Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Watchlist: Neon Chrome

Title: Neon Chrome
Developer: 10tons Ltd
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
Release 2016
A ruthless cyberpunk top-down shooter
Two years ago, 10tons surprised me with their blood-soaked dual stick Crimsonland, a furious shooter that throw massive hordes of enemies at you and mixed up the action with weapon unlocks and perks. Neon Chrome follows the same basic structure of dual stick action, unlocks, and sci-fi, but with a new focus on cyberpunk megacorps, stealth, and a more cautious approach before the explosions start.

Waging war against the massive tower of the titular megacorporation and its Overseer, you remotely control augmented "assets", divided between classes like assassin or hacker. As you battle through each procedurally-generated levels, you unlock new cybernetic enhancements, more weapons, and skill buffs, to face survive increasingly dangerous defenses.
I've been playing the beta for the past week or so, and Neon Chrome feels like quite change from the instant non-stop action of Crimsonland. The pacing is easily the biggest difference, as enemies aren't aware of your presence when you first arrive, If you're a hacker, you might be able to disable some lasers or turrets, while an assassin with a cloaking augment could even the odds before going on the offensive. New enhancements, ranging from an armed drone to stronger melee and increased speed, can be chosen as you move between levels, while more offensive power-ups let you unleash area-clearing lasers and missile strikes.

You'll need those tools because the enemies in Neon Chrome are more advanced than the charging hordes of Crimsonland. Rotating turrets, mines, and security drones defend rooms, and heavily-armed soldiers patrol, wielding shotguns, machines, or even riot shields which force you to flank and attack enemies' exposed backs. Alerted foes can call in devastating reinforcements that only give you a couple of seconds to prepare, and powerful bosses will test your shooting prowess.
Neon Chrome is still in beta, and will be releasing later this year. You can learn more about the game here.

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