Day of the Dead
The first chapter of Necrovision: Lost Company
gives a pretty solid indication of things to come. It begins with a stray zombie lumbering around, looking like Hitler, wearing a kilt and carrying a bit of corrugated iron for a shield.
Before you know it, you’re strafing around, backing away from a horde of undead and blasting an old Kruger because your life depends on it. The bastards suck up bullets like bratwurst too and ammo is limited, so headshots count.
As you progress through the levels you’ll gain weapons ranging from a nail-bat to a MG 08/15 which shreds zombies in an enormously satisfying manner. A little variation to the standard FPS cookie cutter combat has been thrown in too, in the form of dual weapon wielding and effective melee attacks. Sure, you can bob around blapping away with a couple of Krugers, but you can also use, for example, a Kruger and a nail-bat, or a flare pistol and a stick grenade.
While carrying two weapons, the left and right mouse buttons are mapped to your respective hands – a system which works well and adds a bit of diversity to the bloodshed even if it isn’t the most elegant solution.
Who's the boss now?
Kicking or pistol-butting are important weapons in your arsenal too and will help clear some space so you can start exploding heads. The result is that combat is frenetic, gory and fun for the most part, though you can always use your adrenaline power to slow things down if you get overwhelmed – a fact which further cements the game as a title from the mid 90s.
To further vary things up, some vehicle combat has been thrown in. After the first few hours of gaming, you’ll find yourself piloting an old WWI plane and gunning down fire breathing dragons and, later on, stomping a tank over a war-torn battlefield. Sadly, the plane’s handling is ludicrous and you can turn about face practically on the spot. It’s nice to have a bit of variation, but the addition of vehicles only serves to dilute the experience as a whole and muddy the focus of the game with laughable physics. Thankfully, blasting zombies with massive shells with the tank later is more realistic and also more entertaining.
Gore is a large part of the game, which frequently verges on the disgusting. If you’re the kind of person to take a copy Bizarre magazine for a bit of a sit-down during your lunch break, then you’ll get kicks from Necrovision: Lost Company
and we’d recommend the nail-bat in particular for maximum gut-wrenching. If your tastes are a bit more mainstream though then you’ll likely pale at Necrovision
’s exorbitant use of red spatter.
Zombies have to drag themselves out of bed in the morning
Still, despite the low-rent feel of the game everything in the maps has a pleasantly grimy, old quality and the textures are wonderfully detailed even if the actual models are fairly clunky and the visual tone a trifle dull. You have to keep a sharp eye out if you’re to spot all the
magazines and other items that are littered around. The weapons all sound great and it’s feels like a lot of care has gone into its execution.
Being a zombie apocalypse FPS, Necrovision: Lost Company
is permeated with an inevitable feeling of genericism though and it’s hard to get away from how derivative the game actually is, despite how fun it occasionally feels. To really get the most out it, you’re going to need to be a big fan of the genre and be thankful that the time spent in aeroplanes is minimal. Even then, there’s nothing new here and even the old stuff suffers from not being as seamlessly assembled as you might hope.
On the plus side though, the FPS combat which makes up the mainstay of the game is pretty fun in short bursts. The dual-weapon wielding and melee elements really add to the gorefest which you’re nearly always enveloped in and with the detailed level design and believable audio, it’s often an immersive experience. If you’re into bone, brain, blood and zombies, then it’s worth a look. If not, then you’ll just see it as generic zombie shooter #603.