Necrovision is not a game that you should judge based solely on its first few hours of play. The early action can be great fun, but some clunky technical issues and frustrating missions don't show this supernatural first-person shooter at its best. However, about a third of the way through, it leaps a great barrier and becomes a blast to play, even if its ongoing narrative doesn't make a lick of sense. But this is a challenging arcade FPS in the vein of Painkiller or Serious Sam, so don't come in expecting innovation or cohesive storytelling. Instead, come for the demons, the zombies, and the giant robotic scorpion. Oh, and come for the fire-breathing dragon that you get to ride around on.
6210444NoneThe Great War, zombie style.
The history books don't make note of these undead creatures and winged serpent in the chapters on World War I, but thankfully, Necrovision is here to fill in the gaps. As the colorful menagerie populating the game should signal, we're not meant to take its story seriously, though it tries to deliver its supernatural ridiculousness with a certain amount of gravitas. Soldiers' letters litter the battlegrounds, apparently meant to offer a poignant point of view to the zombie-laden, war-torn atrocities; your own character, Simon Bukner, takes pity on the dying men whom he encounters in the trenches. However, it doesn't take long for things to get nutty. Signs of evil experiments, undead infantry lurching toward you, shimmering ghosts hurling jolts of energy in your direction--these are pretty good indicators of a more unusual take on the traditional historic shooter. You could try to make sense of this parade of the occult, but it's better to ignore the incoherent dialogue and occasional misspellings and let your guns do the thinking on your behalf.
For the first few hours, Necrovision remains firmly entrenched in its World War I setting. You'll traverse smoking battlefields and face standard soldiers alongside some of the more unnatural enemies, and though the shooting can be incredibly rewarding, you'll also be struck by a number of technical issues and mission-design flaws. Sensitive collision detection makes it easy to get stuck on growing piles of corpses, large enemies get stuck in the geometry every so often, and enemy limbs and bayonets clip through walls. In the meantime, you'll deal with periods of aimlessness in which you try to figure out where to go next while facing frustrating objectives, such as an absurd timed mission in which you need to find and plant two sticks of dynamite while being chased by a hulking ogre. Necrovision isn't big on first impressions, and less-patient players may be inclined to give up after the initial levels.
Dragon on dragon violence. It must end here!
Luckily, the heady action and excellent selection of guns make these flaws somewhat forgivable. You'll point a variety of solid weapons toward your staggering foes: pistols, machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and more. Many can be dual-wielded, which is just as well; the early environs are filled to the brim with ambling zombies and nervous soldiers. You'll do best to keep your enemies close, given that melee weapons are also an integral part of your arsenal. A blunt whack with your shotgun can get the job done, but for a more effective mauling, you can take potshots with a pistol in your right hand while waving around a sword with your left. Bayonets are particularly enjoyable to use in close-quarters combat, and are a handy solution for both your ranged and melee needs. You can even kick the throngs of the undead, which is an effective move when their numbers become unmanageable. However, if you are serious about shedding the blood of the damned, you'll want to explore various combo moves by stringing attacks together. Combos are signaled by an onscreen proclamation and an audible whoosh that makes them satisfying to perform, though the copious spurts of blood may also have something to do with it.