Developed and published by Rebellion, Zombie Army is the cult classic taken from the PC and after appearances in some of the Sniper Elite games as downloadable content, brought to the next gen consoles with an extra Episode and in blood splattered glorious 1080p HD.
It’s 1945 and Germany is overrun with hordes of undead super soldiers unleashed and led by the demonic Hitler as a last unholy stand against the Allies, the fate of Europe hangs by a mere thread. Zombie Army Trilogy is a third person, four player co-op Survival Horror shooter that really grabs the genre by the scruff of the neck and wrings every last drop of blood from it. Tailor made for playing with friends, Zombie Army is probably a better all round gaming experience when doing so and to quote Gotham “Its better to have a friend in the dark than walk alone in the light”.
As Survival Horror games go, Zombie Army Trilogy has to be right up there with the very best, simply because it ticks all the right boxes. Firstly the landscape and surroundings are breathtakingly dark and eerie, at times throughout the fifteen blood soaked chapters you’ll find yourself stopping to take it all in or going out of your way to inspect areas that lead to nowhere simply because the game is so haunting. For example, the evil sound of little children singing as you’re investigating an area will surely leave you with chills running down your spine and some of the rooms you stumble upon throughout the game will make your worst nightmares look like your greatest dream.
The soundtrack, composed by Nick D Brewer is immensely dark and gothic and is probably one of the best OST I have ever heard for a game, it’s like something straight out of a John Carpenter film and it fits the game like a glove would fit your hand. The soundtrack goes so perfectly with the game it adds to the already overwhelming feeling of darkness and helplessness. Zombie Army Trilogy has all of this in abundance and I haven’t even begun to talk about the real threat.
The mixture of enemies you’ll encounter throughout the game range from your run of the mill Zombie to an army of Skeletons that can only be destroyed by kicking or placing a shot through the ribcage and into their beating heart, then you have Fire Demons and Summoners who if not dealt with as quickly as possible, resurrect enemies in front of you and of course finally there are the Super Elites who are rather large Zombies armed with helmets and big Machine Guns who can make your life a living hell (as if it wasn’t one already right…) All of these enemies can pop up out of nowhere and catch you completely by surprise. You know that feeling you get where everythings under control right before quickly finding yourself surrounded and swamped by enemies, suddenly you’re on your backside and needing to be picked up by your allies.
When beginning the game you can choose from eight playable characters including Sniper Elites very own Karl Fairburne. Each chosen character has three weapons to fend off the undead. From the Sniper Rifles which are the games primary weapon, there is also a secondary main weapon for close quarters combat and these range from Assault Rifles to Shotguns and finally each player gets a Pistol. There are also many explosives to use throughout the game with Dynamite, Grenades, Mines and Explosive Tripwire to help take out a large group of invading Zombies. The games mechanics are pretty flawless and movement isn’t hindered, in large open areas you have the ability to run around to evade being drowned in a sea of the undead. You can also use the mounted machine guns found in the game and explosive barrels to quickly take out Zombies stupid enough to roam near them. All weapons can be refilled with Ammo Boxes found in the game and the many safe rooms you enter.
Zombie Army Trilogy has some really great features, one of them being the Slow Mo X-Ray Kill Cam which has been seen before in Sniper Elite. These amazing visuals can be triggered by shooting a bullet directly into the major organ or directly into the cranium of a Zombie. The Camera traces the bullets movement with great effect as it takes flight before ripping through a Zombies head or body with amazing precision, the sound effects are unerring to the point where you can actually hear skin and flesh being ripped apart and bones shattered into fragments, its a real stand out feature of the game.
Another feature of the game I particularly enjoyed was the ability to ramp up the action by selecting how many enemies you wish to face during both the Campaign and Horde Mode. Meaning even when playing alone, you can face the large amounts of enemies you would normally face when playing the game with three other players by your side, so for those who enjoy a challenge this is something definitely worth checking out.
Zombie Army Trilogy even manages to tick the box when it comes to netting achievements from within the game, with some amazing titles for obtaining them such as ‘Gratuitous Violence From The Lot Of You’ which is straight out of Dog Soldiers and ‘Man You Sure Know A Lot About Monsters’ from Monster Squad. I struggle to think of a single thing this game doesn’t have and as a fan of Survival Horror and overall movie fanatic, leaves me pretty speechless.
When you’re finished with the Campaign there is a Horde Mode to experience, set across five of the games best surroundings. You can choose to fight either alone or with friends against waves of the undead in a bid to set the highest score and show who the better Zombie slayer is. Horde Mode is a great extra feature and gives Zombie Army Trilogy some extra gloss, not that it needed it.
Rebellion wanted to make an amazing Co-op game and with this beauty they have definitely succeeded. Zombie Army Trilogy is the ultimate Co-op Survival Horror game. If the amazing landscape doesn’t consume you, the eerie soundtrack is certain to. The game is great to play either alone or with friends and comes jam packed full of the undead. Throughout my 30 years of gaming I’ve come across some amazing Survival Horror games and this has just shot itself straight to the very top with a soundtrack to die for and endless chapters of gore and blood. It’s a Horror fans dream, and if you’re not a fan of Horror this is still a great game to experience with friends and that is what Rebellion set out to achieve. A great gaming experience for you and your friends, so pick up your controllers and begin slaying the undead today.