The latest spin-off of Rebellion’s infamous Sniper Elite series has hit in Zombie Army 4: Dead War. With terrifying zombies mixed with the fun of 1990s Michael Bay films, will it last, or rot like the Resident Evil movies?
Though Zombie Army 4: Dead War may be the fourth entry in the series, it’s the perfect place to start. When booting up for the first time we’re given everything that we need to know.
In 1945 Hitler, on the backfoot, raises the dead and takes over Europe. In the last instalment, the evil dictator was defeated and banished to hell. Now, Europe is still under the control of a zombie horde, and it’s time to take the world back!
Upon starting the game, players slowly move through Europe, which is broken up into nine action-packed levels. Work through Venice, a trainyard, and even a zombie zoo!
If you’ve played either Sniper Elite or any of the previous Zombie Army titles before the you know exactly what you’re in for. You’ll be sniping zombies through their eyeballs and seeing everything in x-ray vision. It’s safe to say that there’s a reason this one’s rated R18+.
Players initially choose one of four characters, each with their own passive strength and weakness. Then comes the loadout. Rifles are the main weapon, allowing large amounts of damage to be dealt in order to enable the gruesome x-ray cam. A secondary weapon will either be an SMG or a shotgun (these weapons work wonders for crowd control), and some secondary weapons and ammo can even be found on standard zombies as they lurch around. Finally, you have a pistol sidearm, which again can do a surprisingly decent amount of damage. Progression through each level unearths weapon upgrade kits, which allow enhancement of weapons such as bigger magazine clips, increased damage or even electrified bullets. Levelling up a character allows the equipping of more buffs, perks and unlock abilities.
Combat in Zombie Army 4: Dead War is exactly like you’d imagine. Loud, graphic and addictive. Lining up shots and holding your breath will frequently (but not always) activate that x-ray cam. It also kicks in when hitting areas such as lungs, hearts, brains, eyes and, erm, plums. The graphicness of the combat and even sound can be compared to the Gears of War series. Get close enough to zombies with a shotgun and watch them explode into a mess.
Zombies come in various shapes and sizes as players progress through the campaign and horde modes. Face off against rampaging running zombies (that are basically ripped from 28 Days Later), armoured zombies, fat zombies, skinny zombies, zombies that climb on rocks… You’ll even go up against special boss types such as zombie lieutenants that can summon more zombies, flamethrower zombies and more. Rebellion have really gone out of their way to not only deliver a zombie army, but a zombie for everything. We even found two zombies on a date in Venice!
“If you’re looking for a new PVE game to play with friends, Zombie Army 4: Dead War needs to be on your radar.”
Unlike the Sniper Elite series, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is made for close to mid-range combat and to be played with friends. It can also be quite a test when playing single player, with armies of zombies coming from all directions. It can get a bit daunting being surrounded and only having sniper ammo, too. Thankfully you can move between the scope zoom or third-person iron sights, but using a bolt action when surrounded by 50-plus zombies is basically hopeless. Then game also tends towards “rinse and repeat”. Go to an area, activate an item/find someone and clear out a horde of zombies, just like Left 4 Dead and Warhammer: Vermintide. It is a little strange that your main weapon is a sniper rifle, as on some levels we didn’t even use it.
If you’re looking for a new PVE game to play with friends, Zombie Army 4: Dead War needs to be on your radar. When playing with friends you won’t get the x-ray camera as regularly (it only activates on outstanding shots), but honestly the banter and chaos happening onscreen makes up for this. Experiencing a boss or enormous horde for the first time and hearing your mates say, “Get [expletive deleted]!” will never get tiring.
We’ve already played some amazing games in 2020, and Zombie Army 4: Dead War doesn’t disappoint. Single-player can be difficult and may even turn some players off, but trust us when we say that you and your mates need to pick this up. Hell, even play online and make some new mates, as this is what gaming is all about! Zombie Army 4: Dead War is basically this generations zombie king (well, until Left 4 Dead comes back…)
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is available now on PS4 and Xbox One.