I must admit, I’ve never actually played any of the games in this series before and it’s safe to say that – I thought Zombie Army 4 would be hot garbage. Especially on the Nintendo Switch. But lo and behold, I honestly ended up having a lot more fun than I thought. I mean, it is as straightforward as video games get. Shoot some zombos, shoot more zombos and finally… shoot zombos. Too complicated, I know. But all things considered, the campaign itself does contain a surprisingly decent amount of content, and the horde mode is no slouch either. Plus, both modes can also be played solo or co-op with up to 4 friends, either online or through local wireless. However, there is no split-screen option, unfortunately.
Bring On The Destruction
In regards to the campaign, the game lets players control one of several uniquely-powered operatives on a mission to take down Hitler’s undead army, again. Of course, this is an absolutely bonkers premise with zero substance and it’ll most likely be forgotten about a minute after the credits roll. Albeit, the story’s not what we’re here for. Zombie Army 4 is all about that survival gameplay and getting those sweet, sweet X-Ray Kill Cam shots. They’re hilariously satisfying. But you know these games are: conserve and scavenge for resources, upgrade equipment and use the environment to your advantage. AKA explode all the red barrels.
We’ve seen this survival style of play a bajillion times before, and the game is pretty monotonous in terms of running through levels from one basic objective to the next. Although, Zombie Army 4 features some simple, yet effective aspects that help make it pop. The different types of items, in particular, the bait grenade works as a great tool to lure in large groups of zombies as you tear them to shreds with other weapons. Whereas the various traps like the electric shock wires or the music-playing loudspeakers that tempt zombies to walk towards their explosive demise are an abundance of entertainment and strategy.
Players can also make use of attachments for various elemental effects, a chargeable knife strike, slow motion to casually pick off enemies and a one-shot takedown attack that restores health and looks mighty fancy. The latter only being available after ten foes are killed in quick succession, which is a smart way of encouraging players to stay on the offensive. And you will need the health, as some of the more threatening zombies like the suiciders and flamethrower guys can be quite tricky to deal with at times, even on medium difficulty. Thankfully, their power can be used against them. Since you can carefully explode suiciders when crowds start to gather or pick up a flamethrower zombie’s weapon when defeated for big-time damage. Very well-designed systems there.
How About The Zombie Army 4 Nintendo Switch Port?
What isn’t as polished are the controls on Nintendo Switch. The general feel of the movement, aiming and gyroscope work perfectly fine. The only problem is, sometimes one of the joy-cons would lock up during an encounter for no apparent reason and leave me stranded like a sitting duck with tomato sauce on top. I tried out several of my controllers with other games just to make sure I wasn’t unfairly criticising Zombie Army 4, but the issue only ever happened while I was playing this game. It was nothing a quick joy-con reset couldn’t fix, although it did occur every thirty minutes… Good excuse if you’re ever killed early in an online match.
Speaking of online though, I wasn’t able to test out the multiplayer features, but my solo sessions ran at a solid 30FPS on Nintendo Switch. Even when tackling the ever-growing threats and expanding maps of horde mode, I hardly noticed any frame drops at all. The graphics on Switch aren’t half bad either, with only a few odd-looking textures here and there. I mean, this is a Nintendo console we’re talking about here. Although in my opinion, it does get the job done regardless. Switch players can also bring across their save data from the Steam version of Zombie Army 4 and download the Season One Pass for free, which includes additional levels and a selection of cosmetics and weapon packs. Season Pass Two and Three are slated for release on launch day.
If you’re not sick to death of zombie media and just want to turn your brain off and mindlessly shoot things, then give it a whirl. Zombie Army 4: Dead War is the game-iest video game I’ve reviewed in quite some time, but it actually ended up being more entertaining than I thought it’d be. While the flow of gameplay is as one-note as it gets and the story is a complete waste of time, Zombie Army 4 still features an amusing 10-12 hour campaign and horde mode that’s best experienced in short bursts.
By Anthony Culinas – Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Zombie Army 4: Dead War contains an enjoyable zombie-killing gameplay loop, but it does become monotonous in no time at all. Doesn’t help that the Nintendo Switch version locks up the joy-cons at certain points, although the frame rate, gyroscope controls and Steam cross-save functionality are much welcomed. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, it’s best experienced with a friend or two.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Fireshine Games. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.