The war is almost over and the Nazis have all but lost. Rather than accept defeat, Hitler orders the execution of plan Z. Now Germany is overrun by the undead and it is up to a group of survivors to put a stop to the madness. Like the name suggests, this third-person shooter is a bundle containing three games in one; developer Rebellion’s remastered Nazi Zombie Army 1 and 2, and the previously unreleased third episode. So does the Trilogy deliver, or is it dead on arrival?
For those of you who are familiar with the developers Sniper Elite series, this game plays the same, for better or worse. Your playable character is equipped with a sniper rifle for a primary weapon, a sub machine gun or shotgun as their secondary, a sidearm and several types of explosives. There are a total of eight characters (Four are new females) to choose from, but there are no differences between them other than appearance.
Killing the undead is incredibly satisfying and gory. Limbs fly off and heads explode as you snipe them. Since you are fighting zombies, you’ll find yourself going for a lot more head shots, as body shots won’t always result in a kill. Hell, shoot off a leg and the sick bastards will just crawl towards you determined to end your life. The sniper rifles are the best weapons to use in the game for multiple reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that they handle better; the secondary weapons feel kind of useless for the most part. The sub machine guns are only really helpful if the enemies get too close. Even then, you’ll find yourself missing shots when you know you shouldn’t, especially with the shotgun.
Another reason that sniping is the best thing to do in this game, is the X-ray kill cam. Line up the perfect shot from the right distance and you’ll be treated to the glorious visual of your bullet flying through the air before hitting and penetrating its mark in beautiful slow motion. Sometimes you’ll get to see an x-ray of your kill, as the bullet shatters bone before making its exit. It is gory and honestly never gets old. This feature can be turned off it does, or if you want it to happen more frequently, then you have the option to.
X-ray kills never get old. NEVER!!
However you choose to get your killing on, the game will score your performance. Head shots will obviously earn you more points than body shots, and going on kill chain (Multiple kills in a row without missing) will increase your score multiplier. The game features online leaderboards for each level, allowing you to compete with other players around the world for the top score.
When you are not killing the zombie horde, you’re completing mission objectives in order to progress through the game’s 15 campaign chapters. The third episode introduces optional side quests that ask of you to rescue scattered survivors, before they meet a grisly. There is a plot, but it quickly becomes an after thought as you progress. If you are looking for some deep emotional tale, you are not going to find it. All you really need to know is that there are zombies to kill, and I’m fine with that.
Speaking of zombies, the game thankfully features more than one type. You have your generic slow walking types (aka cannon fodder), and then you have the special kind; snipers who are deadly accurate and can leap from rooftop to rooftop, giant heavy machine gun toting zombies and even suicidal zombies who try to kill you by blowing themselves up. The suicide zombies were cool at first, comical even, but they soon overstay their welcome with how often the game tends to throw them at you. Still having a variety of enemies to kill is great for obvious reasons.
Oh yeah, there are chainsaw wielding zombies as well.
The game features very little boss battles and sadly, they lack variety and aren’t as fun as killing the horde. For those of you who care a big deal about a game’s length, each chapter takes a little over an hour to complete depending on skill level. So you are looking at roughly 15 hours of gameplay.
Editor-in-Chief Jon Ireson weighs in on the game’s remastered visuals and frame rate:
“On the PlayStation 4 Zombie Army Trilogy maintains a solid 60 frames per second with no visible screen tearing occurring even once. The art direction is dark and demonic as expected in a game about Nazis rising from their grave – lots of black, gray, and red broken up by glowing shades of orange and neon green where appropriate. The texture resolution is a full 1080P, seemingly native, and overall produces a feeling of immersion due to its high fidelity. Rebellion has done what many others cannot by bringing their game up to 1080P 60FPS standard on the PlayStation 4 and provides hope that the system can perform similarly with other Rebellion titles in the future.”
While there is fun to be had experiencing the game by yourself, playing with others is the way to go. If you have three other friends willing to take the fight to Zombie Nazis, you can play through the entire trilogy with them. If not, then the game features online matchmaking. On top of delivering a virtually lag free experience, the game’s level of difficulty scales depending on how many of you are playing together. The higher the player count, the more zombies you have to contend with. Which means more limbs to blow off and zombie brains to pop.
Certain sections can get a bit overwhelming when playing with more players — especially with those damned suicide zombies rushing you, but if you can’t handle it then you always adjust the game’s setting so you have less zombies to deal with. Still, having more enemies on screen makes for more intense gameplay and I recommend it. The game’s scoring system makes things competitive, as you try to see who gets the most points at the end of each chapter. Medals are also awarded to the player who pulls off the most head shots, earns the most kills etc.
Everything’s better with friends!
Outside of the fun campaign mode, Zombie Army Trilogy features an all new Horde mode. Your objective is simple; survive against increasingly tougher waves of zombies across 5 unique maps. Like the campaign, horde can be played with up to three others and you can still compete against one another for the high score. Just don’t forget to work together as Horde mode is tough. Sticking close to your buddies and reviewing one another is key to surviving.
Final Verdict: Zombie Army trilogy is great gory fun. Despite some annoying parts, killing zombies is a blast, especially with friends. With a challenging Horde mode and fifteen lengthy campaign levels, Rebellion’s Zombie shooter features just enough content to keep you entertained for a while. If you are looking for a new co-op experience, then give this game a go.
Overall Score: 8 / 10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer / Publisher: Rebellion
Available On: XO | PS4 | Windows PC
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: Four digital copies of this game were provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.