While many people find it quite easy to enjoy a cheesy Hollywood movie, made purely for entertainment value and with little in the way of substance, video games don't really have this. A cheesy video game is often just a poor game, usually accompanied by the problems you'd associate with poor game development. The Farm 51's NecroVisioN is one of a very small group of games that manages to combine cheesy, quite formulaic gameplay with smart presentation and a whole heap of fun. This PC exclusive FPS isn't likely to be remembered as a classic, but it'll keep you entertained if you're willing to give it a shot.
NecroVisioN casts you as World War One solider Simon Bukner, an American who finds himself lost behind enemy lines with his battalion. After the enemy wipes out most of the battalion Simon discovers that there's more going on here than just a standard war, and certainly not what we've read about in history books. An evil is loose and it's killing whatever stands in its way, bringing the dead back to life to act as its own ghoulish army. It's pretty intense stuff and you're right in the thick of it, blasting the undead soldiers right back to Hell.
To begin with you'll have to take on enemies using fairly bog standard guns, but soon enough you'll get hold of a limb obliterating shotgun and many more high-powered guns. Right from the off you're encouraged to use close-quarters melee combat (initially under the guise that it won't alert the enemies near by), with a useful kick and gun butt both available. A kick will often send an enemy flying backwards and to his knees, giving you a chance to follow up with an easy shot to the face.
Before too long you'll get hold of items to use in your hands, ranging from a plain old spade (more deadly against the undead than you might think) to a much more brutal looking piece of armour that's strapped to your arm. By combining melee attacks you're even able to perform combos, which in turn fills your adrenaline meter and allows you to slow down time at will. The combination of brutal melee attacks and head-popping gun-play makes NecroVisioN quite an exhilarating experience.
If you've played games like Painkiller and Serious Sam you'll know roughly what to expect from NecroVisioN. What you get is essentially swarms of enemies that are often spawned out of nowhere, all hell-bent on taking you down. The screen can be full of these monstrosities, and from time to time you'll even encounter screen-filling bosses that take more than a few bullets to the head to take down. There's nothing particularly clever about the gameplay, but there's something quite satisfying about surviving these waves (bonus challenges are focussed almost entirely on mass slaughter).
It takes a lot for a PC game to impress visually these days, but NecroVisioN looks different enough to the norm to stand out. On the face of it the game has a fairly rough appearance, with fairly low-poly enemies and a general look that the levels have been pieced together in a way that's very different to the average triple-A release. Yet somehow NecroVisioN manages to look great, with a tonne of graphical effects, a fast pace, loads of over the top violence, smart lighting and a decent frame rate on even a fairly modest PC.
Unfortunately the presentation outside of the visuals isn't nearly up to the same standard. Voice over work is cheesy, but not in a good way, load times are atrocious and the music is generic thrash metal that we'd have guessed would make an appearance on the game's name alone. It's a shame as the developer has included a BioShock style letters system, with notes left around the levels being read out when you come across them. The voice acting here is pretty terrible though and lessens the impact the otherwise quite terrifying tales would have had.
Complaints could be levelled at the repetitive nature of proceedings, with enemies coming at you rather relentlessly, level after level. The game can also get pretty tough on the default medium difficulty setting, especially if you find yourself cornered and carrying only a weak pistol. In terms of multiplayer there's little to get excited about, but the pace is nippy enough to make what's there decent fun.
If you're after a no-nonsense, monster slaughtering FPS that moves at a fast pace and looks pretty smart, you could do a lot worse than NecroVisioN. The game delivers non-stop action from start to finish, constantly throws new enemies at you and gradually introduces new abilities. It won't be everyone's idea of a good time, but leave your brain on the installation screen and you're likely to have plenty of mindless fun.
VideoGamer.com Score7 Score out of 10
- Impressive visuals
- Fast paced
- Nothing hugely original
- Voice acting is terrible