Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Windows (Reviewed on Xbox One)
Genre: Third Person Shooter
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The world has once again gone to Hell in a handbasket as the hordes of Hell have overtaken the theater of war in Europe and only the hit squad can once again save the planet from Zombie Hitler and his undead army of Nazi freaks.
Based off of the “Sniper Elite” games, the “Zombie Army” franchise takes the maps and campaign settings from the aforementioned games and gives players a heavy dose of destruction porn as well as hordes upon hordes of undead monsters to shoot and slash your way through.
Personally, I never played any of the “Sniper Elite” games or the previous “Zombie Army” games before “ZA4”. I’m not a fan of the “Call of Duty” style squad based games nor of first person shooters to be honest…but apparently I’ve been an ignorant idiot for quite some time. Not only are the “Sniper Elite/Zombie Army” games nothing like “Call of Duty”; they focus on slow burn co-op stealth play and are third person not first person, but also don’t take themselves too seriously especially when factoring in evil Nazi zombies abound.
At the insistence of Rebellion, I was able to get a code for myself as well as for a friend since they mentioned that the game is intended for online co-op play. My out of state friend and I were able to play through the entire campaign mode together as well as the horde mode missions.
One of the things that I noticed throughout the course of our campaign play, was that the game ran smoothly seemingly all of the time and we didn’t encounter any glitches in game or while setting up our online play. It seems like just about every new game is glitchy in regards to online play or co-op campaigns and it was refreshing to experience such a smooth and seamless setup for “ZA4”.
The gameplay had a slight learning curve as we learned that the tutorial stuff was mostly outside of the main campaign stuff but it didn’t take much fidgeting and accidental grenade tosses at each other to get the gist of the basics. Players have a multitude of choices with customizing the game to their style of play. There are nearly 20 weapons in the categories of pistols, SMGs and sniper rifles and you can customize any of the weapons with upgrade kits that provide you with mods such as healing rounds, explosive rounds, larger ammo clips and amplified scope zoom to name a few. You also unlock perk slots as you level up that provide you with even more ways to customize your character to your gameplay style.
Objectives range from sniper missions and horde wave survival to activating power switches or blowing up tanks in a variety of unique levels that are expertly crafted with a ton of collectibles throughout. I personally enjoyed the Zombie Zoo level as well as the factory base in Hell. At times, we were engulfed by waves upon zombies without realizing that the objective had changed to escape but that made things fun and interesting and also helped with the plethora of in-game objectives such as headshots and combo chains.
Sometimes the game was absolutely brutal at low character levels with low level weapons and the availability of ammo and especially health packs, which you can only carry one at a time, was sparse for most of the game but with the right tactics and character and weapon upgrades you could make up for the stingy availability of provisions. If there was one thing that was missing from that game that would have made a world of difference in-game, the addition of an option to roll out of the way of things would have been greatly appreciated and quite fun in certain tactical situations.
Having been a virgin to the “Zombie Army” experience before my play through of “Zombie Army 4: Dead War”, I’m happy to announce that it has been one of the most fun and stable games that I’ve played in recent memory. The game is definitely more of a grind when playing single player, but the fun levels amplify exponentially with a friend…or three since the game is four-player co-op. If you’re looking for an over-the-top zombie shooter gorefest, “Zombie Army 4: Dead War” is exactly what the undead Nazi zombie ordered.