Zombie Army 4: Dead War‘s first piece of DLC released this week: Terror Lab.
With a name like that you’d expect a lot of terror! Set in a lab! And, well… there’s plenty of terror, but a disappointing amount of lab.
Terror Lab’s story picks up right where the main campaign left off. You’ve defeated the zombie fuhrer, and you’ve got a strange relic in your possession. Rather than going home to have a nice rest (as a sensible person should do in this situation), you decide to further meddle in things you don’t fully understand. That means going to a mysterious laboratory, plonking your relic into a machine (not a euphemism), and waiting to see what happens.
Naturally, zombies happen. You didn’t need a zombie researcher to tell you that. The first major fight sequence of Terror Lab plays out as this strange machine whirrs away, and zombies make their way towards you. It’s a fairly easy but entertaining battle, with a couple of traps at your disposal. There’s nothing so satisfying as watching zombies get ground up in a big extractor fan – just don’t walk in front of it yourself.
Sadly, the actual lab setting of Terror Lab dissipates pretty much after the first level (the DLC is made up of four levels, just like each mission in the main campaign). The other three levels feel very much like the rest of Zombie Army 4: once-quaint European villages, now riddled with shambling Nazi zombies.
If you were expecting a big twist to Zombie Army 4‘s gameplay as a result of the DLC, you’ll likely be disappointed. It’s very much more of the same; but depending on how you felt about the main game, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, if you didn’t enjoy Zombie Army 4 at all, you wouldn’t even be considering the DLC in the first place. The whole Terror Lab mission takes around 90 minutes to complete, give or take. Like the missions that come before it, there are hidden collectibles in each level – comics, documents, and those pesky zombie hands – if you enjoy a bit of time-wasting on the side.
The first half of Terror Lab eases you in pretty slowly. It throws at you a decent amount of zombies, but nothing your now-skilled hero can’t handle. It’s towards the end of the DLC that things really ramp up; the last action sequence of Terror Lab may be the hairiest of the whole game, aside from the epic fight with Hitler himself. After stumbling across some kind of ritual shrine (what else?), you decide to move around some ominous-looking skulls, because, well, it’s clear by this point you enjoy messing around with dark and dangerous things. Naturally, shit gets real, and zombies of all shapes and sizes start coming out of the woodwork.
Cue an epic battle that’ll last the best part of 15 minutes: you against probably hundreds of zombies, coming at you in waves. Armoured Giants, buzzsaw dudes, Generals; they’re all here, and they want to make your life hell. So much was happening on screen at one point that it slowed my Xbox One X down to a crawl for a few seconds. But slowdown aside, and providing you can stay alive, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
If you enjoyed Zombie Army 4 – like we did – then you shouldn’t hesitate in picking up its DLC. It doesn’t shake things up (and the name ‘Terror Lab’ might be slightly misleading), but it’s more gloriously gruesome zombie-shooting action. And what more could you possibly want, really?
Terror Lab is available as a standalone purchase for £5.59, or as part of Season Pass One, which costs £29.99. It’s also included in the Super Deluxe edition of Zombie Army 4: Dead War.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War and its Terror Lab DLC is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. We reviewed the DLC on Xbox One X with a code provided by the publisher.
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