Thursday, 19 March 2020 16:56

Zombie Army 4: Dead War Review

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Edited by: Jade Swann

Zombie smashing, blasting, sniping, and slashing... Zombie Army 4: Dead War brings players back into the realm of hell-saturated World War II Europe, where Hitler has risen from the dead. Fans of the series will feel right at home in their foxholes, scoping in on the shambling formations of the undead. 

First and foremost, I want to say this title is fantastically enjoyable. I played through the campaign solo and had a blast. Sadly, I don’t know many people who have purchased the title, leaving me to use matchmaking for any co-op experience. I was disappointed to find only one public lobby open on a Saturday afternoon and a Sunday morning. This may have been terrible timing on my part, but this was sad to see with the game being released so recently. 

With that being said, the Zombie Army series has always been a friend-queue game for me. The buddies and I set up a private lobby and smash through the animated Nazi corpses. I’m sure much of the community can relate to this, leaving the public matchmaking at a fairly sparse success rate. My biggest recommendation would be to convince your friends to purchase this title with you.

Skulls and Scopes

The bulk of Zombie Army 4: Dead War will probably be observed through the scope of a rifle as you snap from target to target. In single-player mode, fans won’t be surprised to see the Bullet Time effect is still in full swing. On the ever so satisfying occasion, the game will pull you from your third-person locked camera and create a pseudo-cutscene of your bullet leaving your rifle and ripping into the shambling corpses set before you. This fantastic feature shows the gruesome nature of your fired rounds entering, ripping, tearing, tumbling, and, of course, splattering through the undead. Throughout my playthroughs, this was always a fun part to observe. 

This Bullet Timeeffect exists in multiplayer as well, however, it does not slow down time, nor is it a full animation. It is a very fast x-ray shot of the enemy you struck, showing which organ(s) had been hit. While this is still enjoyable, the single-player mode does offer the best case experience if you are a fan of slow-mo action.

While this feature is purely cosmetic and doesn’t offer any sort of advantage or disadvantage, it is a time-honored feature of the series, as well as the Sniper Elite series; a staple of the titles. This is where I find the diversity comes to a screeching halt within this release.

The Bread and Butter

The basic premise of Zombie Army 4: Dead War is simple: kill the zombies until you can kill the king zombie (Hitler) — a tried and true formula of gaming, so no issue there. However, in terms of innovation, I can’t find any here. The campaign revolves around defense. You will proceed through each level, reaching doors and impassable barriers that cannot be opened until X, Y, or Z are completed, usually via “kill all zombies.”

Throughout these levels, you also have an arcade-style score counter. This score counter increases its multiplier with each kill combination you accomplish, such as headshotting multiple zombies rapidly or exploding a group with an explosive barrel, grenade, or mine. This score increases your experience payout at the end of each level, which progresses your profile level and unlocks modifications and perks.

Weapon modifications can be made as well, adding different scope zooms, buttstock sleeves, etc. These modifications can generally be pretty cool and interesting, and are a very welcomed portion of this title. Aside from weapon mods, your character can unlock and equip perks, which act as buffs to various portions of your gameplay, such as being able to deploy your sidearm while being downed.

Fans of the series will be greeted with the natural game modes as well; horde, campaign, and co-op. I cannot personally recall if Zombie Army 3 had a weekly “mutation” or challenge map rotation, but this title sure does. This allows fans of this particular game to continue to see something somewhat fresh and new, for this title does not have a deep variation of the gameplay. 

Nostalgia, Not Nazi’s

I know I’ve mentioned the lack of variation a couple of times now, however, I find pleasure in the gameplay. Perhaps I’m a sucker for my memories of playing Left 4 Dead for hours at a time with friends. The same basic principles apply to both of these titles, from safe zone to safe zone, defending and progressing. What Zombie Army 4: Dead War improves upon is allowing the player to truly experience the weapons they’re holding. I found a lot of enjoyment in the feedback the weapons gave, from recoil to audio. 

If you’re looking for a semi-brainless (not on the harder difficulties) horde shooter, I don’t think you can go wrong with this title. This coupled with the over-the-top nature is the whole schtick of the series. It’s always refreshing to play a game rooted in a horror setting that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The game is very aware of what it is, which I believe is even recognizable from the title; it’s pretty cut and clear.


The Verdict: Good

Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a fun release for early 2020. It has a smooth and enjoyable combat system, coupled with good progressive unlocks. I do not believe this game will truly have longevity in my playtime, as I do not see much more content coming that isn’t locked behind paywalls. If you found enjoyment in the prior Zombie Army games or even Strange Brigade, I say that you’ll find that same emotion here. For me, this will be a title that does nothing wrong, but simply does not have enough variables to make it a longtime library slot holder.

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Bric Hudson

Bric is a US Army veteran and a passionate gamer. While in military service, he found gaming to be a way to connect with his friends all over the world. This blossomed into a fascination with the gaming culture and the experiences had while launching up a whole new title. He is fond of a variety of genres, which is reflected on his Twitch streams and on his Youtube channel. Find Bric on YouTube. Find Bric on Twitch.