The dead rise again – here’s everything you need to know to put them down.
The Zombie Army franchise returns with Zombie Army 4: Dead War, offering more undead waves to slaughter and yet another insidious plot by Zombie Hitler to foil. That’s in addition to various insane ways to kill zombies, new missions and various new enemy types to deal with. What should you know about the sequel before picking it up on February 4th 2020 for Xbox One, PS4 or PC? Let’s go over the finer points here.
Zombie Hitler Returns
The Survivor Brigade is back and despite Zombie Hitler being defeated before, the undead continue to wreak havoc. Though their arch-nemesis was apparently sent to Hell, the release date trailer clearly showcases Hitler on this Earth. Regardless of how he escaped, it’s your job to travel Southern Europe and send him packing once more.
80’s Horror Atmosphere
If the name “Zombie Army” didn’t tip you off, this isn’t a very serious game (despite having the same shooting and ballistics that Sniper Elite is known for). The atmosphere has a very 80’s horror vibe and comparisons to John Carpenter films have been made. So expect plenty of synth music, minimal lighting and gore to go with all the zombie killing.
Various countries and cities will be explored this time around including Italy, Milan and Venice along with the Mediterranean. Along with the usual forests, swamps and bombed out cities, players will travel through canals teeming with zombies and even venture into a Zombie Zoo. “Dark, inexplicable places” will also be visited, which we’re guessing to be some circle of Hell or the other.
Expand Map Size by Surviving
Horde mode, as you’d expect, involves killing lots and lots of zombies. However, it’s also about surviving for as long as possible. Do that and more of the map starts to open up. You can probably expect the number of zombies to increase as well so keep killing and surviving and hope that a way out eventually emerges.
Four Playable Characters
There are four characters to choose from, each with their own personalities. Skills seem to be interchangeable though characters like Sniper Elite’s Karl have specialized weapons like the classic sniper rifle. Otherwise, it’s possible to customize and outfit your character however you want without any restrictions. It should also be noted that while playing solo is possible, Zombie Army 4 thrives as a co-op game, especially since it doesn’t have AI teammates (at least, none that have been confirmed till now).
Weapon Upgrades and Skills
Though you can upgrade weapons for more damage, various elemental damage effects can also be added. There are assault rifles and shotguns that fire lightning or flame bayonets that can ignite foes. In terms of special abilities, there are skills which allow for chaining kills to stay alive, absorb damage for your teammates to play the tank of the group, and even uprooting turrets to use on the go. As noted above, skills seem to be interchangeable between classes so it’s possible to take the fit your playstyle the best.
Shambling zombies won’t be the only foes that you’ll put into the dirt. Shadow Demons, grabbers, armored elites, flamethrower-touting zombies, explosive zombies and much more await. Undead commanders seem capable of rallying troops to their command. You’ll even have to contend with a zombie tank which fires rounds and spews out zombies.
Traps and Environmental Kills
Throughout each level will be traps that can be triggered for different environmental kills. There are the typical electric traps which stun and electrocute zombies dumb enough to walk into them and piles of bricks suspended above which can be shot down. But there are also some creative environmental kills like an enormous undead shark that will devour enemies that are too close to it.
Kill Cam Returns
The Kill Cam returns, following sniper bullets to their targets with well placed head shots and ending in a satisfying splatter. It also applies to explosive kills – toss a bomb into a group of zombies and watch the fireworks unfold though how often this triggers, especially given all the chaos happening, remains to be seen. You’ll also notice that despite losing some limbs, the zombies will keep up the pursuit, which is a nice touch.
Each character is more than just a class with its own kit – they have their own unique personalities and quips as well. Characters may comment on the kills you’re racking up or converse with each other during special moments. If you’ve played Warhammer: Vermintide 2, then this will be very familiar and adds an additional layer of narrative and camaraderie on top of all the killing.
Emotes, Taunts and Cosmetics
Along with unique abilities and perks, players will also be able to unlock new emotes, taunts and cosmetics while progressing through the game. This will likely include new outfits for characters along with weapon skins and charms. We can only guess as to what horrors the emotes will unleash so look out for that.
Season Pass Content
The Season Pass follows Rebellion’s trend of providing new characters along with new maps and weapons to play around with. It contains three new campaign levels, four character packs (with the Undead Airman pack available for free on pre-ordering either edition), nine weapon bundles which contain skins and charms along with weapons, five weapon skin packs for special effects, and four character outfit bundles for new outfits and hats. The Season Pass hasn’t been priced yet unfortunately.
Epic Games Store Timed Exclusive
For those on PC, Zombie Army 4: Dead War will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store. It’s a timed exclusive but the time frame is 12 months. CEO and creative director Jason Kingsley acknowledged to PC Gamer that Epic Games offered a “ton more support than we were going to be able to give the game ourselves in terms of marketing, so it’s been a very good experience.” He did acknowledge that some players wouldn’t like the game being Epic-exclusive and understood why that was the case but also said “It’s been very good for the project. It’s been very good for us.” So take from that what you will.
4K and HDR on Xbox One X
While the PS4 Pro resolution is currently unknown, the Microsoft Store listing indicates that Zombie Army 4 will run at 4K Ultra HD with support for HDR10 on the Xbox One X. Further enhancements on the console are yet to be detailed and we’re still waiting for the official system requirements for PC players. As always, stay tuned for more details when those go live.