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Friday | October 19, 2018
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NecroVisioN (PC)

NecroVisioN (PC)


Do you miss the days of simple, intense first person shooters with little concern for storyline with total focus on slaughtering as many enemies as you can fit on screen? Today might be your lucky day because NecroVisioN is set to deliver a fragfest with all the subtlety of getting hit square in the face with a sledgehammer.

You play as an american soldier enlisted in the British army during World War I and soon after this you are roaming the battlefield butchering every german soldier, giant robot and zombie that is stupid enough to walk into view. The storyline is superficial to the action and this is just the thing for Duke Nukem and Serious Sam fans.

Developer The Farm 51 have made it clear in their literature surrounding the release that the game takes inspiration from the H.P. Lovecraft genre and to be fair while much of the design is a little standardised at times, there are noticeable touches which fit perfectly into the offbeat surreal horror fiction themes associated with the famous author. On the other hand, when you hear some of the modern day tired one liners from our hero you can’t help but feel transported into a Hollywood Horror B movie. Big chested blonde bimbos are the only thing missing.

The combat is the fun part and there are enough decapitations and gory limb dismemberments to keep even the most ardent sadist satisfied. To improve matters further there are a literally mindblowing plethora of weapons available from WWI firearms to the mighty vampire flamethrower.

Let me make it clear, this game is freakin’ hard. You may have a huge inventory of weapons and you may spend a few hours taking out every sucker that gets in your way … but they just keep coming. To counterbalance this difficulty, the game goes into slow motion time when your character is near death which can help you unleash a massive attack before running for the stairs or a hiding place to recover your strength. The fact the game slowly lets you recover health removes the annoying hunt for white and red health packs (which is a personal pet peeve of mine).

The developers have clearly focused on making the game as chaotic as possible because it has been a long time since I remember seeing so much happening on screen at the one time. Games like Painkiller, which were pretty frenetic in their own right seem simply pedestrian in nature side by side with NecroVisioN.

As well as the huge array of weaponry on offer, there are quite a few enemy creatures to deal with, from basic lumbering zombies to giant ogres and robots who make life a nightmare. The bosses are particularly impressive and remind me of the characters I faced in Painkiller, which I might add is a good thing.

If you are a lover of complex and challenging artificial intelligence, then it is best to look elsewhere because the overriding algorithm is a simple “head first” mode of movement which makes it all rather predictable, much like the Doom franchise unleashed on us. However if you like 15 enemies right in front of you while you work out how to take them out before they rip your face off then this will be right up your street.

There are some glitches and enemy units can get stuck in environmental objects and they even bounce of the walls when the AI goes wrong and this does add a certain comical element to the setting, but I found it even more entertaining when this happened, simply because I wasn’t taking the game seriously.

In an attempt to expand upon the core gameplay of combat there are some straightforward puzzles added to the mix but they never get more complicated than finding a key or a lever to get past a barrier. If you get lost on your path there is a compass overhead which always points you in the direction you need to go to progress. You are never forced to go in a direction and there are some hidden sections for items which increase your strength and armour. Sometimes there are even ways to unlock various challenge levels that let you get objects that allow your character to improve permanently in a specific way.

Graphically the game is adequate and runs well on a variety of hardware, there will be no creativity awards for the character modelling, however in the context of the game they all fit in really well. The animations are better than usual and improve the feeling that you are stuck in some horrific horror world that you need to escape from. Low end hardware will have to sacrifice resolution and some of the nicer effects to get good framerates but the game is stable enough and pretty to look at, once you get it fine tuned for your particular system.

The sound is a slightly less impressive aspect of the game and I found the voice acting to be a little cringeworthy particularly the main character … imagine a mixture of John Wayne and John Rambo and you get the idea. I like the soundtrack however as the rock music sets the tone for some great firefights as the limbs and entrails start flying. We all need a bit of rock music while we kill mutants and creatures of hell, right?

I would love to say I hated NecroVisioN, but I will hold my hand up and say that I had an absolute blast playing it. You don’t need to think about mixing magic potions or how to jump 40 ledges upwards to escape a room. You just need to wipe out every living (and dead) creature you encounter. The simple nature of the game really appealed to me, because it relit the candle I had for simple frag ‘n run FPS games of yesteryear.


I loved it, but simple can be fun.
Smooth engine and some great animations make up for the slightly generic design.
Not much to mention apart from poor voice acting.
Long term gameplay? Maybe not.

Recommended for fans of the old style FPS games.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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