Zombie Army Trilogy is a third person tactical shooter set in 1945 Berlin. It’s the final days of World War Two and Germany is coming dangerously close to losing the war completely. In a bid to push the Allies back and continue the fight to victory, Adolf Hitler unleashes his final desperate plan. The Führer raises an army of the undead by means of occult rituals. You must choose one of 8 playable characters and fight your way through the undead hordes to defeat Adolf and put an end to the war once and for all.
While the premise of the game is interesting, the overall plot unfortunately lacks imagination and depth. With the inclusion of a 4 player co-op campaign it would have been interesting to learn more about characters and have more interaction with the world around them. The experience that was served up was quite the opposite. Every character felt the same to me and I felt little to no enthusiasm when choosing my character. This left me feeling very disconnected with the game by the end of it. The enemies are very bland and generic, and their limited character models are endlessly repeated. It took me 2 hours of gameplay before I had progressed to a point in the game where I was being presented with multiple enemies that looked very different when together and for the enemies to stop walking in unison with each other.
The formula for every single chapter is exactly the same as the previous. You start at the safe house, you leave the safe house to fight a mob of zombies before progressing into the second closed off area where you will fight another wave of zombies. Proceeding to the next closed off area that includes some kind of ambush, you will come across the next mob of zombies in an area which is always a closed off along a linear path of some description. After defeating the third/fourth mob of zombies you will then encounter a super soldier who carries a sniper rifle and jumps from roof top to roof top while taking pot shots at you. After defeating the sniper you will fight another mob of zombies before finally coming across an SS super soldier with an automatic weapon. Defeating the SS soldier and you arrive at the safe house which initiates the check point before you do the whole thing all over again. Asides from these standard enemies there are the so-called bosses, which are a bit of a joke in that you are informed exactly how to kill them : Shoot at something to create an opening, deal some damage, lather, rinse and repeat. This rinse and repeat system appears to be the dominant design philosophy in Zombie Army and it gets real old, real quick.
The weapons in the game are what you would expect. The sniper rifle is your primary weapon, while shotguns, fully automatic submachine guns and rocket launchers act as your secondary weapons. Then we have the pistols, which I found at multiple points within my experience to be infinitely better than any other weapon in the game. Using the Webley 6 shooter would guarantee a one hit kill no matter where on the torso you shot. On the other hand I was unloading almost entire clips trying to kill one or two zombies at close range with the MP4 or the PPSh-1 submachine guns. While using a sniper rifle is effective for headshots, it requires 2-3 shots to the torso for a confirmed kill. Although, using the sniper rifle leaves you with a great sense of self-satisfaction as the camera angle switches to show the trajectory of the bullet in slow motion as it leaves the muzzle and buries itself in a zombie’s head in a gruesome X-ray view.
Graphically the game is very dull in the first chapter. However, once you progress into the second and third chapters the graphics pick up and the enhanced texturing and lighting better conveys the tone of dread the game is trying to achieve.
Within the second and third chapters, environmental effects become present; wind blowing dust around behind you or embers drifting away from a recent explosion are nice touches. This somewhat manages to enhance the immersion experience that had been lacking throughout the previous chapter.
As for the sound, the music is incredibly monotonous and at times throughout the game the tracks are simply replayed. These ‘tracks’ are essentially 30 second loops of a few sounds played over and over again. The effect was maddening.
Overall this game fell far short of my expectations. Getting an X-ray headshot was by far the most satisfying part of this game. The lack of storyline and imagination made it more of a chore to play for longer than one or two checkpoints in a row before having to take a break. It wasn’t the fun zombie apocalyptic murder mayhem I had expected. Repeating the same kills over and over again to achieve the same results over and over again felt like a very lazy and stale way to produce a lengthy game. Sadly, this is a game I was disappointed in after playing and I can’t see myself attempting to play this any further than I already have. Even after only five hours of gameplay I felt like I had seen everything there was to see.
Reviewed on Xbox One.