Necromancer Rising may go down in history for having the most awesomely straightforward name for its main character: the Battle Priest. With a name like that, it should come as no surprise that the newest app from Ryan Mitchell Games is about taking down the forces of the underworld through rather violent means. But if that initial premise sounds a little too mindless for you, don’t worry. In fact, for better or for worse, Nercromancer Rising may be one of the deeper RPGs on the iDevice.
Using his ability to summon forth legions of the undead, the evil Necromancer is making life a living hell for the citizens of New Hope. To combat this threat, the local church tasks you with diving into the Necromancer’s lair and confronting his forces before dealing with the evil being himself. The story is told through a sizable amount of questionable voice acting, but it’s nice to see RPGs with a darker twist on the standard high fantasy, save-the-world storyline.
One handsome hellspawn.
The path to the Necromancer has you going down a series of 50 dungeons, all brought to life using the Soul Engine. With so many floors, it’s understandable that many share similar features, but the detail in which they are rendered is still notable.
Twisting, bloody spikes line the walls, floating probes crackle with lightning before zapping you, and zombies are particularly icky, exploding into piles of loot-filled goo. All of this seen is seen through a first person perspective reminiscent of the Elder Scrolls series, and blocking, slicing, and bewitching enemies looks satisfying as well.
Too many times, the action onscreen will bring down the frame rate, and even at its smoothest the animation is never spectacular. But for an iPhone game, Necromancer Rising is an impressive display.
You’ll quickly recognize a pattern while playing Necromancer Rising. First, you’ll be tasked with a few fetch quests. Then you may have to kill a certain number of enemies. Finally, after grinding to the next level, you will be powerful enough to take on bosses like Ash and Axion before moving on to the next floor. Towards the end it starts to mix things up a little bit, but playing this game in long stretches can be a tiring experience because like all good RPGs, it’ll take you many hours to complete.
I kick ass for the Lord!
Luckily, there are so many ways to alter your character that you may forget about the menial tasks you have to do. The number of weapons, spells, and armor pieces in this game is immense. If you put the time and effort into it, there is the potential to create your ideal, powered-up battle priest.
Potions and stones for weapon forging can be bought at the town shop, and auto-saving combined with a trusty warp point means that all that progress will never be lost. However, if you do make a mistake you wish to undo, you can restore your characters to a previous point in time, a helpful feature.
The most prominent issues in Necromancer Rising are the touch controls. Using two onscreen D-pads to get around is stiff, annoying, and a bit too slow. Hitting the onscreen buttons for potions, spells, and weapons attacks needs to be more precise, and even navigating some of the menus is more cumbersome than it should be. Some of these issues may be inherent to the platform, but we’ve played other games of this type, like Ravensword, that handle the interface better than Necromancer Rising.
Despite the technical issues and obvious gameplay formula, Necromancer Rising is still a quality first-person RPG with a great look. If you plan on investing in this game, play it over an extended period of time. Some flaws will be less noticeable, and you’ll get even more for your five bucks.