World War Z Game Preview: A compelling, social experience that Days Gone just can't offer


World War Z Game Preview: A compelling, social experience that Days Gone just can't offer

World War Z Game Preview: A compelling, social experience that Days Gone just can’t offer (Pic: Saber Interactive)

From the book by Max Brooks to the film directed by Marc Forster, World War Z is a franchise that has more than a few dedicated fans to its name.

After my time with the game at Focus Entertainment’s base in Paris, it became obvious to me that yes, fans of either the book or the film would both find something to enjoy.

But most importantly: fans of zombies in general simply wouldn’t be able to resist.

During the time I played, you were allowed to pick your class beforehand, and I was impressed at the number of classes you could choose and how they affected gameplay.

I, being me, picked being the medic of the group, allowing me to heal my other teammates and keep them out of life-or-death situations. There were others like gunslinger and the like, which gave you proficiency in different things such as melee and the type of weapons you used, such as pistols, shotguns, and the like.

On my first mission, I was grouped with three other players as we went through a museum in Moscow to help rescue some survivors.

It had us traversing through pretty effective environments, libraries which zombies crawled over to get at us, railings that they could slide under to bite and tear.  

It seemed a typical run-of-the-mill mission at first, but I quickly changed my mind when a huge zombie, clad in riot gear,’ made its way towards one of my teammates and choke-slammed them to the ground.

My two other teammates had rushed off ahead, and behind me I could see a large group of zombies running my way. My health was low. I had a measly pistol, machete and an SMG that had no silencer.

So I went in: guns blazing, saved my fellow teammate and as expected, attracted a number of raging zombies for my trouble. But the fact that there was a hard decision to make, without it being necessarily included in the story?

It indicated something truly brilliant about co-op in World War Z: it mattered. Too many times there have been games with co-op tacked on for the sake of it – but for World War Z? Co-op is where it excels.

“It’s totally playable on your own,” Saber Interactive CEO, Matthew Karch, later tells me. “It’s certainly more fun playing with others, but we’ve made the AI as smart as we could. I think it feels pretty solid.”

(Pic: Saber Interactive)

“Compared to games like The Last of Us, Telltale’s Walking Dead, and even Left 4 Dead, World War Z feels much more compelling and long-lasting”

There is, of course, other options if your friends are not the type to be drawn into a third-person shooter with zombies. Multiplayer modes, aptly named PvPvZ, such as Swarm Deathmatch and King of the Hill.

I was lucky enough to have played King of the Hill. Dear reader, it was so intense I felt as though I was going to pass out 10 seconds into the match. Prepping with my team, we headed to the point only to come across the other team, who had managed to throw molotov after molotov into my face and killing me instantly.

By the time I’d got back to the checkpoint we had to capture? Other players were the least of my worries.

World War Z’s zombies are attracted to noise. The more noise you create? The more zombies will appear. It turns out that in my fairly short absence, more than enough noise had been created for hordes and hordes of zombies to come rushing through. They vaulted over fences, climbed through cracks in the walls and were not afraid to bite whoever was closest.

After ten-to-fifteen minutes of complete messes of limbs, several cries of ‘holy shit’ and a whole lot of shooting zombies, we’d managed to fight our way to victory. But it was far from easy. 

(Pic: Saber Interactive)

The added element of zombies attacking while trying to survive against real-life players is both exhilarating and terrifying.

But more than that: it’s rewarding when you manage to conquer both. As you continue to play, you earn XP and with it, you get access to your heavy weapon. Mine ended up being a shotgun that after a few hits, gored the enemy players and zombies into complete mush. I don’t know about you guys, but I love goring people to death. In, uh, video games.

Leaving World War Z behind, I feel pretty optimistic that this won’t be just ‘another zombie game’ that should be compared to Days Gone or Overkill’s cancelled Walking Dead game. A sentiment that Karch agrees with.

“[World War Z] is more of a social experience than Days Gone,” Karch told me. “The only real similarity between Days Gone and World War Z is that there are zombies – and they aren’t even calling them zombies, but freakers!”

I couldn’t agree more. If anything, running, gunning and having fun with a group of people didn’t feel anything like a typical zombie game of this modern era. Compared to games like The Last of Us, Telltale’s Walking Dead, and even Left 4 Dead, World War Z feels much more compelling and long-lasting.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here