Review: World War Z

We know the movie with Brad Pitt, we know the books by Max Brooks and we also know the parody of Cartman from South Park as Brad Pitt. Yes, this is the review for World War Z; a positive surprise!

Left 4 Dead 2 came out in 2009 and caused a decade-long dryness in the endless blasting of zombie heads. World War Z, a game that is very similar, finally appears on the market. The gameplay trailers left potential fans in doubt whether the game will surprise us or will it be one of so many flops. Besides that, the game launches in a difficult period, with Days Gone as a worthy competitor. How does WWZ differ from the competition?


characters

Something in which this game can already call itself a winner is the similarity between Left 4 Dead 2 and World War Z. The zombies are aggressive, run in large hordes and can only be stopped by an infinity of flying bullets. Where in Days Gone one character will be followed, in this game you can choose between multiple characters and classes.
Each character with its own voice-lines and reactions to events and each class with its own perks and starting weapons. You have classes like Medic, Gunslinger or Slasher. Each class has one unique gadget and a main weapon. You can carry a side-arm, a main weapon and another heavy weapon in combination with the unique gadgets. This is enough to give the combat some more room for different playstyles.
There are four chapters that bring the game together. Each chapter takes place in a different city and has three scenarios. Although Tokyo only has two, which are slightly longer. This is generally not a lot of content. However, the developers have released a roadmap with sneak peaks about upcoming free content drops. Perhaps the best thing about it all is the fact that there are no crazy microtransactions in the game. Focus Home Interactive is therefore one of the less stingy companies in an otherwise rather stingy industry. As if that wasn't enough, the game also only costs 40 Euros.

Gameplay

The game plays and runs pretty smoothly. Especially on PC I couldn't complain about the overall performance, with more than a hundred frames per second on the counter on ultra settings in 1440p. Note here that my GeForce GTX 1070 is not one of the perfect cards for gaming in 1440p now either. So the game is well optimized. This while the graphics looked surprisingly good, especially with motion blur on. Hordes of zombies coming at you with nice graphics is always a win-win situation.
Enemy design was fine, you could clearly tell the difference between Screamers, Bulls or regular undead. The zombies could run at you and crawl over you or hold you in the air, where your teammates will soon receive a notification that you are in danger. If you don't react quickly enough, there will be so many zombies around you that no one can save you. The game can therefore be quite challenging in the higher difficulty levels.
If you play with the computer, however, the experience is ten times less fun, as the AI is not one of the smartest and makes mistakes more often or simply does nothing useful. Playing together with friends or online players immediately makes the game more fun. Besides that, the zombies sometimes have clunky animations, if you shoot them dead or blow them away with your shotgun, this can look quite clumsy at times.
Also bugs weren't necessarily big problems. There were some UI or menu teething problems, but otherwise I didn't notice any game-breaking bugs or animations while playing. Audio bugs, on the other hand, sometimes cause some problems with the headset, but these will easily be solved in a next patch.
The game has a level system. The higher your level, the more you will unlock in terms of weapons, gadgets, perks and more! In Multiplayer you can play the horde modes, where you take on an endless crank of limbs that is ripped from the zombie hulls by the flying bazooka bullets. What was a nice surprise was that the game continued to run pretty smoothly online without any real 'lag' or anything. Even the real PvP was quite entertaining, only because of the clumsy animations, sometimes not very 'free' or 'fluent' in gameplay.

Verdict

All in all, World War Z is a fantastically fun game, especially for the price. It's a positive surprise compared to all the negative reactions the game received beforehand. A second part of this game with a more polished gameplay will make for a big 9, or maybe even a 10. Besides that, for this price tag players shouldn't really complain about clumsy animations or a shorter game. I was very satisfied and will continue to level up my character, how about you?


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