World War Z: Aftermath | PS4 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
World War Z: Aftermath, developed by Saber Interactive and published by Focus Entertainment, is in some senses an expansion of the original World War Z game but is also its own standalone game for those who haven’t had the chance to play the previous release. Due to this, it's important to note that those who own the original game will be able to upgrade to Aftermath for only £15 on the Epic Games Store or £15.99 on the PS Store. There is a PlayStation 5 and XBox Series X upgrade in the works, although this will not be a free upgrade, but will also come at a reduced price for existing players. I am quite excited for this as I feel like the immersion will be even greater if the game properly uses the features of the Dualsense controller such as the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. So, for the purpose of this review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version.
World War Z: Aftermath offers a good variety of game modes that create many hours of gameplay. There are a series of episodic scenario based missions that you can pick and choose from. These take place in places like Rome, where you battle zombie hordes through the narrow, winding streets that are just perfectly crafted to push you into high intensity situations, where you need to really push yourself through the insane choke points against those hordes. Other maps are the polar opposite with massive areas like a huge dam, where you can be flanked at every angle by zombies clambering up the walls looking for your blood. Within the various scenarios there are fairly clear objectives to deal with to progress. These campaigns can be played with random people that you’re paired with. If there are no random players available, you’ll be paired with some AI which generally is a negative thing however, on the easier difficulties I found the AI to be actually useful, and not totally useless. Alternatively you can team up with your friends, have full blown communication, and a good laugh. I played through most of the campaigns solo, however I’m really excited to play through them again with a friend because there’s always plenty of banter and laughs to be had in these co-op games.
As well as the co-op campaign there is also an excellent multiplayer PVP selection available which is what I really enjoyed and what brings the most replayability to World War Z for me. There are the usual fan favourite game modes such as Team Deathmatch, Domination and Capture the Flag and then there are more zombie-esque style game modes such as Vaccine Hunt. What I really enjoyed about the PVP modes is that you weren’t just facing the other players in the traditional sense. Every so often when the noise level gets high enough because of all the gun fire, this triggers a massive zombie horde which you have to contend with alongside the real life opponents which really spices up the game. This also has the means to turn the tide for your team quite easily. You can scoop up a good amount of kills when the enemy are unwittingly focusing on the zombies or the enemy team could be outplaying you in an objective game mode like Capture the Flag, and can be dragged off the objective point to fight off zombies. This would allow you to capitalise on their misfortune. Compared to other zombie games and their PVP modes, World War Z: Aftermath is definitely my favourite, probably because I’m more keen on the traditional modes rather than the other varieties like where you play as the zombies. Whilst I really enjoyed the PVP in other games like Left 4 Dead, it didn’t really click with me in the same way as World War Z did and with such great competition available in the genre now with the release of Back 4 Blood, I really hope to see a positive future for World War Z: Aftermath.
There are 8 different classes that you can choose from in World War Z: Aftermath, and they all have their own unique skill set, perks, weapons, and each of these can be levelled up and improved as you progress. I personally always really go for a trusty assault rifle and pistol or SMG loadout as my general play style is to fully send it, get right in amongst the blood and gore, and walk around wearing the brains and guts of zombies as my outfit. Amongst the 8 classes there really is a bit of everything for any taste whether you like to pop off heads with shotguns or sit far back with a sniper - you can choose those weapons and hone those skills as you please.
World War Z: Aftermath is a third person game as default however in the settings there is also a first person option that you can toggle on which is a great feature, however, I feel like the execution of the first person mode is poor. My main issue with it is that whilst some of the guns have scopes, when you toggle the first person mode on you would expect yourself to be looking through the sights. However, you don’t, which for me really took away from my immersion and made me feel disconnected with the game. I would imagine this could be adapted with a patch and it would really make a huge difference to the general feeling about the game. With all this said though, this is probably my biggest critique of World War Z: Aftermath and it's likely fairly insignificant, so it speaks massively to the quality of the game and the enjoyment I got out of it; the enjoyment I still get and the enjoyment that is yet to come as I play it co-operatively with my friends.
Overall, for anyone who enjoys a very traditional and stereotypical zombie shooter, World War Z: Aftermath is a worthy contender to join your library as the gameplay is smooth and simply works; the graphics are excellent and with the PVP mode there is plenty of added replayability to level your characters and overall level and improve your K/D constantly, whilst pitting yourself against other real players across the world. If you're an existing fan of World War Z, I believe that this will fill any expectations you have and remind you why you enjoyed the original game so much.
Lj’s Rating: 4.5 severed heads out of 5.
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Many thanks to Indigo Pearl for the Review Key.