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Video Game / Zombie Army Trilogy

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Zombie Army Trilogy, developed by Rebellion, is an Updated Re-release consisting of the first two Nazi Zombie Army campaigns, along with a third, final campaign in the series. It was developed for the PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4, while the first two Nazi Zombie Army games were originally released on the PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.

The original Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army was a standalone expansion based on Sniper Elite V2, released in late February 2013. Its features include a 1-4 player co-op campaign, incredibly dense clusters of lumbering enemies, new weapons (including shotguns), all weapons from the original game and its DLC, and the stealth elements of the main game largely removed due to the sheer number of enemies you're facing.

The sequel to Nazi Zombie Army, naturally called Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2, was released on October 31st 2013.

Zombie Army Trilogy itself was released on March 6, 2015, and concludes the series. Or so we thought... a cinematic reveal trailer at E3 (June 2019) confirmed Zombie Army 4: Dead War and released in early 2020.

Rebellion published the five part comic Zombie Army Last Rites in the Judge Dredd Megazine and the novel Zombie Army Fortress Of The Dead to tie in with the release of Dead War.

Tropes found in the original Zombie Army Trilogy include:

  • Ax-Crazy: Hitler quickly falls into this as his Villainous Breakdown progresses. After he Came Back Wrong and by the time of the trilogy's finale he's degenerated into an Omnicidal Maniac, wishing to open the Hellmouth and unleash Hell on Earth in the name of the Fatherland.
  • Action Girl: Zombie Army Trilogy adds 4 female fighters to the player character roster (an American painter, a French resistance fighter, a Soviet soldier, and a German resistance fighter wearing a dead Nazi's uniform as a trophy). It helps that the player characters never speak, so their gender is completely interchangeable.
    • The cinematic reveal trailer for Zombie Army 4: Dead War shows an "official party" made up of two men and two women.
  • Action Survivor: In Zombie Army Trilogy, unlike the other characters, Beth Coleman (the female American PC), is just a painter with no combat experience. She grabbed a gun and started shooting when zombies started popping up everywhere, and turned out to be pretty good at it. Which does raise the question of what the heck she was doing on the Western Front to begin with.
  • All for Nothing: The entire first episode is spent escaping from Berlin. The second episode begins with the survivors being told they must go right back there to find the MacGuffin needed to save the day. Three has you facing off against the Poor Old Man when he himself was brought back from the dead.
  • All There in the Manual: In the first 2 games, the identities of the 4 playable characters are not given at any point, although the American and civilian are Karl Fairburne and Dr. Schwaiger from the main game, respectively. The names of the Russian soldier and German general (Boris Medvedev and Herman Wolff) are only given on the game's Steam trading cards. Zombie Army Trilogy has a character select screen which gives each character's name and some brief background information about them.
  • Alternate Continuity: The trilogy is set in a universe where the Nazis invested heavily into the supernatural in an attempt to turn the tide of the war, instead of with wonder weapons. Also, instead of committing suicide in his bunker in Berlin, Hitler instead summons the undead out of desperation, is mauled to death by them, and Berlin itself ends up becoming the center of a Zombie Apocalypse, with thousands of civilians and soldiers killed. The whole thing was masterminded by some Romanian trying to embrace his inner Dracula and was continued by his remaining followers and their giant computer of blood and brains. Did I forget to mention that the computer sounds like a Dalek?
  • Apocalyptic Log: Audio logs found in the safe rooms detail the grim fate of various survivors caught in the zombie apocalypse.
    • In Dead War, you can find collectible letters scattered around the levels that serve this role instead.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Panzerfaust. It's the most powerful weapon in the game, perfectly capable to turn a bunch of zombies into a bunch of assorted flying zombie parts. However, it has a few significant drawbacks: you can only carry a max of 6 rockets, ammo for it is VERY scarce, and unlike Preacher shells, it cannot be scavenged from zombie corpses.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dr. Schwaiger was a pacifist who managed to avoid conscription in the German army by assisting the Nazis in occult research, and would "rather be in a library". He's inadvertently responsible for the whole mess and now trying to make amends. When it comes down to killing zombies, he's none the worse for it. He gets tricked into freeing and empowering the games true mastermind, some nobleman from Translyvania, but ends up helping the protagonists defeat the dead army by destroying its last base in hell
  • Bittersweet Ending: With the defeat of Hitler, the zombie army has no leader, and no more zombies can be created. Still, much of Europe has been torn apart by Plan Z, and it doesn't stick; Hitler returns again in Dead War to command his undead legion yet again. Still, for a time, the surviving resistance manages to have some headway into reclaiming Europe, and Hitler is once again stopped; taking with him his army.
