Before jumping into my review for Zombie Army Trilogy, I would like to point out that this game was originally released on March 6, 2015. The code for this game was recently found and Brash Games fully intends to make use of it. In fact, I feel a little lucky to get to review Zombie Army Trilogy since it actually is a really fun title. While on the surface it may just look like ‘another zombie game’, Zombie Army Trilogy is actually a remastered collection of previously released (and one not previously released) games that began life as a spin-off of the Sniper Elite line of games. Since it is a spin-off, Zombie Army Trilogy shares many aspects from the Sniper Elite series.
The first and most obvious similiarity is how both games handle sniping and other gameplay aspects. Zombie Army Trilogy handles the WWII weaponry the exact same way Sniper Elite does and makes it rather easy to jump into for players of the Sniper Elite games. While shooting zombies is normally just good old video game fun, shooting them with high power snipers manages to double the fun. Combining the already fun gameplay with hordes of zombies feels like a no brainer (sorry, not sorry), but does come with a few issues that never got addressed. The main issue I came across was the sensation of my shots simply going through zombies when I knew they should hit. This may sound like I’m just complaining about being a bad shot, but I tested this with a friend and it definitely didn’t look good on Zombie Army Trilogy’s end. This may not happen all the time or anything but when it does, it can be really aggravating and even take a player out of the whole experience for a moment.
With Zombie Army Trilogy being a Sniper Elite spin-off, sniper rifles end up being the most used weapon and thus their issue comes up a bit more often than the other guns. For example, the secondary guns feel near useless a lot of the time either because they eat ammo far too quickly, are horrendously inaccurate, or simply don’t have enough spread to be truly useful (shotgun, I’m looking at you). Maybe these problems are more prevalent in the Sniper Elite difficulty, but I can’t see why they should be. Even the game’s explosives feel a little off since the trip wires get set off as soon as any zombie touches it, meaning they go off without killing but the first few. The land mines are a bit better, but I have also seen a whole horde of zombies walk right around my land mine and not set it off. I feel like just a little tweaking could have made these weapons simply more useful and thus more fun to use.
All these tiny gameplay problems are forgettable when players look at how some of the enemy types are handled and how the game handles online multiplayer. Keep in mind that this is all from the Sniper Elite difficulty perspective, but I feel like it should still be said, Sniper Zombies and Elite Zombies are just annoying and overpowered. The Sniper zombies jump from position to position until they shoot the player so fast that that player cannot truly react. Combining this enemy with any other enemy can easily mean death for any player simply by being overwhelmed. The other enemy is the Elite Zombie, hulking zombies with machine guns that can withstand explosions and headshots time after time. These guys will show up out of nowhere and down an entire group of 4 in seconds if left unchecked. This enemy is one of those cases where their health would be bearable if they had less damage/accuracy and their damage/accuracy would be bearable if they had less health. Something has to give, right?
That ‘something’ will probably be your friend’s connection when he goes to the bathroom. If any player (besides host) steps away from an online game for even a few minutes (less than 5-6), they will be automatically booted from the game for AFKing. This wouldn’t be an issue if the campaign sections weren’t so long. Not that I’m complaining about a long campaign, I just think that AFKing in a safe room (with the host) should give the player some sort of AFK protection or something. The up-side is that if anyone does get disconnected, Zombie Army Trilogy has a super simple and seemingly reliable lobby system that allows friends to be invited and join in a campaign chapter at any time. Besides this, Zombie Army Trilogy also includes a way to make even Sniper Elite difficulty bearable when it comes to how many zombies players will face. Tucked away with the difficulty selection, players have the choice to add more zombies for more players or not. By selecting the lowest option, Sniper Elite difficulty feels far more bearable and less unfair since some enemies and situations are going to take a lot of bullets to get rid of.
By far the best way to play Zombie Army Trilogy is with a friend. Or two. Or even three! Since Zombie Army Trilogy supports up to 4 player online co-op in both it’s campaign and horde modes. I’ve got a sweet spot for co-op and was very happy to be able to pick off tons of zombies with some of my friends. Like I said before, the campaign is a little on the long side (due to being 3 games rolled into one), so you better be ready to shoot a LOT of nazi zombies. This campaign mode allows players to pick one of several characters (purely cosmetic) and a loadout of one sniper, one secondary gun (machine gun or shotgun), a pistol, and a few explosives. The sniper rifles are the main difference in every loadout and can mean life and death if a player chooses a rifle that doesn’t fit their playstyle. Players also have these choices in the game’s horde mode, in which they will be face to face with waves of more and more zombies. This mode gets rather hectic and out of control rather quickly and is preferred with a full team of 4 players. Either mode chosen will give players a lot to do and even more to shoot at. I could easily see myself trying to have a few other friends pick this up one day to help me deal with the nazi hordes.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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