I Played Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army For Half An Hour

By John Walker on March 4th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

It's even made cheerful old Hitler all grumpy.

And that’s as much as I think any human should have to.

That the apocalyptic scale of the Nazi atrocities are still within living memory tends to give both good and bad reasons for fantastical reimagining of the events. Processing our history, understanding our pasts, and trying to make sense of how such a thing could happen can be explored through metaphor, through the prism of science fiction. It can be indelicate, perhaps directly insensitive, but it can be done with greater purpose in mind. Or you can shout “THE NAZIS ARE ZOMBIES NOW!”

Rebellion have routinely coughed up forgettable shooters for a good long while. While they were behind the okay Aliens Vs Predator in 2010, they’ve also recently been responsible for excrement like Shellshock 2 and Rogue Warrior, and mediocrity like NeverDead and Sniper Elite V2. Yet they persist, and the latest is a clumsy, stupid, and utterly tedious shooter, in which you must first-person shoot the heads of randomly appearing zombies in a dreary, grey corridor. And for some reason they’re Nazis, because that makes a difference apparently.

Oh, okay, I went back and played a bit more. Just in case. It didn’t get any better.

The game seems to think that what we want, what we all secretly harbour a pained desire for, is to be playing yet another zombie game, and yet another one where you must survive waves and waves of identical enemies running toward you until an arbitrary number have had their heads shot off. But! But this time, with guns that seem to have a delay on them, targeting that – to me – often didn’t seem to recognise headshots, and broken, buggy slow-downs that occasionally make it entirely impossible to use a weapon’s scope. And best of all, in a washed out, barely grey world of endless, streets and crumbling buildings, with widely spaced checkpoints ensuring that when your character gets his foot stuck behind a piece of nothing on the ground, and thus eaten, you get to replay everything that came before that yet again!

I just did something I think no other player of Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army will ever do. I exited the game, and then loaded it up again. My scopes now work once more.

Beginning with a cutscene showing a beleaguered Hitler being told his war effort is lost, we see the tiny-moustached monster shoot the officer in the head, and then declare that “Plan Z” must be launched. Then the game starts, and you’re half-informed that you are one of very few people left alive in Germany, the rest being zombies. Who you are, why you’re there, what you’re trying to do, etc, doesn’t appear to be important. You instead must run to the next yellow marker while providing very extreme haircuts to all the undead along the way.

To make what sounds like a very basic concept a bit more interesting, Rebellion have… done nothing at all. That’s it. In my second half hour with the game, skellingtons appeared, with hearts still pointlessly beating in their hollow chests. You have to shoot the hearts, you see.

Which all rather asks the question: why does it have “sniper” in the title? Of the three guns you can carry at any time, one is always a scoped rifle, alongside a machine gun or shotgun, and a pistol of some variety. None is usefully explained, nor feels helpfully different in the mash of play, instead generally only being swapped when you’ve run out of ammo for the one you’re holding. The sniper rifles, well, they’re rifles with a big zoom on them. It’s not about lining up perfect shots with scant few bullets – it’s about hammering out attacks against crowds running toward you. And crowds running toward you isn’t really the circumstances a sniper would usually pick. So you end up using it like any other FPS gun with a right-click to target mode, except it’s less than helpful here because of the limited view and proximity of the seven hundred AI blobs inexorably stumbling in your direction. So, not a sniper game then. Weird that it’s in the title.

Although, to be fair, at the start of each rush of deads, you can try to pick one or two off at range. Get them in the head and it’ll give you a little killcam cutscene, showing the bullet flying across the scene in slow motion, penetrating the zombie’s brain, heart or lungs, and exploding out the other side. Shoot another in a vulnerable spot and it’ll show you a little killcam cutscene, showing the bullet flying across the scene in slow motion, penetrating the zombie’s brain, heart or lungs, and exploding out the other side. Catch another in the chest and it’ll offer a little killcam cutscene, showing the bullet flying across the scene in slow motion, penetrating the zombie’s brain, heart or lungs, and exploding out the other side… The same animation, every single time.

Maybe after the first hour this opens up into an elaborate world of endless entertainment. I’m sure there’s a scene where you fight a zombie version of Hitler, to great amusement. I can’t imagine who would have the stamina to find out. Just seeing the words, “Survive the siege” for a third time were enough to have me disconnect my mouse and keyboard, and throw them into the middle of the Sun. It doesn’t even have the good manners to quit without freezing up.

There’s a co-op mode for anyone who hates their friends, and the whole thing is yours for a bargain price of £10. Buy ten!

__________________

« | »

, , , .

229 Comments »

  1. Dafini says:

    Me and my friend next to me have confirmed that Hitler is not in the game after the Intro cutscene.
    Meaning we played through the whole thing
    Meaning the most fun we had was making fun of it for the duration
    Meaning we called the big machine gun zombie Herman and laughed at that guy continually.

    The thing I hated the most out of the entire playthrough(whimper)… was the skeletons
    Living skeletons in a Nazi Zombie game sold with the notion of Nazi Zombies and Zombies.
    With only 3 animations, walking and attacking, and I think I saw a flinching animation… all of which were awfully constructed.
    They move straight at you, speeding along with the awkward bobbing animation, and eat up your SMG like that one gun does nothing.
    They do not fit into… anything Zombie, anything Nazi Germany, or anything that undead.

    Also there ARE flying zombie snipers. Just as a warning. Don’t ask.
    … Long live Herman.

