Platform: PC Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Developer: Rebellion Publisher: Rebellion
While neither the title, nor the featured premise are anything original, ‘Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army’ is a competent shooter, and even better if some friends tag along.
The premise is as bare-bones as it can get. In a desperate attempt to defeat his enemies, Hitler summons an army of undead soldiers, more commonly known as zombies. Your mission is to stop this invasion and get out of Germany. Unfortunately, this is all players will get out of the narrative. There is little to no dialog, no interaction between characters, nothing at all. You get into a level, kill zombies, and advanced to the next.
The campaign can either be played all by yourself, or with three other players. Strangely enough, if you are alone, other characters will still show up in the brief cut-scenes, only to disappear as soon as the game starts. It’s clear that “Nazi Zombie Army” was created with co-op in mind, but not showing any kind of interaction with other NPCs hurts the single player experience.
At the beginning of every level, players are offered to choose between multiple weapons; some of them are more powerful than others, but with less ammunition to be found on the battlefield, and vice versa; for example: an American sniper rifle is much more powerful than a German one, but the ammo is almost nowhere to be found, whereas using the German rifle, you will have a much easier time finding more bullets.
Speaking of ammunition! When players are out in the open and not in a safe place, in order to get more bullets they will have to search the zombies’ corpses. After dealing with a hoard, it’s quite possible to be left standing with only a few bullets in your pocket, so scouring for more before the bodies mysteriously disappear is important for your survival.
Speaking of safe places! ‘Nazi Zombie Army’ borrows one aspect from Valve’s ‘Left 4 Dead’ series: the safe room. After certain parts of the level, players will be treated with a safe room where they’ll be able to restock on ammunition, change weapons, take a deep breath, and face danger once again when the next door opens.
The game features only a few types of enemies. There are two types of zombies: the usual, slow one carrying a pipe or wooden plank, and the kamikaze type, which rushes near you, only to explode after a second or two. Skeletons are also present, but they’re pretty much re-skinned, tougher, and faster zombies.
Now possessed bodies are something else entirely. They take up sniper rifles against you, but instead of taking shelter on one roof, they easily fly from one rooftop to the next, forcing you to quickly react when a bullet flies just past your head. The “juggernaut” is another kind of possessed enemy, which requires quite a few rounds to be taken down, or multiple explosive devices.
Every kill the players take is taken into account by a scoring system. The further you kill something, the higher the score is. Taking head-shots, shooting the vital organs (which is pretty odd, since zombies shouldn’t be affected by that) or using the available equipment is also being scored, though players will mostly use their land mines, or dynamites when defending a certain location.
Speaking of locations! In moments where the current objective is to defend a specific area, using the provided equipment to prepare before the massacre is always good idea, though your time is a bit short. Players can use land mines, trip wires, dynamites, and when things get too hot, a hand grenade will always “break the ice” when meting the new “neighbors”.
If the players don’t get a head-shot, zombies will sometimes resurrect a second time, forcing them to waste additional bullets.
The fan-favorite, brutal x-ray kill cam returns to highlight more gruesome penetrations of your bullets, now in dead bodies!
The game also features a cover system, but it’s pretty much useless, as most of the times zombies will chase you, so you’ll constantly have to be on the move. Also because of this, even if the title has “Sniper” in it, the actual sniping isn’t so much required. Sure, players can get a few head-shots from afar, and enemy snipers can only be killed using your trusty rifle, but again, most of the times the hoard will force you to get your pistol or sub-machine-gun out, and start getting head-shots from a much more “personal” distance.
Environmental kills are also present, in forms of gas canisters, barrels etc.
Collectibles are also present, in form of golden bars, or bottles which you have to shoot, but there’s little to no incentive in getting them all, besides the usual achievement.
The visuals do impress, with textures being crisp, and well detailed. The locations aren’t really that varied though, with most of the game taking place inside a ruined Berlin, and the gore featuring what gamers would expect: lots of dead bodies, blood on the walls, and brains along with Nazi drawings decorating people’s houses.
The sound effects are also quite good, often creating a sense of dread and loneliness; that is until crowds of zombies show up, in which case the music takes it up a notch.
Even if it’s fun shooting zombies, the game gets repetitive only after a few hours. The few objectives the game features are being reused over and over again across an eight hours campaign (on the normal difficulty).
‘Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army’ is a playable shooter, but doesn’t offer anything that hasn’t been done before. The story just isn’t there; the levels tend to quickly get boring; there are very few types of enemies, and more often than not, you feel like the sniping mechanics are just an afterthought. Even so, if you don’t mind the story and just want to have a quick round of killing hoards of zombies along with three other friends, for its price tag, you cannot go wrong with ‘Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army’.
+ It’s a competent shooter
+ The sniper enemies are challenging
+ Killing zombies with three other friends is a ton of fun
– The story is almost non-existent
– There are very few types of enemies
– Gets repetitive pretty fast
Vlad Pintea is a senior editor of news and features here at Analog Addiction, and sometimes he even reviews games. You can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, My IGN, on Skype, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day, and remember: stay calm and keep on gaming!