Hands-on Preview: World War Z For iOS
Paramount's new action thriller World War Z is coming out in theaters on June 21st. The Brad Pitt vehicle tells the story of Gerry Lane, an ex-United Nations employee tasked with trying to find a cure for a pandemic that's sweeping the planet. While you'll have to wait a bit to see the movie, the iOS and Android game will be available this week and we got the chance to play it.
World War Z runs on the Unreal engine. It's a first-person shooter with a parallel story to the film. You'll play not as Gerry Lane, but as Douglass Perry in his search to reach his son. You'll travel through three cities -- Denver, Kyoto and Paris -- with 12 levels each in your race to save your family, and the globe.
Graphics wise, World War Z looked pretty good. Granted, it looks like a FPS you played a few years ago on your PC, but for the iPhone it looked quite impressive. There are two modes to choose from - an easy mode where moving the mouse over the target auto-fires for you, and the more traditional mode where you have to aim and fire independently. I played the easy mode and it was pretty fun.
Your goal in each level is typical FPS survival. Find ammo, kill zombies, grab health, move on to the next level. Zombies come at you pretty fast, so you've got to be on your toes with your swiping. Movement was pretty smooth and the auto-fire option is a nice touch for newbie players to the genre.
Tapping on the ground moves your player. I didn't find this as intuitive as I had liked. Sometimes I'd be tapping around the screen not sure where in the hell I was supposed to go, but eventually figured it out. Pick up glowing papers, ammo, etc. for experience points.
These experience points are used to purchase and upgrade various combat and melee weapons. What's nice about it is the game doesn't hound you for in-app purchases. You buy the game, you get the game. You won't feel cheated by it asking you to cough up another couple of bucks for the experience points needed to purchase a machine gun.
Cut scenes were pretty well done and conveyed some of the frantic action. Zombies come in large numbers and they come at you fast. While the game can be completed in a few hours, it's an intense few hours. You never know when or where these things are going to be coming from. And when you see a ton of them running after you, the "Oh, crap!" factor begins to kick in.
World War Z will be released on May 30th for iOS, Android and Amazon. It has been optimized to run on the iPhone 5 and the latest Android phones and tablets. It'll run on slower devices, but it probably won't look as good as it does on newer tech.
Look for our full review this week on this new iOS shooter. Thanks to Paramount Studios for this cool hands-on preview of World War Z.