  • Boom, Headshot!: It is a zombie game, after all. Summoners outside Dead War (with the bandaged heads) can only be killed in this way.
  • Boss Vulnerability: Fire demons lose their fire and hang their head for a short period after launching a fireball or summoning Fire Zombies; they have to recharge their energy, which also means they can’t defend themselves, as they visibly fall down after a headshot.
  • Call to Agriculture: Marie, the French resistance fighter, wishes to one day own a vineyard. Yeah, good luck with that.
  • Chainsaw Good: More like Chainsaw BAD. In Chapter 3, you'll come across Elite Zombies carrying huge chainsaws. You will learn to fear them.
  • Compilation Re Release/Updated Re Release: Zombie Army Trilogy bundles the first two games along with a 3rd, final campaign into a single package, with a number of minor graphical improvements and gameplay additions across all three campaigns. For console owners it also serves as a way to play the first two Nazi Zombie Army games on the Xbox One or Playstation 4.
  • Crapsack World: In case you thought war-torn 1945 Germany wasn't bad enough, there's also a Nazi Zombie Apocalypse to deal with.
  • Came Back Wrong: Hitler returns from his fatal mauling and his mental faculties are no worse for wear for it, besides being twice as Ax-Crazy as before, anyway. It also overlaps with Came Back Strong in that he manages to gain the ability to stop bullets at the very least.
  • Creepy Children Singing: In Nazi Zombie Army. Singing twisted nursery rhymes, of course. Also giggling and laughing.
    "One, two, Hell is coming for you..."
    "...three, four, you opened the door..."
    "...five, six, up the river Styx..."
    ", eight, it's way too late..."
    "...nine, ten, he's risen again..."
  • Dem Bones: Besides zombies, you'll also be fighting hordes of reanimated skeletons. They're Immune to Bullets, and can only be killed by shooting them in their floating, exposed heart. Or kicking them.
  • Denser and Wackier: A fantastical zombie-shooter spin-off of the more realistic military Sniper Elite series, in a similar vein as Call of Duty's zombie mode.
  • Double Tap: While you don't always have to hit a headshot to kill a zombie, they're the best way to make sure they won't reanimate. If you down them with a body shot, it would be in your best interests to shoot them in the head or stomp them into the ground.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Hitler's final fate, although it's an unusual variant in that it isn't the demonic forces that drag him off, but the protagonist literally grabbing him and throwing him into the Hellmouth.
  • Dramatic Thunder: The entirety of Chapter 1 Episode 2 has periodic lightning and thunder strikes, which render the game black and white momentarily.
  • Elite Zombie: The "mini-boss" variety include the machinegun-wielding Elite (introduced in the first game), fast-zombie-creating Fire Demon (introduced in the second game), and chainsaw-wielding Chainsaw Elite (introduced in the third game). There are also flaming, fast-moving kamikaze zombies (created by the Fire Demon), and Heavily Armored Mook zombies wearing metal armor. Finally, there are zombie snipers that can super-jump from building to building, and zombie summoners that keep spawning in new zombies until you kill them.
  • Enemy Mine: Nazi Zombie Army sees Karl teaming up with two Germans and a Russian to fight the zombie horde. Zombie Army Trilogy adds another American, a French resistance fighter, another Soviet soldier, and a German resistance fighter to the mix. Notably, Captain Wolff is the only member of the team who's formally a member of the Axis forces... at this point in the war, the Soviets had switched over to the Allies, and the other two Germans on the roster are a defecting scientist and a resistance fighter.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ignited zombies sprint towards you whilst carrying a grenade which they hope to detonate in your face. Fortunately for you, they take only a single bullet to down, whether by rifle, submachine gun, or pistol. Especially if you manage to shoot their explosives. Kicking works, too, if inadvisable since you’re in the blast zone.
  • From Bad to Worse: The general premise of Nazi Zombie Army. To summarize, not only do you find out that the army was unleashed without any 'safety' measures or apparent control systems but that the irreversible opening of a Hellmouth is inevitable at this point.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: A large number of zombies are seen sporting gas masks.
