World War Z is an entertaining yet very average four-player co-op shooter. Mainly the game is designed for you to have a good time with your friends while killing massive hordes of zombies. There’s nothing too special about it, but like in similar co-op zombie games, it’s fun and entraining to play.
With that said, comparing World War Z and Left 4 Dead is inevitable. L4D set a list of requirements for what co-op zombie shooters should be like in the eyes of fans of the genre because even after ten years the game still very much alive. Fortunately, World War Z checks all of the boxes.
The game promotes teamwork since it’s essential for defeating an insanely amount of zombies coming at you. The players are given a series of tasks in which they would have to work together to complete them, for example: planting explosives or barricading a safe house. For those who decide to venture into the map, there are hidden rewards like healing items, ammunition, and heavy gear scattered across levels.
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Defensive objectives are one of the most popular on the game. You and your teammates are given a minute to decide where to deploy machine gun turrets while also talking about strategies and deciding your positions before the horde of zombies appear everywhere. It’s a very basic system, but very enjoyable in the company of friends that like to work together for a common goal.
One of the more unique missions puts players in an underground warehouse where the floor is filled with poison. The main goal is to search one of the bodies among the toxic fog and find a key to reach the ventilation system; this means that one of the players on the team will unavoidably take damage to retrieve it. The smartest decision will be to have the teammate with the most health to get it while the rest protects the surroundings.
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The mission is a lot of fun, but other than that World War Z doesn’t go out of their way to make it anything beyond the player’s expectations. Simple tasks like protecting an NPC from a zombie invasion, or setting time-bombs in an abandoned warehouse are entertaining enough but its nothing that we haven’t already seen multiple times.
Additionally, most of the weapons are a little dull. The SMG and the shotgun do their jobs but are not exciting to use at all. Nevertheless, the crossbow, which is extremely hard to find is pretty fun to use and the only weapon that stands out in the game. World War Z is taking a more serious and realistic tone to the story of the game and its characters which could justify the dullness of the weapons, but it is very much possible to add more exciting options while still maintaining the essence of the game.
On the bright side, WWZ has a class and progression system, which adds a lot in favor of the game. You can pick between the six classes available and specialize in specific areas like melee, explosive, damage, or healing. The more time you put into a certain class, the more abilities you’ll be able to unlock. Testing out the different special items and upgrading them can come in handy on higher difficulties. However, the attractiveness of this option disappears as soon as it becomes a grind to unlock something and you’re ready to go onto higher levels, but your character has not advanced as fast as your skill tree.
There are not many differences between classes, mostly the weapons you’ll start the game with and an associated particular item to help define your role on the group.
World War Z distinguishes itself from the rest of the games with their choice of settings. Tokyo’s streets, New York subways, and Snowy scenarios give the game a fresh vibe compared to what we’ve seen in the past in your typical zombie apocalypse game. Also, the way we see the zombies crowding into piles that stack on top of each other it’s very distinctive to WWZ and the sight of the undead flooding over the buildings can be chaotically stunning from a visual point of view.
Most of WWZ is focused on the PvE campaign, but there’s also a PvP mode. You have your classic deathmatch, king of the hill, and a vaccine collecting mode, but there’s not much to highlight from these options. The maps are decent, and the mechanics feel pretty good, it’s very traditional apart from zombie hordes that will come to force the action. However, it’s nothing that keeps you super interested in it for a long time.