Among the various zombie games that has now saturated the market, those that remain popular are those with survival gameplay elements that has players go up against hordes of undead or infected with a handful of weapons, limited ammunition, and some terrain advantage. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army provided another dimension to that with the focus on the use of the sniper in picking off zombies, which emphasized precision in a sub-genre that mostly featured tactics with larger margins of error. While it had its own flaws
The first Nazi Zombie Army was a bit of a mess when it first came out. It was harder than most players thought fair due to how the hordes of zombies made for greater scarcity in ammunition and less opportunities to employ strategic advantage through setting up traps and making use of Focus Mode. The infamous Bullet Cam was also rather disruptive since it couldn’t be fully turned off, and even the minimal setting still made for some degree of annoyance. This sequel has definitely improved upon the gameplay of Sniper Elite V2 that was then applied to the first Nazi Zombie Army.
The flaws in the first NZA were fixed in a patch, and these refined features were then implemented in NZA2. Aside from being able to turn off the bullet cam, you also have more submachinegun ammo to go around and more places to take cover in. The setting itself is quite scary, filled with redness and looks like straight out of a nightmare. That is matched by the ambient sound, with all the terrifying howls, shrieks, and wails that may either just be from far away or quite close to maintain a level of unease in players. It’s quite appropriate for a Halloween release, and it really ramps up the adrenaline during gameplay.
In the first game, Hitler had ordered the execution of Plan Z, which was the unleashing of the Nazi Undead upon the Allied forces that were invading Berlin as a last resort. Here in the sequel, it has come to pass that Plan Z was not going as well as expected, and the hordes were now flooding into the Fuhrerbunker where Hitler had hunkered in. While he had one of the artifacts needed to keep the undead away from them, he was told too late that they required all three parts together to keep zombies away. After having bludgeoned the incompetent officer to death, the zombies burst in and overwhelmed Der Fuhrer. No longer were the Nazis a threat, but their undead remnants have become the primary enemy. That’s all that can be said as far as story goes.
This isn’t really a story-driven game though since it’s just about getting from point A to B while not getting killed by the Untoten. The concept of gameplay is still quite simple, especially for those who had played Sniper Elite V2 and the first NZA. You play as a sniper who must go through zombie-infested Berlin from safe house to safe house, having to survive with sniper rifle in hand. You have other weapons like submachineguns and shotguns as your secondary, then there’s your sidearm. In your inventory, you have your grenades, mines, and dynamite for taking out multiple zombies at once, either thrown at a pack or set up as traps to cover your back. You have various ways to address problems presented by the undead threat.
Picking off zombies one at a time may not seem like a good idea due to their overwhelming numbers, but that is where the gameplay mechanics of Sniper Elite V2 come in with various ways to take out multiple zombies at once. Either you use grenades and mines or shoot gas canisters and explosive barrels to blow them up, or place a well-aimed shot that goes through multiple zombies at once. You also have to face the more unique zombies like the kamikaze one that runs really fast at you and blows himself up, the sniper that literally flies from cover to cover, and the giant one with the submachinegun who is really hard to kill. But with your arsenal, you have tactical possibilities in this game that can help you survive these seemingly insurmountable odds.
There are flaws in this game though, like the number of zombies that spawn are of a set number and do not scale in cooperative play with how many players are in the game, which makes for a measly level of challenge if there’s four of you. But perhaps the biggest flaw in this game is not being able to go up against Zombie Hitler. Apologies for the spoiler, but this is a mistake too glaring to ignore as it is a missed opportunity. Players had been able to snipe Hitler in the DLC for Sniper Elite V2, so it should have been easy enough to put him in this game as an undead boss. But it seems that he had been consumed instead of turned in that intro sequence. Instead, you get yet another generic super zombie as the final boss, which is rather disappointing.
Despite the lack of Zombie Fuhrer, this game is still quite good by itself. It’s good that Rebellion has improved upon the original formula and it’s good to see them have fun with these releases. They’ve turned the brilliant mechanics in Sniper Elite V2 into a pretty good survival horror experience, and they’ve improved it even more with Nazi Zombie Army 2.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 8.5/10