ZOMBIE ARMY 4: DEAD WAR
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on September 16, 2019
Now, being at war is bad enough, but being at war with an enemy that has seemingly unlimited numbers that just won't die properly, is nothing short of hell, wouldn't you agree? Impossible, you say? Well, not if you are one of brave heroes that fight the hordes of undead all across Europe while waging what they call: the Dead War!
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is, as the title implies, the fourth installment in Rebellion's Zombie Army series, which first saw undead life back in 2013 as Nazi Zombie Army, a stand-alone expansion of Sniper Elite V2. A second expansion, Nazi Zombie Army 2 was released later that year. Then, two years later, Zombie Army Trilogy was released, featuring the remastered versions of the first two games, alongside a brand new third game. Now, another four years later, it is time to fight the good fight once again and defeat the undead hordes that have spiraled out of control across the European continent.
Like in the previous Zombie Army games, up to four players can join forces and take the fight to the zombies. The campaign itself can also be played in single player mode, but the sheer numbers of undead make this a truly harrowing and challenging experience. Apart from the campaign levels, Zombie Army 4 also features a horde mode, in which players have to survive for as long as they can without succumbing to the undead hordes. Unlike previous horde modes, this one adds a feature; the longer a player survives, the bigger the map they're on gets.
But let's focus on the campaign for now. After defeating zombie Hitler, the resistance thought they had vanquished the evil that threatened mankind. Oh boy, were they wrong! Instead of finally dying off with their leader, the zombie forces now wander the land aimlessly, indiscriminately killing everyone who dare to get too close. It's up to our team of heroes to do everything in their power to rid the world of this undead scourge. To do so, they have a variety of weapons and other fun items at hand. As you start your adventure, you can choose your character, as well as a basic loadout of weapons.
At first, these weapons are more than adequate in dealing with your decaying enemies but, as the story progresses, you'll face off against more and stronger enemies, so your weapons should get better accordingly, don't you think? Well, that's where upgrade kits come in. In a level, there are quite a few collectibles present, among which is an upgrade kit. Be sure to find it and pick it up, because you will definitely want your weapons to become stronger. trust me. Whenever you reach a safe room at the end of a chapter, you will get the chance to upgrade your weapons at a workbench, using the upgrade kits you've found so far. These upgrades can be anything from doing more damage, to getting a larger clip size or even to adding an electrical charge to your gun.
You can also add perks to your character in this menu, giving him or her the edge they need when going into battle. These perks are mostly passive abilities that can however make the difference between life and death. Or, in this case. being undead. Now, running from safe room to safe room, dispatching enemies left and right, all the time keeping your eyes open for health, ammo, weapons and other collectibles may put you in mind of a somewhat older game called Left 4 Dead. And while dealing with another background matter and timeline, Zombie Army 4 manages to capture the tremendous fun there was to be had by playing Left 4 Dead. It's the combination of a threatening and serious setting, combined with zombies and fun quotes from the characters that mold this game into a truly fun yet challenging experience.
Another thing that is very well executed in zombie Army 4 is the level design. Because you're running through various European battlegrounds, you'd expect them to feel different from each other, and the definitely do! Running through Venice, for instance, with its multitude of narrow bridges and alleys, gives off a whole different vibe than making your way through a wrecked train yard in Milan. It's, among other things, this variation in environments that makes Zombie Army 4 such a great game to play; it never just feels generic. The levels are expertly crafted with an incredible attention to detail. Zombies can literally come at you from any direction, so keep your head on a swivel at all times! Furthermore, because the environments are so large, you should really venture out and explore every nook and cranny, because valuable collectibles could be hidden absolutely anywhere.
Yes, for the completionists among us, Zombie Army 4 also has a lot to offer besides just killing the undead. Every level features a number of collectibles for you to find and, of course, collect. Now, we already talked a bit about upgrade kits, but there's other collectibles as well, like army documents, comic books, zombie hands and heroic actions. Each of these collectibles help you, if found of course, to increase your overall score and gain a rank. And gaining ranks is important, because this enables you to unlock further upgrades for your weapons, as well as perk slots for your character. So yes, thoroughly searching your surroundings doesn't hurt! (as long as you're not overwhelmed by zombies, that is.)
No matter how you look at it, Zombie Army 4: Dead War has something to offer everyone who likes a good action / shooter video game. It's fun to see that Rebellion managed to bring the fun back to zombie shooting, especially since shooting zombies is something that has become rather generic and most definitely less fun than it used to be. Not anymore! With Zombie Army 4, fans of zombies and shooting games can slay the undead to their heart's content. The game has a lot going for it and is guaranteed to keep you busy for a good ten to twenty hours, depending on your need for collectibles and challenges.
Visually, Zombie Army 4 surely does the trick. The environments look cool, as do the characters, zombie and human alike. I really love the style they've chosen for this game, as it is reminiscent of Rebellion's previous game, Strange Brigade. The much loved kill-cam also makes its triumphant return and shows you exactly how you obliterated an enemy, provided you did so in a spectacular way! The soundtrack of Zombie Army 4 is also a lot of fun and fits the game perfectly, and the voice-acting for the various characters in the game is done really nicely. All in all, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is nothing short of a complete package all-round, and an awesome one at that! Well, that concludes this story and leaves me with nothing else to do than to get back into the fray. So now, if you'd excuse me, I'm off to rejoin the resistance, gather my weapons and kick some decrepit zombie butt!
ZOMBIE ARMY 4: DEAD WAR
February 4, 2020