  • Giant Mook: A 7-foot tall S.S. super-zombie armed with an MG 42 machinegun, referred to in-game as an Elite, appears as one of the game's mini-boss enemies. They can cut you down in seconds and can withstand an incredible amount of damage, including several headshots from the highest-damage sniper rifle. Zombie Army Trilogy adds a version wielding a chainsaw instead of an MG42, along with a demon that hurls fireballs. They get upgrades through the usage of Shark Blood.
  • Ghostapo: Nazi Zombie Army has this by the (zombie-driven) truckload.
  • Gorn: This is the whole point of the x-ray kill cam showing the damage your bullet does when hitting a zombie. Seeing rotten bones shatter, decaying skulls exploding, emaciated organs bursting and zombified brains splattering everywhere is very satisfying.
    • Dead War takes it up a notch by letting X-Ray Cam trigger with explosives as well.
  • Groin Attack: It's not easy to do, but a well aimed shot at a zombie's crotch can trigger the x-ray kill cam and show your high velocity projectile bursting said zombie's family jewels. Ouch.
  • Guest Fighter: A later update added the 8 player characters from Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 as playable characters in this game. This was relatively simple to do, as Zombie Army has no voice acting, so all they had to do was get the go-ahead for the license rights, then plug the character models into their engine.
  • Guide Dang It!: In the second game, Fire Demons can only be harmed when they're not on fire (generally, when they power down for several seconds after using their flame ability). At no point are you ever told this, and it's not entirely intuitive. Also, trying to get all collectibles without a guide is VERY difficult.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Zombie Army Trilogy adds zombies wearing suits of metal armor plates that deflect bullets. They're considered "regular" zombies, so you'll face entire hordes of them. They return in Dead War.
  • Hero of Another Story: In the safe rooms, you'll hear the adventures of other, offscreen survivors following a path similar to yours. You never actually meet any of them, mostly because their adventures end badly.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: With the Allies on his doorstep, Hitler orders the activation of "Project Z" rather than concede defeat. In the sequel, the Fuhrerbunker is overrun by zombies and Hitler gets mobbed by an undead horde. He later on uses the Hellmouth that he and his forces excavated to try and damn all of humanity, but after the heroes defeat him and reduce him to a normal, if unkillable zombie, they grab him and toss him into it, damning him instead to an eternity in Hell forever.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Occult Generals may look like decayed parodies of the SS, but their necromantic abilities, voices and intangible, ghostly nature show that whatever humanity they had is long gone. There’s also the Fire Demons, which are humanish, yet horrific, deformed creatures with jagged teeth and skeletal faces that possess an extreme affinity to fire
  • Hell on Earth: What Germany ultimately turns into after the Hellmouth opens. Hitler tries to unleash this upon the entire world.
  • Hellgate: Hitler's forces manage to excavate one in their dabbling of the occult, and by the finale, a now zombified and completely Ax-Crazy Hitler plans on using it on the entire planet. However, he gets desperate enough to try and use it to kill Fairbourne and the others before he can fully set his plan into action, and ultimately it's used to put him down for good.
  • I Call It "Vera": A sidequest, given by the Red Army survivor Hox, at the beginning of Chapter 3, is to find his dear Vera, which turns out to be his MP-44 Assault Rifle.
  • Idiot Ball: Karl and the other survivors apparently just left the Book of Souls after they found it couldn't work instead of taking it with them. This winds up greatly helping the returned Hitler, who uses the Book to increase his own power, very nearly resulting in the whole world getting swarmed into a zombie apocalypse.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The fourth level of Episode 3 takes place at a castle called "Folterschloss", which literally means "Torture Castle" in German.
  • It Can Think: The base zombies seem to be intelligent enough to use objects as weapons and to rudimentarily use a gun, others will try to blow you up with grenades and others can operate guns as well as a normal, if exceptionally strong soldier, although cover doesn't seem to be their strong suit though. Hitler seems to have retained most, if not all of his intelligence after coming back from being flash-mobbed by a pack of hungry corpses, despite now being even more insane than when he was alive.
  • Karmic Death: Hitler eventually dabbles in the occult to try and regain the advantage for the losing side of the war, gets killed by his own creation, and then literally thrown into the Hell Gate to burn for all eternity.
