Rebellion released Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army on 28th February 2013, a separate stand-alone title based on the original, Sniper Elite V2, released in early 2012. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 picks up after the events of the first, only 8 months later. This is a very short turnaround between game releases, which means we should not expect that much development time had been placed on the game, and should rather be viewed as an expansion as opposed to an entirely new title.
Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 (NZA2) continues where players left the action in the first game, having escaped Berlin. NZA2 sees you return to the heart of the Nazi Zombie outbreak in Berlin. Hitler’s attempt at unleashing the swarm of zombies has gone horribly wrong, which turns around on him, as he too is killed. Before his death, however, the opening cinematic reveals what is required to stop the outbreak, a collection of all three pieces of an ancient relic.
Karl Fairburne is back once again, this time to seek out the pieces of the relic to put an end to the plague. The remainder of the story unfolds linearly, and isn’t very profound or meaningful, as you work your way through hordes of zombies around every corner. In the end, the story is just the basis for going back to shoot up some zombies in a variety of environments, as you work your way through bombed streets, tunnels, trenches, and even Hitler’s bunker, to collect the three pieces.
NZA2 once again features the same game engine and mechanics from the previous two titles, V2 and NZA. If you played either of the two, you’d know exactly what to expect in NZA2, which plays more as a standalone DLC than a new title. Rebellion has managed to create new environments to work through, while provided slightly improved graphics that are sharper.
NZA2 is an improvement over the original in that it fixes many of the glitches that annoyed gamers, such the limited resources and Bullet Cam shots (killshots) that appeared far too frequently. While these issues have been addressed, the game doesn’t lose its overall gameplay and dynamics. Headshots are still quite a focal point, which is easier to achieve by using any one of the nine sniper rifles available, each with their own advantages and drawbacks for rate of fire, damage, bullet dip, and reload times. While other guns are accessible, it doesn’t provide the same level of fun, or sense of achievement. Players now have the option of choosing a setting for the frequency of the killshot, which, by default, is set based on the difficulty of the shot and achieving a higher difficulty for next shot, and so on. This is observed in slow motion, specifically during the single player mode, as the camera pans away from the player and follows the trajectory of the bullet, right into the body of the target zombie, which is often quite gruesome and detailed. The killshot is also observed when achieving multiple concurrent kills, and detonations.
While NZA2 allows for a single player campaign, it just isn’t as much fun as the intended co-op experience through multiplayer, with a maximum of four players are available at a time. The co-op mode throws a whole lot more zombies your way as you and your team carry out crazy tactics to progress to the next checkpoint. The multiplayer mode has its limitations, however, with only a small group of players available online at any given point in time to team up with. Thus, it is easier if you group together with a few friends to fully experience the co-op action.
NZA2 has seen quite an improvement over the original. The ratio between the amounts of zombies that attack to the ammunition available in the environment has been rectified. The killshot is also less distracting, and can be set to trigger at specific points, or even turned off fully. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 won’t provide hours of well-thought out action scenes, and relies more on a thrill factor to keep players entertained. This gives it a particular charm when you’re looking for a quick fix for a FPS without needing to delve too deep into a story that may actually be detrimental to the experience.
Rebellion is currently working on Sniper Elite 3, a title that should provide more depth and value for your money; something that fans of the series have been waiting for. As previously mentioned, NZA2 isn’t a true sequel to its predecessors, but rather a continuation in the form of a standalone DLC, and could even be played totally separate from the original.