As you might guess from the title, World War Z is based on the movie of the same name. At this point, however, we’ve yet to see the movie for ourselves, so we can’t really tell you how well it captures the experience depicted on the silver screen. That said, the game is a sort-of-but-not-really first person shooter, as you’ll be seeing everything through the eyes of our protagonist, for better and for worse. If you get motion-sick easily, this game may not be for you.
World War Z consists of wandering around different environments as you try to make your way to your son as the world falls apart around you. Shooting and crowbarring any of the infected people who should get in your way is a result of said world falling apart. Shooting is easy, as you’re in a fixed spot and can move the camera any which way; move the targeting reticule over a zombie, and the game opens fire automatically. The downside to this is that on occasion, one of your targets might wind up not being quite as dead as you think, leaving you open to an attack without any idea where it’s coming from. At this point, shooting again becomes a bit more difficult.
Other battles involve dodging a rushing zombie by tapping a left or right arrow, pushing them away with a button, and swiping the screen to swing your crowbar at their skull. This is all about timing, and can be tricky to get just right.
The other part of the game, walking around and navigating your environment while looking for item pick-ups, manages to be both a highlight and a low point for the game. World War Z prides itself on its graphics, and they are pretty good. There is a definite emphasis on realism, though this is a double-edged sword, as figuring out just what you can and cannot do in the environment is a bit trying.
Simply put: It looks real, but doesn’t always act real, and this is further hindered by the rather awkward and unresponsive method of movement by touching points on the screen. You can switch to a conventional “D-pad and swipe-to-look” control set-up, but it’s even more finicky.
Overall, World War Z isn’t bad, but its reach seems to exceed its grasp. It’s fun for a while at first, but soon loses its luster as you struggle to move through certain areas. Once you start falling to zombies and having to replay segments, the experience begins to wear on you all the more.