  • Large Ham: Hitler. Even more so when he becomes a zombie.
    "The Fatherland WILL NOT FALL!"
    • In Dead War, all his lines are subtitled in all caps.
  • MacGuffin: Many missions involve finding one of these, usually some ancient relic or occult text in possession of the Nazis.
  • Made of Iron: Undead Machinegunners, known as Elites, in Nazi Zombie Army are also ridiculously durable. They can shrug off a direct hit from a Panzerfaust.
  • Mercy Kill: In the third level of Episode 3, Forest of Corpses, you come across some unfortunate sods chained to the treetops with meathooks or trapped inside huge wickermen waiting for their turn to be roasted alive. Putting them out of their misery not only won't result in a score penalty, but killing all of them will unlock an achievement called Merciful Death
  • Misplaced Accent: In the third episode, the player finally links up with some friendly, living humans in the form of Soviet soldiers holding out against the hordes, who speak with distinctly British accents.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The second game is essentially the exact same game as the first, with the exact same engine and combat system. Even the main menu screen is nearly identical, except the zombies are somewhat more decayed. The main changes are several new maps that form a new campaign, and the addition of a couple new enemies (the Fire Demon and Fire Zombies, and the Summoner).
  • Mook Maker: Summoner Zombies, which begin showing up in Chapter 2. Target them first, lest you're swarmed with more zombies than you can handle.
  • More Dakka: Undead Machinegunners (referred to as Elites) are Mighty Glaciers that carry an MG-42. No, you can't 'borrow' it. However, in some locations (usually in places where you're attacked by a huge horde of zombies) you can find stationary MG-42 turrets which you can use to mow down the shambling menace.
    • Your secondary weapons are generally "spray as many bullets into the enemy" submachine guns. The PPSh-41 takes the cake by having a magazine capacity of 71 rounds.
  • Mythology Gag: Beth Coleman in Zombie Army Trilogy is the same character model as Corporal Tequila from Rebellion's Aliens vs. Predator (2010), only wearing a World War II uniform instead of a Colonial Marines one.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Averted in the ending of Zombie Army Trilogy; defeating Zombie Hitler and closing the Hellmouth might stop the zombies from being created, but it doesn't seem to do anything about the hordes of zombies still roaming the European countryside.
  • No-Sell: The survivors eventually find zombie Hitler while he's in the midst of delivering a speech to his hordes. Karl, doing what he does best, takes a shot at him, only for Hitler to stop the bullet in mid-air.
  • Nuke 'em: The Allies eventually decide to carpet bomb large swaths of Germany with a-bombs to stem the tide of zombies. It doesn't work.
  • No Body Left Behind: A truly dead zombie will disappear into embers.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They are functionally similar to normal zombies, but are engulfed in flames and turn into smoke to moment you kill them. Then, there are fire demons, which are more durable than regular zombies, throw fireballs, and explode on death.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They're Nazis reanimated by demons. As such, unless you shoot them in the head or blow them into fragments, there is a a chance the demonic spirit will repossess the body and bring it back to fighting capacity. Additionally, whilst mostly slow (except for the Suiciders, who strap themselves with explosives and sprint at survivors), they are intelligent enough to use weapons, and some even sport guns—though, except for the Elite Zombie "Heavy Gunners" and "Snipers", their accuracy is awful.
  • Post-Final Boss: After you defeat his giant combat avatar, Zombie Hitler himself is just a regular, limp body with no special abilities other than the fact he can't be killed normally. You just pick him up, then toss him into the Hellmouth to finish him.
  • Punctuated Pounding: When one of Hitler's generals informs him that they didn't assemble the artifact that would have controlled the zombies before they set them on Germany, Hitler takes the piece he does have and bashes in the moron's head, saying rather curtly:
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Webley revolver, which is a One-Hit Kill for normal zombies.
  • Rivers of Blood: As the apocalypse rages on, this trope happens.
  • Scenery Gorn: This trope twice-over: first, the base environment is the devastated "end of WWII" Germany, which would already qualify for Scenery Gorn. It's also been liberally soaked with buckets of blood, dismembered body parts, dismembered bodies, pentagrams in blood, plates full of organs, piles of organs, impaled corpses, and other gore effects. This is not a game for people who have any squeamishness about that sort of thing.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The difficulty is generally fairly standard once you get the hang of how the combat works, but many of the mini-boss and boss encounters are downright insane, as you have to deal with extremely powerful boss enemies while also dealing with hordes of regular zombies at the same time.
