Zombie Army 4: Dead War E3 2019 Preview — More Zombies Than You Can Snipe At
Zombie Army 4: Dead War, the fourth installment in the zombie-centric Sniper Elite spin-off series, takes place in a world where Hitler revived an army of dead Nazis only to be defeated by a group of allied heroes. In this new installment, the dead have risen once again, and it's up to you to defeat them and make sure they stay dead for good.
For our E3 2019 preview, we played the first level of the campaign, which can be played alone or with up to three other players online. Before starting the level, you choose which character you want to play as and which melee attack you want them to have. Later on, you can also choose different types of weapons and perks.
I chose Sniper Elite protagonist Karl Fairburne as well as the machete attack, although the electric punch melee attack was very tempting.
The level starts off quiet, showing you where to go for your next objective as expected; taking the time to explore the level beforehand can be useful for the unfamiliar player, helping them determine the best spots to camp or defend, as well as stock up on items throughout the level.
Once I reached my objective, a train full of zombies crashed just outside, and it was time to use my set of tools to merc the undead.
At first, I used the sniper rifle and zoomed in on zombies walking in my direction, taking a more traditional Sniper Elite approach. But when I realized that may not be the best option for close-range fighting, I toggled the zoom off to see a more advantageous third-person perspective.
While the sniper rifle seems to be the default weapon, there are plenty of other weapons to find. I tried to mix things up by using the sniper, a nearby turret gun, and some incendiary grenades. Thanks to my previous exploration, I also knew that there were a few explosive containers around in case I needed to take out multiple zombies at once with a well-placed shot or tossed grenade.
Once the turret gun was out of ammo and zombies started to get to close to me, I started to use the machete melee attack, which managed to take out a decent number of zombies despite putting me at risk of losing some health. The brutal takedowns I was able to perform made up for it, though.
While melee attacks are impressive, having to click the left analog stick to use them still feels strange, although I'm sure by the final release, controls will be able to be remapped.
Eventually, I was overwhelmed by the zombie horde and was crawling on the floor with only my pistol. I had the choice to give up, but there was still hope. To regain some of my health and get back up, all I had to do was kill a zombie. I was still taken down shortly after, but having the ability to revive myself was welcome.
After quickly repeating the first section, it was time to explore the train and check for any survivors. Once I went through the first car and got off through the second, more zombies started to appear. This time, because of so few explosive containers in the area, I used some incendiary grenades, which were able to kill multiple zombies in fiery glory.
I also started to utilize an electric (shocking) attachment for my sniper that connected damage to the zombies I shot to others close by, disposing of all of them in quick succession.
By this time, I had also charged my special shot, which was a more powerful and slightly explosive technique I could use once I had killed enough zombies, once again taking down several at once.
Of course, the X-Ray killcam is back in all of its glory. This time, you're getting up-close looks at putrified zombie organs. The killcam activates when you pull off a precise sniper shot, hit multiple zombies with a single sniper shot, or pull off a well-planned explosive kill.
There's not much to say about the feature outside of that. If you've played the Sniper Elite series or one of the previous entries in the Zombie Army Trilogy, you know what to expect here. If not, the screenshot above tells you most of what you need to know.
Being Nazis, some zombies had weapons like knives, saw, and even flamethrowers; many started to show up with guns of their own once I arrived at a later section of the level.
For those who prefer not to use a sniper rifle as their weapon of choice, killing these zombies is the best way to gain new weapons without exploring the rest of a level or section, although it's still best to do so when you have some downtime.
I swapped out my sniper for an assault rifle, and took down a few more zombies on the way to my next objective.
It was then revealed that I had to destroy a blood seal, a mark which raises the dead and in this case, also revives the zombies you've already killed. To prevent an endless respawn of zombies, I was told to kill the guard zombie, which was also the only way to get to the blood seal and destroy it.
Before I had the chance to, however, I was once again overwhelmed by the undead horde and my session was over.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is for those who enjoy zombie games like World War Z and Left 4 Dead 2. It's also for those that like frenetic co-op experiences. The game also provides more of a story than other similar games for those who would like one, although it has serious characters in a campier world.
In the level I played, the music also felt much less intense than similar titles and more like something you would hear on a Halloween playlist or something in a game like Strange Brigade.
Overall, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the co-op zombie shooter I never knew I wanted. With plenty of weapon and melee choices and some truly interesting mechanics, it's sure to make series fans happy while garnering new ones along the way
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is slated to release sometime in 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. For those curious about the previous installments in the series, Zombie Army Trilogy is currently available for purchase on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.