NecroVision Lost Company – The Verdict
If you’re looking for smart AI, squad tactics and precision gunplay you’ve come to the wrong place. If you like been rushed by hordes of enemies and dealing death with some ridiculous weapons then you can do a lot worse then NecroVision, which takes Painkiller and adds a dose Clive Barker to deliver some old school FPS thrills.
Your descent into hell takes a while to get going. Meagre clusters of enemies and dull objectives make for a poor start, but it’s worth persisting because about a third of the way in things go quite insane. Not just the predictable ‘hordes of demons wading through pools of blood to kill you’ kind of insane, but the ‘riding a dragon and incinerating your foes before bashing their heads to a pulp with a demon glove’ kind of insane. Doctors widely regard this as being the best form of madness.
The splattery chaos is fairly well realised and the environments, while never original, are good enough arenas for the mindless action. Again, things improve a lot once you leave the grey environs of Germany and enter the more hellish locales. At times you’ll fight with squads of fellow soldiers but horrible dialogue and voice acting meant I was always desperate to leave them to their inevitable deaths at the earliest opportunity.
There’s a melee system here but it doesn’t translate very well to keyboard controls. You can string together combinations by mashing the control, middle and right mouse buttons. This lets you dispatch your foes with a comical and fairly random flailing of your limbs while the game rewards you by proudly displaying the name of the combination you’ve executed at the top of the screen. Farmer’s Revenge!
String together headshots and combinations and you’ll get the rage ability, which slows down time and lets you headshot everything charging you, or repeatedly kick them in the nadgers for comic effect. There’s a challenge mode as well, which distills the best parts of the single player into a series of tasks, most of which ask you to kill a huge number of enemies in specific ways. If you’re looking for a fast dose of action that bypasses the sluggish opening of the single player campaign, unlocking challenges might be the best way to play.
It’s all solid fun. It’ll never engage your brain, but turning large groups of enemies into a fleshy soup has been the cornerstone of shooters since Doom, and NecroVision is a fairly fitting follow up in that school of unchallenging but ultimately fun FPSes. It lacks the bonkers humour and huge bosses of Serious Sam, the weapons aren’t quite as mad as Painkiller and the slow start puts it below both of these games, but on a budget this NecroVision prequel is a worthwhile bet if you’re a fan of the FPS as it was ten or so years ago.
4 thoughts on “NecroVision Lost Company – The Verdict”
Ah, adoration. I came in expecting a big pile of negativity for the joyously retarded fun that is Necrovision.
It’s good to be reminded that the Reticule has taste, Senior =>
Loved the original – I crave more of that kind of combat-depth in our mainstream FPSs. Kicking, running up piles of bodies, hurling a bayonet nailing an enemy to a wall while firing my lefthanded pistol and using my right hand to illuminate the scene with an oil lamp before hurling it into a pile of foes. Probably the best first person melee system I’ve used – sure, it lacks stamina systems and the like, but in my opinion those only bog down melee combat into a very rock paper scissors routine.
Reading again I must say you missed a lot of the depth the game has. Active ragdolls means corpses pile up, blocking corridors and providing a means to climb up and leap over the heads of your foes – customising your hand-loadouts, meaning you could choose a bayonet in your left hand and a colt 1911 in your right, firing off quick headshots while stabbing at another target in between – then hurling the bayonet with great force, nailing a third zombie to a doorpost, hitting the quick-grenade button to toss that into an approaching crowd before swapping over to one of the MANY other guns in the game.
And that’s just in the original, without Lost Company’s additions =D
The depth and complexity of the combat mechanics in terms of sheer features (adrenaline builds up by doing combos and can be released either to slow down time while speeding up your own movement – or to cast magic).. (fury increases your damage and unleashes random blasts of firy or electrical magic as you strike your foes down).. Health drops to a point of ‘last breath’, slowing down time and making you immortal for long enough to run for cover and rethink the situation, saving you from repetitive quickloading, giving you time to learn.
A sprint and stamina system, ironsights on all traditional firearms providing much sharper accuracy for headshots..
And you didn’t mention the beautiful graphics either. Like STALKER and other Eastern FPS games epic scale and beautiful lighting are the key features. Everything western looks like plastic compared to the deep darkness and bright lights and vibrant colours here, and on the XRay engine.
NecroVision was just a Painkiller type of game to me, nothing special but really fun for what it is.
I feel it deserves some recognition for the massive increase in variety/depth, compared to PK – the varied weapons, melee/ranged, great locational damage effects, damage multiplayers, stamina system, adrenaline system, last breath, the tons of combos, grenades, thrown gaslamps, thrown melee weapons, etc.