It’s been six years since Paramount Pictures released its zombie film, World War Zwhich starred Brad Pitt. Its unique portrayal of the undead helped contribute to this film becoming a big success. The story centered around a virus which ravaged throughout the population, creating an infected force capable of sprinting and working together to overcome large barriers. These enemies were a determined force which made it great for a translation into video games. With a Left 4 Deadstyle of gameplay, this third-person shooter tackles multiple survivors across the world during this epidemic.

World War Z Review

Fun Gameplay

World War Z is an online-focused third-person shooter that feels incredibly similar to Valve’s Left 4 Dead series. At the start, players can choose between the campaign or multiplayer options this game has to offer. The story mode is able to be played offline with AI or in an online scene with users being able to join in and out of respective levels. When these people do leave, they are automatically replaced with AI, so it helps prevent being stuck in a sticky situation without help. However, friendly fire is enabled throughout the difficulties and can end up hurting whoever is receiving it.

Each of the game’s four chapters follows a set of four different survivors spanning across Moscow, New York City, Jerusalem, and Tokyo. They have their own contained situations in trying to find shelter, get to the bottom of the cure, or simply just surviving. The story feels pretty bland and never becomes interconnected with one another, so it may seem a bit pointless near the end. Objectives grow to be repetitive as well. It’s a constant “search for these items to progress,” “defend this person/area for X amount of time,” or “walk to the next area without dying.” There isn’t any formula mixup and can be a bit generic after a while. That’s not to say the gameplay isn’t fun, just that it isn’t much fun coming back to it once it’s over.

Another thing to note is that the chapters are incredibly short. It only took me around two to three hours to finish the game in its entirety. Not having any survival modes translates this to having little to no replay value, unless you really enjoy the online. Fighting back waves of enemies while trying to conserve ammo is the main point in the story and is very entertaining. Learning to place the right traps, finding new guns to replace the empty ones you’re carrying, and having to communicate to defend specific areas make this a zombie title worth trying out, especially with friends.

World War Z Review

Unique Online

Online has two ways that it can be used in World War Z. The first being the previously mentioned campaign, while the other is more PvP focused. Five of the following modes can be played: Swarm Domination, a normal Domination match with zombies; King of the Hill, control a specific zone while fighting off humans and infected; Swarm Deathmatch, standard Team Deathmatch just featuring waves of the undead; Scavenge Raid, searching for more supplies than the opposing team; and Vaccine Hunt, a look for the cure to the outbreak. You’ll notice how all of these modes feature a zombie force that has to be fought in addition to human players. It’s a unique twist on the standard modes and can grow to be addicting.

While these modes are creative takes on multiplayer, matchmaking seemed to be a bit of an issue. In terms of performance, it runs fine with very little stutters, but it’s the placement of teams that created a problem. Players with extremely high levels, upwards into the 70s and 90s were all paired together compared to a team of those in the lower levels. It’s not a complex shooter and plays similar to other online games, but it does make some matches feel unbalanced and unfair at times. It’s very much recommended to play through the story to get a feel for the mechanics rather than diving straight into multiplayer.

World War Z Review

Customization Problems

Throughout these modes, players can earn credits and XP for completing objectives and killing anything that’s not on their teams. Leveling up gun types can unlock the ability to purchase attachments and more powerful weapons. It takes quite some time to get these to the next ranking even with loads of usage, yet this isn’t the biggest problem. Credits are granted after each session which is what purchases unlockables. These sparsely earned units are never enough to buy higher leveled weapons and result in mindless grinding. Once the game reaches its conclusion, there really is no point in this and appears as a way to pad gameplay.

A neat addition to the game is how many characters that can be chosen from. 16 are available to use and they all have a unique backstory. Completing sections of the game with a character unlocks their own narrated cutscene showcasing their life before the outbreak. It’s really interesting to see what life was like before these people became hardened survivors in the apocalypse. There’s only so many missions and completing them over and over can be daunting especially for just a bit of backstory, however, it is cool to look at even if you won’t go through unlocking all 16.

World War Z Review

Saber Interactive’s recent title can feel a little on the dated side in terms of graphics and pacing, but that doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable experience. Fighting off waves of zombies can be a great stress reliever yet it’s over so fast and doesn’t have a lot of replay value to it. Adding a survival mode could help increase the quality of the game in addition to releasing higher credit counts for objectives completed. World War Z is a fun title worth playing and is sure to offer players a good time.


Thank you to Saber Interactive for providing us with a review code!

World War Z Review (Xbox One)
World War Z can be a bit short and repetitive, but it's still a fun and enjoyable experience worth checking out.
Overall Score7.3
  • Fun Gameplay
  • Great with friends
  • Creative Online
  • A grind for unlockables
  • Short/Repetitive Campaign
  • Not much replay value
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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