We’ve not had too much of Zombies have we…? Oh of course we haven’t, I don’t even think that’s possible! So to be given the task of creating this Zombie Army Trilogy Review, including 3 sets of zombies in one package, seems pretty good. And when you have a game built by Rebellion using the Sniper Elite engine, a game we reviewed last year, you would hope for an enjoyable experience as you blow the undead to bits.
Much like Sniper Elite 3 there are some elements that are a whole load of fun and you’ll certainly enjoy the Kill Cam every time it’s triggered, especially when a bullet takes down multiple lumbering zombies in one go. However, the total lack of any plot or variety in repetitive gameplay, stop the game being much of an inspired single player experience but as a multiplayer hoard based game it’s worth some time.
Look and Feel
The engine to Sniper Elite 3 was decent; it looked nice enough and had it’s moments while not being spectacular. The same can be said here although with games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and The Order 1886 raising the bar for games on consoles now there does seem a big gap compared to when Sniper Elite 3 was released.
Locations are however well detailed with some nice blood effects and decaying ruins of buildings all add to what is a great atmosphere created by the sounds of the game.
Playing on the PlayStation 4 there were constant eerie background sounds and music from the main speakers along with great use of the Dual Shock 4’s speaker to spook me with German zombie ramblings which added to the overall feel of the game and did create some tense moments especially when it all goes crazy around you.
But by far the best graphical moments are the slow motion and X-Ray kill cams that have you smirking and nodding with approval at yourself whenever one is triggered and they look amazingly gruesome! Skulls crack into pieces, spines split into shards and muscles tear apart in glorious slow-mo, it’s truly awesome looking and feeling when trigger it.
Rebellion have created a great atmosphere here using a not so polished graphical engine but it all works fine without many frame rate errors while there are moments where zombies get a bit trapped in some of the locations for no apparent reason.
I would normally cover story in its own section but “A defeated Hitler will not surrender, so unleashes an army of Zombies…” is pretty much it! My reaction: “Fair enough, let’s make some Nazi Zombie heads go BOOM!”
Despite that initial nonchalance, this choice on the developers part does mean that the game, down the line, will soon fizzle out, especially your interest in single player mode. This is maybe why everything is set-up to play the game through co-operatively. Playing together is really what this game is all about, you’ll get through it on your own with the killing of many zombies, skeletons, super solider zombies that require numerous headshots to kill plus the joys of the Kill Cam but the most enjoyable mode is to get with a friend and play together.
There is more than enough to keep you going as there is the additional Hoard mode, which I found a little strange at first since the whole game is like a hoard experience anyway but it’s actually pretty fun when it works properly. A number of lag issues caused me some problems but as of yet I’m not sure if it was a server issue or the game. Whatever the cause it was annoying, but at the same time nothing that Rebellion could not patch/fix quite quickly.
While there is enough to do in Zombie Army Trilogy as a package with 15 levels, Hoard and Co-Op, your motivation to do this however may well fade quickly as everything is just so similar and repetitive.
There is some more highs and lows to be found here but first impressions wise you’ll get some highs. Shooting zombies is fun… well yes that is always fun, but the mechanics of the game make it interesting at least.
You have the classic rifle that is one to utilise often as its bullets can take out a number of zombies at once if you line it up right. Can also trigger massive explosions at a distance and of course, trigger the Xray Kill Cam… have I mentioned how good this feels when you trigger it?! It’s even better when you line up a shot as a group start coming towards you, hold your breath and line-up that perfect shot. One trigger pull later and your spinning bullet tears through zombie skulls, spines, chests, limbs as it travels, this is especially impressive when it catches a number of zombies at once.
Quite simply, this is awesome. Even more so when you set the game harder and have to compensate for wind direction and gravity to get that perfect shot.
Then you have closer combat weapons like shotguns and machineguns that are great when you are backed into a corner, you also have a pistol which is mainly used when ammo on other weapons are gone (as ever). Plus the handy, if slightly limited boot of the right foot that helps when enemies get too close. It’s great and very helpful but when you consider the fluidity of Dying Light’s combat it feels very clunky and old hat now since its a static animation.
All of that is fine but the thing that really lets it all down here is the enemy AI, they are zombies of course so should act somewhat mindless but they were very easy to manipulate and drag around the area and line them up for a good rifle shot. The variety in enemy was good however with some interesting choices of zombie types but, again, in the recent creation of using procedural rules to generate zombies in Dying Light, it feels a little last generation to have a limited pre-set of enemies in games now.
But will you enjoy it regardless of the ups and downs in gameplay? Yes, it’s a blast but literally just that. Blast some zombies have a good laugh for an hour then go to something else and come back again later.
There are 15 chapters that can take around 40mins each if you take your time and try and find things like the gold bars and additional ammo etc. With hoard mode and all the co-op options, that you should really take for full enjoyment, there is enough to keep you happy for a while but if your attention lasts that long, well that will really depend on you.
I liked it and enjoyed my time but once completed there is very little to drag you back on the game, still it’s a blast while it lasts and one you should consider getting if you are a group of gamers who like to get together and have some fun. For more solo gamers it’s entertaining but may lack some of the depth you would like of a single player campaign.
Is certainly fun and you’ll enjoy the game even though it’s nothing revolutionary on any front, but the Kill Cam, co-op play and well created atmosphere are just enough to make this a good buy.
Zombie Army Trilogy Review Format: PS4