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Video Game / World War Z (2019)

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A Co-Op Multiplayer Third-Person Shooter developed by Saber Interactive and based on the movie adaptation of the book of the same name.

The game is split into four chapters taking place in four different cities in four different countries:

  • New York: A group of survivors atop a Manhattan office building must survive the zombie infested buildings, streets and subways of New York to escape the city while the military attempts to take it back.
  • Jerusalem: A military squad must rescue a top scientist from the fallen city to activate a weapons system on an abandoned satellite base.
  • Moscow: Father Sergei Popov and his team must survive the zombie horde to find a secret Kremlin bunker; and
  • Tokyo: Quick to respond to the global outbreak, Japan decides to evacuate the country. A volunteer search and rescue team must battle the hordes to protect the civilian population as they retreat to Tokyo harbour.

World War Z reduces the zombie genre to its absolute basics: You are one of a Ragtag Quartet of Misfits caught in the middle of the outbreak of a deadly virus that's turning people into bloodthirsty mutants. Your objective is to make your way from one objective to another through an area infested with these murderous creatures, and finally, reach a pickup point from which to summon the cavalry to spirit you to safety. Along the way, you and your allies will meet up with different people who are willing to help you to safety.

Of course, this won't be easy. You have your three pals, and due to the Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer nature of the game, there are crazy-competent AI bots standing by for when you don't have allied players. And don't worry about them hogging the kills: there are plenty of Zekes to go around. There could be a herd of several hundred zombies (which will happen often), or just one extremely powerful mutant zombie waiting around the next corner. The game's proprietary "Swarm Engine" is watching your progress and planning your next sudden encounter; play the same campaign five times and each time will be a different experience.


Does this sound familiar?

Please take a look at the character sheet to learn more about the characters.

Not to be confused with World War Z 2013 for mobile developed by Phosphor Games Studio.

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World War Z provides examples of:

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    General Media Tropes 
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: If your health runs out in certain circumstances, you’ll begin to spasm and get back on your feet as a freshly turned Zeke, then trying to attack your former allies and most likely getting perforated.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The New York chapter has the American team traversing the sewers to access parts of its subway system in its second act.
  • An Axe to Grind: Tashaun Burnell uses a fire axe as his melee weapon to kill Zekes that get too close to him. Justified as he was a firefighter before the Zeke outbreak.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: A common occurrence when a horde spawns while your team's in a wide-open area.
  • Badass Beard: Most of the playable male characters sport one.
  • Badass Crew: All of the four teams, full stop.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Angel Flores, the American team's resident Latino, will sometimes mutter Spanish curse words under his breath. Any Spanish-speaking players would understand what he's saying.
  • Climactic Elevator Ride: In the New York chapter, the American team must take an elevator down to the second floor of the office building they are located in to access the subway.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: You'll be hearing this a lot in the Jerusalem chapter.
  • Cool Car: The armoured bus in the first act of the Tokyo chapter.
  • Death from Above: In the final act of the New York chapter, when Bunko tests a radio to see if anyone responds, she and her team are met with mortar shell attacks that can be exploited by the players to kill off big swarms of Zekes.
  • Death World: Duh, it's not called World War Z for nothing. Par for the course.
  • Defiant to the End: The Japanese army in the final act for the Tokyo chapter, up until the oil refinery's destruction.
  • Elite Zombie: The five special Zekes.
  • Escape Convenient Boat: Serves as major plots points in the final base game acts for the New York and Tokyo chapters. Tokyo, in particular, has a level set on a compromised evac cruise ship the rescue team are on board.
  • Excuse Plot: It's basically "You wake up one day, everybody except you and 3 other misfits with eccentric personality quirks is a zombie. Try not to get killed while getting to the escape vehicle (New York, Jerusalem and Tokyo) or bunker (Moscow)".
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The outcome for the survivors.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The Japanese army defiantly stayed behind to fight back against the Zekes until the breach charges planted onto the oil refinery's columns by the survivors explode, covering the entire port in fire and presumably burning the Zekes to death alongside the soldiers.

  • Gasshole: The Gasbags are hazmat suit-wearing Zekes that release a poisonous gas that can impede you and your team's progress whenever it dies, unless it is a headshot.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: The special zeke'Bull' is clad in riot armor, enabling it to soak huge amounts of firepower unless you break its faceplate for a headshot or shoot the exposed flesh at the back.
  • Hollywood Silencer: All of the silenced pistols that all of the survivors use as their primary handguns feature the trademark "fwip!" whenever it fires.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Downplayed when Bunko sees the swarm of Zekes running through the New York streets outside of the office building for the first time.
    Bunko: Jesus Christ. Look down.
    • Played straight with many Let's Players when they see how massive and fast the swarm is when playing the first act of the New York chapter for the first time.
    • Said word-for-word by Daniel Alahey in the final act of the Jerusalem chapter when the Kill Sat activates for the second time and unleashes a massive laser blast equivalent to a mini-nuke that effortlessly vapourises all of the Zekes swarming the abandoned satellite base.
  • It Can Think: Despite the mindless swarming tactics that the run-of-the-mill Zeke swarms employ against you, you often get one in the horde who has a bit more going on upstairs and will actively attempt to take cover or frequently sidestep to throw off your aim. The Creeper seems to be the smartest of the lot, crouching low on the ground to make its profile lower (and thus harder to spot and kill) and actively hiding in order to ambush survivors. Considering that most of the other Zekes gladly throw themselves into a hail of bullets with near-zero concern for their personal safety, it’s especially notable.
  • Kill Sat: The weapons system that the Israeli government had been working on prior to the Zeke outbreak is actually a satellite that can fire a huge laser blast that effortlessly vapourises the Zekes swarming the abandoned satellite base, which the Israeli team and Dr. Greengold witnessed first-hand when evacuating from the base in a helicopter.
    • Ethan Wolfe, the Israeli team's resident Brit, even commented that the laser is powerful enough to melt a freaking tank when he witnessed it being test-fired for the first time.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Bull. Despite its heavy armor, you best be prepared to dodge unless you want to be choke-slammed.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: You'll see this very often every time you blow up hordes of Zekes with grenades, rocket launchers, mortar shells, C4, claymore mines, grenade launchers, payload rifles and explosive crossbow bolts.
  • Machete Mayhem: All of the survivors (except Tashaun Burnell) have machetes as melees weapons to kill off Zekes that get too close to them and finish off the Infector.
  • Made of Explodium: Apparently, the oil refinery in the final act of the Tokyo chapter can explode with a few well-placed blocks of C4.
  • Made of Incendium: The Zekes can be lit up by Molotov cocktails and explosive barrels
  • Made of Plasticine: It's not uncommon for the basic Zekes to be graphically dismembered by a shotgun blast, a few stray bullets, being dismembered by a few machete (or fire axe in Tashaun Burnell's case) swings, a grenade blast or a mortar attack.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Screamers, one of the three base game special Zekes, unleashes an ear-piercing scream that attracts hordes of regular Zekes to you and your team. The only way to stop it is to kill the Screamers for good.
  • More Dakka: During the defence preparation phase of the Zeke swarm sections, you can put up a set of heavy machine gun turrets or auto-turrets that can easily shred large numbers of zombies at once.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Zigzagged; while explosions from grenades, rocket launchers, mortar shells and barrels will deal lethal damage to any Zekes within range, they'll hurt survivors for maybe 5-10 damage at most if they get too close.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Played straight. The zombies are referred to as Zekes in the World War Z universe.
  • Reality Ensues: Rushing an evacuation and boarding for a cruise ship is a certain way for an infected passenger to slip through. Combine that with overcrowded conditions and you will get an outbreak onboard as the Japanese team find out in their third act.
  • The Power of Friendship: Literally. Nothing will get you killed faster than leaving your fellow survivors behind and trying to Rambo your way through the next level alone.
  • Shock and Awe: One of the items you can install as part of the defence preparation phase is electric shockers that can be connected to conveniently-placed metal grilles. They can electrocute zombies but not live humans, for some reason.
  • Sinister Subway: The second act of the New York chapter goes through a subway. It is filled with zombies, blocked passages, scaffoldings, a tunnel boring machine and a crazy train driver who got on the American team's nerves really fast.
  • Standalone Episode: All of the campaigns start with a team communicating with a rescuer on their radios and end with the team successfully escaping (or killing off all of the Zekes in the Russian team's case). Only Tokyo doesn't get this treatment, as the Undead Sea update adds in Cruise Control, where the Japan team has to clear out a evac cruise ship of infected.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: To get the Zekes to leave Dr. Greengold's house alone in the Jerusalem chapter, you must activate a really loud border checkpoint siren to get the Zekes to rush towards you and your team instead.
  • Token Minority: Everyone on the American team (Angel Flores is a Latino, Bunko Tatsumi is a Japanese-American, and Tashaun Burnell and Arnetta Larkin are African-Americans), everyone on the Israeli team except Dina Mizrahi (Judd Whitaker is American, Ethan Wolfe is British and Daniel Alahey is half-Ethiopian) and Ivan Dovchenko on the Russian team (He is from Kiev, Ukraine).
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Duh.
  • Zombie Gait: How individual zombies walk until they see you. Then they get their running shoes on.
  • Zombie Puke Attack: The recently added special zeke, Infector can only attack survivors with this, which is a insta-kill if the covered survivor doesn't clean it quickly via button-prompt

