Posted on June 18, 2013 AT 04:03pm
Mobile games are designed to be time wasters and World War Z does accomplish that mission. However, there are other issues with the game controls that will leave you frustrated and wanting to pull your hair out. The story begins with the world being overrun by zombies. You are trying to get to your son…in another country. So begins your journey of combat, exploration and puzzles.
The controls are basic and easy to pick up though I did find that from time to time, they did not work the way they were supposed to. Moving about the environment involves tapping the screen to indicate where you want to go and then swiping your finger to look around. Just tap items to pick them up, earning experience points each time. Combat is a bit different. You do not have a choice as to which type of combat you want to engage in. The game will automatically equip a weapon type (melee or gun) and that determines which control set you get. Hand-to-hand involves three basic moves, swipe down to hit zombies, tap left or right arrow to dodge or hit center “hand” emblem to push zombie away. This is where I found the biggest issues with the game. There were times when I would swipe down to swing, hit the “hand” in the middle that controls the push back while swiping. This would then cause me to do the push back at the wrong time, resulting in damage and/or death. Plus the swing or push back controls were a little unpolished and did not seem to register 100% of the time. If you miss those dodges or push backs you will quickly find yourself being gnawed on by a zombie and starting over from the last checkpoint. Shooting only requires a player to place their finger on the screen and move it around to direct the cross hairs. The guns will fire automatically when the cross hairs are over an enemy. The issue I found here was more with screen size than anything else. I was playing this on my iPhone 4s and when I would move my finger around, it blocked too much of my screen and sometimes I wouldn’t see that zombie coming at my in the distance. By the time I noticed, it was right in front of me and I would end up taking damage.
If you are worried about there being puzzles in the game, don’t be. The puzzles are never hard enough to actually be frustrating. In fact, they are pretty simple in general. Most involve finding a lever to pull or a an item you need; for instance, getting a fire extinguisher to put out a fire blocking your path. There really won’t be any puzzle that will make you work out your brain. The puzzles control your progression to some extent but only for as long as it takes you to find that item…2-3 minutes tops.
The environment is littered with items to collect, like journals and random papers, but finding health or health packs is tough. I never found myself completely out of ammo but I did needing/wanting more health. The currency in World War Z is divided between XP and Gold. Gold can be purchased as a micro transaction. You can play and get through the game without purchasing any Gold but if you are impatient and want the better weapons faster, you are going to have to pay for them.
As a movie tie-in, World War Z does a decent job. As a zombie game, again, it does a decent job. Nothing spectacular but it works most of the time. Graphics are better than most iOS games but not earth shattering. There is some replay value if you want to try out challenge mode rather than the story mode. All in all, it’s a pretty average game and a good time waster though I wish I owned an iPad and could have played this game on it rather then my phone. World War Z is probably better suited for the larger screen. If you like zombie games and do not mind having no choice in what combat type you must implement against these hordes of the undead, then you should pick this one up.
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