One of the themes certainly more dealt with in video games includes the much-loved/hated “undead”, better known as zombies. While the market is saturated with titles that deal with this topic, on the other hand, we note that players are actually increasingly likely to welcome such proposals in a positive way of gaming. The title we’re going to talk about today is World War Z, a transposition of the movie released in 2013 that doesn’t want to deal with the themes of the same and much less the homonymous book by Max Brooks.
Developed by Saber Interactive, World War Z presents itself to the public as a cooperative title, which from the very first minutes of the game reminds us of Left 4 Dead, both for the liveliness of the gameplay and for the style of the missions to be faced with friends.
The use of the flexible Swarm Engine has allowed Saber Interactive to create a title very different from those already on the market, you will have to face hordes with hundreds of enemies on the screen, which in some moments will remind you the scenes of the movie by Marc Forster.
The only feature that distinguishes World War Z from other similar titles is precisely this, in fact, in the various missions that you will face you will often have to deal with these numerous hordes, which will force you to modulate traps, strategies and ammunition to succeed in surviving.
The main campaign, playable both online and offline, is divided into four episodes (New York, Moscow, Jerusalem and Tokyo), each of which is divided into 3 chapters of very questionable duration. In each episode, you will have to complete certain objectives ranging from the simple escape to the rescue of a key character, all without ever delving into any narrative strand but leaving the player the only fun of killing zombies.
As in any self-respecting cooperative game, even in World War Z the management of the team is essential, especially at high levels of difficulty, for this have been introduced many classes such as gunslinger, butcher or doctor, each of which will have various skills that you can unlock by climbing level and then buy with the game currency. Advancing with the levels and playing with increasing difficulties you can also improve your weapons, which will rise in level based on the kills made with the same, the improvements will increase the classic parameters such as shooting rate, damage and accuracy.
The most interesting aspect of World War Z is certainly the gameplay, which in its simplicity manages to entertain, partly thanks to its view in the third person and the ability to equip up to three weapons (a main, a secondary and a heavy). There are several approaches to each mission, which in some stages can be addressed in stealth mode, to overcome more easily some places without attracting numerous enemies. This approach is fundamental to higher difficulties where the most aggressive zombies can land us or a companion in a few seconds.
The most difficult enemy is certainly the “bull”, equipped with armour and the ability to load and grab the player, which will then be continuously thrown to the ground until it is released by one of our allies. Other unusual zombies are the “screamers” that make powerful sounds that can attract many hordes of zombies, which forces us to kill them as soon as possible. During the various missions is almost always followed the same pattern of action, so in the early stages, we will have a few zombies to kill and a few limited hordes to kill while in the final stages we will always face immense hordes that to be completed will take several minutes of continuous combat.
After completing the hordes of enemies and completing the various objectives, the game will notify us of the completion of the mission, showing us a summary of our performance, classifying operators for kills, shots to the head, resuscitations etc.. We’ll also receive coins to use to upgrade classes and weapons and of course experience points, which will level us up, unlocking new skills for our characters. In general, we have noticed that the length of the campaign is quite disappointing, despite there is decent replayability, which is only valid if played with friends since at high difficulty coordination in actions is essential.
World War Z, in addition to the campaign, also has a multiplayer compartment quite interesting but not free of problems such as bugs, present in abnormal amounts even in the campaign. The multiplayer presents the classic modes of a shooter-all such as a deathmatch, king of the hill, domain and others, but all accompanied by the main feature of the game, namely the hordes of zombies, which at regular intervals will make life difficult, and at the same time making the gameplay more adrenaline. The version we tested ran on PlayStation 4 Pro and we have not noticed serious drops in frame rates that on the contrary have proved quite stable, especially in the most chaotic situations. Noteworthy also for the graphics department, which although not excellent, succeeds in its intent, namely to handle hundreds of zombies simultaneously, but all with an audio department that certainly does not shine as it should.