Neocron 2: Beyond Dome of York
People Will play anything - it's official. No matter how bad the game, how appalling the implementation, how atrocious the development, how buggy the code, how superior the alternatives - some people will happily sit down and submit themselves to any old shit, come back for more and pay till owner privilege. Masochists, the lot of them.
There are no two ways about this: Neocron 2 (and I'm still not sure I fully understand why this is being billed as a sequel since it's essentially the same game that was originally released in 2002) is almost criminally bad.
When it was first released, this tale of life in the 28th century, a life of mutants, cyberpunks, sex and violence was at least different to anything else out there. We'd certainly never seen a MMOG with an ingame porno district and, with the exception of The Red Light World, we still haven't. Not exactly a badge Neocron can wear with pride and now, well it should just hang its head in shame.
Where to start? The interface is a mess. You can't even resize the windows - ironically, the first incarnation's menu system was actually a lot neater. The content is frequently broken, bugged or so hideously under-explained that you almost never have any clue what you should be doing. The graphics are, for this day and age, a joke, despite supposedly having undergone an enhancement (although I'd defy anyone to tell the difference beyond the odd texture here and there). The new city area (Dome of York) is to all intents a mere retread of the original city, just with shabbier social values. It doesn't add anything significant to the Neocron experience, other than to spread the already thin numbers of people that have bafflingly decided to commit themselves to the game over an even larger area - thus reducing further the chances of ever actually meeting another player.
Not that you'd really want to meet another Neocron player. Based on several weeks running around this hell on virtual Earth, I can say they are, to a man, the most obnoxious, foul-mouthed, unhelpful, bitter, spiteful, unpleasant and insular MMOG players I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. I'd love to put it down to a couple of one-off encounters, but for over two weeks I never once had an enquiry answered in a useful manner or managed to find anyone to team up with, instead being barraged by abuse, taunts and hostility simply for being a newbie. Honestly, they're worse than the Young Conservatives. I wish I could find something redeeming to say, some reason to recommend giving Neocron 2 a try. Unfortunately, I can only sit here and resent the fact it exists. This is because there's a staggeringly good William Gibson-esque, Deus Ex-slh cyberpunk MMOG waiting to happen and while Neocron continues to pollute the genre with its presence, it's unlikely to encourage anyone else to want to give the setting a try.
Why anyone continues to play to this day is a complete mystery. A mystery wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by an enigma, guarded by starved Rottweilers with bags of angry wasps strapped to their genitals. Avoid this like the plague.
Download Neocron 2: Beyond Dome of York
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP