REVIEW – Rebellion is not new to horror / science fiction games. They made the original Aliens VS Predator, and sunk their teeth into the lore of Rogue Trooper, a post-apocalyptical third person shooter with weird weapons. However while both games were great in terms of quality they did not sell too much.
However it seems that after Sniper Elite, the developers seems to have struck gold a couple of years ago when they made a stand-alone series for their base game called Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army… whew that is a long one. While the series has been at this point only featured on PC. Rebellion the developers decided to bring the double feature to the console, and add one more to table. The series is now a trilogy, but does it have the punch it had when the first episode was released back in 2013?
Aim for the head!
The story is simple: Hitler is losing World War II and as a final dash to reach victory against the Allies he decided to unleash his ultimate weapon. He raises an undead army, which ravages the allied forces, and only you as the player survive near Berlin (plus three other players that join you in the effort to rid the world from the undead).
There are a total of fifteen levels with the majority of them being remastered versions of the original two games, and a new entry to the series that continues where the second game ended. The missions were already long, in the previous titles, but here with some editing and revamped pacing, the missions feel less tiresome this time around, plus the five new mission finally put bullet into the head of this undead series…
The main “feature” is also here, the X-Ray kill cam, which shows zombies getting blown to bits, but this time around dismemberment was also added into the mix of this version, just to make the already violent battles more gruesome. While aiming for the head is the quickest way to deal with a zombie (plus it denies resurrection to the foe), seeing arms and legs torn off by your bullet is sometimes more satisfactory.
Old killing machines, new foes
Surprisingly there aren’t any new weapons in the new version as far as I was able to tell. There might be only one new addition if memory serves which is the mounted machine gun. We have the same three types of weaponry. Primary for the sniper rifles, secondary for the machine guns, and shotguns, and finally the pistols as a sidearm. We also still have the abilities to lay traps, mines, and other fun elements that dispose of our undead friend quicker. Still I feel it’s lacking in the weapons department, and would have loved to see maybe a Flamethrower or some kind of submachine gun type that could be used as a primary weapon such as the FG 42 rifle.
While the weapons did not get too many additions, the enemies did get a tiny amount of update. There are armored leapers, chainsaw wielding zombies (Resident Evil much…) and a few others that I do not wish to spoil them. However the A.I. also got a rework and the enemy positioning, so our undead soldiers now seem a little less braindead than in the previous versions. The problem is that even with the updates there’s a surprising lack of mid-tier enemies missing from such a zombie game. Most of the game feels like a filler:
- Slow zombies with various tools, or grenades slump towards you in large number
- Quick and sudden death zombies
- Heavy machine gunners
- Summoners who raise enemies constantly.
The game is full of the first type of enemies where it’s easy to kill them. I would have really loved an enemy type where they use pistols or normal machine guns to combat the player. Maybe a few grenade throwers here and there.
Shiny brand new, and old 80s atmosphere
While the game takes place in WW2, a lot of the visual cues, and music seems to be based off from old 80s zombie movies. Day of the Dead comes to mind especially and the music is a combination of synth/electronic 80s just to complete that cheesiness factor. The series looked great on the previous generation, it looks better naturally on the PlayStation 4. However besides the texture quality being raised not much was done. It looks good, gets the job done and to be honest not much is needed from the series as the atmosphere was nailed down as a tense and frightening zombie shooter game.
One last stand against the Horde
Coop has been expanded with four more characters to be chosen. This time the women also get to do some asskicking against the hordes of undead. There’s also a new mode called the Horde mode, which has dedicated maps available for the players. One such map is up on a mountain, engulfed in fog, and all four players must try to survive as long as they can against the endless hordes.
It’s great, and fun especially considering how the developers took time to add special maps for this feature, and not just copy paste them from the campaign.
However I must advise that while Zombie Army Trilogy (PS4) can be enjoyed alone, it’s best to get at least one friend for the full experience, as fighting alone can be sometimes boring, and can take up a lot of time against difficult enemies.
Fun times headless
Zombie Army Trilogy (PS4) does not reinvent the wheel but it’s good what it did two years ago, creating an atmospheric zombie shooter with no breaks on violence. Its great both as a solo or multiplayer experience, even if it can get dull when playing alone.
Be sure to grab some guns, and cola, to enjoy this slaughter of the dead.
+ Better graphics, atmosphere superb
+ X-Ray Kill Cam is still a great feature
+ Long campaign, great for friends to go on a killing spree
– Can be boring solo
– Do not buy if you are tired of zombies
– Lack of new weapons, and not too many new enemies
Editor: Rebellion Developments
Developer: Rebellion Oxford
Genres: action, adventure, survivor horror
Publication: 6 Mars 2015