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World War Z

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 1 - 2019

You don’t know what you are missing until it comes back.

It’s strange how things change. It was not that long ago that I was be running around with some friends, shooting the undead in Left4Dead. But then, life moves on and I had not even thought about that style of game for a long time. Then, along comes Saber Interactive’s World War Z, a game that has many similarities with the Left4Dead games, and I am right back there again, enjoying the thrill of taking down zombies with three friends in a third-person shooter. It’s like I never left the apocalypse.

wwz1 (Copy)

The World War Z movie was not a bad movie. I mean, it wasn’t great, but the real highlight of the film was the swarms of zombies, especially that bit where they clamber on top of each other to reach the top of the wall. It was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. This is the main trick that World War Z the game brings to the table, the thing that makes it stand out from the horde.

Outside of the swarm mechanics, which I will get to in a minute, World War Z is a fairly standard third-person zombie shooter in which the player chooses a class and teams up with three other players, or AI controlled characters, to work through various chapters that span around the world. The locales are great, moving from New York and Moscow, to Jerusalem and Tokyo, and each of the chapters will have the player and their team working towards escaping the area while completing various other objectives. This could involve something as simple as finding a key card to protecting another team as they work. The variety of the different locations is impressive, and keeps the action fresh, which is handy as the player will find themselves grinding through these levels over and over again to become more powerful. There is a certain amount of benefit from working through a level more than once, simply to learn the routes and such.

wwz2 (Copy)

So, the progression is well designed, if a little bland. Players will gain experience and be able to level up their class as they play through the chapters. The different classes, of which there are six, offer various bonuses to the player, such as the Slasher class that gets bonuses to melee, and the Medic class that is all about healing. New skills unlock with each level of experience, but to take advantage of these skills, the player then has to buy them with currency earned in game, forcing the player to grind even more.

The same applies to weapons. Each class will begin with certain weapons, but will be able to find other weapons throughout each of the levels, including some very impressive heavy weapons that can only be used until the ammo is run out, such as the crowd clearing chainsaw. Each type of weapon earns experience as well, and the more a player uses it, the more it will level up, giving access to new mods and bonuses for the weapons, which again have to also be bought. You have a favourite weapon? Keep using it and it will get better.

As is often the case, the tension is ramped up in World War Z by limiting the resources. Ammunition is difficult to come by, and players will often find themselves running out and having to rely on other weapons or melee attacks. Health packs are also scarce, possibly putting players off from potentially healing team mates. Also, grenades are limited. All of this leaves forces players to rush through a level to hopefully the next ammo box rather than potentially exploring areas for more goodies. It is a real risk and reward deal.

The zombies in the game are mostly made up of your standard undead that will come rushing towards the team once they realise you are there. These guys are quick, but fairly easy to defeat and mostly only come in small groups. Occasionally, the player will have to deal with the more elite undead, the likes of which we have seen in zombie games before. Enemies such as the armoured zombie that rushes the player, or the screamer that attracts more zombies, or the one that explodes into a cloud of poisonous gas are not too difficult to deal with, but can cause turmoil when they turn up.

wwz3 (Copy)

The real highlight though, are the swarms. At certain points in the game, the player will be made aware that a swarm is coming and will be given a short time to possibly find some traps and to fortify an area. Then, when the swarm arrives, it is truly impressive. Hundreds and hundreds of zombies, all running and climbing to reach the player and their team. It’s absolutely terrifying, but makes for some great action as the team huddles together and tries to pick off the zombies before they can overwhelm them. It is great stuff.

Adding to the great stuff, the swarms actually feature in the games versus modes as well. While the different modes are not exactly anything new, with team death matches and the like, the inclusion of zombie swarms that both teams will have to deal with really adds something new. The versus mode isn’t a reason to buy the game, and I don’t think it will keep players entertained for long, but it really is a great distraction for now.

Visually, the game looks pretty good. The different environments are well designed, although they can become a bit repetitive after a while, and the characters are all good looking and different. There are a few bugs and glitches in the game, mostly in the form of zombies getting stuck where they shouldn’t, but I have not found anything game-breaking yet and the developers seem to be hot on fixing any issues they come across.

wwz4 (Copy)

World War Z may not be the next Left4Dead game, but it brings out the same feelings, and those swarms of zombies are simply to die for. It does what it says on the tin, a four person co-op title complete with lots of zombies to shoot. It can become a little grindy, but anyone looking for a great co-op game with hundreds of zombies, World War Z is the one to go for.




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