World War Z is a 4 player third person shooter co-op zombie slaying game developed by Saber Interactive which is set in a world inspired by the bestselling book by Max Brooks. The original game involves playing solo or grouping up with up to 3 friends to travel through 5 locations each with unique stories and characters whilst trying to fight other hordes of zombies that include mutated creatures that pose a heightened level of challenge. The game has both PvP and Pave elements. The PvP sees you fighting against another team of players online in various game modes where you not only have to worry about your opponents eliminating you but also the dynamic factor of the zombie hordes that can instantly turn a winning position into one of barely clinging to life. The game truly shines in its PvE where you can play through the already mentioned story missions of fight increasingly difficult waves of enemies in Horde mode. The game is at its best when you can group up with three friends and take down literally thousands of zombies whilst trying to keep each other alive. Do not fear if you don’t have a zombie slaying crew of your own as the game has both online matchmaking and allows you to complete the entire story with the aid of bots. World War Z: Aftermath is an expansion on the original title bringing with it new story chapters, a new melee based class and an all new perspective to play the game. As a note, this review will focus specifically on the updates that come in the Aftermath expansion.
Getting Up Close With The Undead
The first and possibly most noteworthy addition with Aftermath is the addition of a first person mode for the game. This change in perspective brings with it a whole new dimension to the gameplay and can help to add to the horror aspect of the game. A good example of this is whilst playing 3rd person you are able to corner peak lurkers to avoid the jump scare but in 1st person these encounters are a lot more terrifying. This 1st person option means that those who may have been put off by the 3rd person gameplay can now enjoy the zombie slaying fun in their preferred player perspective. While this new perspective is an appreciated update it does come with what some may see as a substantial drawback in the fact that you are unable to aim down sights with most of the available weapons. This can be extremely jarring considering most of the guns come with some sort of scope attached. Some may also be worried that this may affect their accuracy but World War Z Aftermath provides you so many hordes of zombies to shoot that this will not be an issue.
Slaying All Over The World
As for the story missions, Aftermath takes players to a Rome ruined by zombie horde destruction and the hostile tundra of Kamchatka. The Rome chapter of the expansion feels very similar to the other chapters of the game, sending you and your team to different areas that you then have to defend from hordes of zombies. While there is nothing too innovative it does give more options those that are already a fan of this sort of gameplay loop. The real star of the show is the Kamchatka chapter that brings with it new challenges and new gameplay elements. One of these is that not only do you have to deal with the foes you’d expect but also nature itself as there are areas where if you spend too much time exposed to the elements without warming up then you will need to be deforested before carrying on with all the zombie slaying fun. The main downside of these chapters is one that can be extended to the entire game and that is that both the stories you are playing in and characters within them are very generic and unmemorable. Whilst this is usually a staple of this sort of game it can definitely be off putting for those who want to care about who they are playing as and their motivations for what they are doing.
All New Ways To Slay
The expansion also brings with it a new class named the Vanguard. This class is a melee focused class that comes equipped with an electrified shield that can be used to defend teammates, create choke points and rush head first into the zombie hordes. This class is a nice change of pace from some of the more sit back and shoot classes that already exist. After all who doesn’t love getting up in the faces of zombies with nothing but a knife and a prayer? For those who have played the game before purchasing the update, you will also notice that the melee system has been revamped with dual wielding of multiple melee weapons that bring with them new perks such as resetting melee stamina. Players of the original will also notice a completely new enemy type that has been added. Instead of the typical zombie grunts, you now also have to fight off swarms of killer rats scattered throughout the typical hordes of zombies. Fun fact, these rats are actually a nod to one of Saber interactives other franchises A Plague Tale.
As one of the best features of the original is its level of replay ability then this expansion only helps to increase this by giving you more missions to play and an additional character class to fully level up while smashing into hordes of zombies. The entire game can represent hundreds of hours of hard-core zombie slaying fun for you and your friends or just a casual friendly competition to see who can get the most zombie kills or kill the most elite enemies.
All in all, World War Z: Aftermath is a worthwhile expansion of the original game that refreshes the experience of those who have already experienced the game or is a great place to jump in if you have been curious about trying out the game.