  • Shout-Out: Most of the achievement names are quotes from zombie movies. For example "I kick arse for the Lord!", "They're coming to get you, Barbara!", "You want me to salute that pile of walking pus?"...
    • Chainsaw Elites do a little twirling dance when you headshot them. Now where have we heard of a dancing chainsaw maniac before...
  • The Siege: There's at least one part a level where you're holed up inside a structure with a massive army of zombies on your doorstep.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Shotguns are featured in the Nazi Zombie Army games, providing players with superior close-quarters stopping power. The Preacher deserves special mention, as it does tons of damage and kills regular enemies in one shot.
  • Skull for a Head: The "Summoner" type Elite Zombie is characterized by appearing as a literal Ghostapo—a ghostly Gestapo officer—with a skull for a head.
  • Spiritual Successor: Rebellion's later outting Strange Brigade is essentially the same game, but with mummies! Many of Strange Brigade's new mechanics, such as traps, upgradable weapons, and voiced protagonists, were implemented into Dead War.
  • The Smurfette Principle: If you play solo as a female character, she would replace one of the male members in the cut scenes.
  • Taking You with Me: Ignited Zombies will explode when they go near you.
  • Voice of the Legion: Once the first Occult General is beaten, another one will constantly gloat or taunt the players as they proceed through the first two parts of the game. In the third act, Hitler is the one who taunts you.
  • Silent Protagonist: None of the playable characters have any dialogue, in-game or in cutscenes. This adds to the game's sense of suffocating isolation, but does result in much less distinctive characters than in, say, Left 4 Dead, Nazi Zombies, or Dead Island.
  • Smug Snake: The Occult Generals really like smugly mouthing off at the protagonists even as the demonic forces they send to stop them are slaughtered, but their composure breaks down when they’re defeated and sent back to Hell, and on one memorable occasion where they try to kill you just after they acquire the book of souls and leave the library, they’re left in utter disbelief after you proceed to carve a bloody path through every horde they send after you.
  • The Legions of Hell: Occasionally you'll find demons mixed in with the zombies to say the least, and undead Hitler's plan involves opening a Hellmouth and invoking this to it's fullest extent.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Nazis have an artifact that can control the zombies, or at least protect whoever has it from the horde. However, the artifact was broken into 3 pieces and only works if all 3 are united. The Nazis had possession of all 3 pieces, but went ahead and activated the zombies without first putting the artifact together. Hitler is rightfully enraged at this, and clubs a general to death for his stupidity shortly before the two of them get eaten by zombies.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Hitler begins the game in the throes of a particularly severe one as he realises that the Allies are closing in. He’s noticeably twitching, barely restraining himself from deciding to end it all. When one of his generals tries to break it through to Hitler that surrender is their only option left, he proceeds to kill him and order the other generals to activate Plan Z. Later, as the risen dead beat hungrily on his door, we see that he’s shot another of his generals and beats the other one to death with a piece of the Relic before the dead break in and kill him gruesomely. After he reanimates, we see that he’s gone completely insane and is trying to open the Hellmouth, by now willing to damn all of humanity in the name of the Reich, and during the final boss fight against his avatar, gone is the Leader of Nazi Germany and in his place a screaming psychopath rambling all of his lines, finally culminating in a scream of terror and agony when he’s defeated and thrown into the Hellmouth to burn in Hell forever.
  • Weird Historical War: This game can be summed as World War II meets Evil Dead, pretty much.
  • Your Head A-Splode: What happens to any zombie that gets shot in the head
  • Zombie Gait: Standard, run-of-the-mill zombies. Averted with all other types of zombies.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The trilogy focuses on the aftermath of a Nazi plot to reanimate the dead to fight for them, resulting in undead, demonic carnage unfolding throughout Germany. A by-then undead Hitler tries to invoke this on the entire planet by the finale of the series. Downplayed, as for the most part the zombies are confined to continental Europe, to the point that 4 shows there is still an active comic book industrynote .

Tropes unique to Zombie Army 4: Dead War include:

  • Action Survivor: Shola was the daughter of a wealthy Nigerian barrister who joined a munitions factory to do her part during World War 2, and then transferred to the Resistance as an engineer when the zombie apocalypse broke out.
