BY DEAN MOSES
Game: Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Steam
Rating: M for Mature
It is not often a video game franchise based on stealth and espionage spawns an action multi-player spinoff. Developer Rebellion first brought us Sniper Elite, a World War II experience in which we must pick off the Nazi war machine one evil general at a time. Somewhere along the lines, the great minds at Rebellion thought that it would be a good idea to transport the same game mechanics to a macabre horror shooter brimming with bloodthirsty zombies. Now with its fourth game, we look at just how good that idea was.
Shoulder by Shoulder
Like Left 4 Dead and World War Z before it, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is primarily intended for online play. Gamers won’t get the full zombie blasting experience unless three other players are facing the undead hordes with them shoulder by shoulder. Choosing one of four characters—five if you have access to the downloadable content—you must embark on a journey across the German wastelands and through copious amounts of Nazi terrors found therein. A few cut scenes will play here and there, although the narrative mostly takes a back seat to the action, and there is a great deal of action to undertake.
Communication and Cooperation
Players can expect to find two game types: Horde Mode and campaign. Horde Mode pits you against an endless pack of ravenous zombies while campaign is, as previously stated, a trek through an apocalyptic World War II warzone in which certain objectives must be completed. If you want any chance of progressing, you will need to work closely with your teammates. For instance, one section will require you to fill up a gas can at various pumps as the ferocious living dead descend upon you. This will entail a great deal of communication and co-operation in order to defend and support the ally unlucky enough to be carrying the gas tank.
Thankfully, players are well armed. You can equip a primary sniper rifle, your choice of a secondary weapon—a machine gun or shotgun—and even a handy pistol, but that’s not all. Each gun is upgradeable, allowing it to hold additional ammunition, increase its rate of fire, and even the ability to enhance its damage. Moreover, if that’s not enough for you, heavy artillery such as rocket launchers, flamethrowers, and gigantic ma-chine guns can be found on your travels. Zombie Army 4 is at its best when the horizon is obscured by charging zombies and your team is holding on by a thread, only to find a much-needed heavy weapon, which evens the score.
Bang for Your Buck
In comparison to Zombie Army Trilogy—the franchise’s last outing—Zombie Army 4 looks incredible. Still, with this being said, it is still somewhat lacking in the graphics department when put to task against its contemporaries. Perhaps its most impressing looking features are the environments.
From shadowy bunkers and murky canals to spooky forests, each horrifying local is decorated with remarkable detail, especially for a budget title retailing at just $40. The replay value is another impressive aspect. The developers have employed a leveling system here to keep you coming back, and, of course, to give you a literal bang for your buck. Upon reaching a high enough level, you can be afforded the option of updating not only your upgrades, but also the ability to apply little knickknacks to your character like new hats, which, in turn, gives you bragging rights over your friends.
Although Zombie Army 4: Dead War allows you to play alone, this is by no means a single player experience. Look elsewhere for a deep, engaging narrative. However, look no further for hours of fun with friends, and that’s what makes this game special: creating fun memories with loved ones, even if those memories are shooting zombies.