For years, Nazis have been the go-to enemy for numerous movies and games. Well, for those people who thought that Nazis weren’t bad enough, we now have the trend for Nazi Zombies! From games like Wolfenstein and the co-operative modes in the Call of Duty games, to movies like Outpost (2008) and Dead Snow (2009), Nazi Zombies have become quite the enemy-de-jour. Next up, in this trend for killing the Nazi undead, is Zombie Army Trilogy from Rebellion, the developers behind the Sniper Elite series. The ‘trilogy’ in Nazi Zombie Trilogy comes from this being a bundle of the Zombie Army 1 & 2 DLC from Sniper Elite V2 and a new chapter developed for this release.
The game revolves around you and up to 3 co-op buddies as you shoot your way through 15 missions trying to discover what is causing this zombie apocalypse. If you’ve played Sniper Elite 3, you’ll know the score here. Slow motion X-ray headshots and crotch-shots are the order of the day. Enemies range from simple cannon-fodder to elite soldiers who are themselves armed and take numerous hits and careful strategy to take out. The levels are basically corridors that you are forced along. There is the occasional open area but even these still have a sense of confinement, often due to a fog that will block your path until you wipe out a wave of enemies.
The graphics are fairly similar to Sniper Elite 3, if possibly a little rougher. Clothes are painted on to your character and have no independent movement. Draw distance is pretty good, as required for a sniper game, but not as good as Sniper Elite 3. Enemy character models are quite repetitive, particularly the elites that appear to be identical within their own types (machine gunners or chainsaw elites). There is also quite regular screen tearing; it’s not game-breaking, but with this quality of graphics it should be possible to have a locked frame-rate. Levels have a nice density to them, particularly the new missions developed specifically for this release. The issue here isn’t that the game looks particularly bad; it just looks like a PC game from a few years ago and has a few older design elements.
Gameplay is also very similar to Sniper Elite 3, and that is a good thing. The controls feel tight and responsive. The sniping mechanic is spot on and really holds your hand (in the right way) as the difficulty ramps up. When you hold your breath to take a shot (on Marksman difficulty or lower) a red diamond will appear which shows exactly where your shot will land. The only slightly dodgy thing is control of the pistol, which because of the third-person perspective doesn’t always fire as precisely where you hope it will.
Online play here works really well. You can play through the entire campaign in online 4-player and there’s also a Horde mode where you face-off against wave after wave of enemies across 5 maps. During several hours of online play, I never noticed any lag. My only complaint about the matchmaking is that if it doesn’t find you a match straight away it pops you back to the menu and tells you it will send you a notification when it finds one. This does work but when you hold the guide button to view the notification, which you have to do to accept the invite, it takes you out of the game and into the console operating system; I just feel this could have been streamlined a little better.
I invariably enjoyed myself through the 20-25 hour campaign. There were a few challenging sections that have clearly been designed with co-operative play in mind, but despite the repetitive nature of this corridor shooter I had fun. The graphics are slightly sub-par, but passable, and you’ll excuse it as you get another slow-motion X-ray shot of your bullet tearing an enemy’s head apart. For a game priced slightly less than full-price, most of the complaints are forgivable. If you enjoyed Sniper Elite 3, then you will surely enjoy this title too!