STAFF REVIEW of World War Z - Game of the Year Edition (Xbox One)

Monday, June 15, 2020.
by Brent Roberts

World War Z - Game of the Year Edition Box art Last year XboxAddict got the opportunity to review the zombie game World War Z. While there were some who didn't enjoy this, and probably don't like puppies, or kitties either, we found it a wonderful zombie game that was a diamond in the rough, which is almost "unicorn status" given that it's a game based off a movie; and we all know how successful those can be (insert sarcastic eye roll).

Now that the world is gripped in a viral pandemic of Coronavirus, we here at XboxAddict found the timing a little eerie that we get the opportunity to review the Game of the Year Edition (GOTY) of World War Z. So naturally a game about destroying an obscene amount of zombies while a virus rampaged the world and claimed countless lives in reality, provided an interesting backdrop. I guess this sort of 1up's 'Dead Island torso' controversy, but let's move on.

Without going back into the detail of the core game review, this article will more focus on the content that you get with the GOTY Edition. Priced at $49.99, World War Z GOTY Edition comes with the game, season pass, one extra mission that is split into 3 levels, all the character skins from both sides, weapon skins, and also a weapon packed to be named later. On top of that, you also get some game modes to contend with (challenge and horde).

When you step into Challenge mode, take note that like Walter said in The Big Lebowski, you're entering a world of pain. Now, I'm not saying you're going to die a lot, I'm saying you have a very slim chance of survival given that this game mode offers up some pretty insane random gaming modifiers to make your experience more memorable. This mode has weekly goals that will set you in the levels you're used to, but the modifiers is where you can really get the short end. Modifiers can and will alter the game dramatically. What if you were playing a game and everyone but 1 person on your team were invincible, not just that, but all the damage taken from the invincible 3 went to the 1 normal team member. Or what about increasing the damage to friendly fire? How about the game producing literally endless waves of zombies and you having to literally run and gun your way through? These are but a few of the over 40 modifiers that exist within the challenge mode.

If you're lucky enough to make it through, you'll be rewarded with challenge coins which you can use then to modify your character's appearance. You can't purchase these through the store, so everything, and I mean every character customization option, will have to be painstakingly earned. But if you want that special backpack charm, like Rupaul said, you better work.

If you're thinking, "oh I really wish there were other ways to earn challenge coins!", well, wish granted with the new Horde mode. This is where the developers literally want you to last as long as you can before you die (which you will over and over and over again). You know those moments in the game where you have to defend swarms of zombies from overrunning your position? Well now take that same experience, but never have it quit and get progressively harder. In between each wave you'll be rewarded with loot that you can decided how/when you will spend it on upgrades (that will continue to carry over). If you can save some loot in the earlier stages, then that savings will come back to become invaluable later on.

Yup, in this mode you're going to be dying quite a lot, but that's the point. You collect what you can for your character, grind out the loot and experience, die and repeat the process from where your character left off. Now you may be thinking, well we have defenses that we can fortify and if we work together we can survive right? Wrong. First off, this new version adds some new "special zombies" to the mix.

You have your enemies like the zombie signal beacon and the screamer, but now you have this zombie called a Bull which is a massive zombie covered in police riot gear who will lumber towards you, but shoot it enough times and it'll get angry and like the Hulk will want to smash things, including your skull; very, very violently. Then you get the Bombers who... I don't want to get into trouble... so I'll just say blow s*** up, but they do that by running right into your group. As Aragon said to Legolas; "Bring him down, and do it quick." Other zombies such as a Lurker are now in the mix and these Adidas pant wearing zombies love to hide around corners and sneak attack you, so when you hear a snarling growl, start checking corners from a distance in case it leaps at you.

In some sadistic world, the developers thought, "Hey, let's make this experience more rewarding to the gamer. So how can we do that?" Well that answer came in the form of a Horde update back in February that applies to today. The list is extensive and can be found onliune(https://forums.fo3852/patch-the-profe020) but here's a small snapshot of a few:

• Rewards for beating wave 10 and higher are greatly increased
• Wave difficulty increases much faster
• The amount of resources player get is slightly reduced, especially after wave 20
• Introduced a limit to the number of defense kits of the same type that can be deployed simultaneously

Oh you're wondering about those challenge coins again? Well while normal difficulty Horde mode will allow you to grind and upgrade your weapons and classes, but doing Horde on hard mode will allow you to earn challenge coins. As if you needed to increase the difficulty to have more fun with this game.

One slight problem I came across, which wasn't mentioned in our original review, is that sometimes there is this graphical shifting hue that seemed to make focusing on navigation and targeting a real challenge. It didn't happen often but was distracting and really took away from the feel of the game itself. I wish it wasn't there, but it's a small price to pay for a fun and entertaining experience. For $49.99 World War Z GOTY still brings about a lot of enjoyment. I do though wish that they dropped the price to $39.99 (which oddly it is if you get game pass ultimate) because the content that is technically "new" outside of the zombies and the 3 stages is all cosmetic and things that have been released already.

Visual rating would have been higher without the graphical distortion.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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