The merciless hordes of zombies from World War Z have finally hit the world of gaming.
Whether you discovered the much beloved World War Z franchise through the film featuring Brad Pitt – or Max Brooks’ book that kicked the whole zombie crazed nightmare off – you will have something to look forward to in the form of Saber Interactive’s new coop shoot ’em up.
I recently got the chance to play through one of the levels set in New York and also tackle some online PVP games.
From the get-go, it was obvious Saber Interactive had been heavily influenced by 2008’s Left 4 Dead and Valve’s equally successful sequel, Left 4 Dead 2, released the following year.
Speaking with the CEO of Saber Interactive, Matthew Karch, he enthusiastically confirmed just that:
“This game is very obviously inspired by Left 4 Dead,” Karch said.
“We were heavily influenced by the game, as we really wanted to make a spiritual sequel to it.
“The funny thing is, I have always been a fan of Valve games, I loved Half-Life and love, love, love love, Left 4 Dead,” Karch continued.
“So when World War Z became EPIC Store exclusive on the PC, it was like OH GOD, we completed a game inspired by Left 4 Dead and it’s not available on Steam… at least at launch.”
Despite the similarities, Karch and his team have made sure to reimagine the game with some of the most popular elements from the movie… zombies, and lots of them.
With up to 500 zombies on screen at any one time – it’s hard to comprehend without playing the game just how much chaos this can cause.
“We had to cut the number of zombies down,” Kach said.
“If you think we have a lot right now, well, originally we had scenes where there were over 1000 of them and people were just getting wrecked!
“We had to literally limit the number of Zombies to make it playable and fun”
When playing through the level alongside three other people, communication and teamwork were essential, it would have been virtually impossible to get through the whole level solo.
With so many different angles to cover, zombies would quickly overwhelm you from multiple directions.
The game was designed with this style of coop play in mind.
Forcing you to work together with your friends or fellow online zombie enthusiasts, to get through the levels alive.
“The World War Z license is perfect for that type of game player!’ Karch explained.
“I mean I was the one that was responsible for bringing in this license and when I saw the hordes and the swarms, I thought this has got to be a coop game mode with groups taking them down!”
“We built the maps so we could funnel zombies, we wanted to keep the players together, this game wouldn’t work as well in an open world format.”
The other less talked about mode in World War Z is the online PVP – it’s certainly not like anything you have played before.
In this game, you won’t have to only face off against other players, as hordes of zombies will quickly overwhelm you should you make too much noise.
A traditional game of King of the Hill was spiced up a fair bit when, just as you thought you had secured the point, 500 zombies clamber over a fence and wipe your whole squad out…
“We had always planned to have a more player vs player competitive mode in the game,” said Karch.
“We wanted to give people an alternative and I think it adds an extra dimension.”
Overall the game was a blast to play and with regular updates coming out in the future, no microtransactions and at an affordable price, it’s well worth picking up.
Left 4 Dead fans who are still waiting for a sequel may want to give its ‘spiritual successor’ a shot.
World War Z is out now on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.