In my opinion, the suggestion of utilising zombies to enhance your content is very much like using jet fuel to ignite a barbecue. It’s only going to look awesome and nothing will ever go wrong. We seem to be coming to the end of an obsession with zombies that has lasted near enough a decade and has given us plenty of games, films, TV shows and comics that we can sink our infected teeth into. The game that I’ll be championing today is a standalone expansion of the successful and brilliant Sniper Elite II but; surprise surprise, with zombies! Zombie Army Trilogy isn’t actually one game. You get three neatly packaged into one. I could talk about the mechanics, maps and weapons of Sniper Elite II being reused and tweaked slightly but I won’t. Trust me, it’s Sniper Elite with Zombies and is best played with three other mates on the co-op mode. Its story-line is based around the Nazis using ancient artifacts that resurrect his dead soldiers. I’m not going to spoil it for you but yes, Hitler is in it. It’s narrated well and not intrusive on the game so you can just play without questioning what your character’s motive is. There’s no cryogenic freezing, quest for revenge or redemption here, just saving the world one shell casing clinking on the floor at a time. Aside from a couple of new additions the weapons are the same and a few maps are re-used from the original game but with tweaks that only improve the atmosphere such as candles laid out in circles, blood smeared in symbols and fucking zombies walking about. The zombies themselves are great but pretty much what we’ve come to expect from zombie games, Slow but deadly in groups which start to run on higher difficulties but still are incredibly satisfying to drop on their rotting arses with well-placed shots. The zombie army ranks are also bolstered by regular mini-bosses to spice up proceedings. You have your standard 7 foot tall tank type that wields a machine gun and possesses seemingly bulletproof skin, a kamikaze type runner that will run at you with a primed grenade and a spring-heeled jack sniper knob-head that will keep you scanning rooftops. You also get random skeleton men pop up. Not sure why, although fun to kick into bits. The gameplay is somewhat linear and predictable but this just adds to the co-op fun. It doesn’t have to be rich with story, its whole ethos is that it’s acceptable to kill Nazis and especially the undead type so just do it. You and your mates will have just cleared a barn area, there’s no way out and so it’s perfectly obvious the Wehr-previously-alive-macht are planning a counter attack. It’s that old cliché in games, film and TV. It’s Quiet. Too Quiet. Shaun’s Character is motionless staring at a wall, he’s obviously taken the lull in the action to grab a drink, Andy is jumping around examining every surface to find some ammunition, He’s just spunked most his MP40 ammunition into a wall trying to get Shaun’s attention and Tom has played this level before and is laying out all his explosives into traps. You hear the mic crackle. Shaun is back and you trigger the script to bring on the horde. Yes, it’s predictable but it doesn’t matter. I almost feel like I don’t have to explain what will happen. As gamers we know. You’ll get three waves that you’ll deal with well, then they’ll start breaking in. No biggee, ‘Nade ‘em. Then a boss will come, again no biggee. Thin out the horde and pick the boss off. Except this is where the co-op makes this game really special. Remember those explosives Tom laid out? He placed them too close together which are all swiftly detonated by Andy’s remaining MP40 bullets. Andy wanted the points and to piss Tom off. His premature denotation only killed three zombies and blew the legs off one. Tom is now less than impressed and Andy takes great pleasure as Tom is felled by the zombies that should have been blown up. Andy now has no ammunition and bravely tries to kick the shit out of 8 zombies before they rearrange his face with their teeth. The rest of the team falls swiftly and you reload to the last checkpoint, all you hear is Andy’s MP40 shooting off its newly replenished ammo. It’s going to be long night but the bullet following kill-cam will make it all worth it. Being three games rolled into one, Zombie army trilogy will easily give 15 hours of gameplay but its simplicity lends to enormous replay value. There’s regular convenient safe areas and save points so pick-up, drop in and out play is welcomed here. To pick up a copy you’re looking at about twenty quid across all platforms. Well worth it if you ask me.
By Ben Whittington