    Meta (Community/Developer/Supplemental Material) Tropes 
  • Griefer: Being a team-based game, it is extremely easy to grief other players. Even if the griefer gets kicked, they can just join a new game and do it again to others. This also results in Heel–Face Turn because you never know who will be the first to shoot you dead when it is time to escape.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Mostly applies to newbies who keep making common mistakes, most commonly running ahead of everyone (which usually gets them killed and are too far away to be saved in time).
  • Poor Communication Kills: This will literally be your game ender online if you or the rest of your team fail to talk or at least call for help if being pinned or swarmed by the Zekes, especially when the Bulls charge in and pin you or your teammates down. Lots of games have been lost due to people simply not speaking up.
  • Rage Quit: Consult the VG Cats guide.
  • Super Power Lottery: As far as Zekes go, the Bulls have won this. Their heavy armor allows them to tank a lot of damage before dying unless the survivors shoot the weak point on his back, he becomes frighteningly fast when he’s charging, and has become strong enough to pound survivors into pulp easily.
  • The Virus: If you're... unlucky enough, you turn into a walking bag of poison gas (if you're wearing a hazmat suit after getting infected), get Sindel's shriek, or turn into the Hulk (if you're wearing a riot uniform after getting infected).

    Gameplay Tropes 
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you don't aim wisely, you'll find yourself running out of ammo very fast. Luckily for you, ammunition dumps are conveniently located at Zeke swarm points, and you automatically get a machete (or fire axe if you're playing as Tashaun Burnell) that work nicely against pretty much everything... except Bulls.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The Zekes are quite smart and are very wary of the presence of the players, thanks to the Swarm Engine. If you make a lot of noise while killing off a small cluster of zombies, the Engine will spawn a big cluster of zombies to charge at you once you and your team turn around a corner. However, if you quietly pick the same cluster off with your silenced pistol, the Engine will also spawn an equally small amount of Zekes at the same corner.
    • Additionally, the Zekes act like actual human crowds, climbing on top of each other to reach you and your team on higher levels. They also know how to avoid obstacles too.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Although not too horrible, the Zeke swarms can sometimes get stuck in narrow corridors, just like actual human crowds in real life.
  • Aura Vision: Used to find teammates.
  • BFG: The Payload Rifle is what happens when mix a Barrett M82 with explosive rounds, the result being a hefty weapon with enough power to kill scores of Zekes with ease at the bare minimum, and anything that isn’t killed from a bullet that can deal with a tank is turned into giblets and red mist by the following detonation of said round.
  • Back Stab: Swinging your machete or axe into an idle common from behind is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Played straight, to Your Head Asplode levels with common Zekes.
    • Mercilessly averted with the Bulls, who can shrug off headshots due to their bulletproof riot helmets.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The players must reload them, and supply caches provide infinite replenishment for your main weapons.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played straight by survivors throwing grenades and reloading.
  • Chandler's Law: The Director AI pulls this quite frequently: make too much noise and you'll get a big bunch of Zekes coming towards you.
  • Combat Resuscitation: Players who run out of health are incapacitated, becoming immobile but still able to use a pistol to help clear away infected while their friends help them up. However, a player can only be incapacitated twice, after which their screen will turn black and white, a Heartbeat Soundtrack will be heard, and if a first-aid kit is not used on them, their next incapacitation will result in their death.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: They're called Bulls for a reason. They have several times more health than the human survivors combined.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying does not mean you are forever gone from the game. You will just come back in the next act.
  • Death Is Cheap: You can just simply respawn next to your teammates in the next act.
