or the sound of bullets ricocheting off all the office furniture. There are also these, what I can only describe as large energy cells which you can use to explode and I wanted those explosions to sound a lot more grandeur than they do. The mechanical spiders needed to sound mechanical.The music is fitting for this type of Cyberpunk type style and I did enjoy the backing tracks which made me feel like I needed to get on with the job. I really did like the voice overs for the overseer who is the main villain in this game. His voice is super creepy and deep.
Visually this game implements everything you would expect from a top-down shooter and does it with style. I think the animations of the characters are smooth. I love it when you first start out and you can see the rain pouring outside and the cool looking Neon signs. Everything has a dark light contrast which works incredibly well. The effects of the explosions look great and the weapons when you fire them all look really distinct.I like the little laser which is used to aim.
One thing the game really lacks is variation in the level design itself and I don’t mean the way they are laid out but it’s always the same place. This is one of the issues I suspect, basing the game in a building is that it does not leave much room for imagination. Other than the rooftop which was pretty cool there wasn’t much else to distinguish the different areas enough for me.
I like the laser shotgun or all sorts of cool destructive weapons. Most of the environments are procedurally generated and the environments are destructible to a certain extent which does look great. The game ran smooth as silk in both handheld modes and in a docked mode so that’s always a plus!
This is a twin-stick shooter with procedurally generated environments and is another roguelike which to be fair the Switch has had its fair share of. If you don’t like roguelikes then you probably won’t change your mind as its something you either love or don’t. Personally, I find these types of games very interesting as I am someone who gets bored with the same thing over and over again. While that’s great for those that like to memorise a level to get better at it, I like a new challenge each time so I can assess the differing situations you find yourself in and Neon Chrome does a great job at it.
These games are all pretty similar although this has an RPG element thrown in which makes it even more appealing and while this has Roguelike elements the game does not make you start from the beginning each time. It has a checkpoint system and you are able to start from the point where you have beaten each boss if you desire. In this game, you start off by choosing your asset. Each asset has its advantages and disadvantages. If you choose the hacker you can hack open crates or open certain doors giving you extra loot. Or you go with your assassin who gets a 20% critical damage boost. The assets you get to choose at the beginning are also randomised allowing you to have a choice of 1 of 3. My favourite is the Corporate soldier but you don’t always have the option to choose you favourite which was a little frustrating.
The range of enemies you will have to fight ranges from guards, drones, mechanised spiders among others. There are also bosses to defeat and these fights are usually fun with each boss having 3 stages to the fight. I will say that a lot of the game is very challenging and I could not find a difficulty setting.
There are plenty of weapons in the game also ranging from your machine guns, assault rifles and laser burst rifles but to name a few. You also have a secondary weapon on all assets which will be a homing missile for example but these can only be used sparingly for tight situations to get out of. Each time you do a run you will collect coins which can be used at the beginning of your next run to improve statistics for your character. For example, luck which improved loot drops, health, damage and even extra slots which is always useful.
This for many is where the grind comes in, you will not be able to complete the game on the first go. In this game death has meaning. Each time you perish you will get to spend the coins you collected on upgrading your character so that on your next run you will be stronger. Some may not like the grind but in my opinion when the grind is fun then it’s not an issue especially when each death in this game does not feel like you are starting all over again. You know the next time you are going to have a better chance due to the upgrades you have just spent your cash on.
There are also enhancements which you can equip to your character in the available slots such as special mesh to give you an increase in health or the Omnitech personal guard which tends to electrify enemies which come close enough to you.
You can play this game with a friend or three but be aware I thought the game was broken at first. My friend and I broke off a Joycon each and proceeded to play only the 2nd Joycon would not connect. Then I thought maybe you need a full controller each as you need both analogues to control this twin-stick shooter, the right is used to aim and the left to move around. With just a Joycon this is not possible so if you are thinking of playing this with friend’s you will each need the full controller whether that’s a pro or both Joycons in your hands. Just something to consider. Neuro voider got around this by making the weapons auto fire but then that’s a different type of game.
This is certainly more tactical, you need to assess each room and each situation. You can use the environments to your advantage, hide behind walls or blast through thinner walls to gain the upper hand. I really enjoyed playing this in co-op or alone. Both were just as fun for me. In co-op, if someone dies they will not revive until you get to the end of that level.
So far I have not mentioned any negatives but there are some, I think some may find this a little on the challenging side and may be put off by that. Some will as find that the word Roguelike will put them off straight away and I can understand it’s not for everyone. Starting from the beginning is never fun as it feels like you lose all of your progress each time, however, this game circumnavigates that by giving each death meaning allowing you to spend your loot on upgrading your assets for the next playthrough and by implementing a checkpoint system. Each run through will always be a challenge no matter how much you upgrade due to the procedurally generated levels.
The controls work really well and I had no issues with them as it all felt tight and accurate.The only thing these games lack a lot of the time is different modes which I think they could have made more of. For example how cool would it have been to have some form of death matches even if it was 2 v 2 for example?
See the whole point for me of these types of game is the fact that they are repayable, so much so in fact that I don’t find myself getting bored that quickly. The fact that there is loads to upgrade gives me the motivation to get closer each time to the overseer. The replayability is worth the £12,99 or $14,99 price tag in my opinion. There is no online modes here so please that into consideration.