We've been pretty excited for Necromunda: Hired Gun since its reveal. While it's only being developed by a small team, the scale seemed impressive and the combat had us intrigued. Our review code came through yesterday on the game's launch and we're sad to say that it's probably best avoiding this one - for now at least.
While we're still working on bringing you a review in the near future, we have to talk about the game's issues, namely with its performance. We're currently playing through the game on Xbox Series X and it's borderline unplayable with a strange frame rate issue that is plaguing every level. Interestingly, we were told ahead of playing the game that the game's performance may be pretty low on some missions, but so far it's been every single one.
The game is expected to run at 60FPS, and for the most part it does that. A handy FPS counter can be enabled in the game, which shows the frame rate jumping between 55-60FPS at any given moment. Yet, while it's running at 60FPS, it also looks as though it's hitting 30FPS. It's a weird issue to explain, but it gives every frame a sense of jankiness and a sense that the environment is vibrating. Having the two frame rates clash can be pretty nauseating, especially for those who are susceptible to motion sickness.
Here's an example below which shows the issue in action. It's best seen towards the end when looking at a chest. It's as if you can see every frame in action instead of it being smoothed out.
A patch has been promised "very soon", but it still begs the question as to why the game was launched in this state. A physical release of the game isn't intended to arrive until the end of June, and we'd like to hope the issues are resolved and printed on the discs for those who may not have access to the internet.
It seems to be an issue with the frame pacing rather than the frame rate, and speaking to our friends over at Push Square who are also playing the game, they've also ran into consistent issues regarding FPS. The user reviews on the Xbox Store are filled with players claiming they've demanded a refund as they've been hit by similar issues. Players have also shared the same sentiment on social media, so it seems to be a pretty universal issue.
As it stands, we can't in good consciousness recommend picking up Necromunda: Hired Gun until there's some evidence of change. It's a shame, as buried underneath the performance problems seems to be a game that's genuinely fun. It's a bit janky, but it's important to remember it's not a AAA release. The shooting feels like it could do with some tightening, but all the elements are there for a pretty fun ride. Unfortunately, it's stuck in a state of being migraine inducing with its staggering frame rate, making it a game to avoid picking up at launch.
Have you picked up Necromunda: Hired Gun already and ran into any issues? Let us know in the comments below.