World War Z is exactly what you’d expect from a Zombie shooter.
There’s four-player co-op, there are loads of weapons, there’s an incredible amount of enemies and there is constant dread and intensity. The Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty Zombies influences are incredibly clear and developer Saber Interactive aren’t ashamed of that. They’re proud, and so they should be. It’s a high bar to set though, how does WWZ shape up?
You’ll be eased into the game with several story-based missions set in different locations. You’ll travel to New York, Jerusalem, Russia and Japan, and each area manages to offer something different. For example, you’ll easily notice the difference between the aesthetics; New York’s cramped streets, and iconic subway are on show, Jerusalem’s dry desert and Russia’s white wilderness are brought alive on screen. Everything about each area feels unique and it adds a nice sense of progression. The story might not be going anywhere but at least there’s a journey that continues to throw new elements into the mix.
Unlike COD, this is a third person shooter. Like COD, there’s a total multiplayer focus. The game can be played online with friends or randoms (or alone) from start to finish. I tried playing alone and the computer characters were genuinely helpful but it still wasn’t the same. In terms of what you’ll be doing, you’ve seen it all before; you’ll fight through to a location then have to prepare defenses and fend off a huge swarm. Beat them back and you’ll beat the level. It’s repetitive. But it’s very fun and you’ll want to go back and keep going. Luckily there’s good enemy variety. You’ll have the Bull charging you, the Screamer summoning, Hazmat spreading gas and Creepers hunting you.
The wave defense is when the game genuinely comes alive, mainly due to the sheer size of the enemy coming towards you. It’s incredibly intimidating, even when you prepare perfectly and have full ammo stocks and the best weapons available, you’ll still end up being overran. You can replay the levels at different difficulties, which I 100% recommend if you find it too easy. The game can flip between an action title and a horror title in a second. It’s thrilling to have to overcome incredible odds. The zombies in this game aren’t shy, they are going to come at you hard and fast. They’ll almost battle each other for the privilege of tearing you apart. The scene from the World War Z movie where the zombies form a huge tower will come alive in this game several times. It’s a brilliant sight, watching zombies build a tower to reach the next floor.
There’s a bit of variety in your play style thanks to the classes on offer. You have six options with different skills. You level up by gaining experience for your class and weapons at the end of each mission, customising your play style and finding a well-balanced team is important. Hellraiser will use grenades and explosions for crowd control. The Medic will heal and buff. Fixer will make sure no one runs out of resources or ammo. Slasher is all about being on the front line and using melee. Gunslinger is the all-round class focusing on weapons and ammo boosts. Exterminator is the king of DPS and crowd control and uses the game’s heaviest weapons. I really enjoyed messing around with each class trying to find what worked for me (Exterminator).
The game looks good, the graphics won’t put you off or offend you. The character models are a highlight. The zombies look excellent and really stand out. Thanks to Saber’s commitment to maintaining the game the performance issues at launch have been tackled head-on. Recently there’s been barely any hitches while I’ve played. Considering the amount going on on-screen, it’s an impressive feat for the game to handle so well. The sound helps to bring the zombies to life as well as giving personality to each of the creatures. It really conveys the scale of the task at hand when you hear just what’s coming for you.