World War Z: Aftermath (for PC) Preview – PCMag

Shred the zombie hordes
With Aftermath, World War Z receives new stages, adaptive AI, and a first-person mode that lets you splatter zombies in fresh fashion.
Many people dismissed the World War Z video game adaptation, because it seemed like yet another movie tie-in crash grab. However, the game has grown beyond its licensed origins to become one of the industry’s biggest co-op shooters. The upcoming, $39.99 World War Z: Aftermath takes everything that made the original game successful and adds numerous new features and mechanics. If the full PC game is anything like the test build we sampled at a preview event, World War Z fans will have an action-packed update to look forward to when the title drops on September 21, 2021.
For the uninitiated, World War Z is a four-player, third-person, co-op shooter where you complete objectives while fending off zombie waves. The game emphasizes strong teamwork; if you try to Rambo your way through a level, you won’t last long. Aftermath retains these features, while adding new elements that further enhance the terrifying experience. If you already own the original game, you can upgrade to Aftermath for $19.99 (with all of your progress transferring over). Horde Mode XL, a part of the game’s next-gen patch that’s set to arrive in the new year, boosts the zombie numbers on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X.
The new, first-person perspective is a great addition. It brings you closer to the action, and makes gaming sessions more intense. In addition, the mode subtly rebalances shooting and movement to accommodate the different perspective. After all, firing and traversing environments in third-person view isn’t the same as doing it in first-person view. Despite the changed camera angle and adjusted controls, the new FPS mode feels just as solid and natural as the behind-your-character view.
Newly added melee weapons help you dispense zombies when swarmed or out of ammo. Cracking undead skulls with bats and sledgehammers is sometimes more fun than blasting them away with guns. The original game didn’t include melee weapons, but their inclusion is greatly appreciated.
The new Vanguard class helps mitigate the zombie threat. Acting as your team’s tank, Vanguards erect shields to cover doorways or create chokepoints. The team I played with wouldn’t have survived the Kamchatka level without a Vanguard blocking entry points.
Zombies are brainless, but the AI isn’t. If your team is doing exceptionally well, the game tosses powerful zombie variants at you, such as foes wearing full body armor. In addition, the zombie hordes increase in number, and come at you from every possible direction. Being forced to change tactics on the fly adds a welcome difficult layer to keep you on your toes. Randomized cache boxes (containing ammo, grenades, and health items) also ensure that no two playthroughs are the same.
Aftermath contains two new levels. The Roman level tasks you with escorting an APC to the Vatican. The APC has an auto-turret that shoots nearby zombies, but it doesn’t protect you from the zombie hordes for long. You will sometimes need to clear barricades in order to progress. Tension rises during these moments, since you’re stuck in a single location and must defend the vehicle against swarms. Though a simple objective, escorting an APC through devastated Roman streets provides an exciting and harrowing experience.
The Kamchatka level is even more unique, since zombies aren’t the only threat. A powerful winter storm brings frigid temperatures, so remaining outdoors ends your life as fast as any zombie. The primary objective is to activate four power generators, but you must also find and turn on heaters within buildings to give yourself places to warm up. In fact, you must turn on the generators in a specific order to restore power. Though the generators’ locations don’t change per playthrough, the order that you turn them on does. Maps on walls tell you the generators to activate, and the proper sequence.
Both stages culminate in massive battles. You get the opportunity to place mobile turrets at specific spots before the siege begins. These moments truly capture the franchise’s spirit due to the hundreds of ravenous undead that rush your way. This is also where team tactics are at their most essential. Your crew must stick together and watch each other’s backs in these incredible, climatic moments.
To play World War Z: Aftermath on PC, your rig needs (at a minimum) an Intel Core i3-3220 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 650ti GPU, 8GB of RAM, 45GB of storage space, and the Windows 7 operating system.
Despite the hundreds of undead filling the screen, my gaming PC, with its i7-4790 CPU and GTX 1080 GPU, ran at a smooth 60 frames per second. I didn’t experience glitches or bugs, despite playing the game’s beta build. Granted, World War Z has been out for a while, and major bugs have no doubt been addressed.
As a Steam game, World War Z: Aftermath supports controllers, Steam Cloud, Steam Achievements, and cross-platform console play.
World War Z: Aftermath enhances an already exceptional co-op zombie shooter with its FPS mode, new stages, and adaptive A.I. This isn’t just a fantastic jumping on point for new players; it’s also a great expansion for veterans. With Aftermath, you get all of the new content and previously released content in one package. If you’re looking for a PC game that you and your friends can play for hours on end, check out World War Z: Aftermath.
For more Steam game reviews and previews, check out PCMag’s Steam Curator page. And for in-depth video game talk, visit PCMag’s Pop-Off YouTube channel. 
With Aftermath, World War Z receives new stages, adaptive AI, and a first-person mode that lets you splatter zombies in fresh fashion.
Sign up for Lab Report to get the latest reviews and top product advice delivered right to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.
Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!
Advertisement
Considering everyday life mundane, Tony prefers to spend most of his time absorbed in fictional worlds that stimulate his imagination. Tony is a geek through and through, and his love for comic books, science fiction, heavy metal, and video games knows no bounds. He uses his natural writing talent and communication skills to express to the world why it’s awesome to live a geek-centric lifestyle. Tony is a former contributor to DualShockers and current executive editor for The Koalition.
PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.
© 1996-2021 Ziff Davis, LLC. PCMag Digital Group
PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant.

source