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World War Z: One Rule … Survive

Sunday, January 12th, 2014 | Author:

WWZiconI take a deep breath and shove the large stack of boxes forward and peer around the corner silently. I take a moment to make sure my clip is topped off, and that I have my crowbar ready before making the run.

I slide silently past the cardboard tower, taking care not to tip it over and cause alarm, and start softly tiptoeing down the never-been-this-loud-to-walk-on pavement. It’s a wonder that the echoing sounds of a tin can rattling down the alley for one reason or another have the exact same acoustical tones as the echoing sounds of demise.

Pick up your pistols, crowbars, and duct tape some magazines to your arms survivors… It’s World War Z. Please also note this game is not over the top gory, but you’re beating back the undead with baseball bats and ejecting more brass than a 1920s swing band so it is intended for a mature audience only.

Yeah, he’s probably just asleep. Definitely.

Yeah, he’s probably just asleep. Definitely.

Most nerds will tell you, they have a “Z plan”. The “what if?” scenario, when magic, fungal, virus ridden…. people no longer in control of themselves start treating the rest of the population like a Golden Corral. So when I saw that World War Z was free the other day, I had to snag it. I’m not sure if it will be free still by the time you read this, but let me make this perfectly clear already: It does not matter, get it anyway.

World War Z starts off in a quaint little coffee shop with no ceiling. Plenty of open space so people can use a coffee shop for an office (come on, we’ve all been there). The main character gets a call from his son, which starts off normal, and then panic sets in as his mother is trying to kill him. About that time a commuter plane decides that it wanted an extra grande latte with extra cream, and that’s when the game kicks it off.

What do you mean I can’t park here?

What do you mean I can’t park here?

I thought this was going to be a glorified skeet shoot or duck hunt game. Which is fine, those can be fun, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. After putting a few of them down, I realized I had free movement while out of combat, free to explore, look for supplies and find information (which turns into experience). I really enjoyed the time on this one, I almost didn’t have time to get this review out, I was too busy trying to make it to the choppa’ and get out of the city.

I was very excited to find out in the options that there were checkboxes to flip horizontal and vertical controls; this made things so much nicer and a bit more natural, like joystick controls. After I cleared the coffee shop out (aim for the head people), and made my way out back, I was stuck. Nowhere to go… but wait! A ladder. I climbed in the back of the truck only to have it start and floor it down the city streets. Behind us massive waves of zombies were chasing hard, and finally we crashed. And I came to inside another facility.

I’m really not going to spoil much more of the game, you really need to go and play this title, it is fantastic, and will be holding my attention for quite a bit longer.

The game has you earning experience by taking out some of the horde, as well as digging around and finding important bits of information. You use this exp not so much for a leveling system, but you spend it on upgrades like larger clip sizes, quicker reload times, or… thicker magazines to tape to your arms?  The mechanics are solid. The gameplay is solid. And I have a feeling we’re all in for a monumental event…

I said I DON’T have any candy! No candy here! No really, go! Go away!

I said I DON’T have any candy! No candy here! No really, go! Go away!

Graphics: Rating-Bar5

I guess you can say I’m a bit of an Unreal fan boy, and I’ve been following their work up until Cliffyb resigned. It was nice to see the mobile version of their engine put to some solid use, unlike other titles. The graphics are great, and the amount of effects and time put into the cut scenes and interactive pieces was fantastic.

Gameplay: Rating-Bar5

It’s not exactly DayZ, but on the iPad this is about as close as I’m going to get. From running amok in the city streets to being able to push zombies off of me and shove them back, time was clearly taken in designing not only the combat mechanics but the overall feel of the game.

Audio:Rating-Bar4

The audio is really good in this title and fits just about every scene. What I would really like to bring attention to is the voice acting. All the characters in the game feel very alive. The phone calls you make during the early plot are spot on and really get you sucked into the game.

Innovation: Rating-Bar3

While zombie games aren’t really a rare thing, this game brings the genre to a new level on the mobile gaming platforms.

Overall: Rating-Bar5

It happened. I gave a game a 5. Mark this event on your calendars so we can celebrate its anniversary next year. I had to, this game is solid, and I really have no complaints. I guess the game could have also come with the ability to order me a pizza so I don’t have to stop playing, but that’s just me being silly/lazy/ridiculous. Do yourself a favor and pick this title up. You will be surprised at its level of attention to detail, even with it being a mobile title.

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