Zombie Army 4 is a TPS set around WW2. Hitler created a zombie… army… kinda no shit right? Well, he got a case of dead, and while the people thought that meant the zombies would poof into just corpses, the non-moving variant, instead it got worse and worse. Now the zombie horde has taken over most of Europe and it’s getting worse every day. It’s up to you and, if you want, your friends to take down this bullshit and make all the dead things stay fucking dead. These zombies can “Sieg heil!” in hell with a bullet to the brain.
Now, I’d like to point out my only interaction with this series of games is Sniper Elite 3 and Sniper Elite 4, that’s it nothing more. I own the original Zombie Army Trilogy but I’ve yet to get time to play it. I’m sure that’s a big shocker to those of you who know me. Because of this I’ll be comparing this game to Sniper Elite 3 and Sniper Elite 4, and there’s a reason for that beyond just it’s made by the same company. The Zombie Army games are based on an alternate universe of the Sniper Elite games. The evidence to this is both are during WW2, both use the same weapons… mostly, and both of them seem to mostly focus on the same main character named Karl. That being said, in Zombie Army you don’t have to actually play as him because the game was made to be a four person game.
You can choose between a few different characters to play as: Karl, the main character of the entire series and sniper, Boris the bruiser, Jun the diplomat, and Shola the engineer. Their class names don’t seem to really mean anything. Everyone has pistols, everyone has an assault rifle or shotgun (you pick), everyone has a sniper rifle, and everyone has melee weapons, so no one really plays any differently. You get upgrades that you can equip to each weapon and even a plethora that you can equip to yourself, but none of this is different between people either. The only thing that changes is the character model and, I believe, one single hat customizable, each character has a hat that’s only for them. Those two things are the only difference. Now thanks to the upgrades you can choose from you can end up with very different characters, but they still always play about the same.
The controls, as you might expect, are pretty good, especially when shooting. I love the shooting mechanics in these games. If you’ve played the Sniper Elite games you know what you’re getting with the sniper rifle in all its glorious orgasmic fun. Though the other guns feel like there’s a larger range of error for the games, especially pistols, that being said, I could be crazy. Running feels weird, I felt it was weird in Sniper Elite 4 as well. I’m not sure exactly how to explain it, but at the very least I can state it doesn’t feel like it starts or stops when you push the button. It lags which might actually be the whole problem, I’m not sure, it just feels weird.
The story is, like most of their games, you’re called in to do your part for the war machine. In most of them it’s to destroy the Nazi menace, this time it’s the zombie menace, mostly Nazi zombie menace. Every mission is four sections long, four very linear sections, which are medium to long in length comparatively to the other games and their levels anyways. Sadly, for me at least, they felt really slow paced. The levels in Sniper Elite 3 were linear and of moderate length, and Sniper Elite 4 was super large but with completely open levels that had things you needed to do in a bunch of said areas, etc. This game though is very linear like 3, but the levels overall are as long as Sniper Elite 4’s. This isn’t a problem in and of itself, but it becomes one because of the enemies. In the other games, they aren’t zombies, they’re people, and they’re smart. They’ll take cover, they’ll try to snipe you, they’ll pop out to shoot at you, and they just act like they should. Zombie Army 4’s enemies are zombies; they’re as smart as a dog turd, with the rare smarter zombie. They just come at you in droves, most of them don’t use weapons, and of the ones that do only the rare smarter one actually aims it at you, any of the others that use weapons just aim in your general-ish direction. This makes the levels kinda drag on because the enemies aren’t a challenge beyond there just being a fuckton of them. Eventually, “kill them” is just… kinda boring. Though, that being said, I was playing solo as I couldn’t get any friends together to play with me much to my chagrin. Multiplayer, I have to assume, would be significantly more fun for everyone, including myself. The reason for this is I believe it would feel more like Left 4 Dead mixed with Sniper Elite which just sounds like a hell of a time; sadly I haven’t been able to explore this aspect so far, at least not in single player. It has a Horde mode that I’ve played in multiplayer, it was boring to me personally. All you do in Horde mode is simply kill wave after wave, every so often the map gets bigger, giving you more weapons and traps to use, that’s it. It gets boring fairly quickly for the same reason the main game does, zombies just get boring to kill.
So I’m kind of conflicted with the game. The stories for these games are kind meh because they’re just individual missions so it doesn’t feel much like a story. Due to the zombies being well zombies, the game feels longer and a bit more boring than it should. However, blowing a zombie’s head off with a sniper is still really fucking fun, and causing them to blow up with pistols is pretty cool too. Killing the smarter, more important mini-boss and boss zombies are fairly fun as well since they’re kinda like a puzzle, you have to figure out how to kill them, and that really makes it fun. So, I’m flip-floppy on whether the game gets the Seal or not. On one had, it gets boring playing solo after a while simply cause the story… really doesn’t matter that much, and killing normal zombies is kinda boring. On the other hand the sniping stuff in the game, which isn’t the focus, is still fucking AWESOME, and the mini-bosses and higher end zombies are so damn cool looking and to kill.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War was developed by Rebellion
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire awards Zombie Army 4: Dead War the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval, even if just barely.