  • Affirmative-Action Legacy: Whilst the expanded Zombie Army Trilogy game added four optional female characters, the default party in the first and second "Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie" games was made up of four white men; an American, a Russian, and two German defectors. In Dead War, the default party has replaced the two Germans with two women of color; Jun, a Chinese woman, and Shola, an African woman.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: If a player dies during co-op play, their character will rise up as a slightly stronger version of the regular zombie that will attack their teammates.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: With the exception of DLC items, levelling up mostly just gives you more choices of clothing to doll up your characters with in addition to unlocking new perks. Some weapon camos are level-tied as well, and they don't give any tangible benefits when equipped, except for the coveted Platinum paints, which give a nice damage boost when equipped, but have to be unlocked via Mastery challenges.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: The 9mm Sten gun is one of the most powerful secondary weapons before upgrades, dealing more damage than the .45 Thompson and Grease Gun or the 7.92×33mm MP44. All the secondaries that do more damage are shotguns, guns that fire explosives, or the FG 42, which fires a full-size rifle cartridge.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • By default, the M1C Garand features the classic trope where it cannot be reloaded until its 8-round clip has been emptied, which is particularly odd seeing as it's a recurring weapon in the series, and every instalment up until Dead War (including the original trilogy) had depicted it as being able to be reloaded partway through.
    • One of the upgrades for the Thompson is a drum magazine. The M1 and M1A1 variants cannot accept them.
    • The M30 Drilling's description claims that the gun underwent some modifications, providing some explanation as to why it's a triple-barreled shotgun and not the Combo Rifle that it is in real life.
    • Hector's Paratrooper outfit looks more like a regular infantry uniform, lacking the Denison smock issued to all British airborne forces, and also has a patch on it that says "Commando", who were a separate group from the Parachute Regiment. The DLC includes a Mark I helmet, which the British airborne didn't usenote , and a maroon beret, which is correct for the Parachute Regiment, but the game labels it a "Commando beret". Again, the Commandos were a separate unit, and they wore green berets.
      • Speaking of which, Karl has a green beret that the game labels as a US Special Forces beret. No US special forces unit wore green berets before 1953note .
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Unlike in Zombie Army Trilogy, where Elite Zombies were just bullet sponges who would soak up multiple headshots with indifference, Elites in Dead War can specifically be killed quicker by targeting vulnerable spots, like the heads of Heavy-gunners and the fuel tanks of Flamethrowers.
    • The reworked Summoners in this game can only be killed by targeting their exposed hearts. Otherwise, they keep getting back up.
  • Back for the Dead: Dr. Schweiger goes from a playable character to a scientist NPC who figures out why the Nazi Zombies have suddenly stirred into full activity again and finds a way to destroy Hitler (again) and his Helltowers, only to make a Heroic Sacrifice in the process. He's revealed to be still alive in the DLC missions, but being trapped in Hell has turned him into a superpowered raving lunatic and you're forced to stop him. He turns back to the side of good once you do.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Jun was an attache to the Chinese ambassador in Moscow before the activation of Plan Z. She then joined the Eastern front to push the dead back, and after the bombing of Berlin, crossed the Warzone to hook up with the survivors.
  • Badass Preacher: Besides the shotgun, a letter you can find references a unit of priests and nuns who are defending Rome from the dead.
  • BFG: All heavy weapons qualify. Special note goes to the Preacher, which has been upgraded from a double-barrelled shotgun into a chain-fed blunderbuss.
  • Booby Trap: There are assorted defensive traps scattered across the levels, constructed by the Resistance to give themselves some added protection against the zombies, which players can trigger with well-aimed shots. These include hanging weights that can be used to crush zombies, mannequins rigged to move and play recorded distress calls before setting off time bombs, aeroplane propellers rigged to become giant blenders that suck in zombies to puree them, and electrified floor panels.
  • The Cameo: In the Abbadon Asylum mission, the heroes are helped by a young woman nicknamed "The Angel", who mentions her family is from the area. Combined with her face model, it's clear this is Sofia Di Rocco from Sniper Elite 4.
  • Critical Hit: Your characters can now pull these off, which typically results in a zombie being reduced to Ludicrous Gibs in a hail of gunfire.
