Leading up to E3 this year there has been so very little shown or discussed for World War Z. It was teased back in December during the Game Awards, but since then there has not been much out of Saber Interactive on what the game will actually house and look like. I mean, it is a World War Z game so we can make easy assumptions as to what it would look like, but nothing much as to how it would actually play. That is why it was so very nice of them to bring it out to play during the show and give us all a better understanding of what the game will truly hold. Much better than us all just speculating and such.
As we all assumed, World War Z is a four-player Co-Op game that is set in the universe of the film and book. This is something to make true note of as it will have the realistic look that the film brought, but aim to tell stories and other aspects as the book did. No matter which of the twelve characters you choose during the three "episode" gameplay we will be taking on from New York to Moscow to Jerusalem. Four different characters for each that can be played in four-player multiplayer or on your own with the help of AI bots. This is a good option as I do not think that one would truly be able to explore the narrative of World War Z in an online multiplayer game.
Anyways, my demo of World War Z started me off as many in the same vein usually do. I selected a character, a loadout, and then was sent on my way to complete some mission in the wastes of New York City. Just as it was to be expected, we all started out in a stealth style of gameplay so as to not be swarmed by hundreds of zeeks as we made our way down to a subway station from a rooftop. This did not last long, as was to be expected as well, as all it took was one of the undead to realize we were there and then they began to swarm us. Although, the term swarm is better used in a different portion of this demo. More or less though, things progressed as the basic model dictates.
After finally fighting our way toward an elevator, we were all introduced to a deviation for World War Z with the introduction of different types of undead. In this instance it was something they called a Bull in-game. A heavily armored Zeek that could tackle and take us down rather quickly. The only way to be free of the Bull was to have another player step in and knock them off or kill the beast. This is where it became overly apparent that you need to work together in World War Z or there is no moving forward. Hopefully that all plays out how Saber Interactive hopes when it comes to live gameplay and not quiet demos.
From there we moved into an atrium area on the map, with some standard run and gun gameplay leading up to it. This is where another of the true deviations from the genre World War Z is set in was able to shine. This is all in terms of the Swarm System that they have put together to simulate the actions and events that were shown in the film. You know, where they undead would climb each other like a swarm of ants to reach higher locations and make sure we all knew that we were never truly safe in the world. This is something that the team nailed down perfectly and also mixed in real-world physics for us to defend against. Read that as you can break the swarm by taking out the lower parts of the pile. It was really cool and filled the game with more intensity than just running through tunnels.
Almost immediately after that, we all entered another aspect of the Swarm System and gameplay mode we would need to master to make it through World War Z. It was another type of defense mode where we would need to set up barricades and other bits of gear to slow and kill the zeeks. The big difference being that while the locations for these events were set, the gear you had to work with was random. Not only random but scaled based on how well you were performing in the game so far. If you are doing really well, you may get a few strands of barbwire and a mine or two. If you are doing rather poorly, you may get a few auto turrets and electrified floor grids. Or any combination in between and then need to fend off an incoming swarm.
Again, this is the bread and butter for World War Z as the team has been able to get upwards of 500 different zombies charging you at a time without any slowdown. They were also able to capture those scenes we have all seen where the numbers just seem to never stop. It was truly impressive and never felt oppressive at all. Just fun to dive in and take on the horde as much as possible. Also to survive the massive swarm to carry on the story we have all set out on. For this alone, World War Z stood out in the similar genre that many other titles have been working in as of late. If only we did not have to wait until 2019 to actually get to play it all.
World War Z — Gameplay Demo
Watch World War Z’s exciting gameplay demo! From Moscow to Jerusalem to New York, World War Z’s action-packed co-op campaign delivers unique survivor stories and missions around the world.
Make tactical use of traps, barriers and the environment to slow down the relentless hordes of the undead, then team up with friends to stay alive by unleashing a storm of firepower from all directions with a variety of heavy-hitting weapons and explosives.