I recall being completely surprised to see an announcement for a World War Z game. I was even more surprised to see the early footage of massive, swarming hordes of the zombies looking really well executed. But Perhaps the biggest of surprises for me came next, being that World War Z is a lower end of the price spectrum title, priced at $49.99. And I am all out losing my damn mind at what an entertaining experience the finished product yielded.
The best selling Max Brooks novel was explored an outbreak of a deadly zombie plague from several individual perspectives. Each perspective spanned the globe and gave a dower exploration of our world falling apart at the seams. A much more real world look at a Zombie apocalypse, World War Z was a gargantuan sized social commentary and a pretty terrifying look at how unprepared civilization is for a jolt to the system.
Saber Interactive takes the visually terrifying aspects of World War Z and implements them into a Co-Op, third-person shooter. This places yourself and three teammates in an arsenal packed fight for your life.
Much like the novel, the game spans the globe across the zombie infested landscapes of New York, Jerusalem, Moscow and Tokyo. Each of the four locations is made up of 3 episodes that task you with having to survive across unforgiving and zombie filled backdrops. Each city is a trademark of its own aesthetics, New York with its highly saturated yellows, browns and oranges and Moscow with its cold blues and grays. The unique landscape profile assists in breaking up any bored eye monotony and keeps things nice and fresh despite the whole zombies killing everyone thing.
Each location offers four new characters to play as, each with a well-written backstory and look. Outside of the character skin not much is predicated on how your character will perform on the battlefield outside of the games class system.
The class system breaks down into 6 types. Gunslinger, Medic, Executioner, Slasher, Hellraiser and Fixer. These classes can be paired with any character and leveled up through experience points gained during each level. The upgrade system is laid out in a skill tree that offers different perks depending on what you want your character’s strong suit to be. These perks are super specialized to the class they are paired with and offer a variety of methods for use in combat.
The number of class types really gave me something to work at and even adds some replayability for fellow completionists. And since the difficulty can be set to a variety of different punishing levels this comes in handy quite a bit.
The game itself is a mix of Left 4 Dead style endless hordes with the look and feel of The Division lite. It’s AI is ever changing to your play style as well. Those who go in crouch walking executing zombies with silencers will have an easier time getting through certain areas. The tough part comes from pairing with random players online that don’t adhere to those kinds of rules and go in shotguns and grenades ablaze. The loud approach is a much more difficult (and fun) one to go for. Machine gun fire is the dinner bell and you and your squad happen to be the din din.
Much like Left 4 Dead, World War Z implements a variety of baddies into the mix. Screamers, Lurkers, Bulls and Gasbags each come with their own type of attack style and varying degrees of safe take downs. For example, the Gasbag will emit a cloud of toxic gas if not shot directly in the head, while the Bulls charge and are complete bullet sponges. Adding these special types of enemies in really does help break up the monotony of the hordes of regular zombies and add a good amount of jump scares in as well.
Weapons much like classes can be leveled up individually. This means that that one really loud carbine you like can eventually be upgraded to include a silencer, scope, etc… making for an even easier time sticking to the sneaky route.
World War Z is a complete sleeper and one that shouldn’t be missed. Seeing the Horde come at you in waves is absolutely insane. Once the Horde is activated and comes at you, your situation becomes akin to trying to hide from water in a raging and terrifying river. The locales and character models and the variety of ways of taking on the Horde are something that has kept me coming back and having a blast with a flat-out, cool zombie game.
Review code for World War Z provided by Saber Interactive on Xbox One.