Moby ID: 39592
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

In 1916 at Verdun, the Germans discovered a cave with strange gems in it. Named Red Lantern, they react with dead tissue and bring it back to live - at least in a zombie-kind of way. German doctor Jonas Zimmermann sees a big opportunity in this and begins to experiment on corpses of dead soldiers and soon the trenches are filled with hordes of zombies and other vile creatures that kill everything that stands in their way although they do not really like it and look for the Chosen One to free them from their miserable existence.

Simon Bukner from Texas did not expect to sit in a trench in the middle of the Battle of Verdun when he signed up in early 1916. But as the American commanders execute a massive counter-offensive on the German forces at the beginning of December, things get much worse as the Americans approach the German trenches. And soon Simon finds himself on a path to put an end to Zimmermann's research.

The player jumps into the body of Simon and has to fight his way through hordes of Germans, zombies and gas clouds alike in a standard first person shooter fashion. Besides his very important gas mask, he is aided by several kinds of weapons including a shovel, pistols, machine guns, rifles and a mysterious glove called ShadowHand. The ShadowHand requires adrenaline to work which is earned by performing combos on enemies. The player also needs to have unlocked the deadly spells he wants by beating the corresponding challenge before the ShadowHand does anything useful. If enough adrenaline is available, the ShadowHand also allows to resurrect fallen enemies and lets them fight on your sight for a short while.

The player gets other bonuses by performing combos including a short slow down of time after two headshots. After a combo has been successfully executed, the Fury timer starts. Doing another combo during this time fills up the Fury meter and allows for unleashing even more powerful demonic powers. To increase the amount of Fury the player can collect and use he needs to find hidden artifacts during the course of the game or by going into the challenge room.

The challenge room not only gives the player direct access to each individual campaign level that he has already finished but also contains several challenges like killing 50 zombies with only a shovel and a pistol. Successfully completing these challenges then grants the player access to new spells for the ShadowHand or new weapons.

Instead of a traditional health pack system, the game employs a mix of both automatic regeneration and health packs and a berserk mode. Once the player is near death, time slows down giving the player a chance to still get out of the mess alive if he manages to avoid damage for a few seconds until the automatic regeneration kicks in. But the automatic regeneration won't fill up the health bar to the top. This is something only health packs, scattered around the levels, can do.

The game also features multiplayer for up to 8 players. The game modes include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Artifact (a CTF-variant) and Last Man Standing.

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Credits (Windows version)

180 People (128 developers, 52 thanks) · View all

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Average score: 64% (based on 24 ratings)


Average score: 2.7 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 1 reviews)

This is not the second coming of Painkiller, that is why it is called Necrovision

The Good
Games like Necrovision are really a dying breed. Professional reviewers often say the same of people who love such games.

Myself one of these ‘dinosaurs’ I always feel there is going to be a place in the gaming world spectrum for run-n-gun monster blasting frag-fests. Variety is the spice of any life. Some days you just want to check your brain at the door & let loose at some demonic beasties with a rocket launcher. Ah, let the good times roll I say.

I have to admit. I set my hopes really high on Necrovision. Being made by the remaining members of People Can Fly, after the acquisition of some of the team by Epic for the PC port of GoW. I don’t have to profess my Painkiller fandom, but this game was at the top of my want list for months. I really wanted to love this game completely & utterly, be able to recommend it to all of you etc. But now I have finished it, the dust has well and truly settled, so what do I think about it? Short answer: I like it. It’s definitely not a bad game. Long answer: I like it. But . . Maybe we should start at the beginning.

The crux of the plot for Necrovision takes place in a kind of alternate fantasy-unreality WW1 setting where the war is different - the gates of Hell have been opened up for all kinds of demonic nasties to put there own spin on the war which already rages on. The player takes on the role of the protagonist Simon Bunker, an American allied troop who finds himself literally caught smack dab in the middle of the battle between good & evil, and . . . yes the story is very unoriginal. This isn’t really at the pinnacle of importance as far as a game such as this is concerned, mind. However, the story presented isn’t entirely throwaway - I was actually surprised with just how many big chunks of text & spoken dialogue there was in the game. Amicably, this does at least bring forward some extra points of interest to the proceedings.

So, what of the action, I hear your inner mind beckoning? Well, I suppose the difficulty in reviewing a game like Necrovision is describing what is different about it in contrast to what came before it. The WW1 theme has been done before, though of course not exactly like this. The French-developed shooter Iron Storm took on the alternate reality approach to how WW1 played out, but with a more sci-fi flavour & serious tone. Necrovision doesn’t take itself too seriously, which completely works for how it plays - Simon is always cracking jokes amongst the mayhem, & there is even a button assigned for kicking soldiers in the pants. Okay, so it is not quite Grunt-O-Matic-Duke 3D, but of course the long in retirement Dukester comes straight to mind when you play.