  • Equipment Upgrade: All of the weapons have skill trees that allows you and your team to upgrade them.
  • Everyone Chasing You: The horde.
  • Exploding Barrels: They can be found in the Jerusalem and Tokyo chapters and can be used to slow down Zekes.
  • Fetch Quest: Going through waves of Zekes for some supply crates for a crazy subway train driver in New York, some briefcases containing schematics for a Kill Sat in Jerusalem and a radio key in Moscow.
  • Finishing Move: Required in order to properly kill the Infector special; otherwise, it will revive with full health.
  • Gang Up on the Human: When playing solo, the special Zekes seem to favor targeting you over the other survivors.
  • Genre Savvy: Bunko Tatsumi, full stop. In her backstory, once she learned about the Solanum Virus long before the public does (after hacking into the US military's computer network), she smartly fills her entire apartment up with weapons, traps, food, water and medications, and when the Zekes finally began knocking on her door, she simply grabs a gun without hesitation and kills them all.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: This is usually the best way to deal with the Bull, by pumping it full of lead while evading it. Just make sure that you're healthy enough that you can run fast, and that there's room to run.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Hitboxes for some pouncing Zekes move in front of them when they pounce, which makes them extraordinarily difficult to knock out of the air with even the slightest bit of lag.
  • Hold the Line: Occurs in all swarm stages, mostly to protect an important place, person or vehicle while they are being prepared.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Depending on where enemies spawn and what types they are, along with what items you find, you can either have a smooth sailing game or a nightmare of just trying to survive.
  • Never Split The Party: The game is built on this trope. Get separated or lose track of your teammates and You Are Already Dead.
    • There are also a few jarring situations in which you have passed a Point of No Return, like the entrance to the abandoned satellite base in the second act of the Jerusalem chapter, and cannot go back and help your teammates. This just reinforces the original lesson, since you are forced to soldier on short-handed.
  • Procedural Generation: The Engine determines on the fly spawns for Zekes and items.
  • Respawning Enemies: You can surely expect to see all the Zekes more than once.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Given that you're trying to survive as a team in a zombie apocalypse, you can either always have your team's back, even making sacrifices to save all of their lives...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: ...or you can completely ditch them and leave them at the mercy of all the ruthless zombies, taking all the weapons and health for yourself.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Of course, the Engine gets pissed at uncooperative play, so it'll often spawn less powerful guns and more zombies to target the cruelty-inflicting players.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Using a whole bottle of hydrogen peroxide on your wound is not a good idea in real life, but somehow is if you're low on health.
    • First-aid kits, which visibly just have hydrogen peroxide bottles in them. Got shot? Use hydrogen peroxide. Got torn apart by zombies? Use hydrogen peroxide. Infections, blood loss, rest, fractures? Just pour some hydrogen peroxide on your wounds and you're good as new!
    • If you get mobbed by common Zekes, setting yourself on fire with molotovs or blowing yourself up with a grenade launcher will usually clear your space a lot faster than trying to hack at them all with machetes or a fire axe. You'll suffer self-inflicted friendly fire damage, but that will be small compared to trying to clear out zombies invading your space without said methods.
  • Your Head Asplode: Shots to the head of regular Zekes with silenced pistols leave only their neck and a Pink Mist.
  • Zerg Rush: Oh boy, and it is relentless! The regular Zekes can easily run really fast in swarms and can easily overwhelm you and your team if you are not prepared or packing heat.
  • Zombie Infectee: Undead Sea adds in the Infector, which can invoke this trope. Get hit by its toxic projectiles, and you're on a timer. If you can't clean it off in time, you'll immediately be turned.

Alternative Title(s): World War Z


Example of: