Zombie Army 4 is the latest installment in a franchise that was birthed from Rebellion’s mainstay series: Sniper Elite. The Zombie Army experience is very much rooted in campy horror tales of film’s past, and the latest entry carries on the torch beautifully in terms of a game that is just meant to be fun.
Prima Games recently had a chance to play a few hours of Zombie Army 4 and got a taste of not only the different chapters this title has to offer but the notorious Horde mode as well. And sharks. Lots of fat, dead sharks.
When diving into our hands-on impressions, we want to clarify that we don’t think this has Game of the Year potential and that’s OK because it’s not meant to. When speaking with the Creative Director of Zombie Army 4, Tim Jones, he mentioned that Rebellion’s focus wasn’t on being anything other than what they are, and they are in the business of making games that players enjoy while they get exactly what they paid for.
Now diving in, I have to say – this game is one of the most enjoyable co-op experiences I’ve had in quite some time. It plays like if Left 4 Dead had a drunken bar love affair with Killing Floor 1 and shipped off their lovechild to study abroad and came back sporting a renewed love for espresso and adventure. That’s pretty much the entire Zombie Army franchise, in a nutshell, something the fourth entry carries on beautifully. The combat is straight forward with the simple objective to smoosh and not be smooshed which is something that all gamers can enjoy without having had to play previous entries.
The mechanics of the game are very much centered around co-op enjoyment, setting up numerous scenarios that will bring players together in hilarity. One such scenario is seemingly having zombie orgies on top of your face while desperately clinging to life after getting knocked down. I think this might have been a glitch, but I hope they keep it because watching zombies get their sick dance moves on while basically sitting on my dying face is pretty much the best thing ever. Remember: it’s a feature, not a bug.
The weapon attachment and upgrade systems for this game is also enjoyable, perfectly balancing being intricate enough to be interesting without being overwhelming. From functional changes to cosmetics (golden pistol, what whaaat) – and of course the skill upgrade system, there’s always a way to improve your game when taking on nazi zombies and undead sharks. Sure, you can just blindly shoot into the hordes, but trust me - that method will only get you so far, especially when playing Hordes. Then you're just going to be the knocked out teammate that gets tea-bagged and made fun of.
But hey, we don't kink shame.
From what we played, the game itself was pretty straight-forward, something that Zombie Army fans will enjoy. You know what you're getting but instead of getting the same 'ol same 'ol, you're getting something already good made even better. That improvement scale was definitely seen with the Horde mode, something that could be played with up to four players in a setting of pure chaos.
About the Horde mode, Jones mentioned: "It is what it is, it's what Zombie Army fans want because it's just a good time. We wanted a campy horror feel and we feel like arcade fans will see something special." If you've played Call of Duty's Zombie mode, then you already have a leg up on other players. Playing rounds against waves and waves of zombies scaling up in difficulty is heart-pounding and trying to rush to get different weaponry, limited weaponry for this mode, makes it pretty easy to let those F-bombs fly without a care. But in a good way, it's a solid co-op experience that I honestly wouldn't try solo because half the fun is seeing what sorts of shenanigans your friends can get into.
Zombie Army 4 is an authentic experience that doesn't promise anything it's not, which is valuable and something that I think players will be very receptive to when they get their hands on this game. It's got something to offer veterans of the franchise while also being an appealing co-op experience for newcomers as well.
You can try your hand at zombie-slaying and orgy having when Zombie Army 4 drops on February 4th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.