One series that I can always trust to release top quality sniping experiences is the Sniper Elite series. Even though I'm getting older and find myself preferring assault rifles in shooting games due to my lack of patience and my annoying will to jump into gunfights right and left, I will never lose that love of sitting back and accurately pulling off head shots. Zombie Army Trilogy is not a Sniper Elite entry, per se, but there's no doubt that developer and publisher Rebellion used the same formula, gameplay mechanics, visuals, and more. And why not? It's great, and feels so natural every time you pick up the controller. If you've played Sniper Elite 4 since 2015 when the trilogy was originally released, then you'll be going backwards a bit in some aspects, but the DNA and polish is all there, so it's nothing bad, just a tad older. If you need some healthy Nazi zombie killing in your life, then look no further because this is a great way to scratch that itch. Yes, it's not the only one, but it is a quality option especially with how low it goes on sale these days.
First off, if you're unfamiliar with the Sniper Elite games, as I'll refer to them throughout the review once or twice, they are about the most badass sniping you can find in games, second only to great plays you have while competing in other shooters online. They are third person and focus a lot on stealth gameplay, trap setting, quiet executions, and long range sniping. For the most part, Zombie Army Trilogy follows in the same footprints, but without all the stealthy stuff. To be completely honest, the game is actually a constant barrage of zombie hordes, and often times sniping won't get the job done. It tells the tale of Hitler in an alternate version of our history books, as he commits suicide and unleashes a zombie apocalypse on the world.
As you progress throughout the 18 chapters (each lasting anywhere form 25-45 minutes), across three titles (one of which had never been previously released until the a Trilogy), you'll find that whipping out the shotgun and blasting dead limbs off of the dead corpses or spraying lines of them down with machine guns is the only way to survive. Even close range though, the rifles are not the worst. The game plays in third-person, but ADS will take you into first-person if you want it to. The best part is that it's at the toggle of a button, and can be quickly swapped back and forth. Say you're putting some shots way down range, but a zombie climbs the wall to your right, you can come out of the first-person ADS and easily snipe them close range. It's so smooth and elegant too. The very first mode I played after loading it up was the Horde mode, which I'll wrap back around to in a second, and after a few minutes of learning the controls I was able to switch from these long range scoped shots to close range third-person snipes. I emptied my rifle's supply before my other weapons too, because it's that convenient.
Traps will also help you from getting pushed on too quickly so those chaotic scrambling moments can be a little better prepared for on your end. You can throw down things like trip mines and land mines, but you can also bring other explosives like grenades and dynamite to the equation if you feel it necessary. One last system that is implemented is a kicking mechanic. It's a little on the weak side, and it can feel wonky, but it's not the worst thing to be able to kick zombies off of you. There just seems to be a grey area regarding the contact distance between you and zombies. Sometimes I wasn't sure how a zombie was able to damage me, and equally I was kicking at zombies that I didn't truly expect to hit, or was disappointed to find out I somehow wasn't close enough. But if you're doing your job right, mowing them down, there's no reason you should become desperate enough to depend on kicking them.
Enemies will range from simple designed dead soldiers, all the way to super armored out and machine gun wielding ones, and locations will range from across Germany and include cities and horrifying forests. There's a really good a,punt of variety with everything, not just the dozens of weapons you can use. Once you are finished with the campaign (not a requirement) you can play the Horde mode. It's worth finding a few people online, or even some friends, so that you can start in horde before the campaign, but that's just because I'm someone who likes to learn by playing, not tutorial. Here you try to survive wave after wave of zombie attacks and it's pretty fun. The focus is less on running around and completing objectives, and instead is about just holding out as long as possible with people by your side. Whenever you do start the campaign though, whether that be right away or not, you can invite up to three friends to play it with. It feels like there are not enough co-op campaigns in video games right now, so this is definitely a breath of fresh air.
Sound and Graphics
During my playtime I didn't find any technical issues or bugs worth mentioning. The audio of zombie growls and bullets being blasted out of the guns were spot on, had the right reverberation feels from the environment, and ended appropriately. There were no trailing echo or sound effects where there shouldn't have been. The audio is just as polished as the visuals and gameplay.I wish the main characters would have talked during cutscenes though. There aren't a lot of cutscenes to begin with, so I feel talking should have been an easy task. They'll instead do a lot of pointing and head nodding when on screen.
|+ Campaign co-op||– The horde mode does little to challenge your mind|
|+ Get to kill Nazi zombies||– Lacks more cutscenes and character talking|
|+ Sniper Elite gameplay mechanics|
|+ Extremely polished collection|