When I first heard that Rebellion was going to be at Pax South I was immediately heartbroken. This was the first year in three years that I was going to miss Pax South. They brought with them a highly anticipated game, Zombie Army 4: Dead War. Convention attendees got their hands on it, some people hearing about it for the first time, and were all generally enjoying the game. Players like myself who have played the first three games were waiting to see where Hitler’s undead exploits took us next. After falling to the group of heroes what could possibly keep the undead coming?

With Zombie Army 4: Dead War, I can continue saying I have never played a Rebellion game that felt bad. In fact, even with the general changes and newer arcade feel to the game it still feels fantastic. Let’s take a look at what makes Zombie Army 4: Dead War a worthwhile successor to the original Zombie Army Trilogy.

Shots Fired

So what happens after zombie overlord Hitler falls? Well from what was experienced so far a cult is behind the continued efforts of the zombie reich. Satanic rituals are found all around as well as occult references.

The original characters are in the game but aside from the American, they aren’t playable. There is a much more inclusive cast that has full dialogue which is more enjoyable then silent protagonists in past games. Although I do sort of miss the slapstick style conveyance in the cutscenes. Thankfully the game still feels like a great mesh of comedy and horror.

A lot of the series mainstays are still present. The slow-motion camera feels just as good as it always has in the Sniper Elite series. The guns still handle incredibly well, and there’s enough variety to encourage players to try different options.

Innovation of the Machine

There is a lot of new content in Zombie Army 4: Dead War. New zombies, great new locations, as well as new power-ups features take the front stage. The power-ups show up in various forms. There are new kits that level up your guns or temporarily grant them new abilities, such as a burning effect or electricity.  The actual kits will grant more permanent upgrades such as increased ammo, explosive shots, more damage, etc.

The new melee abilities are fantastic! I do miss the old conga line kick but damn I’d be lying if it didn’t feel good to use an electric fist to kill a zombie or break a door. There are also new executions that can be used to get some health back from fallen enemies and that has saved me more times than I can count. There is also new abilities that allow the player to slow down and enter a bullet time to make better use of their machine gun, as well as a pistol buff that allows you to lock onto three zombie heads for quick shots.

Going back to the new zombie types. There are Heavy Gunners who seem to take the place of the goliaths from previous games that stomped around with LMGs. There are Generals who will summon more and more zombies unless stopped. Demons will snatch the player up and siphon their health unless shot in the heart. Some familiar faces like snipers make their return in higher numbers than previous installments. These crawler types will swarm the player en masse. There are even more types than that, I fought a few zombie tanks, and a giant zombie Great White Shark! The horror in this game is silly, whimsical and at times outright unnerving.

Subtle Horror

Speaking of horror, the atmosphere to Zombie Army 4 oozes horror and compliments the at times silliness of the game. Even the collectibles have superb horror tie ins. The dolls around the map are always creepy to run into and they will often trigger an event. For instance, I saw one lynched up on a tree and shot it. I immediately had regrets as it spawned a small battalion of the dolls and a crying ghost thing that was more unsettling than anything. Still, that effort makes the collectibles stand out a little more than the glass bottles and gold bars of past games.

There are also zombie hands that run around the map in a number of scenarios, sometimes they even mess with the dolls. There are comic books and notes that help flesh out more of the back story. Many Zombie Army 4 levels also have an instance where the character gets to be a true hero and save an innocent bystander. Whether that be from an attacking zombie or defending them from a horde.

Locations themselves are desolate and reek of despair. The devoid of life zombie riddled streets of Italy offer a claustrophobic feeling when compared to the infested forests on the following level. It was oddly saddening to walk around the zoo as well. The lack of animals made me uneasy and I was expecting zombie bears or rhinos at some point.

Broken Armor

Zombie Army 4 isn’t perfect, but the team is hard at work fixing bugs and issues. For instance, I ended up having to restart a checkpoint because of a zombie spawning outside the map and not being able to find it to end the current siege. It was a small inconvenience, thankfully one of the few that was encountered during my time with Zombie Army 4. Other than that I ran into a small issue where I don’t think some of the collectible dolls counted.

Speaking of something broken. At one point, I was tasked with restarting two generations and defending them. This was done in order to shut off a giant demonic gateway that was helping the zombie horde. I thought rope fencing was meant to keep me inside the map and out of the water. However,  I backed up too far and fell through. There was a zombie shark swimming dangerously close to me, I did not get to investigate further because a Heavy Gunner fell on my head and lit me up with his machine gun. I mean, it’s a rope, but…it should have stopped me, right?

Bottom Line

Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a welcome addition to the series that veteran fans and newer fans alike will enjoy. While it can feel a little repetitive at times there is still enough challenge and new content to keep players highly engaged. The story continues on in a pretty solid manner, the new zombies keep the game fresh and the cast feels diverse and adds new life to the cutscenes and general talking done by characters. There isn’t a lot wrong with the game, in fact even saying anything is really “wrong” feels like a misstep. Zombie Army 4: Dead War continues Rebellion’s hot streak of putting out great games that I am going to annoy my friends by talking about for months on end.

Zombie Army 4: Dead War Review
The Good
  • Keeps the feel of the old games while mixing in new aspects
  • New Zombies test the players abilities
  • Doom gloom and big booms
The Bad
  • Occasional glitch.
  • A tad repetitive at times
8.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel