Unfortunately, this is my last review for Respawning. It’s been a hell of a journey over the last 5 years, and thanks for reading and watching my content! Let’s end this with a bang! Let’s grab our MP40’s and dive head-first into the undead horde in Zombie Army 4: Dead War!!
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is part of a larger franchise that I’ve always wanted to try – The Sniper Elite series is something I’ve had a minimal amount of exposure to, always lingering in the background but something that’s always hovered around my gaming sphere like a nice smell that comes from some unknown location… Having already been a fan of Call of Duty: Zombies, Dead Island, Dying Light and Killing Floor, I’ve been itching to try something a bit more tame in terms of franticness and speed… But does Zombie Army 4 achieve this?
In many ways, yes, and in many ways, no – Zombie Army 4 allows you to take your own approach to horde-slaying, be it up-close and personal, or from afar, you’re able to dispatch zombies in a relatively personal manner – My favourite style out of these was to hang back with a sniper rifle, and pick apart brains with single headshots; seeing the bullet fly out of the gun in slow-motion, darting towards it’s target, and splattering a zombie’s brain apart like an ASMR watermelon video never gets old… And this is helped by the game’s fantastic gore and visuals – The game looks oppressive and dark, but with lashings of colour where needed to bring a much-needed variety to the game. It’s like a blend between Killing Floor, DOOM 2016 and Overwatch, but blends this weird mismatch of inspirations together extremely well.
So what’s different about Zombie Army 4? Well, compared to Call of Duty and Killing Floor at least, the main difference here is with tactics and zombie variety. Yes, almost all of the enemies you face are fleshy, rotting hunks of shambling meat, but it’s what they do with that meat that counts! Driving tanks, manning machine gun turrets, charging at you with melee weapons and dodging obstacles is par for the course here, meaning you can’t just run around in a circle like in Call of Duty, nor back yourself into a corner with an OP weapon like in Killing Floor – You have be adaptive, and you have to be proactive in your survival. Aiding this are the plethora of tools and traps that you can set, like trip mines, claymores, landmines and other impediments that will slow down the horde trying to nibble on your innards.
Your goal other than surviving however may lead to this being a more difficult task than most other titles in this vein – Again, unlike COD or Killing Floor, you’re not just surviving waves endlessly, but instead have a range of objectives that you’ll have to complete – Repairing generators ala Dead By Daylight, protecting groups of soldiers from the undead, defeating bosses and setting up larger area-wide traps and more keeps you occupied, and allows for you to min-max your time to see how quickly you can complete these tasks.
Ontop of traps and tools you also gain access to a wide plethora of weaponry to defend against the horde, from flamethrowers to miniguns, rifles, pistols, machine guns, turrets, shotguns and more, which helps to make the game feel a bit more varied as opposed to simple “Take this gun and kill some dudes” like in the original Nacht Der Untoten of World at War. Customisable difficulties and a combo meter also help to make the game more arcade-y, and with the promise of new content updates, a battlepass-like season system to unlock characters and skins, and new modes being promised ontop of the already healthy amount of basegame content makes Zombie Army 4 a decent offering alone based on the content offering alone.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a fun bit of pure, simple hecticness that caters heavily towards that arcade-y sense of fun – You can pick up the game for a few minutes, a few hours or a few days and still be plugging fleshbags with a satisfying sense of glee brimming across your face. You could literally stick this game running off a PC into an arcade-themed cabinet and I’d be none the wiser, and it plays extremely to the game’s benefit. Now, obviously as I haven’t played the previous Zombie Army games this title could be rather same-y for returning players or for people who are addicted to Sniper Elite as a whole, but for a newcomer like me, it’s nothing short of refreshing fun.
I give Zombie Army 4: Dead War a: