Review: Neon Chrome (PS4)

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Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PlayStation TV Compatible Yes
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Neon Chrome
Format: PlayStation Network Download (147 MB)
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Developer: 10tons Ltd.
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

The developers at 10tons have made a few, how can I put it? Unique, games. With the likes of Crimsonland, Tennis in the Face, King Oddball, Sparkle 2, and more, it seems like the developers want to do things a little differently.

Gameplay:
Neon Chrome is a twin-stick shooter that makes you enjoy death. Well, to some degree anyway because death does not mean the end, just a new beginning. I will explain myself before I sound too much like a depressing Hallmark card.

To begin a game, you sit in an immersion chair and select from three different characters, these seem to be randomly generated individuals. Some are better at more stealthy tactics, others can hack loot boxes and sentry terminals, and the rest have more spaces for augmentation.

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As you explore the procedurally generated levels, you can unlock and find new weapons, upgrade your character, and earn credits. Your strive for the top and the meeting with the Overseer becomes harder with every floor you climb until your inevitable death. One life is all you get, there are no continues, you cannot be revived.

The credits you amassed can be spent on upgrading the permanent skills and abilities of the following characters, slowly growing more powerful with every attempt. Increasing the health, damage, luck, and more, in the hopes of making things easier the next time round.

… blasting a weak wall to smithereens …
The floors are split into areas, each with their own boss. If you manage to defeat the mechanized beast, you can opt to skip that preceding area next time but then miss the loot and possible upgrades on those floors.

I enjoy the assassin class the most since I can sneak around in the darkness using the melee attack to quietly dispatch an unsuspecting enemy. Although blasting a weak wall to smithereens and decimating the surprised guards is also absurdly fun too.

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Did I forget to mention that almost everything in the level can be destroyed? Plus, there’s a stupidly large amount of explosive objects littered around the levels and it only takes a few bullets to set off a devastating chain reaction.

There is a story buried in all the procedural generation, one that I have yet to finish. The long and varied journey is what entertains me the most. I have no illusion that I have become more addicted to bettering my character than reaching the end level.

… set in a Blade Runner-esque world …
Visuals:
Each procedurally generated level is set atop of a ridiculously high skyscraper. With the floors above cut away, you are left with a bird’s-eye view of the action and carnage. A fixed camera follows the player and often allows for a view of the world below as you get close to the exterior walls.

The game is set in a Blade Runner-esque world, complete with flying cars and neon signs that bathe the thick smog that surrounds the massive building where you reside. There isn’t much detail or variety in the furniture and paraphernalia of each floor but the layouts and the mayhem that ensues probably means you will hardly notice.

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Audio:
A repetitive yet uplifting tune continually plays as you tear through the levels. Explosions and gunfire sound good for the most part. Grunts and whimpers from the various guards are all you’ll hear them mutter as you pummel them with ion blasts and grenades.

… best enjoyed with just one other player …
Online/Multiplayer:
You can have up to three people join you in a local co-operative mode that can be a frantic and crazy onslaught to the senses. It’s all too easy to lose your place in the mayhem and either end up getting your player killed or setting off an explosion that kills your comrades.

Neon Chrome is best enjoyed with just one other player since the action still allows for some confusion but not enough that it ruins the experience. My wife and I managed to play a good portion of the game and could easily see it becoming one of the regulars of our gaming nights.

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Conclusion:
With every death comes a better soldier, a stronger fighter, an even deadlier assassin. With only the boss areas being a constant, each play through feels fresh and new thanks to the procedural generation.

Sneaking in the shadows or blowing apart a wall to surprise an enemy never gets old, nor does the large variety of weapons and abilities that you collect during the countless attempts to reach the top.

A welcome but hectic co-operative multiplayer mode adds to the fun. Sadly, it can be all too easy to lose your place in the mayhem, especially if there are three other players running around. There is little else at fault with this game and I highly recommend it.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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