What if Left 4 Dead had a third-person camera, was slightly less fantastical, had less charm and character, and was based on a license years past cultural relevance? It might look a bit like World War Z, a cooperative zomboshooter launched this morning based on the 2013 Brad Pitt movie (not the original 2006 book). That's a bit of a damning summation from me but hey, hanging out with your pals on Discord shooting zombies can almost always be a lark.
Imagine, if you can, a world where a strange pandemic is threatening to wipe out humanity, turning us into mindless zombies driven to spread the virus and devour human flesh. Imagine a handful of folks who would rather not join the undead club and so group together to escape to safety. And that they do so using guns. Cooperatively. With up to three of their newfound pals. Or in competitive PvP modes. There you go, you've got it.
World War Z isn't simply a third-person Left 4 Dead. Its maps do have moments where we'll need to entrench to survive a torrent of zombies flowing like water, having a little prep time to fortify barricades and set up sentry guns and whatnot. And it has six classes with perks that give special abilities and starting weapons, a bit like Killing Floor's classes. It has a bit of persistent progression too, giving access to stronger weapons and stuff. It bounces around the world more as well, with campaigns following different groups of survivors in New York, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Japan.
World War Z is out now exclusively on the Epic Games Store for £32. Yep, another of those. It's published by Focus Home, who'll be the folks who made that decision, and made by Saber Interactive, who are known mostly for chipping in on games including Quake Champions and Halo Online.
Our vidboy Matthew played one level of World War Z at a recent preview event and his opinions seemed, to me, to boil down to 'Yeah, you shoot lots of zombies and I guess that can be fun.' Though the video is almost nineteen minutes long so he does have a bit more than that to say. I know some folks in the RPS treehouse are planning to play together, so perhaps we'll hear more about the finished game soon.