Mar 12, 2013

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army Review

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3 Okay
Retails for: $14.99
We Recommend: $8.99
  • Developer: Rebellion
  • Publisher: Rebellion
  • Genre: Action
  • Released: Feb 28, 2013
  • Platform: Windows
  • Reviewed: Windows

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army is a thing that probably shouldn’t exist. But it does, and it is a very fun and solid, cooperative-focused shooter. Unfortunately the “sniper” part of the game is rarely used how it should be, making the rest of the game feel disjointed and out of place, given its already ridiculous premise.

In this standalone expansion, Hitler is on the cusp of losing the war, and pressed with little to no options, he activates a massive machine that raises the dead to keep things going in his favor. The story is subtle, but exists to move things along and give context to the locations you visit. After that, you’re dumped into gameplay as the army of zombies who happen to be Nazi’s are out to kill you.

There are five massive levels to this campaign. Each level has a different goal to achieve. Nearly every location has you, a sniper, on the ground level to attack enemies. This makes better use of your pistol and SMG than it did in Sniper Elite V2. So you rarely ever get to be a sniper, perched, away from danger. Or if you are, you’ll quickly be swarmed from behind while scoped and your peripheral vision is obscured. Periodically you’ll reach checkpoints that bookmark your progress. And later you’ll come across Safe houses to restock on ammo, and take a breather from the onslaught.

It’s just a shame that the Nazi Zombie Army is a one trick pony, and stumbles while doing it. It’s just about dumbed down to being a shooting gallery as the zombies are slow moving, save for a few. They make for easy targets and you’ll see that the slo-mo bullet cam more than you’d think. Enemy variety is pretty good, slow, fast, explosive, and the ultra-armored types. When you get a headshot with your sniper rifle, you get to see their diseased innards in all their glory.  There are even some that resurrect, well, re-resurrect. I’m guessing that’s from the Satanism that’s involved.

The aforementioned locations in the game are reminiscent of the original game’s campaign levels, retooled for use here. Wonderful filter effects make it feel like a World War II George Romero flick. Heavy fog often sets in, but is just a sad cover-up for the invisible walls. The game mirror’s the graphical options seen in the original game, supporting the impressive supersampling has some super-crisp images.

While you can play the entirety of Nazi Zombie Army solo, the game gives you a very strong nudge you should do this with other people. The main menu’s first choice is Cooperative, then the second is Single Player. The levels are all designed for more than one person, as shown in the sprinkling of cutscenes that show all four characters together. The interactions between them are very minimal, but show characters from both sides of the war clearly opposing what is happening and want to stop it at all costs.

There are still hidden items to find, and you get scored with and against your friends to keep the competitive aspect. It’s still neat here as it was in V2.

Sniper Elite’s Nazi Zombie Army is like a Halloween episode of your favorite show, providing new entertainment with familiar faces. It’s a silly premise with a small price of admission. It about fails as a sniper game, as you have to be out on the ground floor fighting. You’ll still use your sniper rifle to pull off some powerful headshots for the wonderful bullet cam. The game is worth playing, just not right now.

A Steam code was provided by Rebellion for review purposes