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World War Z drops a trailer and lunges towards launch next week

You don’t need a zombie plague to turn me into a shambling, groaning husk, just remind me that Left 4 Dead 2 came out nearly a decade ago and I’ve been waiting forever for a sequel. World War Z, Saber Interactive’s game of the film of the barely-related book looks like the next best thing, and it’s due out next Tuesday, April 16th. It looks a whole lot like Turtle Rock and Valve’s classic zombie-masher, with class-based progression and preposterously enormous swarms of undead that can scale walls by creating heaving zombie-piles. Lovely. See the oddly upbeat trailer below.

World War Z is absolutely, unquestionably based on the Left 4 Dead formula. A squad of four players, an AI director picking how many zombies (and their rarer, special variants) are thrown at you, and a campaign split between four chapters, each with several levels. What it does differently is the sheer scope of its battles. Explosives and other heavy weapons seem like order of the day. While squads are only four players, there’s six classes to play as, level up and loot for, giving it a bit of Killng Floor’s progression. Also, there’s PvP, but with zombies. Refusing to use the official marketing term, I call it Team Undeathmatch.

I looked at the competitive multiplayer modes in a bit more detail here, and I reckon it could be a good time. Splitting your team to capture and hold multiple points is tough enough in a regular team shooter, but when there’s an undead army that’s attracted to gunfire, that presents a fun new tactical wrinkle. Saber Interactive are no stranger to competitive multiplayer either, being one of the main forces behind Quake Champions. I’ve got some cautiously positive feelings about this one, although its success will hinge on whether enough players stick around to keep its online co-op active.

World War Z launches next Tuesday, April 16th. It’s to be an Epic Store exclusive, at least initially, and will cost £32/€35/$35. Focus Home Interactive are publishing.

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Dominic Tarason

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