It isn’t often a co-op game comes along and grabs players. World War Z had very little hype building up to it. I don’t remember many of my friends and fellow content creators talking about it before launch. Post-launch, however, is a completely different narrative. The team at Saber Interactive had such a massive influx of people playing that they had to get more servers online. That is an amazing thing to hear and it is a testament to how amazing this game truly is.

You can not ignore the comparisons World War Z has to Left 4 Dead. They are very much apparent. Four strangers brought together by an apocalyptic event, surrounded by the dead. Special infected around every corner, both games feature crescendo style events making teams dig in to defend for a bit while a ton of enemies rush you.

I think they both do enough in their respective ways to stand out on their own. Let’s take a look at what makes World War Z stand out as more than just another run of the mill zombie game and as one of the pillars of the genre, much like the aptly compared Left 4 Dead did a few years back.

An Undead Genre

Featuring four campaigns and a solid amount of replayability players can expect to be waist deep in corpses for some time to come. As a bonus, there are even more campaigns to be added in the first few months post-launch. With that in mind, the campaigns range from the streets of New York, the harsh cold of Russia, and the cruel deserts of Jerusalem, and a bonus campaign set in Tokyo. All of them have their own unique characters and feel really fleshed out as individual smaller stories in a much bigger universe.

World War Z is a superbly constructive co-op adventure. Not only that but it is an excellent solo game as well. It avoided the mistake Overkill’s The Walking Dead had by properly scaling the zombies in the game to the amount of people in the lobby. So a player running alone will face a huge horde but it will be accounted for that they are alone with bots. So it will be a challenge, yes, but much like with Left 4 Dead’s system, it is doable alone. Trust me though, the game is way better when running through it with friends.

The gameplay of World War Z is a pretty standard third-person shooter. The sheer unholy amounts of zombies on screen at once is absolutely daunting and is part of what sets this game apart from other co-op zombie shooters. Regular infected sprint, faster than we have seen zombies sprint in a while, at least in video games.

Not only that but they pile on each other and climb over one another. It’s like taking the pack mentality of wolves and coupling it with the swarm mentality of ants. It is terrifying to see them pile up and literally stand on each other while trying to get to the player.

What Make You So Special

The special infected in the game are interesting enough.

The bull is a fully armored huge zombie that will rush in and grab players and slam them repeatedly into the ground until they are in the down but not out state. They really thrive at disrupting the group when players venture away from the group to loot. There were many times I was off on my own only to get grabbed and slammed while my team tried frantically to find me.

There is another danger looming in the dark and around corners, known as the lurker. They hide around corners and wait for unsuspecting players to come by so they can pounce and claw at their prey. So long story short, stop running off on your own.

There is a gas-based infected as well, the hazmat suit enemies will leak toxic gas out when they are shot that will choke the player to death if you are not careful.

There is an infected known as the screamer that has a megaphone hooked up to them and they will shriek to attract even more enemies to the area until they are dealt with.

Level Me Up

Something else that sets World War Z apart from the pack is its’ excellent implementation of skill trees. There are several different classes to choose from each with their own benefits.

I use the Hellraiser class because of its’ focus on explosives which help out immensely with hordes. There are classes such as the Gunslinger that focus on weaponry and being a good shot. Also, the Healer class that has a stim-shot which can be a life-saver when health packs are depleted.

There are also instances of each tree affecting the group around you. There are different perks that can have effects on everyone, in the Hellraiser class, explosive damage gets reduced for the entire party. This is so you don’t have to worry about doing as much damage to your friends when you throw out a bomb. There is also a perk that lets players throw out explosive ammo to the team.

Give Me All The Guns

There are a ton of weapons at your disposal to combat the hordes of undead flesh junkies. Players can use standard assault rifles, SMGs, various shotguns all as primary weapons. There are a few different pistols, machine style, semi-auto, and standard single shot.

Heavy weapons give players a decent advantage against the ‘zekes’ as they are often referred to. There are auto-shotguns, an RPG, Heavy Machine guns and more to help break those pyramids of zombies down. A favorite weapon of mine is the crossbow. It sticks right into the dead and explodes often taking out more than one enemy.

There are also a wide array of explosive, snipers, standing LMG’s and even auto turrets to help defend positions. Weapons can even be leveled up with in-game currency. There are new presets to unlock for each gun, sadly though, they do not stack. Meaning one gun may have a silencer which reduces noise and gets you less exposed when near the dead but when you upgrade it, you could lose the silencer. So be wary of things like that when upgrading.

Overall

There isn’t a lot to dislike about World War Z. The game did feel a little repetitive at times. For example, when I was tasked with getting a key card from a body two or three different times in one campaign. There was also a few different minor glitches like two of the same special infected spawning in the same room. I did have a reported issue where a teammate spawned in a room they couldn’t leave, however, I never saw it, I was busy fighting the zombies.

There was also a scare that the game was showing players IP addresses but that was not the case. It seems to be the IP of the actual servers the game runs on, they also disappear on screen as soon as online multiplayer is started. So that should put content creators collective minds at ease. I also heard that display is being patched out but I can’t say that with certainty since I did not hear it directly from the developer.

Speaking of the developer, I have to disclose at this point that, Saber Interactive and Sandbox Strategies did send me this code for the review, I was given this code for creative purposes, but I want to stress that I was planning on buying this game.

I’m a sucker for a good zombie game, and World War Z is a fantastic one regardless of how you choose to play it. It has a fantastic and encompassing world that I can’t wait to see grow and change with the potential DLCs ahead. It definitely scratches that itch that fans of Left 4 Dead and the genre in general have had in the franchise’s absence over the past few years. The game is so much more than that though; it is a fresher and positive step in right direction for future zombie games. I sincerely hope even more people give this game a shot.

World War Z Review
The Good
  • Solid World Foundation
  • Fantastic Co-op Gameplay with decent replay value
  • Different Characters for Each Camaign
The Bad
  • A little repetitive at some parts
  • kind of short
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
9.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel