“Nothing is better than a bullet between a zombie’s eyes”
Two of the most recurrent topics when we talk about shooter games enemies are the Nazis and the Zombies. Rebellion Developments, a company with a long history in game design, and responsible for the known-by-all “Alien vs Predator” and “Sniper Elite” sagas, put together these two classic stereotypical foes in one game, to bring us one of the most interesting “B-movie” like games ever.
Zombie Army Trilogy
Being released in March 2015, the game is available for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. Zombie Army Trilogy is born as a combination of three different “games”. Actually, the first two parts (Nazi Zombie Army and its sequel) appeared in 2013 as DLC for Sniper Elite V2. Now with these two chapters remastered and the addition of a previously unreleased third installment, the complete pack will provide us long hours of frenetic fun.
A perfect mix between a third-person shooter and Survival Horror, the game manages to be very addictive despite some technical issues.
The game story begins at the end of World War II. The Nazis have lost, Hitler is hidden in his bunker and one of his Generals ask him to surrender. But the Führer won’t accept it. His last move consists on activating the “Z plan”, turning all his troops (dead and alive)into flesh-eating monsters.
Now is our turn to select between eight different characters, pick some guns up and try to make our way out of the infested Germany.
The first five minutes of gameplay are the hardest for the player. The game doesn’t look so good, the character movements are rough, and the environment is surrounded by weird noises. Dozens of creepy zombies keep coming closer every second, and we will probably be dead very soon. Not a nice first impression, I must say.
However, if we can surpass the initial shock, we suddenly discover that the game has some really good qualities.
Our first option is to select one of the eight possible characters, four male and four female. Each one has its own reasons to take part in the conflict. But, no matter our choice, the only change in the gameplay is the character aspect. Then, it’s time to pick up our equipment. A long-range weapon (a variety of sniper rifles), a short-range weapon (shotguns and machines guns) and a pistol. A set of throwing objects, including dynamite and mines, complete the package.
Finally, we get to choose a chapter. There are 15 in total, 5 for each part of the trilogy.
As I said, the game is really good at certain points. For instance, is really, REALLY funny. Besides the initial weapons, we can pick all the others in different corners of every level. So, there’s never a lack of weapons or ammo. The zombies are numberless. There is, literally, hundreds of them in each stage. They aren’t too strong, at least at the first levels, and walk slowly toward us. As they always know where we are, the idea is running to a distant point and start shooting at them with a sniper rifle, switching to a close-range weapon and kill those who manage to get near us.
Every time we make a headshot from a long distance (40+ meters) with a sniper rifle, the game perspective will change to a Kill Cam. The camera follows the bullet’s trajectory until the impact on the zombie’s head, X-ray and bone crushing included. I’ve seen this a hundred times and didn’t get bored yet.
As regards the levels, each one of them could take us about an hour to complete. There are multiple objectives and checkpoints, but those are mere excuses to kill and kill and kill. And do more killing. Some Super-Zombie apparition or any Boss battle cuts the monotony a little bit. But the omnipresent goal is always the same: kill everything un front of you.
There isn’t even a real story or a sense of connection between levels. It’s clear that the devs intention was to provide us a light fun, with much of destruction and less of thinking.
And, if you get tired of playing the Campaign Mode, there is a Horde Mode, where our objective is to survive waves and waves of zombies.
Both modes can be played in Online Cooperative Mode up to 4 players.
The truth has to be said. When we talk about graphics, the problem with Zombie Army Trilogy is that it not uses the current gen machines potential. The models and scenarios don’t look bad, but they look old. It’s pretty obvious that the games have been released for the previous gen. Every time I played the game I could’n help the feeling of being played the first Uncharted or any other of the Third Person Shooters of a decade ago. I loved them. I still do. But that’s not something I expect from a 2015 Playstation 4 game, if you know what I mean…
Nevertheless, the attractive characters design and the detailed environments, full of blood, ritual objects and gory views(specially the severed heads and impaled bodies) make us forget any graphic flaw and the game remains perfectly enjoyable.
The best feature here is, once again, the Kill Cam. Observing the bullet whistling through the air, hitting in a zombie’s head and crushing its skull and neck bones, is priceless. Almost as detailed as any of the newest Mortal Kombat games.
MUSIC AND AUDIO.
We have highs and lows in this area too. On one side, the weapon shots and explotions sound very convincing. The zombies groans and moans are scary and surely will take us by surprise when we are running through a dark hallway. Rebellion make a good use of the Playstation 4 controller’s speaker. Creepy sounds and strange dialogues will come out of our controller, even with the game paused. It can be something very disturbing, especially if we get distracted and suddenly some frightening voice make us jump from the couch.
The weak point here are the music and the voice acting. As regards the music, it is just composed by a set of shrill noises and loud squeaks. Maybe this contributes to the horrifying atmosphere, but they are so annoying that we will feel our brain is drilled.
The voice acting could have been better. The voices sound really low and they are little credible. There are certain issues with the lip sync as well.
Zombie Army Trilogy is a good game. Not so strong in the technical aspects, but a very high fun value. There are few things more amusing that smashing thousands and thousands of Nazi Zombies heads. The Kill Cam is priceless.
A game purpose is to entertain the player. This surely fulfilled it.