Also available on Xbox One, Stadia, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally posted 06/06/2021 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the sequel to the Zombie Army Trilogy and has what I consider to be almost the perfection of video game enemies. It’s a scientific fact that the four greatest video game foes are Nazis, communists, aliens, and zombies. Well, this game has zombie Nazis; all we need to make this better is a three-way conflict between the zombie Nazis, an army of alien communists, and the player. Still, though, this is pretty top tier. The game takes place in an alternate timeline 1946 roughly a year after the events of Zombie Army Trilogy. Hitler has been killed and sent to Hell, but his undead army still ravages Europe in a conflict that has come to be called the Dead War. You’re a resistance fighter fighting to end the undead scourge.
If you’ve played any of the Sniper Elite games, then you know how the basic gameplay works. Your main weapon is your sniper rifle which is accompanied by a secondary weapon (either a shotgun or submachine gun) and a pistol. You also can have up to four explosives with you and can choose from a variety of grenades and mines. I, personally, always used a Mosin-Nagant, a Trench Gun, and a Webley Mk IV along with some combination of incendiary grenades and frag grenades. Not a big mine person, personally, and SMGs burned through ammo too quickly for my taste. You can also find heavy weapons occasionally in the world – a heavy machine gun, a flamethrower, a Panzerschreck; and my personal favorite, the Preacher, a big ass blunderbuss. The Preacher always made me think of my pastor friend, Avery, so it’s got a special place in my heart.
In addition to the regular slow and shuffling zombies, there are some special zombies you’ll need to look out for. You’ve got the suiciders that sprint up to your screaming and covered in dynamite, the officers which will spawn or frenzy zombies and can only be killed with a shot to the heart (not the head), the elites which will carry heavy armor, machine guns, flamethrowers, etc, and the…I don’t know what they’re actually called, but they spit giant globs of green gunk at you that cause damage over time. Then there are the creepers; if you know what Lickers are from Resident Evil, they’re a lot like them. My absolute least favorite is the blind screamer, basically a straight rip of the Witch from Left 4 Dead. If you provoke them, they’ll call another screamer, damage you with their screams, and rip you with their claws, and they are absolute bullet sponges.
The game’s campaign is broken into eight missions and a final boss level. Each of the eight regular missions is further broken into four chapters, and it can be played solo or with up to four players. There’s a lot of tinkering you can do to make the game as easy or as hard as you need it to be, and the aim assist with the sniper rifles is EXTREMELY generous although it can, of course, be disabled entirely. I played the whole thing solo, but the number of zombies will scale to match the number of players. Or you could play solo but set it to spawn the 4 player number of zombies anyway if you’re a masochist. Whatever floats your boat, man. As with the previous trilogy, the story is decent but not outstanding; what matters here is the zombie slaughtering mayhem, and that has been perfected here. Exploding brains from bullet camera shots, slow motion mine explosions, a zombie shark that can be manipulated into eating your enemies – this game mas made zombie killing into an art.
One of the things that immediately jumped out not only to me but also to my roommate when he saw me playing this game was how good it looks. Granted, I played on my PS5, so I was getting 2160p60, but it’s a really good-looking game regardless. I thought the original Nazi Zombie Army looked good, but in the roughly eight years since that release and this one, it’s clear that Rebellion has applied a good bit of polish to the game. The sound design is great, too. The Webley sounded a little weak to me, but otherwise, the guns sound fantastic, the zombie sound effects are great, and the background music fits perfectly. The voice acting, while maybe not Nolan North tier, is definitely very competent and shouldn’t give anyone any complaints.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War may not be a perfect game, but it’s definitely a damn good one. It probably won’t go down in history as a “must play” game of the eighth generation, but if you’re into zombie killing and/or sniping, this is definitely not a game to miss. The story, while not the focus for most people, is well done, and the voice acting is solid enough not to break your immersion. Whether you play solo or with friends and on Xbox or Playstation, this is definitely a game worth checking out. Fingers crossed that it gets ported to Switch to join Zombie Army Trilogy on the go.