To the question " where does the idea of World War Z come from? ", the guys at Saber Interactive answered that the choice goes back a long time, even before that famous movie came out blockbuster with Brad Pitt in command. " We were at Paramount, we were previewing the trailer for the film, and when we saw the zombie pyramid for the first time we said we would find a way to make it a video game ". It was a long journey and the development team had to overcome numerous vicissitudes, including the creation of a special engine for the game, but in the end here we are: six years and some licenses later, World War Z is finally ready for launch scheduled for next April 16 on Xbox One and Ps4, while on PC it will be exclusive to Epic Store.
For those who don't know, the model chosen is that of a third cooperative person shooter explicitly declined in the manner of Left 4 Dead. American developers immediately promised a campaign in style, which in part follows the scenarios of Max Brooks' bestseller and those of the film, but also added an interesting multiplayer mode. Since the publication of the title is edited by Focus Home Interactive, the What's Next just ended in that of Paris certainly could not miss a playable demo, and coincidentally we were there ready to massacre hordes of undead.
All around the world
We tell you right away: when we looked at the launch trailer we were a bit skeptical. The images seemed promising, but we could not help but wonder if in 2019 there was still room for such a title, especially net of a formula not really brand new.
Yet, after only fifteen minutes of proven doubts had already vanished, devoured by a swarm of barking zombies. The truth is that the coop is still a winning card, while the post-apocalyptic survival context is capable like few others to favor that "militaristic" and noisy aggregation that never goes out of fashion. Of course, in any case we must know how to do things right, and in fact Saber did not take the sub-leg operation, recreating an apt atmosphere (halfway between a book and a feature film), adding some effect to it.  The main dish of World War Z is obviously its PVE campaign, to be completed rigorously together with three other friends: at launch this will be divided into four chapters, each of which is self-contained, which in turn host three linear advance missions.
Given that one of the focal points of the original work is to show the catastrophe on a global scale, each chapter will take us to a new location (ie New York, Moscow, Tokyo and Jerusalem), which includes various scenarios and, from time to time time, dedicated protagonists. We had the second chapter of the Russian mini-campaign, in which a handful of survivors, struggling with an unprecedented amount of undead, had to first make their way through a semi-destroyed museum, then find supplies on the crash site of a helicopter, and finally run away on the banks of a better specified frozen river. Go, recover, hold on: the classic zombie game triptych, in short.
Needless to say, therefore, the plot is very simple and that's fine, because in any case to give the right verve to the narration are the individual characters. Each chapter has four heroes, each with its own specific background and a fairly extroverted character, and clearly the protagonists interact with each other, exchanging jokes, puns and sometimes even threats.
Some are well trained soldiers, but most of them are workers, professors and the most common imaginable, just as the original work would like. To give you an example, at the moment, our favorite is without a doubt Sergey Popov: ex-mafia Muscovite who after an unlikely epiphanic moment became a priest, while accepting his fate as a corrupt man, wants to save others at all costs.
Here, from someone like him, you can expect comments with a biblical theme and chats on the verge of Russian extravagance: therefore, the fun seems guaranteed, also because the developers assured us that an avalanche of "redundant" dialogues were dubbed, in so as to reduce repetitiveness to a minimum, since each run is designed to be played multiple times.
This brings us to the question of longevity, which on the other hand does not seem particularly pronounced: every mission seems to wander around the half hour, and even considering that there are different styles of play, with an approximate calculation, each chapter should not exceed 1 hour and a half played.
It is also true that in each level there are secret rooms, which can only be opened if they have a certain key. The position of the aforementioned is clearly casual, therefore the survival instinct will also need to be combined with a bit of healthy exploration, thus lengthening the experience. In short, apart from some uncertainty about the duration of the campaign, setting and characters are certainly well done, thanks also to a highly technical rendering. Said between us, now we can not wait to try the chapter set in Tokyo.
Heeeeey Man, Niiice Gun
We said that the purpose is to survive, but when the zombies are so many that overflow from the frame, the situation it gets complicated. And know that this is not an exaggeration, because in some moments up to five hundred undead (who run more than Danny Boyle's) can coexist on screen, kicking and climbing exactly like in the mother scene of Marc Forster's film .
The enormous quantity was expressly desired by Saber, and is the fulcrum of the proprietary game engine: with these premises you will understand that the pyramid of zombies is not a secondary element, since it has a very specific role in the performance of missions.
Often it happens to be safe on the second floor of a building, but if we make too much noise (and of course it will happen) the horde will spill over us: stacking one on the other, the eating brains will try therefore to reach us despite the raised position. In these cases we must focus the fire of our weapons at the base of the mountain of bodies in order to make them capitulate, thus gaining precious time.
The fact is that we will always be under attack from multiple fronts , also because the level design is deliberately open and full of objects that obstruct the view, so that we will almost never have a real truce. We have to cooperate with our companions, cover our backs, shout " practices at " when needed, and above all never go away on our own, otherwise we can forget the survivor's medal.
In this regard, in the midst of the chaos, it will happen to find even more coriaceous or armored enemies, able to block ourselves on the ground in a few moments; at that point the comrades will have to free us in time, because otherwise we will end up dead in a few seconds. Health, on the other hand, certainly does not abound, and is regenerated only to a small extent: if we find ourselves without life, however, we can always be brought back to life by an ally, without even too much effort.
Obviously in a zombie-based survival we also expect a wagon of weapons, perks and the essential class system. World War Z is by no means lacking in it, and brings together a remarkable arsenal first in five categories (from scrum, throwing, small arms, heavy weapons and finally special ones) and then distributes them in six practical classes: Slasher prefers melee weapons such as machetes; Hellraiser with a name like this could only be a class based on shotguns and explosive charges; Exterminator instead focuses on claymore decorated traps.
Gunslinger is the soldier par excellence composed of 80% of assault rifles (and the remaining 20% of heavy machine guns); then there is the doctor who mainly uses light and divers machine guns; and finally Fixer which is a sort of engineer specializing in remote explosives.
You can still reorganize the classes, while special weapons like the M249 or the chainsaw (which are potentially devastating and can sweep away a pyramid in a few seconds) they are in the field and have a limited number of uses, not to mention that the loot, apart from the bullets, is shared.
Moreover, by playing, experience is accumulated, modifications and upgrades are devised to help us better manage the horde, but this does not make the game any easier: the difficulty, in fact, is adaptive and this means that it will change based on to our way of playing. Through the insertion of enemies or resources, it will be leveled to guarantee always a stimulating challenge, at least on paper.
In fact, during our test the pace of play has always remained on the threshold of our possibilities, never reaching overwhelming heights; the goodness of the algorithm will have to be tested with time, and even if we admit that we are not big fans of this practice, we still want to remain positive about it. Standing above the walls of Jerusalem and watching the swarming horde below you is priceless, and it would be a shame to gamble with an approximate balance.