Weekend Flashback Review – Nazi Zombie Army

Originally posted March 20, 2013.

Zombie games are all over the place, as well as zombie co-op games. Nazi Zombie Army brought little new to the party, but was at least an interesting spin integrating the mechancis of Sniper Elite to the fold. Slow-motion gunshots, sniper focused weaponry and traps made the game a little more interesting than just pure zombie killing sprees. Hell, it must’ve been good, because there’s three of them now.

Another Zombie game has entered our midst, in the form of a stand-alone expansion to Sniper Elite V2; Nazi Zombie Army.

Unlike the main game, this game is entirely focused around playing co-operatively with friends, although it’s not impossible to play on your own. Essentially, Hitler has a zombie plan in effect as the Russians are taking Berlin, all hell breaks loose and you’re some of the only survivors in Germany. You’ve got a horde of nasties in your way, and you have to get out of there alive. Its clichéd stuff, and generally uninspired.

The game functions almost entirely identically to the main game. You have a breath metre and you get more points for shooting Zombies in the head, and surprisingly, vital organs. For good shots you get a cinematic camera pan of the slow motion bullet penetrating the brain, eyes, skull (at one point, lungs) and any other previously vital organs you manage to hit. The problem with this is that some of the shots that do get these cinematics shouldn’t necessarily kill a zombie. When was the last time a member of the Undead had to worry about their kidneys being ruptured or breathing? It seems rather silly, but is mainly there to keep the mechanics of the game similar, so you don’t have too much trouble adjusting to shuffling enemies and suicide bomber zombies running at you to explode.

The entire game seems to be a mix up of the Nazi Zombie mode from a popular first-person shooter and Valve’s own zombie game. It has wave based objectives where you set up and defend against onslaughts, different “special” zombies and even safe rooms placed throughout the levels with plenty of ammunition and gear to keep you going. Despite this fact, it seems entirely at odds with itself, with a semi-serious and dreary tone yet the achievements which are attempting to be humorous references.

While the game is fun, it does have its issues, one major one being the checkpoints. Though they are likely very forgiving for people playing with friends, for the lone wolves they can be rather far between, especially when Zombies tend to be pretty good at sneaking up behind you. Either that, or resurrecting themselves if their head is still intact. Another issue is the safe rooms. While they’re good for giving you a bit of a break, saving in them and coming back later resulted in getting stuck inside the room, as the door wouldn’t open. Restarting the checkpoint multiple times didn’t fix this, and resulted in us having to start the level again from scratch.

Though the movie references are high and the dull tone of the game does seem to suit the Zombie aesthetics, Nazi Zombie Army really doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s unique purely because of the game it is based on, and even then there’s often not much opportunities to do some real good sniping. The hordes overwhelm you so much that it’s much easier to rely on a shotgun, pistol and other secondary weapons than to try and hit that good shot with the variety of rifles at your disposal.  It’s a good time sink, and it’s enjoyable, but unless you need a new Zombie fix it’s not going to blow your mind.

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