Lumbering on to the PS4 this week is Rebellion’s Zombie Army 4: Dead War. Is this the heart pumping, sphincter tightening zombie action game you’ve been waiting for, or a decomposing, rotten entry in an over-saturated genre?
The cor(ps)e mechanics of Zombie Army 4 are the same as previous entries. With tight shooting and some hellish slow-motion sniper kills, the game feels responsive and satisfying when annihilating the countless amount of zombies.
Each of the game’s 9 missions is themed and presented like a classic Hammer Horror, showing that the developers understanding of the genre. Missions are quite simplistic and as a result of this, you may feel a bit brain dead running from one point to another and then shooting endless zombies. There is some variety, such as blood fountains, where you need to kill enemies in a particular area or stopping enemies from damaging an object. There is a range of weapons and boosts such as electric and fire add-ons that adds variety to the gameplay. With the addition of the combo meter, a range of enemy types, and ranked missions, there is a lot of replay value in Zombie Army 4.
Focusing on enemy types, the majority of the characters you face are your typical zombies who menacingly limp towards you with a demonic, feverish glint in their eye. However, you will get an array of other character types, these do add strategy and panic to missions as they are considerably tougher than the generic zombie. Speaking of difficulty, the game can be quite tough. Although the mission types are pretty repetitive, the sheer number of enemies can get overwhelming and this, mixed with ammo management can tighten up that sphincter.
If you want to get the most out of this game, then don’t just sit there polishing your pistol; invite friends and bum-rush that horde together! Although this may not hit the highs of Left 4 Dead, it will definitely give you a similar feeling of anxiety when you are low on ammo with a horde of Nazi cadavers, groaning and stumbling towards you.
The game’s foggy aesthetic and conventional colour scheme is uninspiring and due to this, the design feels generic. There is nothing wrong with the character models but it does nothing to separate itself from countless other games as they tend to follow this style. However, I assume that fans of Trilogy are probably wanting more of the same and fo better or worse, this definitely delivers on that.
The audio has an odd juxtaposition with the narrative and visuals. There’s the 80s arcade sound effects, which chimes when collecting ammo etc. Although this is pretty weird, I actually found this quite endearing. It anchors the game into the silliness that it is trying to achieve, giving nostalgia when blasting the crap out of everything and building combos.
Zombie Army 4 has a wealth of content to keep fans of old and new enjoying the game for months on end. Not only does the game include a lengthy campaign with a strong replayability factor, it also includes the obligatory Horde mode. As you’d expect, you are tasked with surviving waves of zombies. The difficulty ramps up as mini-bosses and other areas open up, making it harder to survive. Finally, there are also weekly challenges which include conditional rules; upon completion, you’ll be rewarded with XP, skins and possibly more. An element that may keep players coming back is the fact that gamers can upgrade their weapons, unlock perks and customise their character.
So, is this a game that will loosen the bowels? No. Is it a game that you will keep returning to? Possibly. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy exploding the heads of Nazi zombies, whereas others may get tired of the repetitive nature of the game. It’s definitely more enjoyable when played with others and has been designed with that in mind. If you’re after a mindless shooter then this is a solid game to quench that bloodthirst. I award the game a Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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