  • Death by Irony: Hitler's last action as a living man was to beat one of his aides to death with the zombie-making artifact. At the end of Dead War, he is finished off when one of the characters beats his brain out with the unholy relic that started this whole mess, which is then jammed into his rib-cage for added measure.
  • Downer Ending: As of the Ragnarok DLC, Schweiger and the heroes defeat last remaining Nazi cultists, but are forced to drop a nuke on their Ragnarok base to stop the total destruction of Earth. But their only means of escaping the blast is to jump into the vortex the cultists created, leaving them apparently stranded in a wasteland worse than hell. And it's likely that Europe is still overrun by the undead hordes. All told the situation on Earth is probably worse off than it was at the start of the game.
  • Elemental Weapon: Various weapons can be upgraded with bonus fire, electric, divine or explosive secondary damage that can only be applied every few shots. Players can also find one-shot "Elemental Upgrades" in the field that grant a chosen weapon bonus elemental damage of the specific type for a few shots.
  • Enemy Mine: While it was hinted at in the original trilogy, a note in Dead War makes it explicit that the Survivor Brigade is made up of not just surviving Allied troops, but also fascists and communists who have made common cause.
  • Guns Do Not Work That Way: The second accuracy upgrade for the Sten replaces the wooden stock from the first upgrade with a lighter skeleton stock, which reduces recoil. Anyone familiar with how guns work will tell you that reducing the weight of a gun increases recoil, which is why the wooden stock was added to the higher-quality, more complex Mark V variant of the Stennote , while the lightweight skeleton and strut stocks were used on the cheap, mass produced variants. Wrapping leather around the skeleton stock, like what is seen in the final accuracy upgrade, would have little effect on recoil.
  • Healing Shiv: When equipped with the Combat Medic perk, shooting at teammates with Divine bullets will heal them. In addition, there is a divine hammer, whose special attack heals the player proportional to the number of zombie struck with it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The only way out of hell is for someone to stay behind and keep a portal open to earth. Dr. Schweiger offers himself.
  • Kevlard: Zombie Butchers are morbidly obese, and can tank insane amounts of damage compared to their fellow undead.
  • Jump Scare: Pressing a button in one of the zoo segments causes a shark to ram into the display case. Your character freaks out at this.
  • Loophole Abuse: Explosive objects in the environment are extremely handy when going for dismemberment challenges. For weapon-specific unlocks, it's typically alright to shoot those as well, as long as the shot was made and registered by the one you're trying to gain progress with.
  • Not the Intended Use: The Super Headshot Rounds upgrade on whichever weapons that supports it is a godsend when trying to get dismemberment challenges done, due to its negligible body shot damage.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The zombie variety is far greater in this game than in the previous games. New faces include scuttling, Wall Crawling Creepers, zombie sharks, and nightmarish cyborg war machines created by melding zombie muscles and organs with the chassis of destroyed half-tracks or tanks.
    • Additionally, prior to the return of Zombie Hitler, the zombies had degraded into slower, weaker and stupider versions of themselves, referred to in-universe as "Husks".
  • Raising the Steaks: Zombified sharks make an appearance during a trip around Venice's canals. And you get to fight one in the Ragnarok DLC, and a bloody zombie Megalodon at that.
  • Token Heroic Orc: One of the playable (DLC) characters is Hector, a sentient zombified British paratrooper that fights against the zombies.
  • Scope Snipe: Returns as a stylish way of dealing with zombie Snipers. Some rifles will require a decent amount of kills made this way to unlock masteries and attachments. For whatever reason, pulling off a scope snipe will cause the screen to violently shake, which doesn't happen on any other type of kill.
  • Suddenly Voiced: All of the returning player characters from the original trilogy (Karl, Boris, and Marie) now have voices and are quite the chatterboxes. This is a return to normal for Karl, who is voiced in the Sniper Elite games.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Averted. The flamethrower you can snatch from Zombie Flamers is the ultimate crowd controller, having decent range and being very ammo efficient. You can rack up an insane combo with it by the time its ammo runs out. Its only drawbacks are its limited effectiveness against Heavies, the fact that it limits your movement and that it's pretty much useless against zombies that engage you from afar (particularly Snipers).
  • Vocal Dissonance: Possible after voice selection was added in a patch, which allows you to choose how your character will sound like regardless of their model. One haven't seen everything until they've made The Big Guy Boris speak with a girly voice.