The beginning of the game sees you traversing a great deal of burnt out terrain liberally strewn with barbed wire fences, negotiates numerous bunkers (sometimes gas-filled coughs), war-torn buildings to investigate - all the time slugging it out with countless soldiers - both living and undead, hulking vampire-demon things, floating apparitions and what have you. As you move forward collecting an arsenal of authentic WW1 weapons as you proceed, from a rifle, Remington shotgun, various pistols & grenades, Sniper Rifle etc. It all looks the business, & the reloading animations are realistic & well done.

The zombie soldiers are quite amusing in the game, they stagger around and throw shovels and stuff at you. Sometimes if one was armed with a handgun, he would mutter “ I am shooting at you”. It is quite funny sometimes. I suppose the most inventive aspect of the game is the dual wielding weapons & combo system. You can combine various single-handed weapons like a knife & pistol or dynamite-bundle and pistol. There is nothing more satisfying the throwing some dynamite into a gaggle of zombies for a massive explosion of smoke, debris & gib chunks. The combo system works by stringing together a bunch of kills of the head shot or melee attack variety. When you really get going with the body count, it initiates a kind of slow-mo bullet time effect where you move faster than the enemy. This also builds up mana which lets you use this power at will. If you really pile up the corpses, electricity bolts will even start shooting out around you. When you dispatch enemies it will usually flash a word on the screen like if you chop some nasties head off with a shovel it will say “Angry Farmer” or if you registered a lot of head shots it would say “The Bruce Willis” etc. There are of course the traditional secret places to discover, but they aren’t nearly as clever or hard to get as the ones in Painkiller, but it is still fun exploring the environments & discovering them. At times you will also find notes left behind by soldiers which can elaborate on some of the story.

The visuals of the game are definitely one of the strong aspects of the game. The artistic style is well imagined, and the level of detail put into some of the big outdoor scenes is often a real treat to behold. The enemy character models look great with slick & detailed animations, and there are projected shadows. The limb-loss feature in the game is really cool - bits & pieces fly off in relation to where you shoot at the baddies. It really consolidates the graphics beyond what you would expect to see.

The Bad
Well, I wont bother griping about the technical issues since the 1.1 patch surfaced a few days ago.

The cut scenes in this game suck. Except for the prelude movie which is pre-rendered and reasonably cool. But the rest is like static images fading in and out like in Painkiller Overdose. These are NOT compelling to watch.

The chief qualm I have with Necrovision is simple. The action doesn’t feel quite right. There are some things distinctly lacking. The weapons in the game look nice enough, but there isn’t really anything all that outlandish of interesting to wield. In addition, you have to reload weapons which are sacrilegious for a game like this. When your facing off against some behemoth, you don’t want to be caught stuffing shells into your gun. This isn’t really such a big deal, but it is one element that feels off. There is also a distinct lack of variety of enemies, which makes your interest wane some. The level design is the next thing which is an issue - Plodding through trenches gets, well, frankly dull. Fast. Things get much more interesting late in the game, but by when it is nearly all but over. The game kind of takes way too long to really get going properly.

The Bottom Line
Necrovision is a valiant attempt that unfortunately doesn’t quite have all the ingredients for a great shooter - as a result the game never really finds it zen. I believe in all fairness The Farm 51 was working with one hand tied behind their back with this first venture without the talented map designers from the original PcF team. Don’t get me wrong, Necrovision definitely has its moments, but they are just a bit too few and far between for my liking. There is some cool stuff which I neglected to mention earlier like stomping around in an iron mech-thing & some interesting ideas like being able to resurrect fallen enemies to fight for your side. There is definitely some fun to be had here, just not as much as there could and should have been.

Windows · by Nick Drew (397) · 2009


German version

There are a number of changes to the German version:

  • All blood and gore effects were removed. The comic cutscenes and one in-game cutscene after the prologue are not effected.
  • Almost all corpses which are part of the level design were removed. The ragdoll effects for them were also removed.
  • Almost all killed enemies disappear instantly. Because of this the necromancy skill is rendered useless.
  • The efficacy of the kick attack was greatly reduced
  • The bayonets and shovel disappear after hitting an enemy and can't be picked up again
  • Various death animations were removed
  • Because of the missing possibility to cut off limbs, the second attack phase of two enemies were removed.
  • The flame thrower weapon was removed.
  • The combo displays on screen were removed.

A detailed list of changes can be found on (German).


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Blacknut added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger, Plok.

Game added March 14, 2009. Last modified April 7, 2024.