The Great World War Z: Necrovision Demo

I shall shoot at you from the perspective of being the character in the game world.

While I really should write up my impressions of everything I played at the New York Comic Con, this will tide us over until the jetlag has abated. Anyway, the demo of The Farm 51’s WW1… but with undead has gone live. Hmm. WW1 with Undead sounds like some of the bits of the Darkness, when I phrase it like that, but it seems far closer to something like Painkiller in its cut-to-the-bone action and general hyperbolic tone. Anyway – it’s about a gig and you can get it from here. Also: “Set in 1917, the Great War has been raging for two long years and new recruit Simon Bukner, a US Army soldier, is the latest to face the harsh realities of war.” Three years, surely? Anyway, I suspect this is the least of the historical inaccuracies, y’know? Video follows.

Yes, that’s definitely some shooting in the first person.


  1. Xercies says:

    I’m sure America would have you see history of WWI where they were the only army against the germans and they won single handly.

  2. Pags says:

    It’s like if someone modded Painkiller to look like Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

  3. Leeks! says:

    Well, sure, the war had been going on for three years. But everyone knows that wars take at least a year to heat up to “raging.”

  4. Ian says:

    Presumably holding the pistol sideways does double damage (as “Cool Factor” multiplies damage by two, as in real life.)

    I’d entirely forgotten that this game existed and am surprised to find it looking alright.

  5. Mark O'Brien says:

    Well, it does say two “long” years.

    Alternatively, Wikipedia says that the war didn’t start until June 1914, so, erm, maybe the war just hasn’t had its 1917 birthday yet?

  6. Heliocentric says:

    What should i get it for a present? World wars are so hard to shop for.

  7. Pags says:

    I usually just send them a card with a WHSmiths voucher.

  8. Markoff Chaney says:

    IIRC this is made by some of the same team that made Painkiller and was even built using a heavily modified Painkiller engine. Painkiller is a wonderfully fun Doom/Serious Samesque kill everything FPS with insane amounts of enemies being thrown at you whilst you kill anything and everything that isn’t you that moves with fun weapons. The 2 expansions were pretty fun as well. I hope this turns out well. I had fun with the demo, but I keep forgetting 1gb doesn’t equal as much play time as I think it should. Then again, I once thought I’d never fill up that 20 megabyte hard drive I used to have either…

  9. Gpig says:

    Damn, this looks really good. Probably won’t be as good as Painkiller but it still looks really fun. This game just made me realize that I don’t know of any shooters coming out besides this and that cryo freeze game set in a ship.

  10. TwistyMcNoggins says:

    Looks…ok. I suppose. Probably more to do with how the trailer is presented than being indicative of the gameplay.

    That said, more games should have the balls to get you fighting Satan one on one. Gears of War was especially shit in this case. The final boss is the third in command of the army we’re fighting? Pfft, pants. I want apocalyptic end fights!

  11. Willem says:

    Why do they even bother situating it in WWI? The guns, the enemies, the entire bloody game, nothing, except the trenches, is situated in WWI. Is it because otherwise, they’d have to invent another cliché enemy (Here: Ze Germans) which is just too much work?

    This looks like so much shit. >: |

  12. Jimmay says:

    I actually think it’s a refreshing take on the same old story. You’ve got pistols (but now they’re old Mausers!), rocket launcher (but now it’s a spring-powered anti-tank gun!) and machine guns and shotguns (other old-looking versions, of course!). You’ve got undergroud linear levels, but they’re in trenches instead of sewers or metro lines. You’ve even got the gratuitious changed perspective scene – the gas mask – which I think looked particularly cool.

    Sure, they’re not really breaking any new ground, but a change of setting never hurts.

    Woot America – 100 years ago we were the worlds biggest morale booster (and that’s about it).

  13. MetalCircus says:

    Now you’re the embarrasing friend at a party. Get away from us you freaks.

  14. Dain says:

    The German accent is hilarious.

  15. ...hmm... says:

    so you kill some germans, then kill some demons, then fly a dragon… why the hell do people bother making games like this?

  16. diebroken says:

    Just pre-ordered NecroVision and Cryostasis on last weekend. Now I get to see if it’s actually worth it.

  17. Dr. Nerfball says:

    Hooooo boy… I’m fairly certain I saw a third person perspective shot of a guy in power armour there. Either that or our a american friend is on more steroids than most proffesional athletes. That doesn’t seem like they’re taking the source material very seriously, or respectfully. Guess that’s why they chose world war 1 huh? Seeing as most of the people who fought in it are dead, they’re gonna get very few complaints about it. However, I will probably get that game, just so I can see the painfully hilarious story summary in the manual, trying to justify zombies in WW1. Oh, and for the god-awful german accent, although I wonder what the giant flamey devil thing will have as an accent…. probably upper-class british. Anyway, rant over.

  18. Dr. Nerfball says:

    Oh. My. God. I just realised. The zombies still have the spikey hats! That would make one hell of an off hand weapon wouldn’t it? Just a zombie head which you pick up and punch people with. At least it would be better than that weird glove…thing which he has.

