Zombie Army Trilogy Review

Lee Bradley

Zombie Army Trilogy is the video game equivalent of a B-movie, in more ways than one. A co-op shooter about blasting undead Nazis in their stupid faces, it features some deliberately schlocky horror that has its mouldy tongue firmly lodged in its decomposing cheek. It’s fun! But it’s also kinda rubbish.

Hitler is in trouble. Losing the war and running out of ideas, the mustachio’d maniac falls back on his last resort: Plan Z. Calling on his scientists’ most monstrous creations, he releases hordes of super zombies into wartime Germany. Playing alongside up to three friends, it’s your job to stop them.

The B-movie comparisons aren’t limited to the storyline. Just like its trashy inspiration, Zombie Army Trilogy is cheap and - in some regards - poorly made. It’s buggy, a lot of the level design is weak and it looks a bit rough. But like the best B-movies, it’s also capable of being brilliantly entertaining. Ever watched a movie with mates and chuckled at how bad it is but loved it all the same? Zombie Army Trilogy is like that.


There's plenty more where these came from.

Some of you will already be familiar with a big, bloody chunk of Zombie Army Trilogy, as the first two parts of the campaign were released as digital-only PC spin-offs from Sniper Elite V2. What the trilogy adds is a third campaign (durr), a graphical upgrade, a few new features, and a wave-based Horde mode set across a smattering of maps.

Whether you’re playing Campaign or Horde, however, it doesn’t make too much of a difference. Either way you’re going to spend most of your time running in circles and slaughtering hundreds and hundreds of zombies in an unrelenting massacre of the undead. Zombie Army Trilogy has no pretensions. It’s not sophisticated. It’s a game about shooting shit until it stops moving. There’s very few mechanics beyond pulling the trigger and watching whatever was in the reticule explode into big meaty lumps.

You may be forgiven for thinking that this is a sniping game. Zombie Army Trilogy kinda wants you to think that. It’s built in the Sniper Elite engine, your sniper rifle is your primary weapon and there’s a quicker, cut-down version of the X-Ray Kill Cam for your best long-distance shots - the camera following your bullet all the way from muzzle flash to fetid fascist face and out the other side. There’s also a scoring system that rewards you well for particularly long shots, but from a survival and aggression perspective, as well as a high score perspective, you’re far better off using a shotgun secondary.

Zombie Army Trilogy features a multiplier system that rewards players for not wasting a bullet. Rack up the kills and your multiplier will grow; miss a shot and it resets to zero. Running around with a shotgun and blasting zombies at close range for low points and a high multiplier is the best and easiest approach in many situations, even if it leaves you in danger of being overwhelmed by the hordes.

The multiplier system also adds a nice bit of competitive tension to each game, as your score - as well as that of each of your teammates - is permanently displayed on screen. Making a teammate lose their multiplier by quickly downing a zombie they were just about to shoot never stops being trollishly funny.

There’s a bunch of different rifles, SMGs and pistols to pick for your three weapon loadout - but they all feel remarkably similar and as such it’s not worth agonising which one of each class you pick. Mixing things up a little are a selection of grenades, trip mines, dynamite and land mines, which will help you out in a pinch. Learning to use these in the right situations is going to mean the difference between life or death.

There’s quite a lot to plough through in Zombie Army Trilogy. The three chapters are comprised of five missions, each of which will take around an hour to complete, and there’s plenty of options to change the difficulty settings and the amount of zombies you’ll have to contend with. And then when you’re done, there’s a Horde mode with five different maps too. Zombie Army Trilogy can’t be faulted in terms of the volume of content, but the quality is patchy at best.

In the first couple of chapters you’re going to trudge through environments repurposed and refitted from Sniper Elite V2 and there’s quite heavy use of a rather a dull, grey crumbled city. But things pick up as the game progresses. In the third chapter you’ll venture out onto a nightmarish train, through a spooky forest and into Hitler’s castle lair for a climactic battle, while battling against a greater variety of enemies.


Killing zombies: still fun somehow.

Some of the enemy types encourage a slightly different approach to play. Grenade runners should be given a wide berth, skeletons should be targeted in the heart and Summoners can only be taken out with headshots. For the most part, however, it’s just about pumping more bullets into enemies. In the case of the lumbering machine gunners and the chainsaw-wielding super zombies, however, there’s little or no feedback. They’re just bullet sponges.

Zombie Army Trilogy also has its fair share of bugs. Some of the physics objects are all over the place, I fell through the world a couple of times, a level glitch left me stuck in prison (you can do this deliberately to stitch up your teammates, but this was a bug) and I got caught in the scenery once. It’s a rough game.

Crucially though, none of these bugs were particularly bothersome. They just had me and my teammates laughing. Zombie Army Trilogy is a funny game, when it’s trying to make you laugh and when it’s not. The only real frustration is the checkpointing, which is vicious. In the final boss fight in particular, it’s infuriating. Zombie Army Trilogy is only a moderately difficult game, but the checkpointing will have you grinding your teeth.

Yet still the game is enjoyable. With friends in particular you’re going to have a great laugh mindlessly mowing down thousands of zombies and chuckling at Rebellion’s intentional and unintentional comedy. Unrefined, unsophisticated and a tiny little bit broken, Zombie Army Trilogy is also fun, funny and satisfying in primal, blood and guts kinda way. I liked it.

Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombie Army Trilogy isn’t an especially well made game. It’s a bit buggy and cheap and it’s decidedly dumb. But it’s also capable of being really fun. Get online with a few friends, get the beers in, and laugh together as you massacre Hitler’s undead army, one squishy head at a time.

Form widget
70%
Audio
65%

The theme tune is synthy B-movie fun (and repurposed brilliantly in safe rooms and elevators), but there’s nothing else particularly memorable about Zombie Army Trilogy’s music and sound design.

Visuals
65%

Zombie Army Trilogy is not the best looking game. Rebellion does a great job dressing the sets with various Occult trappings, but it’s a technically  average looking game at best.

Playability
70%

Fun! Mindless blasting zombie after zombie and watching their limbs and heads pop off in a shower of blood is fun, even after the 2000th time. Zombie Army Trilogy is good, dumb fun.

Delivery
70%

Three chapters comprised of five missions each adds up to almost fifteen hours of play, plus difficulty settings and Horde mode offer a reason to return. There’s enough game there, even if some of it is a bit wonky or uninspired.

Achievements
75%

Zombie Army Trilogy has a whopping 68 achievements, encompassing obvious progress, collectible and kill-100-of-these type stuff, as well as a few creative achievements. Pretty good stuff.

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