Zombies zombies and more ZOMBIES. The zombie theme has been so overused in the past few years ever since the explosion of the Left 4 Dead franchises and a few others. It’s always the same background story with diseases breaking out that turns every single humans into flesh eating monstrosities. However, one game stands out from among the pack with a very different theme. Imagine a Call of Duty zombie mode with a dedicated campaign combined with Sniper Elite mechanics, and you will get Zombie Army Trilogy. The first two episodes have been released, but this edition includes the previously unknown 3rd chapter! Let’s get on to the review!
(this review is written with excessive care to avoid revealing spoilers, but some minor spoilers may still appear in order to review this game fully)
The basic premise is set in the alternate timeline when Hitler decided to use some occult magic to create his undead army to further Nazi’s invasion. You are one of the 4 survivors that is tasked to kill Hitler, stops his plan and saves the world. You start off from a part of Germany and has to collect some relics in order to achieve the goal of finding Hitler. It is a pretty simple story but I like the simplicity. Unlike L4D, there is actually an explanation for the zombies appearance and also a proper ending. It’s not a great story by any means, but still enjoyable regardless.
Zombie Army Trilogy is played through a combination of 3rd person and 1st person. With the exception of using a sniper rifle, everything else is in 3rd person, including other weapons and walking. The switch is pretty instant and actually preferable as I could see more of the maps from 3rd person perspective. As the game is employing the same engine and mechanic of Sniper Elite series, using the sniper rifle to headshot from near or far is very satisfying. You will be informed with the distance the bullet travelled upon headshot and also a point multiplier. The more headshot/kills you get in a row, the higher points you will be awarded. Alas, the points are only used for showing-off skill purposes and does not actually reward anything else, which is a bit unfortunate. Movement is set with the common WSAD keys and direction with your mouse. It takes sometime to get used to, but eventually you will like it. There’s also less of the headache problem that you could get with 1st person shooter. Also, one cool thing is you can loot the fallen zombies for ammo, grenades or more stuff! Rarely any zombie game provides this small but realistic feature.
This edition is updated with graphical improvements for the current PS4 and XBOX One consoles and thus it looks pretty great. It does not hold up to AAA titles standard but as an offering from a relatively small production company, the graphics are acceptable and even exceeds expectation. I will have to commend the developers for delivering such quality of works. Some of the maps are truly grand and filled with details of war-torn Germany. Also, special effects of lighting are on spot with some fogs to create a tense and creepy atmosphere. There are numerous locations such as hospital, library and subways etc that makes the environment varied but equally terrifying.
Zombies are rendered well and filled with details though they don’t vary much from each other. Some of them even looks like copies of Hitler. What I love about the zombies are its movement which is true to the real zombies. Unlike some games such as L4D, most of the zombies slump slowly towards you, as if they are having a hard time moving its own dead bodies. This is a more realistic depiction of zombies that I would love to see more in other games. Also, there are several mini-boss varieties of the zombies that gives varied and fun challenges, with some of them more tanky, speedy or acting like a Man on Fire or Summoner of Zombies etc. They makes us think of ways to defeat and creates different tempo which prevents us from getting bored.
The original games features bunch of characters that are German soldiers. It’s not the most original idea but it does the job. There are not much backstories of them as they are not the main focus of the game, and you can even play as L4D characters now. So, in a sense, the characters are just avatars of the multiplayer game with no impact to the storyline.
The music is a combination of creepy soundtrack and metal rock during boss scenes. It plays the appropriate track during gameplay to establish the mood/atmosphere or to emphasise that something is happening. I love the scariness part where you will hear zombie growling in the distance in the fog but you can’t see them. This makes this almost a good horror shooting game that tries to put you in the shoe of a survivor. Zombie Army Trilogy distances itself from the likes of Shooting Spree L4D and steps on more towards the middle between true survival horror and shooting game, especially with the music and sound effects, which for me is a step up from other games.
You can play a maximum of 4 players co-op or less. Also, you can set up the setting with more zombies or different difficulty levels. Note for those that disconnect and connect halfway through the game, you will lose all your scores. At the end, your scores are tallied and the one with the best score gets a medal that is mostly for unlocking achievements.
Categories: Games Review