Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 1 and 2 (PC)
Genre(s): Third Person Shooter, Action
Released: Part 1: February 28, 2013; Part 2 October 31, 2013
ESRB Rating: M – Mature
If you look over my review of the original game these spins offs came from you can see that I thought very highly of it and even declared it my dark horse game of the year. Since that time the game has found itself the beneficiary of robust support for patches, additional features, and now two quality standalone DLCs. The support has been downright astonishing and has set an example to the rest of the gaming world as far as I’m concerned.
Much of what I wrote applies to the Zombie Army spinoffs so this review will be more of an extended “additional thoughts” with the necessary specific references that differ from the main game.
The fundamentals that I described in there from menus to gameplay to features really haven’t changed drastically so please refer to that original review for more comprehensive detail on certain points.
I never did review the first Zombie army DLC so I’m going to cheat here and review both since part 2 continues directly where part 1 ended off and refined and improves on several gameplay aspects.
The concept here is simple: Make a great zombie mod for Sniper Elite 2 and run to the moon with it.
These take the “Nazis were dabbling in the occult” as far as you can go with it in an alternative history scenario of sorts that results in zombie apocalypse in Nazi Germany. The developers saw two easy video game cannon fodders and decided to merge them together and let their hair down in the process.
In the main Sniper Elite 2 game things are much more of a straight forward affair with you as a lone sniper deep behind Nazi lines where timing, accuracy, and stealth are critical. Make no mistake: These things are arguably even more critical in the Zombie spinoffs although the concept necessitated a little more of an arcade like leaning even to the point a “kick” has been added for your character. I found personally that I was using my machine gun and side arms a lot more in the Zombie spinoffs simply due to the fact that you will get overwhelmed by sheer numbers and your sniper rifle simply isn’t fast enough to deal with the hordes.
Even more so than in the main game: I can’t stress enough how important headshots are in the Zombie spinoffs? Why? Because guess what? The undead resurrect and ammo is limited. Headshots are the only way to avoid resurrections.
Nothing has dramatically improved since my review of the original game. What has happened since that time is some nice refinements on eye candy and the logical slant from a “normal” World War 2 situation to WW2 meets Resident Evil and Doom 3 in the pits of hell.
The eye candy has been subtly improved upon in the Zombie spinoffs and especially in part 2. If you have the hardware to max things out you won’t be disappointed. The Zombie games clearly emphasize an ominous, scary, creepy, and oppressive atmosphere that admittedly got under my skin. You never go long without seeing an occult symbol or some gory reference or some sort or another in addition to the hordes of Nazi zombies. You won’t confuse these for current gen console titles.
Outstanding and downright ominous soundscape ranging from the varying moans of the zombies to the otherworldly environments you find yourself in. Amusingly, the original game’s music is even turned sideways into a doom laden and treacherous sound. The rest of the sound design from the weapons on is as I stated in my original review. As per usual, I beg my fellow gamers to never skimp on sound. It’s as important as the graphics for the immersion.
In the main Sniper Elite 2 game stealth is encouraged and necessary. In the Zombie standalones you can forget about it. Everything is faster and more intense. You will find yourself making use of all of your weapons. As per usual, the single player is good but these games really shine in MP and co-op modes. The mechanics have been slightly refined since the main game and are easy to pick up and play. The sniping is still far and away the most satisfying way to play when you can with dramatic slo-mo cams.
When I first saw the Zombie Army spinoff show up I wondered if it was a shameless cash grab on an already supremely overkilled concept in gaming. I was quickly proven wrong.
Sniper Elite 2 and its Zombie spinoffs value for the dollar is as good as any I’ve ever seen in gaming. If you shop around via Steam, GMG, and places like that you’ll get them even cheaper than the base $30 and $15 a pop for the two Zombie DLCs.
Zombie Army 1 and 2 are both intense, fast paced, and exciting.
The good news: The Zombie DLCs are standalones. These aren’t quicky DLCs, either and that’s why you see a $15 MSRP. You don’t need the base game to play either one of them although I really can’t recommend the entire kit and kaboodle highly enough. These are the gifts that keep on giving right on up to the point they release Sniper Elite V3 which is already in production. I can’t wait to get it.
Score for both Nazi Zombie Army titles: