World War Z - Xbox One
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World War Z - Xbox One
World War Z WWZX1US Xbox One Game
World War Z is one of those rare licensed games that doesn't just happen to match the material, it blows by it, leaving the film in the dust.
In fact, it's much, MUCH closer to the "source-source" material, (the book,) in that it follows along with the titular WWZ by visiting different spots around the globe, each with its own cast of characters.
Truly, however, WWZ the game, doesn't lean too heavily on story, although each of its 4 protagonists in its 4 locations get a background story told via a comic book style cutscene once you've finished a level with them. Each of the 4 locations has a small background told via radio transmission at the selection screen, and a set of transmitted objectives during each mission.
Each location has 3 missions, except Tokyo, which inexplicably launched with two. (My guess is meeting launch deadline, as within 2 weeks of launch, the official Twitter account announced a 3rd mission and new special zombie type arriving in an upcoming update).
That is one difference that doesn't come from either source, but rather video game tropes: special zombies. An unknown 5th is on the way, but currently, there's a Bull- a large SWAT officer that charges, grabs a party member and pummels them (or you,) until taken down. The Lurker, who hides in the shadows and will pin the victim to the ground, clawing away at them. The Screamer, a construction worker with a bullhorn whose screams continue to call in more zombies until he's quieted. Lastly, there's the Gas Bag, a former HAZMAT employee, complete in suit, who releases noxious fumes upon death. Pretty standard fare, in that regard.
What isn't standard fare, (among the zombie side of things,) is the unparalleled size & scope of the zombie swarms re-enacting, in real-time, and in almost every case, interactively, the best scenes of mass zombie movement and attacks from the film.
From flowing like a river through streets, to flinging themselves from great heights in pursuit of prey, to making "pyramids" to scale walls, it's all impressive with no signs of slowdown, even on a base PS4.
And while the comparisons to Left 4 Dead are certainly warranted, I'm not *entirely* certain it's completely fair- in all honesty, I've forgotten much of my playtime in L4D, so I'll leave that for you to decide. Yes, it's an up-to 4 person co-op shooter, although (and IMHO, at least on consoles,) better for being in 3rd person. It also features 8 person versus modes, complete with zombie hordes.
Despite it being 4 person co-op, there are 6 different classes. Each class has its own permanent leveling tree. A gunmaster, explosives expert, medic, ammo support, melee, and an "exterminator" who gains bonuses versus hordes and specials.
Next up is a WIDE variety of weapons. While each class starts with a particular loadout which can't be changed initially, as you level that class, unlocked perks may give you a few different options, but most weapons will have to be found scattered around the maps. Like classes, each main and sidearm weapon will level up with use, unlocking more powerful versions of each of the many available. (Usually between 4 and 8 variants).
After finishing a level, you'll earn some XP that you choose where to spend. Bank it? Unlock a perk for your class? Or, unlock a more powerful variant of your starting or favorite weapon?
Because each class' skill tree only allows for 1 ACTIVE perk per branch, (3 different perks per branch,) playing with one team's gunslinger online may be different than landing on a team with a different player playing as that same class, as each player will personalize a class to their playstyle.
Lastly, gameplay-wise, playing solo in WWZ isn't nearly as awful as similar online co-op games. The bots are generally capable, although far from perfect. They generally hold their own, help appropriately (ie, don't forget to try and save their own skin while attempting to help you,) and can be counted on for revives. Still, they're not above stepping in front of you and taking damage while you're shooting, and occasionally are known to crowd into you, clipping into your body/ view as you use a gun emplacement/ stationary weapon. (Hopping off the weapon and getting back on seems to fix this).
Outside the game, the developers are extremely active with the community, genuinely overwhelmed by the love of the game by fans. They've been asking for feedback, error reporting, and wishlists of what to add, as they plan to continue to support the game for some time.
This is a great game, even just to solo, scratching an itch for a co-op shooter that has been attempted many times since L4D, but not nearly as successfully as WWZ. At a retail price of $40, the few issues are easily forgotten. Had I paid the full $60 AAA price, I'd still be as happy. If the devs keep adding as they've stated, that $40 is going to look like even more of a steal.
Run, don't walk, to add this to your collection.
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