Zombie Army Trilogy (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Chris Leebody 02.04.2020

Review for Zombie Army Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Zombie Army Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch is the culmination of an interesting evolution for the long running Sniper Elite series. Released originally back in 2015 for the main consoles of the time, Rebellion's spin-off saw an alternative take on the end of WWII, with the German army unleashing a horde of the undead on Europe. Based on the fundamentals of Sniper Elite gameplay, it completely ripped up the slow and methodical stealth action for a focus on something more akin to Left 4 Dead, with sprawling levels of survival action against numerous types of walking dead. Since then, a fourth instalment of the franchise has been released this year. However, it was felt a Nintendo Switch version could work on the first three titles, with the portable nature being a bonus. There are three campaigns, full co-op (both locally and also online), and a general horde mode that can be played.

It is fair to say that what Zombie Army Trilogy does it does well, but that it probably isn't revolutionising the formula too much. By that it means the campaigns are very much a throwback to a time when linear shooters were the go-to thing. There isn't a complex story here - it is very much along the lines of some of the best b-movie horror titles, with Hitler having unleashed his zombie experiment, and a brave allied solider behind enemy lines determined to stop him.

There are also no fancy mechanics here or systems piled upon systems across the 15 stages. A focus on using sniper rifles is as complex as it gets throughout the 16-hour campaign, taking place across three chapters of the three titles. Indeed, while simplicity can sometimes be levelled as a criticism, in this case it very much fits well with the nature of the Switch, with the constant action perfect for short bursts of gameplay.

Screenshot for Zombie Army Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

While levels are very much linear routes through villages, factories, and other authentic Second World War venues, going from point A to point B with a few 'defend the area' type objectives thrown in - the third chapter of the adventure opens things out a bit further, and it is clear the series was gradually evolving at this point. Some may be concerned that the Nintendo Switch control scheme is not compatible with any kind of precise sniping mechanics. Not to fear then, because things are relatively comfortable - on the Pro Controller at least.

While sniping is the niche the series was built on, unlike in the main Sniper Elite line, it's very much a bare bones rendition of it. There's very little to account for other than a bit of bullet drop. The use of an alternative machine gun and a pistol gives some variety, along with the bevy of mines, grenades, and dynamite in the player's arsenal for taking out zombies. Playing on the Joy Cons is generally a little more fiddly throughout the adventure, and more than once presented a few challenges in the heat of battle; but again, it is still incredibly playable on that control scheme for those who have no other options.

Screenshot for Zombie Army Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

While controls generally do not hold back the adventure, this is definitely on the harder scale overall. Things have a habit of getting pretty chaotic, and for those seeking a challenge this will scratch that itch. For anyone looking for a more sedate pace… maybe not so much. There are lots of available customisations when it comes to the difficulty, with the ability to adjust the scale towards enemy numbers corresponding to the amount of players. This is important because the campaign is playable on co-op with up to three other people, alongside the ability to play the whole thing solo. Even with others, though, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the hordes of fodders zombies also being backed up with lots of special zombies; zombies with explosives attached, zombies with guns, large boss zombies, and so on.

There is plenty of variety to keep things interesting, and the parts of the campaign involving the zombies attacking a house with players defending it, are among some of the most action-packed situations. Just be prepared to make use of the many checkpoints and have to replay areas. Some of the difficulty spikes are quite stark, and this sometimes makes it harder to identify any kind of rhythm or logical sense of challenge, particularly when playing the experience solo, where many times zombies will appear from every direction.

Screenshot for Zombie Army Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Graphically this holds up well on the Switch. Of course, it has taken a step back from the other versions. However, there are some pretty decent atmospheric effects, such as smoke and lighting that help to build a horror atmosphere. The overall aesthetic also works really well in immersing the player into this world - although the locales are all, ultimately, linear. The open nature of them disguises this well, and makes the stages feel much bigger and more expansive than they actually are. Where this is particularly impressive is in the damage system used in the zombies, with arms, legs, heads, all being able to be blown apart by bullets. It is gruesome and awesome at the same time. It is important to say, however, that it does definitely appear last gen with some instances of more ugly textures and effects.

Some of the jaggy edges are quite visible, but it isn't anything that holds Zombie Army Trilogy back. Sure, performance is important as well, and thankfully this version manages to stick rigidly to 30fps both in docked and undocked mode. Even in the height of action, it is an impressive use of the tech. Special mention should go to the sound as well. It really builds the atmosphere when the grunts and shouts of the undead echo across the map. They are pretty intimidating at times, and when the music starts to build to a crescendo, it is apparent that trouble is on the way. Guns sound very powerful as well, with sniper rifles having the memorable punch and ping as bullets are fired, and dynamite or grenades send shockwaves as they explode.

Screenshot for Zombie Army Trilogy on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Zombie Army Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch is a good fit ultimately. No, this is not the most complex or revolutionary one on the market. At its core, in fact, it is very much a linear action title that wears its heart on its sleeve. There is plenty of bombastic action and very little substance. That is not a criticism, however. This is a game that knows what it is, and does it well. It is definitely a downgrade graphically, and it takes until the third chapter to really hit its stride in terms of complexity. However, the experience comes into its own as a co-op adventure with friends, and there is certainly an awfully lot of fun to be had here.

Developer

RebellionInteract

Publisher

RebellionInteract

Genre

Action

Players

4

Online enabled

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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