  19. crozon says:

    got the demo down its good fun and looks great.
    oh and the american chap joined the british army, so he isn’t an american soldier if you know what i mean.
    don’t know why they couldn’t make the “hero” a brit or french or even better german.

  20. hydra9 says:

    This is indeed fun. Very Painkiller-esque, but a bit (just slightly) slower-paced. Lots of ‘you’re temporarily locked in a room and have to kill things before you can get out’ type boss-fights, but that seemed okay. Loooong load-times (at least for me), and quite difficult, but it has a distinct charm that kept me coming back for more. I like being able to kick people, even if they float away like they’re made of pillows. I understand that the ‘story’ involves WWI turning into a literal trip to hell, but I can’t yet work out why there are ROBOTS in it. Oh well.

  21. hydra9 says:

    It’s cool that 505 Games are releasing this and Cryostasis on the same day.
    Both £17.99 at Necrovision’s cover art makes it look like a particularly bad straight-to-DVD horror flick.

  22. dhex says:

    “so you kill some germans, then kill some demons, then fly a dragon… why the hell do people bother making games like this?”

    because that sounds like the best weekend ever?

  23. Doc MacRae says:

    Demo impressions.

    Long load times. Disappointing, and I’m running a Q6600 quadcore at 2.88Ghz with 4 gigs of 1066 reaper memory, so it isn’t my system.

    It looks good, though mostly blue and grey color wise. I turned on motion blur and left it on even though it’s a tad overdone.

    You start in level 2, so I have no idea what’s going on with the story or with the letter that appeared both in the loading screen and in game (“Press E to read letter”). Something about fortifying a floor (???) and making an ammo run. I am being taken through some prison-like underground trenches. Ze germans beat me up but then something happens and one of them is dead and the rest have run away. I have a Colt .45 but quickly find multiple Lugers and plenty of ammo (of so I thought). Wander around for a bit not seeing anyone. However, someone is shouting “help me”. I keep walking around and get to a cutscene.

    Some brits are hung up on a telephone pole, and one of them (they guy who yelled “help me”?) says “kill me”. Then a ghost thing appears and my character says “Not again!” It proceeds to raise Germans from the dead (lots of them hanging around apparently) who attack. Also, a boss meter appears. Ghosts are weak against bullets, apparently. The zombies alternate between throwing rocks at me and charging me. They are fast when not throwing rocks. They take many shots to kill unless you hit them in the head, which generates a satisfying “Russian Roullete!” text and charges some sort of meter in the bottom right hand corner. I eventually back into a corner up some stairs where I can fight off the zombies while shooting the ghost. The boss is defeated. A few zombies shuffle around but they are largely ineffective. I am very low on ammo, though, which worries me. I find a shovel!

    There’s a German (a live one) running around a nearby balcony. I shoot him, but discover to get up to it I need dynamite. Right after, a huge troll thing with a giant hammer jumps out of a gate (that is on fire). The game is telling me to find some dynamite and avoid artillery. The troll is telling me (with body language) that he wants to kill me. I quickly run out of ammo and start hitting him with my shovel while trying to dodge the hammer. It’s only partially effective, and while the troll is getting bloodied I can’t tell if I’m hurting him. There are more zombies around now, which is inconvenient. I die – “game over”. I quit the demo.

    Also worth mentioning is that the character regularly repeats “time for revenge!”, “that the best you got?”, and other manly phrases during combat. It’s rendered in convincingly manly Texan accent, for that added touch.

    I had fun til I died. :/

  24. hydra9 says:

    You will actually need to find two sticks of dynamite (one after the other). The compass top left will point you towards them, but it can be hard to locate ’em. [HINT: Doors that were previously locked get blown open during the bombing.] I found quicksave to be a very useful thing, though quickload is a misnomer.

  25. Doc MacRae says:

    Ah! I ignored my compass, so that explains why things just seemed to happen. Perhaps a return is in order…

  26. Punning Pundit says:

    It wasn’t _really_ a truce– the undead army chose Christmas as it’s date to resurrect and the various sides chose to battle a common enemy…

    Granted, that would put the game in 1914 or 1915…

  27. hydra9 says:

    I nearly gave up after dying several times, but I kept coming back to it, and it was worth it. Oh yeah, also the guy you heard calling “Help me” at the start is actually in the shed that’s joined to the building you start in. You can shoot or melee the padlock off, then talk to him about the hellish things that are going on.

  28. MrFake says:

    Simon Bukner

    Coming up with fresh, catchy names is pretty hard. They can’t all be Gordon Freemans or Duke Nukems. I’m not buying this unless they change the name to Jock Boomchest, or some such.

  29. Samuel Bass says:

    Interesting concept, but the load times just kill it for me…also, the “combo name” bits, although funny, were a bit hard on the otherwise engaging atmosphere.

  30. etho says:

    I’ve always thought a subtle survival horror game set in the trenches of WW1 could be incredibly creepy and effective.

