My first experience of World War Z came in two forms, the film and the novel, both of which are linked to one another closely, so when I heard about a video game form of the universe, I could hardly hold back my anticipation. Especially knowing this would hold new storylines outside of the novel/film.
Spanning from development studio Saber Interactive, World War Z is a survival game pitched against the undead, in which the game’s campaign is set across 4 major cities where the zombie outbreak has struck and caused hordes upon hordes of fast moving zeds taking over the city.
The iconic cities featured are Moscow, New York, Jerusalem and Tokyo, all of which are captured and portrayed as we know them. From the cold winter’s in Moscow to the tall clustered skyscrapers of New York. You get a real feel for each city thanks to its accurate representation.
Now let’s talk zombies, if you haven’t read the novel or seen the 2013 film adaptation, then you’ll discover that the undead are extremely agile. From sprinting in large groups to towering as human ladders to climb over fences or walls. One satisfying aspect of gameplay comes in the form of collapsing these zombie towers, as you cam shoot the bottom zombies out to cause them to collapse back to the floor in a scramble to start towering again.
Another positive in World War Z is the vast amount of undead thrown at you. Horde waves will occasionally pop up and cause panic as large groups come at you from everywhere. Useful additions of traps such as electric stun traps and automated turrets are fantastic for clearing these out.
“The game’s campaign feels just right in length despite only having four cities currently with more planned in the future as DLC.”
Featuring an experience system, after each game you’ll earn XP on your class and weapons, levelling up both grants new class abilities and improvements to weapons such as laser sights or silencers if you want to go undetected by the horde. The system works well, although it would have been nice to go more in depth on weapon and character customisation.
The game’s campaign feels just right in length despite only having four cities currently with more planned in the future as DLC. Each section has enough tasks such as defending a secure position or finding the correct key on scattered dead bodies. There’s definitely a Left 4 Dead feel to gameplay through the burst of zombie hordes thrown at you right through to the objectives you’re set.
Graphically the game holds up well although it does have some drops in frames when mass amounts of zombies feel the screen, although it does surprise me how well it holds up on Xbox.
Taking it a step further than Left 4 Dead though, Saber have introduced 5 player vs player modes. The first is King Of The Hill, which has both teams fighting over a zombie filled control point. Similar to this is Swarm Domination, but with multiple control points. The PvP aspect actually plays really nicely, with balanced characters and weapons, minus the shotgun, that thing owns everything.
The more basic mode is Swarm deathmatch featuring a battlefield of blood thirsty zombies. Now let’s add some spice into the cooking pot – Vaccine Hunt has you fighting to carry the vaccine the longest. Hold it for as long as possible to keep your points racking up, Halo’s Oddball if you will, minus any tactical throwing.
The final multiplayer mode is Scavenge Raid, which has players race to collect resources scattered around the map important for surviving. It’s impressive to think a game of this calibre has so much to offer in multiplayer as well as its main campaign mode. Best of all, none of it feels tagged on and rushed.
World War Z is an enjoyable to play zombie story, best served in co-op or against other players in PvP. The mechanics of the zombie hordes creates a frantic escape from danger and makes you play smart in terms of keeping your ammo topped up. I would have no second thought on recommending World War Z to anyone considering a purchase.
- Fun Left 4 Dead style of gameplay
- Multiplayer is just as fun
- Co-op experience is enjoyable
- Weapon customisation lacks depth