World War Z takes on the task of building a game world based on the critical successful book and critical flop of a film. So does this title manage to escape the zeke hoard of disappointing and boring spin off games or is it left dragging its feet alongside so many other movie-esc titles.
It's been a while since Left 4 Dead 2 came out and when booting up WWZ, it seems to ooze the same vibe as Valves ever-awesome Zombie FPS. The game modes offered up seem to be presented in a similar way, various levels split into differing chapters. Each of these 4 scenarios does give a broader scope (globe hopping now, with lcoations such as Toyko, Moscow, New York and Jerusalem), but for me the lack of connection between them (as you change character groups) does let it down slightly.
But this is a co-op zombie shooter! Who needs story when there are zombies. And by 'there are zombies' I mean, there are a LOT. Previous titles in the similar vein (I need to stop comparing it to L4D, I know, but the issue is this WWZ seems built to be a successor to the old Valve title, so the comparisons seem to flow naturally) had waves of hordes, which seemed like a good 50-100 zombies blocking a path or rushing you down, but when WWZ opens the gates, the numbers rack up and do it fast. In particular areas it feels as if you're aiming to clear out hundreds of scrambling bodies. But this is where one of my initial issues lies. Due to the number, it feels very easily and simplistic to mow down the hordes when they start amassing into the larger numbers. Early on when you start and you're picking off groups of 10-20, it can feel a little tense, but when you don't have to put any effort into doing the same when you're up against 2-300, it lacks a certain enjoyment.
Zeke themselves are varied as well, but they just feel a bit cheap and a copy and past job. There's particular ones who explode with toxic gas, ones which charge through and various others that you've met before in L4D. But again, due to the nature of WWZ, which had a high volume of enemies, so the game has been designed to make them all wear differing clothes and be interesting, these special zombies, who only show a difference due to what they are wearing, don't seem to stand out. As you're mowing down hordes, in small text it will pop up detailing a special kill, but it never gives a great sense of danger.
I know it feels that I'm ragging on the game, but it's only due to it attempting to fill some really large shoes. The title does do some great additional parts however. The introduction of a class system for the characters gives a much needed boost of variety and strategy to playing, giving more of an option to tailor the game to your own playstyle and an awesome part of the levels is being able to set up strategic defences. Electric panels, barbed wire, auto defence turrets, gattling guns. Not to mention the heavy weapons and general weapon selection as well. Being able to pull out an RPG or chainsaw and then flick back to a shotgun and pistol is a freaking great feeling.
But unlike L4D which somehow gave me hours of replay ability, I felt after 4 hours of WWZ that I was done. Each campaign was toppled, zombies mowed down and without split screen ability, I didn't want to pick it back up. A great placeholder for those who are dying for a new zombie shooter, but it won't fill the hole for long. A solid 6.5/10