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Mobile Review: World War Z

Posted on Thursday, May 30 @ 19:00:00 PST by

Title: World War Z
Developer: Phosphor Games Studio
Version: 1.0
Date of Release: May 30th, 2013
iTunes Link - $4.99

Nothing is scarier than a licensed video game, but several major properties have made the switch from console to mobile, ultimately defeating a lot of the disappointment you might feel after a $60 mistake. World War Z is the latest, giving players control of Doug, a man on a mission to reunite with his son.

There's just one problem with that: Doug is in America and his son is in Japan. You get to defend Doug with firearms and crowbars, help him scavenge for clues, food, and supplies, and generally try not to get bit. Even in the first few minutes, Phosphor Games flex their Unreal engine muscle.

Textures are prettier than a clean shot through zombified brains. Environments are run down in typical post-apacolyptic fashion, but overall the pace and variety make World War Z more fun to play than it should be. I played with the easiest control setting and found it matched the tension and mechanics perfectly.

You can play with harder controls, but the default has you tapping on the ground to move from place to place, and using one finger to slide your reticle over zombies who intend to do you harm. It makes for more of a shooting gallery and less for FPS gameplay, which is preferrable on smaller devices where my gigantic thumbs block a lot of the screen when engaged with digital controls.

You can upgrade your weapons, armor, and even your crowbar as you progress. In order to upgrade immediately, you have to pay for virtual currency, but dedicating time to World War Z will eventually net you the rewards available for cash.

I would pay to skip every hand-to-hand sequence if it were possible. Some enemies take too many whacks to the noggin to kill and you might wonder why all the zombies on earth seem to be fraternal twins of one another, but for $5 this is a passable and engaging movie tie-in. When's the last time you could say that about any licensed game?

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