If you’ve been hoping for a game which simply lines up bunches of targets for you to pop off in quick succession using a range of classic sniper rifles, then Zombie Army Trilogy is for you. Fans of the Sniper Elite series know the joy obtained from lining up a perfect shot and finding it hit the right spot. Zombie Army Trilogy caters to that.. fetish.. and lines up several of these perfect shots in the form of shuffling undead. And I absolutely love it.
Zombie Army Trilogy is the collective of two previously released PC exclusive Nazi Zombie Army spin-off’s and a brand new campaign bringing together a total of 15 missions spanning across three episodes. Thankfully for completionists out there the fun isn’t over once you’ve completed the game as there’s a brand new wave-based hoard mode where you and your three friends try to survive as long as possible while enclosed in a small arena which doesn’t stop spawning the undead.
So, Zombie Army Trilogy is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. There’s Zombies, they’re in an army, and there’s three episodes to work through. You’re tasked with putting down the undead Nazis, often collecting keys, skulls, and mor – rince and repeat. That’s really all there is to it. The game’s campaign is a fairly linear campaign unlike Sniper Elite 3, where you and your three friends, or three strangers if you prefer, follow a set path smushing through waves of shuffling zombies, explosive suicide zombies, skeletons, and Elite soldiers who can take about 15 bullets to the skull. Though the campaign itself is enjoyable, it can get tedious and repetitive fairly quickly.
Thankfully the game’s hoard mode is something that’ll keep you coming back for more. This is where your blood starts pumping, as you’ll often find yourself in an enclosed space where zombies swarm at you from all angles so you’ll have to keep on your toes so you don’t get caught out and ultimately left on the bottom of a zombies shoe. And to make matters worse, the fact that your primary weapon is a sniper rifle doesn’t help when you’re stuck with your back to the wall in a small corridor.
That however is half the challenge, trying to use your rifle in the best way possible without getting stuck. You see, much like Sniper Elite, trying to use a machine gun or a shotgun is often a futile effort as for some reason when your character handles something other than a sniper rifle, you turn into an untrained moron who has never held a gun in their lives, spraying bullets all over the place. Though it makes sense as your character is a trained sniper, not a foot soldier. Either way, if you can learn how to quickly aim down sight when needs be, you should be able to get on fine, that is unless half of your team are down before you get the chance to make a clear path.
To make matters worse zombies can usually only fully die if you shoot them in the head, or pound their chest with a buckshot. This can often mean that when you think you’ve cleared an area by firing in quick concession, three or four zombie will resurrect because you shot the buggers in the chest or shoulder. Fortunately a quick boot to the head solves that problem, which is also a great way to get out of a sticky spot. And how do you utilise your boot? Using the left bumper of course, which for Sniper Elite veterans will realise that was the button used to get into and out of cover.
So what’s the deal with the new melee button? Well as you’re hunting down and mowing through hoards of the undead, there’s no need to be stealthy, there’s also no need to remain in cover as no matter where you are zombies gravitate to your position. So instead of having you pointlessly jump in and out of cover, they’ve replaced it so you can kick a zombie down and smush its brains in. In fact, the stealth mechanic from Sniper Elite is nowhere to be seen as the main objective is often to clear the area and stand your ground.
Now, along with your rifle and your machine gun, you’ve also got a pistol which can be used in an emergency, which if you pick the right one is also ridiculously over powered, there’s also a complete arsenal of explosives from grenades, trip mines, land mines, and dynamite. These explosives can be used to cover your back when your team mates do not, or if you’re playing solo, allowing you to set up a series of traps to explode whenever one hobbles nearby. Though these can often be difficult to find outside the game’s various safe-houses.
All though the game tries to remain fresh by offering a series of different enemies for you to encounter, such as the fast and sporadic moving suicide zombie, the fully armoured “budget Iron Man” zombie, or the bruiser that is the elite zombie, once you’ve discovered how to take them down, they just become ubiquitous to the game and it can almost become predictable when you’ll encounter those more difficult to kill. It’s also apparent that the only way the game makes things more difficult is just by piling more and more zombies at you until you’ve either ran out of ammo or have become overwhelmed.
Overall if you enjoy repeatedly shooting zombies in the face with extreme precision only for their heads to explode in a satisfying chunky splatter, then you’re going to have a whale of a time with Zombie Army Trilogy as it delivers the gore-filled, fast paced excitement you’d find from a game with such a name. The campaign, though it’s a little linear and repetitive, what else do you expect from a game titled Zombie Army Trilogy? It delivers on exactly what it promises, and with the horde mode you can shoot zombies in the face to your heart’s content for as long as you can survive, and it’s actually a really fun game to play with friends, provided you can be forgiven when you go down three times in a row.
This review of Zombie Army Trilogy was based on the Xbox One version on the game provided to us by Rebellion.