Review Platform: Steam (PC)
Review Copy Provided By: Rebellion
Release Date: February 28, 2013
Video games seem to have several go to villains such as Russians, North Koreans, and the Chinese. None of those quite reach the level of boogeyman that Nazis have. If slasher horror movies have taught us anything, it is the fact that the boogeyman will always come back. Enter the Nazi zombie, made popular by Wolfenstein and revitalized by Call of Duty World At War, they embody both concepts making the perfect video game villain.
Hitler sits at his desk with his top guys as the Allied forces are circling. One person tries to tell him that all is lost and is promptly shot in the head because Hitler has one last ace up his sleeve, a dead man’s trigger…an undead man’s trigger to be more exact. Rebellion has decided to create a stand-alone expansion for their popular Sniper Elite series based solely on the concept of the Nazi Zombie with a little bit of plot, Sniper Elite gameplay, and a lot of Left 4 Dead influence in design. With an overabundance of Zombies in media and video games specifically as of late, Is Nazi Zombie Army something that should have happened and is it worth your hard earned cash?
With most of the living in Germany falling to the unleashed zombie horde, you and up to 3 of your friends have to shuck and jive your way through 5 levels with each one set up much like a Left 4 Dead campaign. Players will move checkpoint to checkpoint, find a safe house, survive a horde attack, and rinse and repeat until the end of the level. While definitely not an original scenario by any means, Rebellion delivers a surprisingly satisfying experience which can be attributed to Nazi Zombie Army’s engine, graphics, gameplay, and controls being that of Sniper Elite V2. All of the sniping mechanics and physics are still present including the slow mo x-ray based kill shots when sniping.
Sniping is the art of picking off single targets with single bullets and that is not a good strategy when facing hundreds of targets coming straight for you. Nazi Zombie Army will see you using the more destructive arsenal like trip mines, grenades, explosive barrels and a wide array of WW2 era guns outside of snipers. The normal third person shooting mechanics aren’t the most polished but hold up well, especially for the source to be a sniping based game.
You can play solo but you just might find the experience a tad hard during the survival sequences. It becomes clear when you are overwhelmed that these sections were designed in mind for at least 2 people. Co-op partners are able to revive each other but if you die solo then you go back to a checkpoint usually before the onslaught. That isn’t to say it isn’t doable solo and some may enjoy the challenge of trying just that but the real joy is with friends and developing strategies for the slaughter of the undead.
There was a worry that this title just might be a cash grab by Rebellion playing on other popular titles but that was a needless worry. Nazi Zombie Army is well worth the low asking price and will provide the kind of zombie killing experience we haven’t had since Left 4 Dead 2. The Sniper Elite V2 engine lends itself well to a type of shooter that is beyond the score of the source title. Also… nothing beats getting a slow mo kill shot and watching your bullet travel a path of destruction through an undead’s skull.