Another swarm is about to engulf my team, even though I’ve experienced this before I am still in awe and petrified with what I am seeing. Panic sets in, we are outnumbered but I’ll be damned if this is where it ends.
When World War Z was first revealed December 2017 I was excited, the trailer showed off swarms of zombies (or Zekes in the WWZ universe) similar to scenes from the movie. I saw the potential and as a huge zombie fan couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, does it live up to that same excitement now though?
World War Z is heavily based on the film rather than the novel with the same name, but that isn’t a bad thing. Spilt into 4 missions, with individual chapters that span the globe, New York, Tokyo, Jerusalem and Moscow each with its own unique feel, that really varies the world design. You can pick and choose which survivor of the 16 available you wish to play as you’ll get a backstory to each one if you complete any level. It allows you to connect to each survivor if you so wish, giving you the clarity to what happened prior to the infection. I’d have liked for the flow of the game to be handled better, I mean who wants to enter a menu just to change a chapter? Not me.
Pegged as a 4 player co-op experience, you’ll want to communicate with the three other if you want to make it to the end. Yet if you want to shoot zombies just with yourself, the AI teammates won’t hinder your mission progression. AI teammates 95% of the time are very helpful. Although it seems that in relation to picking up an item or pressing a button to progress they are incapable of doing it. Which is annoying, to say the least at it would speed up the process by quite some bit.
Don’t expect to be able to pause the game in a solo offline campaign though, which is a little annoying especially considering you won’t be affecting anyone else’s experience. But the length of each chapter is short enough for a quick session of Zeke killing, so it may not be too much of an issue for some.
I’ll acknowledge the elephant in the room, yes it is very similar to another franchise. It’s easy to draw comparisons to the Left 4 Dead franchise, but that would be unfair to the developers. World War Z holds its own in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to the swarms. Zeke swarms are the game’s highlight for me, seeing hundreds of hungry zombies charging towards me and my teammates are always nerve-wracking. The way they all climb on top of each other to get to you is impressive. These aren’t your slow shambling zombies in other media. As well as numbers Zekes will come in all shapes and sizes, some may charge at you with some force whilst other special ones may wait and jump on you. It is a nice change from the normal Zekes you come across, the deadlier the better I say.
The use of class systems is well implemented, allowing for some deep progression as long as you keep playing. They’re six classes to pick with perks to unlock, all of which can really make a difference in missions. Weapons have their own upgrade tree, with spending time with them you can unlock deadly versions of each.
With great world design and satisfying shooting, World War Z will fill that void that Left 4 Dead 3 could have had. Ultimately this game wants you to keep playing, with higher difficulties and new skills to utilise you’ll find new ways to complete your objectives. I will keep my eye on this games road map, I’m interested to see where the developers can take this experience.
Although playable as a solo player, the game shines as a co-op experience. It’s a shame because with a few UI tweaks this could be perfect for lone survivors.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*