Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army Review
When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will learn how to use Sniper Rifles.
With new ones popping up every day, and the majority of them not worth anyone’s time, it’s hard to get super excited for a new zombie game these days. Because of this, I was cautiously optimistic when Rebellion announced that their new game was Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army. On one hand, I enjoyed Sniper Elite V2, but on the other hand I’m tired of killing the same old zombies over and over. I went into it hoping that they would do something different and make killing zombies fun again. Let’s see how they did.
Even though Nazi Zombie Army is a standalone game and you don’t need Sniper Elite V2 to play it, it’s really just more of an extension of that game, rather than a brand new title. If you haven’t played Sniper Elite V2 before, then you’d never know, but fans of the game will recognize right off the bat that this is more like DLC, than a full new game. Once you load it up you’ll see that everything from the main menu, loadout screen and loading screens are just zombified versions from V2. It’s actually not a bad way to do it and some people will actually end up benefiting from Rebellion doing it this way. Since Nazi Zombie Army is exclusive to the PC, if you owned the Xbox 360 or PS3 version of Sniper Elite V2 and Nazi Zombie Army was just DLC for it, you would have to buy the PC version of the full game and then the NZA DLC as well, compared to now just having to buy the standalone NZA game. Ideally I would rather see them just release it as DLC on all platforms, but this is the next best way to do it if you ask me.
There’s not much of a story in Nazi Zombie Army and the only dialogue in the entire game is during a quick intro movie, which shows Hitler on the brink of defeat, but instead of giving up he initiates Plan Z and unleashes the zombie apocalypse on the entire Nazi army. From there, you’ll play as Karl Fairburne, the main character from the previous Sniper Elite games, as he travels through Germany trying to find a way to stop Hitler’s undead plans. There’s only five missions in the campaign, and the environments are straight out of Sniper Elite V2, although now they’ve been completely devastated by the war and the undead hordes that roam the streets.
Nazi Zombie Army isn’t very long, clocking in at around 4 hours on medium, and it can get a little repetitive at times, with most of the objectives being the same thing over and over. For the most part, you’ll have to survive waves of enemies while trapped in a specific area and then escape through the streets to make it to the next safe room, where you’ll pass a checkpoint and stock up on supplies. There are two boss fights, but it’s the same annoying boss both times, so that doesn’t help mix things up either. Rebellion does mix things up nicely with the different zombie types though, as they have regular zombies, zombies with melee weapons, suicide bomber zombies, skeletons, larger zombies with mini-guns (huge jerks) and even sniper zombies that will jump between rooftops. Things can get pretty intense when you have to survive a siege that has a horde of regular zombies, a bunch of skeletons, at least one mini-gun zombie and a few snipers all trying to get a piece of you.
As far as weapons go, you’ll still have a Sniper Rifle as your primary weapon, with a backup SMG and then your handgun at your side. Trip Mines, Land Mines, Grenades and Dynamite all return as well, and you can mix and match your starting loadout before each mission. There is a small issue where the loadout screen resets before each level and unless that’s the exact loadout you want, it’s a little annoying to have to set it up each time. Each safe room contains different weapons that you can swap to if you want, but after each mission you’ll be back to the defaults again as well. Even though sniping is the main focus, there’s plenty of close quarters combat here as well, and I would recommend starting with the Blyskawica as your SMG and then picking up the Shotgun when you find it.
The X-Ray killcams are back and more gruesome than ever, as this time you get to see the infected insides of the enemy. I don’t like the killcams coming up after every shot so I turned their frequency down, but at times they would still come up after every shot and the rest of the time it would be like every second or third shot. I’m not sure if that setting is broken or if they just really want you to see how awesome their killcams are. The game itself runs pretty good most of the time, but you should expect to see zombies glitching out here and there. I’ve seen them get stuck in doors and walls, take multiple headshots before going down and I even saw a few suicide bombers not explode and just stand there, forever. Sniper Elite V2 was far from a perfect game and Nazi Zombie Army is following in its footsteps.
Even if you play on the hardest difficulty, the campaign shouldn’t last much longer than 6 hours, and there’s no other modes to stick around for. The main reason you’ll come back for more is to do it all over again with some friends.
Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army doesn’t feature any competitive multiplayer modes like Sniper Elite V2 did, but it does take the cooperative play to the next level by allowing you to play the campaign with up to three friends. Nazi Zombie Army was definitely designed to be played cooperatively, and it’s much harder when you’re playing alone. When you’re alone and low on health, you’ll have to find a spot to hide and let your health regenerate so that you don’t have to start at the last checkpoint if you die. When playing with a few friends, you’ll have 60 seconds to revive each other if one of you gets overrun. Even having just one friend by your side can make a world of difference. The two boss fights are also much easier with a few friends, as one of you can work on the General and the others can take out all of the regular enemies that he spawns.
Achievement hunters will also notice that the game was built for co-op as you’ll have to beat the game with at least one other person, if not three other players to earn the majority of them. I don’t mind this approach too much, but it would have been nice to at least get one for beating it alone.
It’s still a little rough around the edges, but if you’re a fan of the Sniper Elite series and aren’t completely sick of zombie games yet then you’ll find plenty to like about Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army, especially the new four player co-op support. It’s not very long, and it’s more like DLC for Sniper Elite V2 than a full new game, but there’s more than enough new content to justify paying the $15 to pick up the Sniper Rifle again.
Available On: PC via Steam