World War Z is Almost Left 4 Dead Successor I Wanted For Years


I have peace with the fact that Left 4 Dead 3 never gonna happen. So without Valve creating a new entry into the franchise, it's up to other studios to fill in that zombie action hole that L4D3 it will never fill. World War Z It looks like it can do that, but it's a little too rough these days.

World War Z is, I think, based on the Brad Pitt movie of the same name, which was based very freely on the book of the same name. I loved the book though I skipped the movie. As far as I can tell that the game is badly connected to the movie, then do not feel obligated to watch it before entering.

Developed by Saber Interactive, World War Z is essentially Left 4 Dead and not just because it's a 4-player co-op shooter with zombies. Many different elements and ideas found in Left 4 Dead are also found in World War Z.

There are special zombies that have different abilities, including one that creeps and jumps on players and keeps them pressed while cutting them. Yes, they literally have a special infected hunter L4D in this game. Players carry medkits that can heal other players or themselves. When players are attacked by special infected, they are highlighted by the game, making it easier for teammates to help. Friendly players are shown as white contours through the walls, making it easier to find them and work together. Levels usually end with impasses and small goals are added in some areas, such as picking up five boxes, to make levels more hectic and complicated. You got the idea.

Yet, World War Z it's not just a carbon copy L4D. Instead, it seems that the developers have used these games as a base and built upon them, adding new features and mechanics.

The biggest difference between World War Z and Left 4 Dead is the focus on classes and updates. In Left 4 Dead all the characters were the same and all players had the same abilities and limitations. World War Z goes in a different direction, giving players several classes to choose from and each of these classes have different initial skills and equipment. For example, medical class begins with a health-boosting weapon and an SMG, while a different class can start with an explosive rifle and ammunition bags.

Another big difference is that all weapons in the game can be upgraded. When players use weapons, they raise the level. So among the missions, players can upgrade these weapons. So you can love using the sport rifle and after using it a lot you upgrade it with a scope, making it more accurate. So the next time you play a mission and find a sporting rifle in the world, you will have that scope. The passive skills and buffs each class has can also be updated as you play more.

For some, this additional depth will World War Z a more interesting game that Left 4 Dead. However, for others, it can make the game unnecessarily complicated and difficult to get into. If you are a doctor, you should heal other players because you do it faster? In my time with the game, I discovered that different class skills and weapon upgrades do not matter that much. But I'm still early. More difficult missions may require players to focus more on synergies and skills.

The star of World War Z are the hordes of zombies. They are seen throughout the marketing and trailers. These hordes are incredible to see in action in the game. Watching thousands of zombies running around a level, creating an ocean of corpses, is wild and feels quite different from other zombie games. Most strikingly, at least on PS4, these hordes do not cause major performance issues.

Hordes in World War Z, as in the movie, will climb walls, creating pyramids of zombies. It's a bit silly, though it also create times when players need not just manage the zombies running on them, but the giant wave of zeds growing on the wall behind them. Photographing these hordes and pyramids with a rocket or grenade is immensely satisfying.

Hordes are also used in some astounding moments of the game. One in particular that stands out is a time when players are ascending through a large vertical tunnel and all of a sudden the zombies begin to throw themselves out of the top of the tunnel and down. It was a mysterious experience to go through bodies falling like that.

World War Z has a lot that works. Unfortunately, there are some problems that currently prevent us from being a true successor. Left 4 Dead.

The biggest problem is the feeling that this game is not over yet. The audio quality is variable with some characters sounding good and other characters sounding as if they had recorded all lines during a Skype call from 2009. Frequent crashes were reported on various platforms and on PS4 some players encountered an error that turns off their rescue and progress.

Another hassle is that for a game focused on co-op and multiplayer, World War Z is missing some important resources. Players can not create private lobbies to play with friends. So if you and a friend want to play together with some bots, you're out of luck. Instead, players are forced to play online with random players. You can play missions alone offline, which is fine, but not how I want to play this game.

Strangely, you also can not start an online mission with other players. Instead, you search for a mission lobby and are added randomly to a match. That means you can get into a game in the middle of the mission. Playing with my brother, we kept joining the missions when they were almost done. As you can not start a lobby and make a matchmake with people and then load for a new mission from the beginning, I have not yet seen the beginning of some maps. Fortunately, it seems that private lobbies can be added in the future.

The servers have also been patchy, with players on all platforms reporting problems while joining other players. I had two missions overdue and was kicked back into the lobby.

Bad servers, no private lobbies and some quality issues World War Z back now and make it hard for me to really have fun. However, these are all issues that some updates and fixes could resolve. I hope these problems are solved because when the game is working and everyone is fighting together I feel World War Z is a great cooperative game and a worthy successor to Left 4 Dead 2.


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