Also available on Xbox One and Windows
As all hardcore gamers know, the greatest enemies of all time are the Nazis. They're just so damn evil, you can't help but have fun massacring them. As those gamers would also know, one of the greatest non-human enemies of all time (perhaps the greatest, but there's room for debate) are zombies. Make a game built entirely around hoards of Nazi zombies, and it's a recipe for a great time. Treyarch's Call of Duty games may have been the first to popularize the idea of Nazi zombies, but in this teacher's not-particularly-humble opinion, Rebellion perfected the concept when Nazi Zombie Army first released as DLC for Sniper Elite V2 back in 2013; it would later produce a stand alone digital release and two sequels, culminating in the digital and retail release of this all-in-one pack with all three games.
Part of what immediately hooked me on this game was that the premise is actually based (albeit loosely) on actual history. During the second world war, Hitler had a fascination with the supernatural and the occult, and he actually devoted a not insignificant amount of manpower and resources into studying it. Of course, none of this research ever bore any fruits, but it's a fascinating and relatively unknown aspect to the war. The plot of this series is that this research DID turn up a relic with the power to reanimate the dead. When the war began turning against him, Hitler used this to resurrect the fallen German soldiers into an army of the undead to fight against the Allies. Unfortunately for him, he didn't realize that you need all three components of the relic together to control the zombies, resulting in having Berlin overrun by legions of the undead. You play as either an American OSS agent, a British SOE operative, a Soviet soldier, or a German SS defector as you fight fight your way out of Berlin, then fight your way back into Berlin, then fight your way through Berlin, all in an effort to put a stop to the zombie menace.
What makes this game stand out from other zombie shooters and makes it challenging as well is that it's still very much a Sniper Elite game; I spent the game armed with only a sniper rifle with 100 rounds, a shotgun with 18 rounds, a revolver with 26 rounds, and a handful of grenades. All of this was going against waves of zombies that, at times, reached Dead Rising level of enemies on screen. It takes some careful planning, skillful shots, and no small amount of luck to survive some of the sieges to which the game subjects you. You have the option of playing co-op online with up to three other people very much like Left 4 Dead, but I played through each game's five missions (each of which take between 30 and 60 minutes) solo. Like with the main series Sniper Elite games, you have the option of awesome X-ray kill cams, although you don't get the variety of kill types that you do in other games; here, it will just say "Headshot" if you shoot a zombie in the head or "Kill" if you down one with shots elsewhere. It's worth noting, however, that if you kill a zombie other than with a headshot or an explosive, there's a chance that it will resurrect. I'm not sure what the actual percentage chance is, but it seemed to me to somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20% or 25% chance.
Visually, the game looks fine. It's not the most impressive game in the world, but considering that it was originally DLC for a 2012 game (and all three Nazi Zombie Army games use unmodified the Sniper Elite V2 engine), it looks just fine. The sound design is nice, though; the screams and moans in the background add a definite creepy element to the atmosphere of the game, and the various noises of the different types of zombies - the dull THUMP of the armor zombies, the machine gun of the gunner zombies, the revving of the chainsaw zombies - give you an idea of any particularly dangerous threats around the corner. If I were to pick a complaint about the game, however, it would be the level length. Safehouses aren't ridiculously far apart - maybe 10 minutes from safehouse to safehouse - but the chapters themselves, as I said, average about 45 minutes each, though several of them take longer than that. They're not ridiculously long, but they do tend to hit the "okay, I'm ready for this chapter to end" point about 3/4 of the way through for the most of the time.
For those who want a fast paced high octane shooter, Zombie Army Trilogy might not be for you. For those who want a quick pick up and play for short bursts, Zombie Army Trilogy is definitely not for you. For those who don't mind a more methodical shooter, are willing to invest some time into each chapter, and love killing Nazis and/or zombies, however, Zombie Army Trilogy is definitely one to check out. The whole trilogy is available on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One, you can also get each of the three games individually on Steam if you want. It's definitely not going to be for everyone, but if you're a fan of the main Sniper Elite series, I would definitely recommend checking this out. If you're a PC gamer, they seem to go on sale on Steam fairly frequently.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.