World War Z Vs. Left 4 Dead 2, Who Did It Better?

Which is the better zombie shooter, Left 4 Dead or World War Z?

By Grayshadow, Posted 18 Apr 2019

World War Z shares a lot of characteristics with Valve's Left 4 Dead 2. However, does Valve's zombie cooperative shooter still hold up today? Let's analyze the best qualities of both these cooperative zombie shooters and see which comes out on top.

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The Solanum Virus Vs. The Green Flu

The Zekes from World War Z and the zombies from Left 4 Dead 2 provide similar challenges to overcome. The special infected from Left 4 Dead are timeless classics that resemble the unique infected found in World War Z. The Charger is the Bull and the Hunter is a Lurker. In terms of special infected, Left 4 Dead has the most notorious and arduous creatures in zombie shooters.

The common infected from World War Z are a bit more formidable than the Green Flu zombies. Able to climb to tall platforms by constructing a makeshift ladder. Whereas the Green Flu cannon fodder are limited to running and climbing. The common infected from World War Z are dangerous but that's not enough. The special infected add another enemy to face. With Left 4 Dead 2's selection overshadowing any enemy in World War Z. 

The various special infected in Left 4 Dead provide multiple ways to hinder the survivors. Where World War Z has 4 Left 4 Dead 2 has 7. The Witcher, Hunter, Tank, Spitter, Boomer, Smoker, and Jockey each have distinct looks, sounds, and abilities. Easily dominating the enemy variety in World War Z.

Winner: Left 4 Dead 2

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Another Round?

Both Left 4 Dead 2 and World War Z are meant to be played multiple times. Each new adventure slightly changes the objectives and the difficulty alters based on the player's performance. Neither 2 playthroughs ever play the same, with enemies acting dynamically each run.

The primary issue with Left 4 Dead is that it lacks any progression or incentive to continue playing. It's fun to try for better runs or unlock achievements, but you're not earning anything.

World War Z resolves this issue by providing an upgrade system for both competitive and cooperative multiplayer. Players earn experience for upgrades encourages players to keep playing. But it can become vexing since players have to purchase the upgrades after unlocking them.

Left 4 Dead 2 does give players the chance to play as the special infected, which is incredible. A feature that is surprisingly absent in World War Z. But like the cooperative mode, there's no upgrades or sense of progression. That desire to unlock new upgrades and items provides a sense of improvement that Left 4 Dead 2 desperately needed.

Winner: World War Z

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The Survivors

Both games limit the amount of information provided to the player. Much of the focus remains on the gameplay, shooting zombies and getting to the next objective. Left 4 Dead requires outside research and critically analyzing the environment to fully understand what is going on. The same can be said for World War Z, with little information provided to the player.

Where Left 4 Dead excels beyond World War Z is the characters. Saber Interactive did a good job designing the character models and attempting to provide a backstory for each but its not enough. The unconnected campaigns and the short narratives make all these faces forgettable.

Valve prevents this by keeping the player in contact with each of the playable survivors. Whether it's Louis, Coach, Zoey, or Ellis, their voice and personality are buried deep into your head. You're constantly providing short looks into the past and life of the survivor, whether it's Nick's gambling habits or Zoey's love for film. That connection and continious reminder of who you're helped solidify each of the survivors in Left 4 Dead.

Winner: Left 4 Dead 2

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What to Pick?

Similar to the progression system, World War Z provides many more weapons than Left 4 Dead 2. Each one with its own progression tree that increases the strength of the weapon. In addition, 6 classes are available with distinct talent trees with multiple skills to choose from. Saber Interactive ensured that players can choose whatever class they want by making the characters cosmetic and not linking them to specific roles.

Left 4 Dead 2 has plenty of weapon variety. With automatic weapons, melee options, and performance upgrades like adrenaline shots. Most of the weapons are a matter of personal taste with slight upgrades given during each campaign such as laser sights or special ammo. It's basic and keeps the playing field leveled during Infection matches but it gets dull quickly. Having the choice of class and weapon provides more exciting options during campaigns. Playing as a Medic as opposed to a Gunslinger in World War Z makes the playthrough different as you test new skills. Playing as Zoey over Frank isn't much of a difference.

Winner: World War Z

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Winner: Draw

Left 4 Dead 2's cooperative adventure still holds up today. Surviving the zombie horde while avoiding Witches and taking on Tanks is still fun today as it was the last generation. Whether it was hearing Ellis interesting yet bizarre stories or how Louis found some pills, Left 4 Dead is a timeless classic.

World War Z is produced on many of the concepts that popularized Left 4 Dead and strengthened them. Providing more reasons to keep coming back with a large number of unlockables. It may not be original but the core concepts are strong enough to keep players engaged. 

Both titles are fantastic, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Left 4 Dead 2 has more personality thanks to its varied cast of characters. Whereas World War Z gives more reasons to keep coming back with dozens of options to unlock. Each title is each and you can't go wrong with either.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

World War Z


Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Focus Home Interactive
Developer(s): Saber Interactive
Genres: Third-person Shooter
Themes: Zombie
Release Date: 2019-04-16

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