It seems like you can’t have a conversation about gaming these days without a zombie shooter that you’ve never heard of popping up and giving you a mid-sentence slap round the chops. The market is rife with them.
While there have been lots of games in this mould though, not so many have taken a World War I slant on the proceedings. This is what the Necrovision games have done. As if the spoils of global war isn’t already a rich enough premise for FPS carnage, zombies have been thrown in by the graveyard-full.
The original Necrovision saw you take command of a WWI soldier lost behind enemy lines with, quite literally, all hell breaking loose around him. A zombie shooter ensued. Necrovision: Lost Company, is a ‘presequel’ to Necrovision. In addition to being a piece of terminology that we just made up, it’s a standalone sequel to Necrovion that starts taking place prior to the events in the first game, with the two of them meeting somewhere in the middle.
Maybe the darkness killed them?
The twist is that you take command of the German doctor (and veteran soldier) that may have initially been responsible for the outbreak of the hellish zombie apocalypse and who is now trying to implement an antidote.
The game opens with a lengthy loading screen and some mediocre voice acting of the doctor reading out a letter to a colleague about the recent events, thus fleshing out the story. The exposition then builds in an increasingly thick German accent, with cutscenes dotted around liberally. The cut scenes feature bad accents that are only really bearable because of the unintentionally amusing dialogue.
The gist is that ‘them upstairs’ have been attempting to wash their hands of what initially appears to be an outbreak of a biological weapon that was being developed by Germany. However, in the process of doing so, work on the antidote is being hindered at every turn. Now the outbreak has gone rampant and everyone is up to their neck in the proverbial…
Blap blap blap
Gameplay holds heavy hints of old school FPS goodness, such as you might expect from the original Doom games. The walking animation sees your weapons bobbing from side to side like you’re straddling a drunken horse and picking up new items gives a gruff, noisy soundbite with a really ‘classic’ edge.
In addition to stirring up strong feelings of nostalgia, Necrovision also lends the notion that this is going to be an out-and-out shootfest which is all about the boom-headshots and practically nothing else. It’s a notion which is mostly true too.
A few additional features have been thrown in though to help try and pull the game out of the retro FPS ooze it mostly wallows in. As you plough your way through endless scores of undead, you build up an adrenaline meter which can be used to slow down time and execute some exemplary manoeuvres of gaming skill. There are artefacts that boost said meter stashed in secret locations and a challenge mode lets you earn weapons to be permanently added to your inventory should you prevail. The result is there’s quite a lot to do, even if it isn’t all that an original a game.