Thursday, 9 June 2011

Lost in the company of zombies

Usually when you play a first person shooter, you envision your character to be some sort of youthful to middle-aged, fit soldier or explorer type. Not so in Necrovision: Lost Company. This game puts you in the shoes of Jonas Zimmerman, a somewhat psychotic aged german scientist during WWI. This doesn't stop him from kicking ass though - not in the least! Being old doesn't mean you can't run around with 2 pistols, 3 rifles, 1 shotgun, 1 SMG, 1 BAR, 3 HMGs, 5 grenades, 5 bayonetts, a gasmask, and a club or shovel for starters. He can also literally "kick" on top of all that!

Yes. Apparently there was some wierd sh!t going on in WWI.
Also, not Jonas Zimmerman.

Partially due to a plague he created, zombies and possessed men now wander around and pose the bulk of your main opponents in the game, with more horrors further in. Their AI is not that great (they ARE zombies afterall) but they come at you in large waves. Despite being a "horror-shooter", there are few "BOO!" scares and most of the horror simply comes from being surrounded by scum most of the time. And that's what makes it fun!

The combat is fastpaced and enemies numerous, giving you ample opportunity to use all of the gear the good doctor can carry with him. There's also a fun dual wield system where you can mix and match which two one-handed items you will use simultaneously. You also have an adrenaline meter which fills as you kill foes and can be used to slow time (for a very brief period) and performing specific enemy-killing combos refills this meter faster.

On top of the main story you will be unlocking extra challenge maps as you progress, and they really all are quite difficult timed tasks with some very worthwhile rewards if you can beat them. Unfortunately multiplayer wise only has the standard set of PvP options with no coop at all. I also highly recommend a three button mouse (or one with a rollerbutton) if you don't have one as you will want the middle "melee" attack on the last stages of the game.

I went through single-player on the hardest difficulty which does not let you save the game (there are checkpoints though), and got through it in four nights. Players with experience from other shooters will probably want to do the same as I found it just challenging enough without being despairingly impossible in the tough parts.

While the graphics are not as crisp as they can be (compared to other shooters), they are detailed enough and I thought the sound and voice overs are well done. Control wise, the doc moves pretty smoothly around the large and well-designed maps. You get to drive around in a tank and pilot a plane too, though the plane handles very arcade-ly. All in all, despite being a far cry from Halo or Call of Duty it's a fun and decent game if you like the genre.

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