I recently bought Zombie Army Trilogy (henceforth ZAT) and am wonderfully surprised by it. It always looked interesting back as a standalone DLC for Sniper Elite V2, but I was not prepared for just how fun and interesting it is. They have taken something which in recent years become more of a gag and actually made it terrifying. Admittedly, I have tried to play it solo, and there is a real sense of fear there because there are no second chances, but even when I finally do get a friend to play with me I doubt the game will get any lass scary. From the music, character design and environment, everything just screams at you “Death is inevitable, why fight it?” Doesn’t help that the Zombies literally scream at you too. Even though most of the Zombies are slow and cumbersome, they still send shivers done your spine as the absorb bullet after bullet, and seem to care about loosing a limb about as much as the Black Knight (Monty Python reference achievement unlocked!).
But that’s not all ZAT does well, and nor is this meant to be a review, because I don’t really do reviews. Rebellion have added a cast of female characters to the game, and done them really well. New to this remastered version of the game are four ladies, who are brilliantly both believable and varied. From the American War Artist to the presumably Polish Woman out for revenge, each has a different story to tell. Admittedly these stories meaningless in the actual game, but do add a bit of personality to the characters which we don’t see through game-play. They all also fit the period and world in which ZAT takes place, and don’t seem forced or ridiculous. The mentioned possibly Polish woman Hanna Schulz back story is perhaps the most interesting and pushed, but still makes sense. An orphan, her family meant everything to her. A German officer killed them, and so she presumably killed him as she wears his uniform. Now she fights to save others from this tragedy, getting caught up in the Zombie apocalypse with the others. I guess she is polish, possibly even Jewish because of the name and story, one short paragraph gives me more of a feel for her than many Triple A games managed to do with an entire trilogy. But the interesting stories are not all, they also look the part.
I could find an image of Hanna, but above you can see Anya Bochkareva, Beth Coleman and Marie Chevalier respectively. Notice something? Whilst definitely attractive, they aren’t you typical eye candy action girl. The are fully covered and look like they are in a war zone, no heels here. Considering what some games try to get away with I actually think this is an incredibly brave move on the part of Rebellion. Most game pander to a male audience, so there characters cater from them. While here I would happily play as and indeed BE any of these characters, well maybe that’s not quite true in Hanna’s case due to her story, but the point is these ladies are wonderful role models. The display courage, independence and are more than eye candy for men.
So yeah, well done Rebellion, ZAT has not only rekindled my love of Zombies, but also shown me a Triple A company can doe female characters I enjoy and even look up too.