The reality of the contemporary videogame industry, is that games, even the ones made by a single person in a basement over a course of a year, are unfathomably large; and commonly go far and beyond the 10GB mark. So whenever a title shows up on the PlayStation Store, smaller than 1GB, suspicion automatically arises. And when the said title is just 140MB, just like the recently released Neon Chrome, people automatically assume that such product might be incredibly short, lacking in audio visual effects, and incoherent in its design. However, such assumptions are commonly baseless, and Neon Chrome, while being small in its size, has all the necessary components to be satisfying, and pleasurable to play.

For its minuscule size, of the previously mentioned 140MB, Neon Chrome possess, within the confines of its digital limitations, an incredible amount of content. And while the large portion of it is commonly randomly generated, a majority persists throughout the playthrough and can be altered at all times. In-game, players are able to upgrade their core abilities such as base damage, health, luck, and additional active ability spots. And while at the beginning the progression seems natural, and to be reasonably paced, by the time players hit the second chapter, it slows to an absolute crawl, and it takes two, or even three runs, in order to generate enough money to upgrade a single skill.

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In addition to the upgradable skills and abilities, Neon Chrome, also offers a wide range of other, much cheaper upgrades, which persist only for a duration of a single run. These upgrades allow players to purchase items such as guns, and active abilities, and once acquired, such will be used as starting items for all three randomly generated characters, which themselves possess distinct attributes and items. For example, one of the operators starts with an ability which allows the player to hack into digital boxes, which are filled with action points, and in-game currency; whereas the other operator starts with a riot shield, which reduces all frontal damage by 25%.

Unpredictability of the random generation, always leaves the player in doubt of his/her choice of the playable character, as one can be never quite sure which operator will be more useful this time round. However, it can be agreed upon the fact that mechanic’s combat drone outlives its usefulness, as soon as first chapter comes to an end, as its health, damage output, and most importantly artificial intelligence, crumble as soon as the player kills the first in-game boss. In-fact, artificial intelligence, of all non-playable characters is disappointing to say the least. Soldiers walk in predetermined circles, and commonly get stuck in corners. Robots, of all kind, stand still, and just like all other enemy’s charge right at the player as soon as he or she, steps in its line of view. And worst of all, soldiers equipped with explosives, once triggered, will throw grenades non-stop until they’re taken care of, and whenever more than one of such foes appears on the screen, Neon Chromes turns into a hard-core version of Minesweeper.

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Neon Chrome, while being compared to the now legendary Minesweeper, is nowhere near as addictive or well designed. And when compared to modern rogue-likes, and procedurally generated titles, such as The Binding of Isaac, or the recently released Enter the Gungeon, falls flat in every possible way. The sense of discovery which persists throughout eternity of The Binding of Isaac, disappears within a single hour, in Neon Chrome, as all available, skills, items, and weapons are very similar to one another and can all be found within the main lobby. Whereas the visual charm of Enter the Gungeon, is completely absent from Neon Chrome, as while the title has a great premise, the execution is questionable, as all in-game models are of questionable quality. It feels like Neon Chrome would have been a much better title if not for developer’s persistence in terms of 3D graphics, and half-baked narrative.



Author

Kamil

My name is Kamil, and I'm the 'Feature Man'. I write news, and reviews just like everybody else, however, feature articles are my true forte. And this is not because I'm another self-centered, pseudo-intellectual games journalist, but because there are many discussion worthy matters which go unnoticed in the flurry of other video-game related articles. If you want to read more of my #HotTakes and #Opinions, or if you simply want to fight me over the internet, you can follow me on Twitter @Kama_Kamilia.