Game: Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army
I’m going to kick off on the assumption that you like shooting stuff in video games. If you don’t then read on and find out why so many gamers do!
Sometimes a game comes along and you think to yourself; “OK, that sounds like FUN!”.
“Nazi Zombie Army” has a certain ring to it right?
Not only does it trip nicely of the tongue, it is also produced by Rebellion, the team behind the fantastic “Sniper Elite” & it’s recent re-imagining “Sniper Elite v2” (NOTE: a game which features, in my opinion anyway, the best game name pun EVER… you see it’s not only a remake of Sniper Elite and thus “version 2” or “v2” but it’s ALSO about you preventing the development of the Germans famed “V-2” rocket program! Genius!). This means that not only is it a glorious Zombie shoot-fest, the zombies are Nazis! (You know in case you don’t like shooting fictional Zombies, or Nazis and you needed such a combination to convince you to pull that trigger!) Oh, and the whole thing is wrapped up in Rebellions absolutely superb “Bullet Time KillCam” (BTKC).
Taking what was so great about “Sniper Elite v2”, namely; The Bullet Time KillCam, the traps, the spot-on weapon handling and shooter mechanics, and the strong level design and adding in Zombies… NAZI Zombies indeed! Masterstroke!
Anyway, a picture speaks a thousand words, they say, so then how many does a video speak? Let’s find out! Below you can find a relatively long video of me playing the first episode of the “Cathedral of Resurrection”, I’m not awesome! But I DID enjoy it hugely!
With liberal sprinklings of the occult, a spooky score and sound-scape and excellent visuals across the board the game is a delight to play, leading the player from point to point with a good mix of “attack” and “defend” scenarios across a variety of different map setups there’s never a dull moment, and if that were ever looking likely the magnificently detailed BTKC swoops in to add impact (literally), flavour (definitely not literally) and a finely balanced nuance to the pacing of the experience.
Yes there are shiny things to collect and a number of well-judged achievements, but it’s the BTKC that really does bring the whole thing together. It just cranks the satisfaction of playing this game up by about 200%… no… make that 300%.
So this is a pretty slick single player game right here, and no mistake. I sat down to play an hour or so for review purposes and ended up staying up WAAAAAAY too late into the night (The best time to play an occult themed Nazi Zombie Army hunt-and-survive-athon I can assure you!). I just couldn’t get enough of the mechanics or the feel of the thing. And I normally don’t like 3rd person shooters. At all. But somehow this works… It really, really works! I just hope it isn’t black magic!
Anyway, the atmosphere, pacing and timing of zombie encounters is bang on, as is the introduction of the different types of zombie and the use of the different game-play styles… but I feel like I might be forgetting something…
Erm… OK… G-E-H-I-R-N… What!? No! Sorry… don’t mind me… it’s only a scratch…
Where was I?… Oh yes!… CO-OP!
No one loves co-op more than I so any game that features it is going to be a cracker from my point of view, but this is a game where it really does add something. Particularly to the “siege” / defensive episodes throughout. There is just nothing like setting yourselves up; trip-mines, land-mines, dynamite, etc. Filling your ammo holsters, and then making a stand against the horde. The last vestiges of humanity in a city destroyed by the undead.
You thought headshots were satisfying in fully anatomically detailed bullet time? Try 3 or 4 for 1 shots taking a string of the blighters (Wait? Have I gone all Biggles???) out in a single bullet slomo ballet! Breath-taking! And reeling these off? Exhilarating! (See around 8:50 onwards in our video, above, for a string of spiffing examples of this!)
A point that bears mentioning is the real sense of damage here. You’re not just headshotting a mannequin or rag-doll here, oh no! I found myself thinking “Oh, OK, yeah… that would totally render him unable to continue attacking me… I mean without a heart to pump blood to his legs how will he be able to chase me??”
I must admit the story rather passed me by, despite the chillingly cool narration between episodes, I was just so taken with the sense of effectiveness the game lends you, and, should you so choose, your 3 very-bestest zombie-killing chums!
(Just before I close this thing out I do want to flag up the excellent valentine’s cards Rebellion put together… http://www.rebellion.co.uk/love_never_dies … loving the “roses are red” one… )
Good Points: Do I really need to spell this out? Erm… Zombies… Err… Nazis, Erm… Guns? But seriously, a superb mechanic combined with great atmosphere makes for a real winner!
Bad Points: Bit short? Hopefully some more content will emerge to flesh out what is a great game at a fantastic price! We’d have loved to pay twice as much for even more game.
Advice: My advice? Easy; Make sure you’re packing a shotgun at all times, to deal with them skelingtons! I hates them! Them scary! Make Ray proud peoples!
Overall: 4 Vital Organs out of 5
Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army is a blast, even more so with buddies, as co-op games tend to be. The difference here is the sheer perfection of the damage mechanic… oh and the superbly realized and timeless theme. Great fun alone (at night, in the dark… obviously!), even better with 4…