The core Sniper Elite franchise focuses on crafting a long-range shooter experience in a World War II setting. The first ‘Nazi Zombie Army’ spinoff game altered the theme somewhat with an alternate version of history which as the name suggests features zombies – Nazi ones. In simple terms the game is a largely linear third person shooter with an occasional larger arena thrown in to break things up.
The storyline isn’t deep or meaningful, following on from the first title’s escape from Berlin by sending you back in to search for three artefacts to deal with the plague of undead. The story effectively just serves as an excuse to move you through a variety of environments, with trenches, bombed out streets, tunnels and even Hitler’s bunker all making an appearance. All of this is effectively just dressing up what the game really does well – capturing the thrill of the headshot.
To get those headshots you’ll want to be using a sniper rifle most of the time – of which there is a selection of nine in the game, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The default rifle assigned to you is the Springfield M1903; it offers the best balance between rate of fire, damage and bullet dip. The other offerings vary slightly from this standard, for the example the SVT-40 which has a large magazine capacity of 10 rounds and a higher rate of fire, but suffers from high recoil and more limited magnification. Upon using the different rifles, you will find that there is not an overly large difference in effectiveness between them; making the choice more about personal preference.
To make your headshots all the more satisfying, and in keeping with the Sniper Elite franchise tradition, ‘killcams’ will trigger when a player performs a scoped shot of particular difficulty – the camera cuts away to follow the trajectory of the bullet, even into the body of the target. In singleplayer, this cinematic plays out in glorious slow motion, making multi-kills, remote detonations or any particularly long range shots all the more satisfying. On occasions where the bullet traces through the vital organs of your victim these killcams are spectacularly gruesome.
The frequency at which the killcams show up can be easily adjusted in the options menu (if you set this too high you’ll likely become tired of them fairly quickly), and this all works in multiplayer too – albeit at a much higher speed so as not to disrupt the flow of the game.
Nazi Zombie Army 2’s campaign is clearly designed as a co-operative experience, with all four available characters showing up in cut scenes. That doesn’t mean you can’t play the game by yourself though, but it’s a lot less fun – throwing fewer enemies at you and stopping you from trying out crazier tactics for fear of failure. Thankfully, the co-op system works well and I experienced few problems with it, though at the moment there aren’t all that many players available for matchmaking so finding some friends for a game is definitely the way to go if you can.
While you can tell what most of the enemies you’ll face are by the name, there are a few more thrown in for good measure – with worryingly fast skeletons breaking up the mass of zombies, along with a host of elites ranging from fiery demons to summoners who will just keep bringing more of the undead in to kill you until you bring them down. Most of the time you’ll be kept on your toes but it’s mostly in the larger arenas where you’re typically tasked to simply hold out and survive that the nastier bad guys come out to play, making things harder and more interesting. These larger more open segments really shine, offering spectacular quantities of targets and providing many opportunities to use the various explosive traps at your disposal, often also featuring panicked team-mates as a particularly nasty elite gets closer and closer.
Nazi Zombie Army 2 is a largely good-looking game, with some stand-out sections of the game being especially atmospheric. Unfortunately the soundtrack isn’t quite so good, but it isn’t offensive and you don’t really notice it most of the time over your team-mates cries of alarm. The main characters are also (often hilariously) mute, so don’t expect to hear any inspiring voice acting, but it doesn’t detract from the experience.
Nazi Zombie Army 2 is a good, solid co-operative experience and, while it doesn’t bring much new to the table, does have a very attractive price tag of £9.99/$14.99 on Steam. The game isn’t especially long, probably taking around 4-5 hours to complete, but if you can get some friends together to play then it more than justifies the price of entry and will provide many a memorable moment.
[Note: Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 was reviewed on the PC platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 Review,