Played: Zombie Army 4: Dead War – Nazi Zombie Army started in 2013 as a spin-off expansion for the Sniper Elite series and due to enormous popularity, a successor was soon released, which was released that same year. The ‘series’ returned in 2015, but as a trilogy and a standalone title that was then also released for the PlayStation 4, with the first two parts being remasters. We’ve had to wait a long time for a sequel since then, but before too long we’ll be taking on the Nazis again, this time in Zombie Army 4: Dead War. We were recently able to work extensively with it and that went very well.
With the Zombie Army games, Rebellion has a nice series in its hands that cleverly responded to the extremely high popularity of zombies at the time. It has also proved so successful that a new part is warranted and in that game we continue on the same tour as in Zombie Army Trilogy. During our play session recently two things came to the fore and that is that on the one hand the game is more of the same and that exactly in the way you want, on the other hand it tries to bring some more variation in that direction and that takes some we’re concerned because we had fun.
Anyone who’s played the trilogy knows that the gameplay is pretty straightforward. You are dropped into an environment and it is important to go from environment to environment via a relatively linear path in order to destroy all the undead scum there. Can you manage that? Then you can go on and make progress in the whole. That is no different in this fourth part Zombie Army 4: Dead War, because again you will visit various locations to blast the zombies there. It does look like the gameplay has more objectives, because the two levels we played had a continuous specific goal to fulfill before we could continue.
Do not expect too much depth in this, because it usually comes down to flipping switches, moving objects and similar things, this to take a step forward in the adventure. Compared to the previous games, that makes the gameplay just a bit more varied, because now, in addition to fighting, you also have other things to keep you busy with. This can make the fights a bit more challenging at times, because sometimes you get a little hindered. For example, when lugging some empty tanks that have to be filled with petrol, you can only shoot with a pistol. If the opposition is great, then you will either have to walk smart or eliminate these enemies first.
Hit anything that moves
However, the core gameplay is unchanged and that simply means you have to shoot anything that moves. The game Zombie Army 4: Dead War is again packed with zombies that you all have to give a one-way ticket to their home and that can be very difficult at times. All known enemies from the trilogy are present, so think of the standard zombies, the armored zombies and some stronger variants. However, Rebellion goes a step further with this new part, you will now also find ‘Creepers’ who move around the ground like four-legged creatures. You will also encounter more ‘Heavy’s’, which are very powerful zombies with flamethrowers, chainsaws and more. So watch out is very important, as these enemies are quite deadly.
So far that’s a pretty logical step forward, but the studio’s creativity doesn’t stop there. We also had to take out a halftrack, just like a tank that partly consisted of a zombie. The original shapes of the vehicle are still clearly recognizable, but when the half track opens you can see a full rib cage on the inside, where new zombies hatch. It is totally absurd, but it can be called an entertaining addition, especially because taking out the armored part requires quite a bit of firepower. These vehicles also fire back again and getting too close is by definition deadly.
More variety in Zombie Army 4: Dead War
The addition of new enemies provides more variety in the whole Zombie Army 4: Dead War, but we also see that in another aspect. You will now visit a lot more diverse environments and that also provides new gameplay possibilities, about which more. During the adventure you will visit a spooky zoo and we think the chances are quite high that you will also fight against zombie animals there. In addition, during our play session we visited an erupting volcano, where the lava flowed right through a torn town. We also visited a swampy area and the developer indicated during the presentation that we will also visit Venice, so there is absolutely no lack of diversity.
It is precisely this diversity in environments that also provides an interesting gameplay element, namely that of traps. That aspect was extensively applied in Strange Brigade and this title takes over from that game. In each level you will encounter all kinds of traps in different places that you can use to immediately take out a horde of zombies. Think of explosive barrels, energizing water and other such standard options. Fortunately, the game is also a bit more creative, for example in a missile base you will be able to shoot at the ignition of a missile with the result that everyone behind it will be burned down, including your team. So paying attention is certainly not an insignificant task.
You will also be able to activate an inverted rotor blade of an airplane that will devour all enemies with of course a lot of gore as a result. That kind of extra details provide more options in tackling the enemies and that benefits the overall gameplay. Then we should not forget the weapons of the Heavies, because after taking out you can use the flamethrowers, machine guns and chainsaws to kill the zombies even more effectively. And believe us when we say there’s nothing quite as satisfying to walk through a horde of zombies with a double chainsaw and saw them all to pieces.
What the depth of Zombie Army 4: Dead War lies in are the weapons and additional upgrade possibilities. By looking around the levels carefully, you can find crates with upgrade parts for the weapons. In fact, it is just about points that you can spend on an improvement and that ranges from more zooming with a sniper to being able to take more bullets. It’s all pretty straight forward, but it does give you motivation to keep looking, as your weapons will get significantly stronger and better with such elements as you progress in the game.
You also get the opportunity to provide yourself with perks, of which you gradually unlock more and more. That is divided into offensive, defensive and general perks, which you can choose yourself in order to set up a good composition in terms of loadout. This is not limited to what you have chosen while playing, because along the way you will encounter various points where you can find new and / or other weapons, and you can also frequently replace your throwables. This ranges from standard grenades to mines you can deploy, as well as traps with ropes that energize zombies and you can even call in an artillery trike to quickly destroy the enemies.
In that sense, the game lets you do your own thing in how you tackle the enemies, but you will always have to take into account the amount of ammo. That is relatively limited at the start and therefore you quickly run out of ammunition. Stomping enemies to death, however, produces bullets and it always pays to scan the area carefully. Not only for the ammunition, but also for the collectables, because they are abundantly present . Also because the weapons are quite different and that should once again motivate the players to return often.
Once the campaign is finished? Then you can get started in Horde mode, or do that first. It just depends on what you prefer. In this mode you get a number of maps for you to choose, the longer you survive, the bigger the bigger the game and the goal is to defeat all waves of enemies. Especially in this mode it is wise to play in co-op, because the force majeure can become enormous and then it is useful that you can help each other. The Horde mode is pretty self-explanatory, given that it has a traditional setup. The co-op feature also applies to the campaign and you can bet it’s fun to play together.
Like the trilogy and Strange Brigade, this game screams to be played in co-op simply because it’s more fun. We played continuously with four people during the hands-on and that was very pleasant. Are you a loner? Then the game will of course also allow you to play alone. With that we can briefly summarize that it is mainly more of the same, but fortunately with enough extra elements to make and keep it interesting. It is a pity that the graphics quality is not much better compared to the two previously mentioned titles and that is starting to contrast a bit with other games that are now released. Graphically it is therefore not impressive and we do not expect much improvement. We do hope that the developer will take care of the sound for a while, because the popping sometimes disappeared, but that seems to be just a bug for the time being.
Preliminary conclusion of Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is basically more of the same, but fortunately with various elements from Strange Brigade, as well as some innovations to give it more diversity. It’s a lot of fun to play, especially in co-op, and while the game won’t do anything groundbreaking, it will provide many hours of fun. Also because after the campaign players still have the Horde mode to bite into. However, the developer still has to pay some attention to the sound and graphically the game is starting to look a bit outdated, but whether the latter will see any improvement is doubtful. The gameplay itself is fine as expected and exactly what you want from a sequel in this series, so we can’t wait until the release is there so that we can mow zombies indefinitely.