We’re walking right into “Hell yeah” territory here. Originally designed as a DLC add-on to Rebellion Development’s Sniper Elite V2 PC game, Zombie Army became a snipe-heavy entry into the Nazi Zombie shooter genre.
It turns out that Sniper Elite’s mechanics blend so well with undead members of the Aryan Race, fans demanded a second and now third part to the series, the latter of which has been released for consoles as a bundle of all three games.
Zombie Army Trilogy’s graphics and gameplay depth don’t match up to titles like Call of Duty or Dying Light, but the game’s charms lie in the frantic and gruesome gameplay, which unravels like a “B” movie: heads explode, limbs go flying, and slow-motion x-ray replays reward any kills that the game deems worthy.
As a member of the Allies racing through Germany to undo the spell that raised Hitler’s undead army, you have to wade through countless waves of zombies, which would get old if it wasn’t for the variety of corpses that you have to de-animate. In addition to the usual lurching type, ZAT’s Germany has shrieking (and sprinting) suicide bombers with dynamite strapped to their chests, snipers that can leap from rooftop to rooftop, giant machine gunners that take a dozen headshots to bring down, even a few chainsaw-wielding behemoths for good measure. The suicide bombers can be pretty useful, actually – I shot one at the bottom of a flight of stairs, then kicked a lurcher on top of it. The result was…satisfying.
“’Sploded!” – Billy
The game seems designed for cooperative play, as each stronghold has multiple entry and sniping points so players can post up and cover their partner’s asses. If you’re more into going solo, you’re good to go: ZAT provides land mines, trip mines and TNT to help clear out the areas that your non-existent partners would cover.
ZAT’s combination of precise sniper action and explosive pray ‘n spray gameplay gives you a variety of beers to pair with it, but we went with something on the higher-ABV side to take the edge off of the intense gameplay.
“Oh crap, it’s the big guy again. Shoot him in the head! Too late, RUN!” -Billy
The most appropriate pairing has got to be Lost Abbey’s Inferno Ale. At 8.5%, it has a high-enough ABV to keep our nerves steady when we’re sniping without putting a swerve on the scope, and the bright yellow is reminiscent of the flaming suicide bomber zombies that plague us as we shoot our way through the game. The flavor profile is diabolical. It lures us in with a bright, peppery nose and sweet apple and pear notes up front, then hits with a dry, hoppy finish.
“Flying zombie snipers? Makes sense…” -Ballard
Bonus pairing point: when I poured it (and yes, I know how to pour a damn beer), there was a good three inches of head, and it took a while for it to dissipate so I could finish my pour. The anticipation was very similar to watching a horde of zombies approach from just outside your shooting range: you know something awesome is going to happen, but you still have to wait for it.
Bottom line, this is a hell of a fun game and a damn good beer. You don’t have to love killing zombie Nazis to enjoy Lost Abbey Inferno Ale…but it sure doesn’t hurt.