Zombie Army Trilogy rolled out the bandwagon, allowing some of the strongest co-op and sniper-focused games to arrive from the UK thanks to Rebellion, a studio well-known for their fine-tuned co-op experiences. Now, they’re going another step further with Zombie Army 4: Dead War, heralding in their conclusion to this generation of consoles.
+A massive variety in maps and level layout designs
+Challenges are consistently allowing for a variable sense of difficulty
+Horde mode is a decent break from the overall campaign
+Harder difficulties are available and add replayability for completionists to enjoy
-Gameplay variety could use some fine-tuning
-Enemy varieties don’t change all that much and could use some tweaking
When I was first introduced to Rebellion, it wasn’t because of the Zombie Army Trilogy. Instead, my becoming a veteran of the series began well before that in 2005 with Sniper Elite when it first debuted on PC, well before its prequel, Sniper Elite V2, which launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2012.
Since then, the series has been fine-tuned from beginning to end, allowing the games to offer experiences unlike what players had ever before experienced. Each entry would become more refined with time, allowing for more challenging, but more memorable experiences with the given time.
It was only a short few years later before Zombie Army Trilogy was introduced, giving players an alternative storyline where the zombie apocalypse had begun due to cultists within the Nazi ranks. Due to their tampering, everything would begin to go south, the world would find the undead war to begin, rather, the Dead War, to begin throughout all of Europe.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War reignites the war and brings in the dangers of the zombie apocalypse
Over the course of the years, it felt like Rebellion had been hard at work making a series that would be well-known for its endeavors, learning from their past releases including the recent mummy-filled experience with the release of Strange Brigade, which adds more to the overall experience that really pushes Zombie Army 4: Dead War forth.
That’s where Zombie Army 4: Dead War begins to really shine. simply put, you’ll find why it’s Rebellion’s best game ever made. Putting it in the upper echelons of what the studio is known for. Much of this comes into fact as the studio has continued where Zombie Army Trilogy left off with Zombie Hitler being sent to the bowels of Hell, calling them home and finding his rightful place in his Hellish inferno.
Now, players are sent on another mission, trekking through a world where the Dead War has only begun to warm up as players trek across the world with a tongue-in-cheek narrative, one that’s quirky and smashes together a quirky band of survivors turned friends. The experience emphasizes this by players working with other players in cooperative play.
Characters will even hint at this with friendly banter than playing on your lonesome, which truly adds to the overall experience, making it a bit more fun than you would expect. The balance in either coop or singleplayer is well kept, allowing those who prefer to play alone to do so, but at the cost of missing out on the discussions between player characters. It’s a fun trek across a zombie-filled experience, but it’s even better when playing together.
The story itself baits you into this by emphasizing upon you working with others and completing various goals along the way. Some will include taking out a specific zombie target, another might include finding explosives to blow up a protected wall or area. It’s an enjoyable duration, one that runs between eight and ten hours regardless of your difficulty as each mission does offer a reasonable challenge.
It’s a delightful experience which makes Zombie Army 4: Dead War one of the best in class
Whether you’ve swapped weapons, characters and or perks, there’s always something to be unlocked, something to be obtained, and professionally earned. Zombie Army 4: Dead War makes sure of that, coaxing players into continually playing so that they might earn new weapon perks, character perks, and feats that will help them along the way.
You’ll find that your points will tally up after each and every mission, allowing you to unlock new items that will help you through each and every objective put before you. Some upgrades, for weapons example, will give your chosen rifle the chance to deliver an explosive round after reloading, damaging and or killing every zombie in the immediate area when holding down a defensive point or wiping out a horde-based area, one that requires all undead enemies to be eliminating before allowing players to progress.
It’s honestly a thrilling experience, especially for fans of one such type of series, which somehow honors the spirit of Left 4 Dead while humbly moving forward on its own in an entirely different light. It’s fun and somehow it still comes with a few shortcomings that games in one such genre have before, which all tie down to the fact that repetition can set in after long sessions of the game.
There’s also the netcode issue, which somehow, is still as bad as it was in Zombie Army Trilogy and Sniper Elite IV, which somehow is hard to comprehend. It doesn’t take away from the overall experience, which is fun, but it can be a bit irritating when you’re running around a zoo and a horde of zombies is chasing you down for an afternoon snack.
Not much has really changed from Zombie Army Trilogy in Zombie Army 4: Dead War
One thing is for certain: Not a lot has changed in Zombie Army 4: Dead War. While there are a few incremental improvements, including progression, it feels like some of it was just left to be as it were. Then again, there’s that saying, “don’t fix what isn’t broken,” which is where Zombie Army 4: Dear War does succeed and somehow, does it majestically.
Even with a few minor zombies added, it’s still a thrill when walkers, suiciders, snipers, flamers, and heavy gunners come running at you, each of them with their own unique twist in how they will be taken out. You’ll find that even some of the new guys, covered head to toe in metal armor, are a challenge and require you to work together in order to take out their gigantic health bar that’s embossed in steel and various other pieces of metal plating. They’re terrifying, to say the least.
However, if you think you will tire of the game, you won’t, there’s still plenty to do once you tire of the campaign. There’s a robust horde mode that will keep you busy for hours on end, allowing you to truly take advantage of Jun moves around the battlefield quicker than others and Shola places traps that have increased damage due to her mastery in lethality.
You’ll even find some familiar faces making a return from previous games, including the rather, non-alternative universe versions thanks to Karl being back and having increased capabilities as a sniper compared to the previous two. It really makes you reconsider how you play the game whether you play in Horde or campaign. There’s still a lot of secrets to hunt even after your first playthrough of the campaign.
Performance is some of the best the franchise has to offer alongside solid graphic fidelity
One of the things to appreciate is that: This team is small. They’re good though. Their performance for the game doesn’t find any issues on a PlayStation 4 Pro, never once staggering when the going gets tough and the tough gets going. I’ve never noticed the game drop below 60fps at any given time despite it’s being set in 1080p – unless there is a hidden dynamic resolution scaling system put into place to ensure framerates remain ever-so-smooth.
That’s where this engine shines the most is the fact it runs rather smooth, never once hiccuping in the thick of things, which many games can’t say. Players can even enjoy Weekly Events that will rotate in and out, allowing players to earn more experience and cosmetic items along the way. You’ll even need to take on various levels in order to earn these unlockables. However, I want to make this clear: Do not expect Anthem, Destiny 2 or even Call of Duty: Modern Warfare style unlocks.
Rebellion’s entire approach to this game proves their dedication to top-notch experiences. It’s a true spectacle and it leaves a lot to be desired from triple-a titles of the future.
The not-so-happy-ending is nigh – The Conclusion
When it comes to remaining a top-named team, Rebellion doesn’t go quietly into the night, they want gamers and coop enthusiasts to know exactly what they have in store for them, but they also want them to know why they do what they do and offer the games that they offer. Some include superb controller schemes, astonishing level designs, and gameplay mechanics that keep you wanting to come back for more.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
Platform Reviewed: PlayStation 4
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $49.99 (Standard) | $79.99 (Deluxe)
With the ability to put your skills to the test, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the best there is at what it does and has to offer. It’s an impressive military simulator put into an alternative reality where zombies have taken over, which boasts a fun but challenging Horde mode offers replayability we haven’t seen until now. If you’re looking for a game to play consistently, this is your chance.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook where he interacts with his followers quite a bit!