Right. So. Hum. Sniper Elite : Nazi Zombie Army 2. The title alone reads like the gaming equivalent of Sharknado. It probably should be the gaming equivalent of Sharknado, going so far off the hysterically ridiculous scale that it actually warps around to awesome. Let's start with what this game is not - It is not in any way to be taken seriously, it is not to be played with the kind of serious approach that one might use for say, Call of Duty. That's not to say it's easy or anything, quite the opposite, but to get the most out of this game, you need to stop, put your brain in neutral, and only then, run the game.
The opening cutscene, using the ingame engine no less, provides a rather amusing explanation to how Hitler ended up meeting his maker at the hands of the very zombies he released in a sort of last ditch attempt to protect his empire. Yes, I actually had to watch the intro twice, the first time I was too busy laughing to make much sense of it all, but it's nice to know that the developers in this case played him almost as Ren from Ren and Stimpy. I near expected him to scream "YOU STUPID EEEEEDIOT" before pummeling his lieutenant with the mcguffin.
We're talking pure B movie brilliance, it's wrong in every possible way and yet the mixture somehow results in being entertaining, and that extends to the game. These zombies are not the L4D rushing mobs of screaming gnashing teeth, but rather the zombies of old. Slow, shambling, numerous. A slow and ever advancing wave of undead flesh, many of which are still decked in their uniforms and wearing helmets - this element is important, the gun modelling has been lifted from Sniper Elite V2 and as a result, deflections from indirect hits can and will happen. Additionally simply riddling a corpse with bullets isn't a total guarantee that they will stay down, more often than not they'll resurrect a short while after and require re-killing. The only solution, as with any good/terrible zombie trope is to shoot them in the head.
Unlike Sniper Elite V2's unforgiving and often po-faced approach, this one allows you to go nuts with the entire toolbox, not bother with all the stealth malarkey and go right in for the bangbangs. The result is a significantly better game, playing to the strengths of the V2 engine, complete with wonderful moments where you see your bullet go through an X-rayed version of a zombie, causing havoc as it tumbles. Grenades, tripwires, all of the fun things are yours to use and abuse, and the result is -glorious-. Carnage and havoc and a bodycount closer to the somme - and that's just the first level.
The only real criticism is that the enemies don't change much, though the inclusion of kamikaze grenade holders and the odd Stormtrooper wielding a LMG do add some solid spice to proceedings. Set against that however, the game looks fantastic, runs well, and delivers on a wonderful B-movie supernatural experience. If you go in expecting that, you'll get what you paid for, and it will definitely give you your moneys worth. In shambling, stupefying, and groan inducing entertainment.
Posted: November 26, 2013