This is Gaming Cypher’s PC review of Neon Chrome by independent game developer 10tons Ltd..
Neon Chrome is a colorful, top-down shooter game with many rogue-like elements. Set in a futuristic world, the player attempts to overthrow the dictator-like Overseer located in the highest floor of the Neon Corp skyscraper. You can choose from three different characters, randomized with each death, with different traits, attributes, weapons, and special abilities. Neon Chrome combines the shooter-style gameplay of Nuclear Throne and the upgrades and progression aspects of Rogue Legacy.
After heading through the tutorial mission, you have the ability to pick and choose your first character from five different classes are present, although availability might be left to chance. Each of the five classes have different traits, such as having increased health, energy shield, hacking, having a companion, and many more. Multiple weapons are available, ranging from the old fashioned smg to the deadlier laser burst rifle. After picking the character, you are sent to the first floor of Neon Corp, and will have to make your way past different enemies. Three attacks are open to the player, a powerful melee attack using the space bar, firing your weapon using the left mouse button, and a special attack using the right mouse button. The special attack is usually a high-damaging aoe attack which ranges from character to character, but costs energy to use. Killed enemies drop credits and energy.
There are also two different types of upgrades in Neon Chrome; upgrades that can be obtained in the stages and upgrades available prior to respawn. Upgrades that can be obtained in the different floors are called augments, which provides many beneficial stats, such as added ammo, increased health and damage, or even a quick 2000 credits. However, each character only has limited number of augment slots, which can be upgraded with each respawn. The other type of upgrade can only be accessed and purchased after dying, prior to the next character. Health, damage, luck, energy, and augment slots can be upgraded using credits. These upgrades are permanent and shared with your current and future characters.
Enemies in the stages ranges from robotic constructs, heavily armed Neon Corp forces, to hidden sentinels, to other sources of danger. Almost every obstacle in the rooms can be destroyed, either with a series of melee blows, a few shots from your weapon, or well-placed explosives. Every number of stages, you encounter a boss, a gigantic enemy with a large health reservoir and multiple highly damaging special attacks. Upon destroying a boss, a shortcut is unlocked, allowing you to “save” your progress and not having to fight your way through the lower floors. In addition to enemies, there are other intractable objects available, such as loot boxes, health kits, and larger stations. There are also power-ups which drops randomly from chests/boxes, empowering your attacks to lifesteal or providing unlimited energy for a brief duration. The stations have different effects and can be identified by looking at the label and design. Certain stations heal the character, others upgrade the current weapon, adds an augmentation, or drop a weapon.
Watch the Neon Chrome release trailer:
Overall, Neon Chrome is a well-designed game, with plenty of different enemies and randomized level design, making each life unique and enjoyable. The multiple classes, weapons, and randomized stages allows for a different experience through each play through. The system requirements are also pretty low, as the game ran smoothly at all points during my play through. The added co-op option for up to four players definitely appeals to friends and family members. One overall complaint I have is the difficulty of the levels, as without upgrades, you can feel your damage dropping off and unable to make a dint upon bosses and enemies. Neon Chrome feels a bit constrained by the high difficulties and an almost built-in requirement to grind your way through the early game to obtain enough upgrades. Occasional runs are enjoyable, but the game does feel slow at certain times. I would give Neon Chrome an 8 out of 10, making it a very good game but falling slightly short in the replayability aspect.
Neon Chrome is now available for PC on Steam and is slated for a console release shortly.