    This… does not look like that. Might be fun (haven’t tried the demo yet) but not really what I hope for.

  31. Doc MacRae says:

    Re-tried with the knowledge of the compass functionality. :P You can take out the troll by ducking into the bunker with the machine gun and laying waste to him, though it takes time. You get some sort of boost to your “rage” thingy for combos. Also, melee + kick seems pretty effective, but the live Germans are pretty formidable. I keep dying because I run out of time…

  32. Ian says:

    “so you kill some germans, then kill some demons, then fly a dragon… why the hell do people bother making games like this?”

    The real question, surely, is why don’t MORE people make games like this?

  33. tactics fish says:

    I like how the shooting is slow and brutal and ‘weighty’. I find it hard to describe this quality I like in shooting games.

  34. hydra9 says:

    Yeah, they really need to do something about the load times. I can imagine it getting incredibly frustrating on later levels when there are (presumably) some really tough boss fights.

    Apparently, Painkiller: Battle Out Of Hell had a similar problem, and a patch was released that allowed the game to cache a bunch of data instead of loading it every time. Not sure why they haven’t done something like that this time.

  35. absentblue says:

    @Xercies: The game is being made by Polish devs FYI

    Looks alright, I’m gonna check it out later when I get home… these load times sound pretty bad though.

  36. Sonic Goo says:

    It’s starting to look like anyone who runs out of inspiration these days thinks ‘zombies!’.

    Is there a Zombie Hello Kitty yet?

  37. Dain says:

    The dual wield melee/ranged is quite fun.

  38. Erlam says:

    “Anyway, I suspect this is the least of the historical inaccuracies, y’know?”

    Obviously – the Americans didn’t actually fight until 1918 ;)

  39. Erlam says:

    “Why do they even bother situating it in WWI? The guns, the enemies, the entire bloody game, nothing, except the trenches, is situated in WWI. Is it because otherwise, they’d have to invent another cliché enemy (Here: Ze Germans) which is just too much work?

    This looks like so much shit. >: |”

    You could say that about virtually every shooter ever. Why is the main weapon in a game set in modern times a crowbar? Why do you have an Axe in Quake? And so on.

  40. no says:

    I’m entirely confused. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH WORLD WAR Z?

  41. Saul says:

    “Is there a Zombie Hello Kitty yet?”


    link to

  42. Catastrophe says:

    It seems as if ze guy putting on ze German accent may be a spy…. He seemed to give up on the accent half way through.

  43. KP says:

    I wasn’t expecting much, then I watched the trailer. YES!! This is straight up Wolfenstein style fun – and a looker, too!

    Xercies: did you seriously just watch that video and see a historical shooter? The developers appear to be Russian, even.

  44. Ian says:

    @ no: Zombies.

  45. MrDeVil_909 says:

    “so you kill some germans, then kill some demons, then fly a dragon… why the hell do people bother making games like this?”

    The real question, surely, is why don’t MORE people make games like this?

    Add in punching babies and you have the last game I’ll ever need.

    What is wrong with a game just trying to be fun? The last shooter I really enjoyed was Painkiller.

  46. Subject 706 says:

    Surprisingly fun demo, imho. Bayoneting a zombie in the gut and then blowing his head off, need I say more?

  47. clive dunn says:

    If they are going to do a faithful WW1 simulation i wish they would get the recoil on the guns right.
    Other than that this is exactly how my great grandad described it.

  48. Dain says:

    After a little more play, I’d say it is quite fun. The setting provides a little novelty and quite a nice feeling (I am constantly reminded of Hellboy for some reason) and the emphasis on close combat/ dual wielding mechanics is a lot of fun.. more games should let you wield a sword and pistol at the same time! :P
    There is something quite satisfying about taking on zombies with stick grenades, bayonets and bolt action rifles.. I think there’s a lot to be said for sticking supernatural thingies in vaguely historical settings.

    So yeah, it’s a good laugh! Not something I’d buy, but definitely good for some mindless slaughter.

  49. Vandelay says:

    Agree with general consensus, good fun game. There are a few problems though. Distant enemies are a pain the arse to see as they just disappear into the grey background. The previously mentioned long load times are horrid and I found performance in game to be a little sluggish at times (probably my own fault for putting it on maximum with no AA, but I would have thought my system could cope with the level of graphics on offer.) Finally, the biggest sin of all, regenerating health! I should have died about 15 times instead of the single death I did have, which was only the result of needlessly charging into the open just as a grenade was about to go off. Up until then it seemed pretty much impossible to die, and this was on the middle difficulty level.

    Besides these things, it was definitely a good laugh (sometimes it may not have been intentional though, thinking mainly of some of the main characters dialogue and the ridiculous German accents.) It all had the right feel to it, and more games should have dual weapons and announcements in big letters such as “ANGRY FARMER” and “IMPALEMENT”.

  50. Deuteronomy says:

    Awesome demo. I’m definitely getting this and Cryostasis. Yeah it seemed a bit easy on medium, but I’m going to try again on hard and we’ll see.