World War Z: Aftermath Review

When in Rome...
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Back in 2019, Saber Interactive released World War Z as a co-op shooter, where squads of up to four players could take on zombie hordes five story chapters, as well as a horde mode and a challenge mode in which rewards could be earned to upgrade classes. Then earlier this year, Saber Interactive announced the Aftermath expansion for World War Z. This new expansion adds two more episodes, a new class, first person mode, and a new enemy.

The new episodes in World War Z: Aftermath will take players to Rome and Kamchatka, adding six new levels to play through. The Rome episode is all about reclaiming the ancient city from the zombies, whereas the Kamchatka episode is about getting fuel to power a settlement through the harsh winter that groups of survivors are facing. Much like previous episodes, Rome and Kamchatka are split into three levels each, with the stakes increasing in each one.

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The settings look decent enough and are filled to the brim with zombies, though both episodes have similar objectives in having to protect some engineers and escort them to safety before the final battle in each area. If you have played the base game already, then the missions themselves don’t offer anything majorly new themselves, and the climax of Rome’s mission is something of a disappointment after the build up.

World War Z Aftermath

The other major addition is the first person mode, so you can view the zombie slaying close up. It is a good option to have, but really feels like Saber Interactive hasn’t gone all the way. The scopes on on the majority of weapons are useless and only there for decorative purposes – when you try to aim down sights in first person mode, the characters don’t actually look through the scope, the camera just zooms in a bit. Not only that, but when you perform a melee attack, the camera switches to third person view to show off the animation. It’s a shame, because first person mode does give you a real sense of being surrounded by zombies as they come sprinting in from all angles, making you more vulnerable as your field of vision is lower than if playing in third person.

On top of the new episodes and the first person mode, there is a new enemy to contend with. Rats. Swarms of rats will block some areas but for a swarm they are pretty stationary, acting as a trap rather than as an additional horde charging towards you. In the middle of a battle you may miss the group of rats writhing around on the floor, and your character will slip on them and lose health as the rats start biting. Much like when an elite zombie grabs you, you cannot escape the rats alone and will need help from teammates to escape them.

World War Z Aftermath Rome

The Vanguard class has also been added into the mix with a new ability to use and skill tree to progress through. The main feature of this class is the electrified shield which can be used to charge at zombies to take them down, while also giving some protection to the player. While a good tactical choice, the shield itself seems to lack heft and you cannot really tell when zombies are being affected by it until they kind of fall over.

One of the renewed appeals for World War Z on console is the enhanced backward compatibility on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, now able to target 60fps. The swarms still look impressive as they come charging toward you, but the action now seems to run at a smooth 60fps. World War Z: Aftermath will not be getting a full native upgrade until Spring 2022 however, at which point owners of the Aftermath expansion will also see the addition of an exclusive Horde XL mode for the new generation consoles and PC.

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Summary
Is Aftermath worth it then? It is if you are a fan World War Z and are looking for more content. The new class is a decent addition and can add a new tactical choice when facing the hordes, while both the episodes of Rome and Kamchatka add a couple more hours of content and more variety for when you're grinding for levels and upgrades. However, the first person mode feels undercooked and the rat swarms just aren't scary compared to the likes of the Bull and the Lurker zombies.
Good
  • Runs smoothly in 60 fps on XSX
  • Rome and Kamchatka add a couple of extra hours
  • The Vanguard class has potential
Bad
  • First person mode can feel lacklustre
  • Missions in both new episodes are very similar
  • Rats just aren't particularly scary
6
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From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.

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