  2. Ryan Wolfeh says:

    This entire site seems to be more so dedicated to unjustified bashing of games, and acting as if the reviewers have any right to complain about a game even though they’ve played five minutes of it in the worst way imaginable. It’s as if these cretins are typing these reviews for the sake of being rude and unfunny on PURPOSE, instead of bringing us a fair review from a natural stance.

    This isn’t 4chan, you can do this mindless e-peen stroking mediocrity over there, and even on 4chan I’ve seen better reviews and feedback on games, compared to what I’ve seen on this site. Nice try, though.

  3. pudenfuhrer says:

    This article is really poor. I don’t know, I was upset by how bad the new Aliens Vs Predator was, Sniper Elite isn’t great.. But the article misses the point. This is a glorified mod, it inherits the functionality of another game. It’s also a lot of fun and there’s quite a lot to do. Lots of tripwires, mines, dynamite to rig to the wires to increase the explosion area. There’s the competitive aspect of trying to get multiple kills, the physics of the shooting (bullet drop, tumbling modelling). There’s working as a team to cover multiple threats and directions. We bought a 4 pack for £10 and my friends and I have been playing ALL WEEK having a lot of fun. The game is quite hardcore, quite a lot like GodMode, and takes time to notice the subtle gameplay elements that make difference between dying and making it. It becomes very satisfying.

    Regardless – I think the guys at Rebellion deserve you to play more than 30 mins. I don’t care that you disliked several of their previous. This smacks of hubris on your part – I think you are using the fact no one is likely to care about this game to cover using this “review” as little more than a way of setting the world of gaming to rights according to John Walker. You have quite a lot power, you are on the Steam updates feed for crying out loud for this game – those guys who made this.. well they just have to take it. And the publisher will (like GodMode) pull support. So thanks.

    Sorry it doesn’t have more people kissing in the rain and a bridge made out of the hopes and dreams of little children. But not everything will be a handholding experience that will spoon feed you entertainment in the narrative way you wish. For me and my coop chums the magic is in the gameplay – for you I think – the narrative.
    As an example, you love Burnout Paradise. The cars are on elastic (they slow down if you do), it lets you always feel like you are winning etc.
    I like GTLegends or Shift 2 or rfactor – I want to have to invest to get the benefit of the subtle mechanics that make the difference between winning and losing. And I like sharing that with people that get it too.

  4. SofaKing1337 says:

    To sum up after reading these self proclaimed witty comments it is basically a bunch of people that don’t have friends to play with. I run a LAN party once a week, I buy many tittles of games for people to play. This was one of them, at first we thought it was going to be a waste of time but it turned out to be a lot of fun with friends. There was plenty of teamwork and really the sniper cam doesn’t suck. We grabbed a four pack off steam during a sale so it was plenty cheap and worth the money.

  5. voozers says:

    I made an account just to disagree with this article. I’m not saying it’s the greatest game ever made. But it’s not like Rebellion forced this game on anyone, they stealth released it and wasn’t sure if it would work. I only picked it up on sale so splitting it with 3 other people made it less than $5 which I think made this game worth it.

    Definitely, I can see how single player can be a chore but playing this with buddies is honestly one of the more fun experiences co-op wise I’ve had recently. The fact that the reviewer chooses to pretty much demean the game giving it only half an hour makes him very unprofessional to me. Obviously he played it alone, and his assumption is you will torture your friends by playing it with them. Which I say is not true, all 4 of us thought it was a fun game, not the greatest game but fun and at least worth out money.

    I think the worst part is most of these comments that also attack the game are people who wanted to read the review and realized oh he said it was bad, the other games this company made is mediocre, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. The thing is it is also obvious they didn’t actually play the game. The honest comments here said they tried it and either didn’t like it or thought it was fun. Most of these comments just straight up bashed it giving no hint that they actually tried it.

    I do agree with some points, it gets tedious at some sieges and the story isn’t very clear. But the game is about killing zombies, if you didn’t want to do that play something else. I do agree more zombie varieties and guns would have made things more interesting. But considering how this is a standalone expansion (much like how Blood Dragon is for Far Cry 3), you aren’t supposed to expect a full game. That’s why it’s so cheap and that’s what Rebellion admitted.

    So I say to you John Walker, I hope your articles are more professional. Considering this was a co-op game you didn’t bother recruiting another reviewer to at least see if this game is better co-op. You assume it is bad just from single player rather than at least trying to try it co-op before choosing to say it was bad. Suffice to say this article alone. It is a lot harder for me to take your articles more seriously.

    And again it sounds like I’m hardcore defending the game. Even as a co-op game it’s not the best. But it was fun, we had good moments and we laughed a lot which other co-op games didn’t even do for us recently. The game in my opinion just needed more levels and more zombie varieties and it would have been a real gem. As it is, the game is rough but definitely enjoyable.

    P.S. I checked Metacritic before jumping on the purchase. And of course I trust user reviews more because it really does reflect on what the average gamer thinks. Although the aggregate user score seemed low there were 54 positive reviews, 2 mixed, and 5 negative. I mean holy crap that’s a lot of green reviews. That many people can’t be wrong. If I had to put John Walker in this he’d be in the minority with the 5 negative reviews. Metacritic isn’t a perfect ratings site I know, but at least it gives a sense of what people think. And a lot more people are positive about this game than negative.

  6. Davebg2 says:

    This is basically the article: ” wah wah im a faggot who doesnt like this so i say no one should like it wah and im a huge asshole and i hate fun”

  7. ChanceSL says:

    I got it on Steam Sale both NZA games for £5, I’m enjoying this quite a bit, shame there’s no Survival Mode, basically making it similar to Black Ops Zombies, love the bullet cam, I give this a Nien out of Ten! lol XD

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>