Review Code Provided
The anticipated sequel to Rebellion’s Sniper Elite spin off series. Zombie Army 4: Dead War places Karl Fairburne and friends back into the hellish landscape in which Hitler has summoned hordes of the undead to help assure victory in the war.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War plays much like its mainline series sibling, Sniper Elite, except where one focuses more on tactical placement, stealth and the odd well placed shot, this one the pace has been amped up to match with the setting. Most often you’ll find yourself in close quarters with the zombie horde and having to rely on more than just a sharp eye through a sniper scope to survive, while plenty of the sniper shooting mechanics players of the Sniper Elite series have come to know and love are still present, your trusty sniper rifle will often take a back seat to your secondary weapon and side arm as the situation demands. As well as your firearms you will also have access to several explosives and traps to help supplement your zombie killing and when you do kill and start to build up your combo it in turn builds up charge for the special ability associated to the weapon you’re using; the rifle has an armour piercing shot, the secondary weapon will slow down time and your handgun will let you tag targets for quick head shots, the character you pick can also affect the way you play since they have different strengths.
While the levels are fairly large they’re broken up into chapters that are divided by safe rooms, each time you get to one that ends the current chapter. Some of the chapters can take quite a long time to get through especially if you want to have a look around for any of the collectables that are hidden between the safe rooms. Each chapter also has a specific side goal you can aim to accomplish for a boost to player XP, for example on one level you might have to get a certain number of head shots with the pistol or on another you might have to get through a particular section in a short amount of time. On each chapter you’ll have a score in the upper right corner and this is what determines whether you earn a bronze, silver or gold medal at the end of the chapter. The gold can be particularly difficult to acquire considering you’ll have to keep up a decent combo to get a good score, this means that if there’s too much time between each kill or you frequently miss shots then your score might not be too great.
A large part of Zombie Army 4: Dead War, something that may be the difference between failing a mission and getting through unscathed is the ability to upgrade any of the weapons you have available through the use of upgrade kits you can find throughout the game. Each of the weapons has its own upgrade tree and they have different abilities based on the weapon, for example the sniper rifles have different element shots, also when you get to the end of each branch you have two upgrades to choose from and the good thing is they don’t lock you out of one when you pick the other, you can pick between them when you choose your loadout. When you complete a weapon’s upgrade tree you will unlock the ability to build up its mastery which to do so has you perform a feat specific to that particular weapon, the Mosin Nagant I had been using for example requires 200 head shots from a distance of over 50 meters. It’s not only the weapons that have upgradeable abilities either, as you level up you’ll unlock new perks that can make playing easier, although some of the perks require you to perform actions in game to access the next level up. As well as that, you can also unlock new abilities for your equipment that will make your mines more effective or efficient for example and you can pick between them when you customise your loadout. There are also some cosmetic items you can unlock for your characters such as hats and weapon paint skins but personally I don’t think they’re very good items to unlock since they don’t look all that great.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is one of those games that’s great to play at any point, you can go to the mission select and access any point that you’ve already played so that you can go back and improve on your score or try to find all of the collectables. This feature gives it a great amount of replayability and it can help to get your weapons powered up from any upgrade kits you might have missed, or perhaps you may just want to play through a certain section as a different character to see how it affects the dialogue. It’s built to be played as a co-op title but it can also be played wholly as a single player experience, which is how I played it, it doesn’t seem to detract from the way the game plays if you play it alone though, I can say there are games I’ve played that are built for co-op that aren’t very good to play alone but thankfully this isn’t like that. There are also a few options to change the way you play the game, you can change the difficulty, with the harder difficulty changing the way the bullet physics work to make them a little more realistic and you can also change the amount of zombies you encounter. By default in single player you only get an amount of enemies appropriate for one player but you can also change them to increase the amount as though you’re playing with more people which could help if you’re struggling to get a gold medal on a particular chapter though it would make it considerably harder.
The campaign you get with Zombie Army 4: Dead War has nine levels with four chapters a piece and the environments you get to go through are very diverse which keeps the game from feeling a bit stale since you’re essentially just fighting through waves of the undead for the most part while new enemies get introduced over time. As well as the campaign there’s also a horde mode to enjoy where you’re literally fighting off waves of enemies and the area will expand as you play, you’ll also be granted supply drops and weapons to help keep you alive. When you reach a certain point with the waves you’ll be given the chance to escape and end the horde mode but you can continue on if you choose.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a great game, it’s very fun to play and a personal favourite feature of mine is the slow motion x-ray effect when you kill enemies with your sniper rifle, a feature that will be familiar to fans of Sniper Elite. It’s a great follow on from the Zombie Army Trilogy and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys playing zombie games and even more to those who like their games with a co-op flavour. There’s some genuinely creepy vibes in some sections of the game thanks to the atmosphere, the dark environments and strange goings on but the game also has its fair share of silly moments which are often in the form of movie references and mysterious little dolls. It’s easy to see that a lot of passion has gone into this game to provide the player with the most enjoyable experience they can have from a single game.
If you want to learn more about this game then you can visit the website here or you can click on one of the links below to go to the game’s store listing;
If you’d like to get the whole story for Zombie Army before you tackle the latest entry then you can follow these links to the store listings for the trilogy;