World War Z is Saber Interactive’s take on the 2013 movie of the same name. So impressed was Saber with the use of the zombie “swarms” in the movie, the video game company secured the rights from Paramount to use the franchise. For those familiar with Max Brooks’ book of the same name which the movie is loosely based off, it is told through various accounts of those who had survived the zombie outbreak. Saber’s World War Z takes elements of both the movie and the book, utilizing the zombie-swarm element from the former and the multiple-character element from the latter.
As a four-player co-op similar to the likes of the Left 4 Dead franchise, each player will take the helm of one of four characters: a hacker, a firefighter, an ex-gang member, and a utility worker. Unfortunately, these characters will not have any special skills revolving around their individual experiences.
Upon release, there will be three episodes for players to experience: New York, Moscow, and Jerusalem. During this year’s E3 Conference, I got to play an alpha-version of the New York level. For this one, players must work their way down from the roof of a building and escape through the subway system.
As my team advanced through the episode, zombies seemingly appeared from every which way, making it necessary for players to stick together and look out in each different direction for surprise attacks. Players can utilize various guns and traps, as well as a knife for melee attacks. Along the way, different guns, ammunition, and supply crates can be found. Though, because of “friendly-fire,” my team often shot or cut each other in the confusion.
My favorite moment of the game was facing the swarm of zombies. The zombies will indeed crawl and climb on each other, such as creating a ladder of bodies to get to players set on a high place. We had to cut them down with gunfire before the masses reached us. As a horde readies to advance, you are given time to set traps such as barbed wire and turrets to hold back the tide in time to mill them down with your own weapons. Depending on the area, there are also elemental pieces that can also be of use, such as large, hanging chandeliers that can be shot down.
So far, Saber’s World War Z is shaping up to be an extremely fun game. When asked if there will be additional episodes added later on, a Saber team member said he wasn’t sure, but would love to see it. Confirmed for the PS4, XBOX One, and PC, there is yet no release date for the game. Saber hopes to have a beta version available soon.
Nicholas Eskey is an avid reader and writer. When not contributing to The Beat, he works on his personal projects, the latest being a fantasy novel called “My Personable Demon.” He lives in San Diego, California, and is frequently bossed around by his cat.