A gun will be fun once it performs better

Illustration for the article titled Necromunda: Hired Gun Will Be Fun Once It Works Better

Screenshot: Streum on studio

It’s hard to be a mercenary in the Warhammer 40k universe. Even if you get a cool dog and can upgrade your powerful weapons, anything you come across is deadly and dangerous. Most things are covered in big spikes and probably have weapons in them as well. But it’s even harder to be a mercenary in this world when you’re playing a game that can’t reliably maintain a solid level of performance. This is the sad situation that most of the people who play the recently released game face. Necromunda: Pistol hired.

Developed by Streum On Studio and released earlier this week on virtually all platforms except the Switch, Necromunda: Rental Pistol is a mission-based first-person shooter set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Specifically, in a large beehive city located on the planet Necromunda. Beehive towns are dangerous and overcrowded places where thousands of tons of resources, weapons and ammunition are produced, while local criminals and outlaws rule the place. In Mercenary you are a mercenary who loses his entire team at the start of the game and must try to solve the mystery behind who killed his team, why they did it and who the killers work for. The following are a lot of Warhammer 40k lore, words, and names.

Illustration for the article titled Necromunda: Hired Gun Will Be Fun Once It Works Better

Screenshot: Streum On Studio / Kotaku

In theory, the fight in Mercenary should be a blast. The game is heavily inspired by the recent Loss securities. (I also remembered Rage 2‘s combat.) You move fast and can double jump and grapple around levels, killing heaps of enemies all the time. During missions, you can find loot chests and collect loot that you sell or keep at the end of the level. It sounds good, but unfortunately Mercenary hardly deliver.

On consoles, the game is currently a mess. Xbox Series X and PS5 gamers have complained a lot performance issues and bugs. While playing on PS5, I found the game to be nearly unplayable in some areas with the framerate dropping within 20 seconds as indicated by the game’s FPS counter which you can enable through the settings menu. It makes the fight horrible and line up the shots while ping pong between 20 and 60 fps is boring. I finally gave up playing on PS5 after just missions and switched to PC.

There, things were better but still not ideal. The players have reported accidents and bugs. I didn’t have this on my RTX 3070, but I did deal with stuttering mics. I spent a lot of time tinkering with the settings for the game to run on my PC. I ended up having to lower the overall quality to medium, turn on DLSS performance mode, and turn off DX12. Even then, I still encountered FPS stinging in larger fights. by Kotaku Resident Uncle Mike Fahey also ran into some PC performance issues so I’m confident to say it’s not my PC. Mercenary just sort of running like crap right now.

(I expect at least a few people to be in the comments to tell me they have no issues. This is extremely helpful information and I’m so glad you shared it.)

Illustration for the article titled Necromunda: Hired Gun Will Be Fun Once It Works Better

Screenshot: Streum On Studio / Kotaku

I loved Mercenary when he didn’t stutter endlessly. The fight is simple and not as deep as Eternal destiny, but there is just enough variety of enemies and weapons to keep things from going out of date. Between missions, you can upgrade your character, unlock new abilities and traits, and modify the weapons you collect. Everything works pretty well and creates a satisfying game loop that I’m happy to enjoy more if the technical issues are sorted out.

If you are a big 40k fan, you can play it. Or rather, while we wait Mercenary to improve via patches, you could play 12,000 other Warhammer games that have been published in recent years.


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