World War Z is a four-player third-person shooter survival action game based on the novel and movie adaptation of the same name. It is developed by Saber Interactive in conjunction with Paramount Pictures and its publisher Mad Dog Games released the game on April 16, 2019 for Microsoft Windows and Epic Games Store for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch release has been announced to release on November 2, 2021.
A Game of the Year (abbrev. GOTY) edition of the game was released on May 5, 2020.
An expansion for the game, titled Aftermath, was shown during the Summer Game Fest 2021 on June 11, 2021. It was released on September 21, 2021 for all platforms on PC, including Steam.
World War Z is primarily a four-player cooperative third-person shooter. It is a zombie-killing action game that follows unique stories and missions from different parts around the globe. The main objective of the game is to kill, escape, and survive the zombie apocalypse.
The player has to combine stealth and effective killing spree tactics to navigate around the zombie masses. These gameplay aspects become particularly important as the difficulty is raised, making the zombies much tougher and aggressive.
Zekes are the main enemies of the game. While individually weak, they rely on large groups to take the survivors down. They appear in waves throughout the game, and in certain areas of the chapter, they come in by the several hundreds in what is known as a swarm. In many cases during these swarm events, they will often climb on each other, forming what is known as a zombie pyramid, allowing them to reach higher levels where the survivors are located at. In addition, several special zombies appear to shake things up and break the monotony of the regular zeke hordes by attacking the players in unique ways that encourage teams to work together and overcome.
The game rewards players that cooperate to be more effective, to progress quickly and stealthily to avoid additional waves of zekes that could be attracted by loud noises, and to search areas for better pick ups such as weapons and helpful items like Medkits.
There are seven episodes each containing three or four chapters to play through. These episodes take place in New York, Jerusalem, Moscow, Tokyo, Marseille, Rome, and Kamchatka, with most locations following a different set of four survivors. Players must complete many different tasks to progress, all culminating towards organizing a defensive stronghold against massive swarms of hundreds upon hundreds of zombies.
To improve replayability, increasing the overall longevity of the game, and making sure that not every playthrough of a chapter is ever the exact same, an AI-controlled Director manipulates the game from the background. They will adjust the experience and tailor it to how well or poorly you and your team are doing. The Director is tasked with placements of items and weapons that players can find, increasing or decreasing the number of enemies you may face at any given time, and generally making the experience less predictable by altering paths, obstacles, the types of defense systems you can use, or objective placements. Quite often, players must improvise, adapt, and work off of what they are given to manage new critical situations. Organizing your team and working together is extremely valuable to brave whatever the game has to throw at you whether you have done it once or a hundred times before.
As a player, choosing a class is important. Classes will dictate how you function in a team and what type of equipment you will use. As you complete more and more chapters and progress, you earn experience which allows you to unlock new perks for your chosen class, improving the odds of survival and adding to the complexity of tactics with teams. Eventually, you will reach the maximum level, granting you the option to purchase prestige and rank up your class, unlocking an exclusive new perk. Additionally, weapons also gain experience as you use them more and more to kill more enemies, allowing you to unlock upgrades and unique versions that improve its effectiveness significantly.
Upon completion of a chapter, players will also earn in-game credits known as Supplies. This resource is necessary for unlocking better weapon upgrades and class perks. A special type of in-game credits known as Challenge Coins can be earned after beating a mission in the higher difficulties or successfully completing a special game mode. These rarer resources can be used to unlock special variants of weapons with unique weapon perks and cosmetics options for survivors.
There are several different game modes to choose from.
Co-op Campaign (PvE)
In Co-op Campaign, there is the main five episode campaign, Challenge Mode, and Horde Mode.
Players can choose to play in an online public party (with random players), an online private party (alone or with friends), or offline (with bots only). Players can adjust difficulty levels, change class, customize weapon loadouts, or change their character appearance.
A maximum of four players must work together to achieve the ultimate goal of the selected game mode.
In Multiplayer, there is Swarm Domination, King Of The Hill, Swarm Deathmatch, Scavenge Raid, and Vaccine Hunt.
A minimum of two players and a maximum of eight will be put into two even teams each tasked in completing the game mode objective in a randomly selected pool of four maps. Each game mode is also accompanied by zombie swarms that occasionally get in the way, disrupting both teams as a sort of neutral obstacle. Whichever team reaches the maximum amount of points or has the most points by the end of the time limit wins.
Multiplayer has its own separate set of classes and have several key differences in gameplay compared to Co-op Campaign.
World War Z is supported with updates, patches, and new content, most of which is free.
*For an up-to-date list of updates, see the Updates & Patch Notes pages.
On Metacritic, World War Z received "mixed or average" reviews, receiving a metascore of 70/100 on PC, 67/100 on PlayStation4, and 73/100 on Xbox One. User score averages around a rating of 6.
Publications such as Destructoid have scored it a 7.5/10 and Game Informer have given it a score of 8.25/10.