World War Z’s co-op action actually looks a lark

My expectations for games based on movies are never high, so I’m surprised and delighted that World War Z actually looks quite fun in gameplay footage swarming out of E3. The four-player cooperative shooter looks a whole lot like a less-cheery version of Left 4 Dead, with a touch of defence-building and oh, swarms of up to 500 zombies who will form inhuman pyramids to reach you and eat your face. It’s based on the movie, so yes, they are fast zombies, but those rolling waves of zombs were pretty neat-o. Anyway, click on to watch.

Here’s World War Z designer Oliver Hollis chatting about the game with Ian Games Network over some pre-recorded b-roll footage.

So! World War Z is a third-person shooter made for four-player co-op in a L4D-ish way, sending folks through levels to shoot zombies (complete with L4D-y special zombs) and not die. But with a whole lot more zombies. When a horde comes in World War Z it can be hundreds strong, flowing like a wave of claws, climbing and trampling over each other. To help fend them off, at key moments the survivors will get to set up defences and fortify positions, laying down mines, barbed wire, gun turrets, and so on to hold the line. Also, rocket launchers. Plus character classes with persistent progression and skill trees, a bit like Vermintide.

It’ll have three chapters, set in New York, Moscow, and Jerusalem, each with their own set of four characters. They’re dipping across the world of World War Z, see, a bit like the book did.

I like the look of it! Those are some neat big hordes. I especially like them building into terrible towers of teeth. I also like this: if you die, you will respawn (you know how it works…) but your corpse will be reanimated and join the AI horde to chase your former friends. Not to mention that co-op with pals can be a lark in almost anything.

It’s made by Saber Interactive, who you might most recently know for chipping in on Quake Champions.

World War Z is coming via Steam some time in 2019. If you fancy some L4D-ish action before then, Earthfall is L4D with aliens and leaving early access in July, and Vermintide 2 is a decent L4D with ratmen.

Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.


  1. gabrielonuris says:

    At first I thought it was The Division gameplay.

    And yes, that’s good in my book.

  2. mruuh says:

    *sigh* Another game getting the whole idea of zombie horror completely wrong.

    The genre is not about racking up kills – the whole premise of zombie apocalypse is that there is vastly more zombies than it is possible to “kill” using whatever firepower there is.

    Looks to be another forgettable, mindless shooter. It seems that the old maxim “the book is better than the movie” can be expanded with “…and the movie is better than the game”.

    • rayo153 says:

      Well, it is a zombie shooter, I donĀ“t remember them telling us it was going to be an horror game…

      • mruuh says:

        Taking the horror element out of zombie theme makes it, I don’t know, boring, I guess. At that point it’s better go abstract all the way and replace zombies with grey goo, like Creeper World does.

    • Evan_ says:

      While I’m no shooter-fan either, I don’t mind it in this case. I love immersive realism.. but I also realized there is one element of zombie apocalypse that never will be able to be simulated by games – being trapped in the situation. The best zombie games make me glad that I am who I am, and not the protagonist. So I’m happy to not play them.

      On the other hand, I can play a mediocre zombie shooter all day, and still wanna’ go back the next day.

      Too bad that Deep Rock Galactic made the L4D genre so fresh and thoughtful, that I still prefer that to the fancier Vermintides. I’m sure my co-op buddies will get me to pick up WWZ, but I’m sure we’ll get back to DRG in no time.

  3. DuncUK says:

    This does look A LOT like left4dead. Not a bad thing necessarily but I hope it does something new with it… and that its sufficiently distinct from Overkill’s Walking Dead game.

    I used to love left4dead co-op and have been waiting for something to fill that gap. Vermintide didn’t quite work for me so I hope one of these does.

    • Evan_ says:

      Try Deep Rock Galactic. It’s overshadowed by Vermintide, but I only blame the Warhammer ip and fancy graphics. The classic formula is so much better when cooperation isn’t only needed for combat, but also for navigating the map and getting resources.

  4. HiroTheProtagonist says:

    “We’ve gone for a game that’s about satisfaction.”

    Aaaaaaaand there goes any hope I had for the game. I can forgive trying for a bit more action than the book, but FFS World War Z is supposed to be about humanity struggling to hold back the tide, not some Rambo-type action heroes massacring their way through oceans of undead. Hell, the only major “action” I can recall in the book is a holdout in the western section of the US where a bunch of soldiers form firing lines and only shoot when they can see the whites of the zombies’ eyes and Iron Maiden blares in the background.

    Not to mention the guns don’t even appear as satisfying as Killing Floor 2.

    • lucidrenegade says:

      This looks to be based on the movie, and the movie had nothing to do with the book aside from the name.

      • mruuh says:

        Yes, but even in the movie, they never went head-on against zombie hordes. This game will have nothing to do with the movie except for the name. I guess keeping with the tradition.

        (Actually, the book had some massive offensive actions against zombie hordes, in the latter parts, but those were well-coordinated global military operations, not individual Rambo-style nonsense.)

  5. Chaz says:

    Oddly it really reminds me of when the 1st Kane & Lynch game was demoed. The over the shoulder aiming looks like it’s got the same janky quality as K&L did.

  6. Ergates_Antius says:

    “it’s a very unique game”. It’s a 4 player cooperative zombie shooter. With hordes. Riiiight. Might need to look up what the word “unique” means there, Bub.

  7. PuttyGod says:

    So basically a third-person Left 4 Dead. Looks entertaining enough – would consider buying it one sale if it turns out okay.

  8. Shinard says:

    Might be a good game (though I’m not seeing much suggesting that so far), won’t be a good adaptation. For pity’s sake, you don’t even have to shoot the zombies in the head! Shooting them in the chest just didn’t work in the book, and that let the zombies decimate military forces – they bombed hordes from the sky and barely scratched them, as if the brain’s still ticking the zombie keeps coming. A game where you just have to shoot the zombies until they fall over is… not an exact recreation of that, put it that way. I’m a bit disappointed, though not surprised. Why even have the World War Z name?

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